Boston, MA – Aug. 24, 2017 — During the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) 2017 Conference and Expo,itslearning, (https://itslearning.com), held panel discussions on curriculum-driven technology. The overarching topic of discussion was the need to provide tools that excite teachers and students and that increase student engagement and learner outcomes. The panel speakers explored three technological trends that support these objectives: data-informed, student-centered learning; technology as the great equalizer; and rigorous learning environments and 21st-century skills.
The panels’ main guest speaker was Alan November, an international leader in education technology who Tech and Learning has named as one of the United State’s 15 most influential thinkers of the decade.
Trend #1: Data-Informed, Student-Centered Learning
Beatriz Arnillas, the senior educational advisor at itslearning, talked about the need for immediate feedback data on student learning so that educators can better move students forward. “We need the data to see what’s trending, what’s happening, and how to differentiate instruction, divide the students in groups,” she said.
Arnillas talked about how such immediate feedback could make the teacher’s job easier, but clarified that she was not referring to the job of ten years ago. “Addressing increasingly diverse populations in our districts ... tackling the dropout problems, focusing on the unique problems that a teacher has today in K-12 education requires a lot more than what we were expected to do just a decade ago,” she said.
Trend #2: Technology as the Great Equalizer
During the dialogue of the equity gap, one of the panelists, Andrea Winters, director of learning technology at Clear Creek Independent School District in Texas, spoke about the district’s one-to-one initiative and how technology can be a powerful tool for transforming learning. “It can help affirm and advance relationships between educators and students, reinvent our approaches to learning and collaboration, shrink long-standing equity and accessibility gaps, and adapt learning experiences to meet the needs of all learners.”
Trend #3: Rigorous Learning Environment and 21st-century Skills
During the 21st century skills discussion, November asserted that educators should teach
students how to learn. “If we teach you to memorize and regurgitate content, and your job is
wiped out by technology, you’re not well prepared to reinvent yourself if you didn’t learn how to learn,” he said.
He also talked about a social studies middle school teacher in Bergen, Norway, who made a point of connecting students with people with real-world experience with whatever his students were studying. For example, when they were studying crime, they were in touch with a Chicago police officer and a teenager behind bars in the United States. And when they studied indigenous people, they spoke with indigenous people in Australia.
Arnillas added, “Twenty-first century readiness is much more than grades. We’re not trying to just improve grades, we are trying to prepare our students for a demanding future. For a challenging future that is constantly changing.”
These topics and others will be discussed further in an upcoming webinar, “Back to School: Putting Lessons Learned from ISTE Into Practice, ” to be hosted by Tech & Learning on August 29. Education experts and district leaders will discuss the most impressive developments in educational technology, and how educators can actually put a few into place. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2v1z72f.
With a passion for improving teaching and learning through technology, itslearning lives at the heart of education. In fact, the itslearning platform is the first LMS in the K-12 marketplace to offer educators content accessible from the cloud, including 2 million free and open resources, searchable, tagged with rich metadata, and ready to use. Established in 1999, itslearning is headquartered in Boston, MA and Bergen, Norway and serves more than 7 million users worldwide. For more information, visit https://itslearning.com
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