Friday, February 17, 2012

Thank you - to Stan Freeda from NH Office of Educational Technology for this ...

This new report, Understanding the Implications of Online Learning for Educational Productivity, provides foundational knowledge needed to examine and understand the potential contributions of online learning to educational productivity, including a conceptual framework for understanding the necessary components of rigorous productivity analyses, drawing in particular on cost-effectiveness analysis.

Applications of Online Learning that can improve productivity:

1) Broadening access in ways that dramatically reduce the cost of providing access to quality educational resources and experiences, particularly for students in remote locations or other situations where challenges such as low student enrollments make the traditional school model impractical;

2) Engaging students in active learning with instructional materials and access to a wealth of resources that can facilitate the adoption of research-based principles and best practices from the learning sciences, an application that might improve student outcomes without substantially increasing costs;

3) Individualizing and differentiating instruction based on student performance on diagnostic assessments and preferred pace of learning, thereby improving the efficiency with which students move through a learning progression;

4) Personalizing learning by building on student interests, which can result in increased student motivation, time on task and ultimately better learning outcomes;

5) Making better use of teacher and student time by automating routine tasks and enabling teacher time to focus on high-value activities;

6) Increasing the rate of student learning by increasing motivation and helping students grasp concepts and demonstrate competency more efficiently;

7) Reducing school-based facilities costs by leveraging home and community spaces in addition to traditional school buildings;

8) Reducing salary costs by transferring some educational activities to computers, by increasing teacher-student ratios or by otherwise redesigning processes that allow for more effective use of teacher time; and

9) Realizing opportunities for economies of scale through reuse of materials and their large-scale distribution.

Review or download the entire report from the USDOE at:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

How Education Fails Technology....

Interesting article from “edtech digest”:

How Education Fails Technology (And What to Do About It)

Education has failed technology. Yes, you read that correctly. Education has failed technology.

To understand why this is, not vice versa, requires understanding what the research literature makes clear: It is possible to get all children learning at levels beyond their respective aptitudes. The same literature, however, makes clear that such levels of learning rarely occur outside one-to-one tutoring settings. Let’s unpack these seemingly contradictory statements to shed light on why education has failed technology and what we can do about it.

Nearly three decades ago, Benjamin Bloom (author of Taxonomy of Educational Objectives) led a research effort to find methods of group instruction that were as effective as one-to-one tutoring through which students performed two standard deviations higher than their classroom educated peers. Bloom named the target of his search the 2-sigma problem. The research-based solution he found was simple, yet profound. If certain instructional practices are used and specific conditions met then one teacher, instructing a group of students in a classroom, could help the students attain 2-sigma. The practices he identified that make 2-sigma possible include reinforcement, cues and explanations, corrective feedback, and cooperative learning. The conditions include student classroom-participation, student time on task, and classroom morale.

Read the entire article at


Stan Freeda

Educational Technology and Online Learning

NH Department of Education