Teaching at a public high school in Barcelona, I witnessed daily, and sometimes hourly, failure: students struggling through exams despite hours of preparation, missing days of school, threatening teachers and losing their motivation.
Where is the technology fix or app for skyrocketing textbooks? Where are the barbarians at the gate? Those Silicon Valley warriors that took down Motown, turned my neighborhood Borders into a laundromat, eliminated Kodak AND my camera?
New technologies offer unprecedented opportunities to redefine our role in addressing the range of challenges that we as human beings face. It is our obligation to take up this call for the benefit of our students and our world.
Organization is a pivotal skill that can be difficult to master, especially for children and adolescents. While there are thousands of productivity apps available for the iPad, only a precious few capably keep children organized in the classroom and at home.
While there are hundreds of worthy subject-based educational apps for high school students, the best teach adolescent learners how to use technology to be more productive so they can focus on topics that most inspire them. These five make our honor roll.
It's easy to argue that the best teacher could teach with nothing but a chalkboard and a piece of chalk, but we're not all Michelle Pfeiffer. And, considering our country revolves around computers, it's nearly impossible to prepare teachers and students for the future without access to technology.
Yet what is lost in the ideological debate of MOOCs and online learning is an understanding of the actual students that are taking so long to graduate, wasting so much of their own and taxpayer's money, and graduating without employable skills.
If you're a school or district leader who is considering using education technology and digital learning in your schools, stop. Technology can play a huge role in boosting student achievement, but simply slapping a netbook on top of a textbook is not enough.
Sometimes I think there should be a big sign in front of some schools saying, "Welcome back to the 20th century." But just as online news, music and video helped revolutionize the media industry, we are starting to see significant changes in education.
I work with teachers who don't like to look stupid in front of their class. This makes sense in their subject area. But with technology, if they are avoiding looking stupid by because they don't know how to use it, chances are, they are looking pretty silly to their students already.
Even though the conference is over, LearnLaunch continues to be basecamp for the ed tech community in Boston. If you want to join in the buzz, check out the regularly updated discussions on their LinkedIn group.
What can we learn from games to improve our classrooms? Games are carefully and intentionally designed environments that create flow: the balance between challenge and progress. Great games are challenging, but not too difficult, and thus not boring.
As the sector of education technology continues to grow, traditional educational providers and employers alike will begin to embrace innovation that will transform the way we learn and build skills for the workplace.
Schools will never realize the power of technology until they get out from under our current way of holding them accountable. We need accountability, but what we are now doing is stifling learning and teaching. It's making public education worse, not better.