We asked over 100 European and North American teachers to rate their interest in today’s Educational Technology trends. With the coming launch of menco.io, you’ll be able to explore these trends and more, and discuss how they will shape the culture of learning around the globe.
- Web-based Tools For Education – 90.9% of teachers are very interested or interested and another 8.1% are somewhat interested this. Only 1% are not interested or only might be interested.
- Online Educational Resources – 94.1% teachers are very interested, interested, or somewhat interested, only 1% not interested or might be interested
- Digital Literacy – 95% are very interested, interested, or somewhat interested, 4% might be interested, 1% not interested. This is the field I am the most interested in and one that many of those working in school libraries have been most involved in.
- Personal Learning Networks – 96% are very interested, interested, or somewhat interested, 3% might be interested, 1% not interested. This would be an area that i would like some further discussion about. Are the teachers building their PLNs and/or are they educating their students about how to best utilize these opportunities for educational purposes.
- Blended Learning – 96.9% are very interested, interested, or somewhat interested, 2.1% might be interested, 1% not interested.
- Social Media In Education – 96% are very interested, interested, or somewhat interested, 2% might be interested, 2% not interested. An area that seems to be in constant change with many new things being developed all the time.
- E-Moderation – 91.9% are very interested, interested, or somewhat interested, 1% might be interested and 6.9% not interested. I need to better understand this area and have only read a few pieces about it.
- Mobile Learning – 91% are very interested, interested, or somewhat interested, 2% might be interested, 7% not interested. further discussion about what individuals and their schools are doing about m-learning opportunities and if they are going down the BYOD pathway would be an interesting follow-up.
- Digital Games In Education – 85.9% are very interested, interested, or somewhat interested, 9.9% might be interested and 4% not interested.
- Interactive Whiteboards – Although overall 81.3% are very interested, interested, or somewhat interested there does seem to be a move away from this form of technology as 27.7 only might be interested, 12.9% might be interested and 15.8% not interested.
I am often looking at research or data collected about technology uses in schools or educational fields. Most of the things I find are from the US or to a lesser extent UK or Europe. China has increasing the links between our two countries. Why are Australian teachers not being surveyed? Who in Australia is trying to gather this type of information? If someone is collecting data, why are we not seeing it shared?
The Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America 2013 was the second in a series of surveys conducted by Common Sense Media. The surveys were designed to document the media environments and behaviors of children up to 8 years ol. “By replicating methods used two years previously, they were able to see what changes, if any, had occurred. You can visit their research page to download the full report.
The amazing growth of mobile media will keep all those in the education field on their toes. I work in a secondary school and we need to take into account the expertise and skill levels of students as they come to us from the primary schools. We all need to look at what we want students to learn and use the best possible means available to assist that.
The infographic below helps to understand the way the trends are heading. The infographic below breaks down and creates a useful visualisation of some of the important data obtained. Although it is from the US, I think that data obtained here in Australia would be very similar, especially going on some of the results of “straw polls” and talking with our students.
What does this mean for me as a teacher librarian?
I believe that the role of the teacher librarian will focus on teaching students how search properly through the vast amount information available and then to evaluate the value of that information.
There is another role that libraries, and their staff, are starting to take on, that of being part of the makerspaces movement. Young people have been using library resources as consumers for a long time. Information is growing exponentially, especially as anyone now has access to digital tools for creation and publication. It is becoming important for students to learn how this information production works and how to become a part of this information society.
The library can support the students to become producers. In the past students produced written pieces of work to explain what they garnered from their research. Today in the digital age we can add many more options and students can create digital artifacts such videos, websites, blogs and e-learning objects. The library can have a role in this as well by assisting students in the production process of these digital artifacts. This could be helping with the choice of the medium e.g. paper or 3D artifacts, audio, video or web. The library could also assist by providing space, such as recording or editing spaces, and equipment such as cameras, microphones and editing software.
