Voice from the Field RSS Feed

Data-The Key to Customized Instruction

In the 1950s public education was a monopoly. Students had to attend their neighborhood schools. Education has evolved into a market with options. Many states and districts now allow students to attend a variety of publicly funded and regulated options, and market forces are growing.

Data is the cornerstone for the development of educational improvement at the student, teacher, school, and district level. Data is key for school districts to effectively compete in the education market. Until the school and district effectively use data, there will be no gains in the greatest benefits in the use of digital curriculum and assessment. Read More »

It's All About Knowing Who to Talk To and When

In K-12 today, districts are more likely to participate in a shared decision making model when it comes to technology procurement. IT, purchasing, and curriculum folks are more collaboratively involved in making decisions to purchase technology than ever before as recognized by organizations like CoSN and the Council for Great City Schools.

There is one disconnect, however, in this collaborative process, and that is the often overlooked textbook purchasing department. Read More »

Integration of Multiple Technology Initiatives Is the Key to Effective Education Under ESSA.

The track record of effectively implementing technology into K-12 education is poor. This article looks at the three phases of effective technology integration—Initiation, Implementation, and Institutionalization—and addresses two key questions:

  • Why has implementation of education technology initiatives to improve educational effectiveness failed?
  • What do school and industry leaders need to know about implementation to make education initiatives stick?
  • Read More »

    Student Achievement: The Deep Dive With District Leaders

    EdMarketer 2016 explores district leaders’ perspectives on student achievement. See some of the highlights from the study Student Achievement: The Deep Dive:

    • You are just one player in “The Achievement Market.”
    • School district leaders have a clear definition for student achievement.
    • Teacher motivation, student engagement, and principal leadership are the top drivers of student achievement.
    • You overrate your role as an achievement partner to districts.
    Read More »

    Six Things Small District Superintendents Need to Know and Do to Integrate Technology for Effective Education

    Attention to six practices and products enables small districts to personalize learning, achieve quality instructional outcomes, and create more efficient management processes:

    1. Knowledge of the availability and quality of digital educational materials
    2. Instituting integrated management systems
    3. Having IT organizations that address instruction and technology
    4. Providing strong professional development that coaches teachers
    5. Linking effective procurement processes for digital materials to a cost-effective cloud repository system for materials
    6. Constructing a solid infrastructure that can grow as digital needs grow
    7. Read More »

      In Successful Edtech, Pedagogy Comes First--Devices Second

      In terms of student proficiency, today's classrooms are more diverse than ever. We're "detracking" students previously sorted by ability. We're mainstreaming those with special needs. And we're serving more and more students who are just learning English. In these classrooms, teachers face a seemingly impossible task--providing effective instruction to all the unique students under their care. Educational technology (edtech for short) can play a significant role in mitigating and solving this growing dilemma. Read More »

      Technology and Productivity in K-12

      In the past two decades there has been a massive investment of technology in K-12 education. Hear from BLEgroup members about key elements needed to increase rates of learning, why only a few school districts have achieved it, and why it will take time for productivity in schools to increase.

      • Focus on pedagogy
      • More adaptive assessment that makes it easier and more effective for teachers to identify missing skills and point them to appropriate materials for individual students
      • Increased granularity of metrics
      • Support for school districts in finding and identifying the quality of the vast amount of new digital material
      • Ongoing professional development that combines knowledge of the materials, use of data analytics, and use of technology
      Read More »

      Rumbles on the Road

      As I travel across the U.S. and internationally I hear and see many common challenges in ramping up K-12 education systems to truly meet the needs of all K-12 students and provide them with the knowledge and skills that are critical for their futures.

      • The need for change which leverages and maximizes the power for learning that access to digital media provides
      • Effectively implementing that change
      • The need for vendors to assist their school clients in all phases of implementing new technologies
      Read More »

      To Improve Education in America: Embrace Blended Learning

      There is one trend in education that I truly believe can have a great impact on our educational system: blended learning. Both educators and the businesses that serve educators need to embrace blended learning in order to improve education in this country. Improving education in the U.S. is simply an imperative in today’s global economy.

      Why is blended learning so important?

      • Blended learning improves student engagement.
      • Blended learning improves the retention of information.
      • Blended learning better serves a wider variety of students.

      Read More »

      Smaller Districts Comprise the Majority of Market for Technology and Have Distinct Needs

      Through our vetted assessment and planning work we have identified the challenges and potential solutions needed to support smaller school systems. This article outlines five concrete components critical to the success of smaller districts, recognizing that the major factors of the transition from print to digitally-delivered education are organizational, including managed change, policies, funding, sustainability, and systematic implementation.

      1. Knowledge of Availability and Quality of Digital Educational Materials
      2. Lack of Integrated Management Systems
      3. Need for IT Organizations That Address Both Instruction and Technology
      4. Inadequate Effective Professional Development for Teachers
      5. Effective Procurement Processes for Digital Materials Linked to a Cost-Effective Cloud Repository System for Materials
      Read More »