Ed-tech innovators share their vision for education


He described how the first real shift in our educational system occurred during the Industrial Age, when the system we’re familiar with today replaced the one-room-schoolhouse model. Yet, the lives of today’s students are so different from those of the industrial era that it’s time for the next big shift in educational thinking.

For teachers in industrial-era schools with large class sizes, “it’s incredibly difficult … to get out of [a mode of] presentational instruction,” Dede said—unless they have what he called “power tools” to help them.

“I think Web 2.0 and some of the game-like interfaces [that are being developed today] can really help,” he said.

To learn how, watch the 10-minute interview with Dede here:

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Pedagogy must come first

A 21-year veteran of the teaching profession, ISTE board member Ben Smith also teaches high school physics, making him the only board member who is still a practicing K-12 educator. He also helps schools with ed-tech professional development through a consulting business called Ed-Tech Innovators.

In an interview with eSN-TV, Smith described a few best practices for integrating technology into science instruction.

Technology allows students to better see what’s happening during an experiment, he said. For instance, he often has his students video record a motion at the same time they’re using a motion sensor, so they can correlate what’s happening in the video at any given point with what’s happening on the graph. This makes the learning come alive for students.

When thinking about how to use technology in education, he warned, the pedagogy must come first. “You can’t just put technology into classrooms; you have to have some reasons,” he explained—and an idea of “what you want students to be able to know and do. And that should really be at the forefront before you worry about the technology piece.”

For more advice from Smith, watch our six-minute interview with him here:

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eSchool News Staff

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