Much of this fits in neatly with project-based learning. There many teachers who are starting to prefer the PBL approach in schools. PBL is “an instructional approach built upon authentic learning activities that engage student interest and motivation. These activities are designed to answer a question or solve a problem and generally reflect the types of learning and work people do in the everyday world outside the classroom.” taken from PBL Online. This type of learning is right up my alley!
I work in a boy’s school so educating boys is something I have been passionate about for many years. Many of those in education are concerned about the lack of engagement that boys have in their education.
When I first started teaching I worked in a girl’s school and followed up with a co-educational school in the country. Here we had concerns about girl’s education. Many girls left school without finishing year 12 and less went into further education. We were especially concerned with the way girls dropped out of maths and science in years 9-10. We had several programs running to try to change some of these trends. Boys did better in education until the 1980′s when thing began to change and the statistical data showed the turn around. Since the end of the 1980′s boys have been out-performed in the K-12 classroom by girls. The data shows that boys still score a little higher in science and maths, whilst girls do better in language and humanities areas but overall boys are being outstripped by girls.
This is the case in Australia and the following infographic about educating boys (based on US data) was interesting in that there were some marked similarities.
The infographic started out with population data – visual representations of birth rates and kindergarten enrollment. The first interesting thing was that data showed that almost twice as many male students as female students repeat kindergarten, and approaching triple the number of male students diagnosed with a learning disability compared to female students.
The number of girls graduating from secondary school seems to correlate with Australian statistics.
The proportion of male and female students remained fairly constant throughout primary and in the initial years of secondary schooling, with the number of male students exceeding female students by about two percentage points, up until Year 11. In Year 11 there were slightly more females than males, and in Year 12 females exceeded males by 3.2 percentage points. (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012)
More women than men also participate in higher education in the US which is also the case in Australia.
The other part of the infographic I particularly liked was at the end, with the advice about what schools can do to educate boys.
The 6 strategies for engaging boys in the classroom that are recommended are not ground-breaking and I have certainly seen them used in school. The library staff have also worked with teachers in the classroom to use the strategies. No doubt many could add to the strategies with example of their own but they are worth reiterating:
- Design lessons that end in the creation of a product. I would add make it authentic and shared with more than the student and the teacher. One simple example: In the library we love to run the book trailers that our students create for their English teachers about the books they have been reading. It works to publicize the books in the library and the boys like seeing their work on our big screen.
- Structure lessons as competitive games.
- Require motor activity. (We have all seen the research that talks about the physicality of boys so we need to find ways to harness this and use it in learning situations. It does not have to be a major exertion but just some movement.) One example I have been impressed with at our school: One of the maths teachers regularly starts her year 7 lessons with a small foam ball that the boys throw to each other. As the boy catches the ball she asks a question that he has to answer. She uses it as a way to revise work from the previous lesson as well as reinforce some of the maths rules. They have a chance to answer a question as it goes around the classroom for 10 minutes.
- Allow boys to address unsolved problems and use opened questions. especially problems that have a real-life application or that they have some affinity with.
- Combine team work and competition. Some simple examples: The literature circles in year 7 have given us some opportunity to try this out. This year we offered a pizza lunch for the class that read the the most books in the Premiers’ Reading Challenge. The boys encouraged the less-able readers and congratulated them as they finished a book. They also offered suggestions about what others might like to read. The Book Spine Poetry competition in book week also worked as groups of year 7′s combined to create poems.
- Focus on self-direction and independent discovery. Assist boys to become more self-reliant and questioning. We have a year 8 science project (WASP) that most of the boys love. The library staff get involved in the research component at the beginning of the project.
This program was designed to allow the student the freedom to investigate a scientific topic of their choice. Students had the option of conducting a scientific investigation on a topic of their own choosing or build a working model of an invention. The aim of WASP is to stimulate ongoing interest and participation in science. The program encourages independent enquiry-based project work as well as giving students the opportunity to present their achieve-ments to a panel of judges from the Science faculty.