This report is a synthesis of ongoing research, design, and implementation of an approach to education called “connected learning.” It advocates for broadened access to learning that is socially embedded, interest-driven, and oriented toward educational, economic, or political opportunity. Connected learning is realized when a young person is able to pursue a personal interest or passion with the support of friends and caring adults, and is in turn able to link this learning and interest to academic achievement, career success or civic engagement. This model is based on evidence that the most resilient,
adaptive, and effective learning involves individual interest as well as social support to overcome adversity and provide recognition.
A recent set of case studies from FSG concluded, “Blended learning has arrived in K-12 education. Over the past few years, technology has grown to influence nearly every aspect of the U.S. education system,” By the end of the decade, most U.S. schools will fully incorporate instructional technology into their structures and schedules. They will use predominantly digital instructional materials. The learning day and year will be extended. Learning will be more personalized, and the reach of effective teachers will be expanded.
BYOD is a reasonable choice for districts with the following conditions: cost is a critical factor, wide bandwidth is available, and there is a large student population with limited income to purchase separate devices for school and home. Additionally, the IT staff is well organized, capable, and experienced. BYOD is not appropriate for all districts but it is a compelling choice for the many districts that have this combination of factors.
Year 1 Evaluation Results
Under its Common Core Technology Project (CCTP), the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) plans to deliver technology devices to every teacher and student in the district. The effort began in August 2013, with the delivery of devices to the first wave of schools, and will continue through three stages that unfold over five years. The external evaluation of the project, conducted by American Institutes for Research (AIR), will address the implementation and outcomes of the program. This Interim Report is intended to provide formative feedback toward program improvement based on the evaluation of the program’s first year of implementation.
This introduction provides a description of CCTP and an overview of the evaluation approach that was employed in the first year.
Online learning can expand student options, provide new distribution models for staffing for hard-to-fill subjects, and power blended learning. It shares many critical success factors with traditional education, such as relying on excellent educators providing instruction and agency, but there are other differences that require a solid plan and well-developed strategy.
The Project RED research team, which has strong ties to the One-to-One institute, recently released a report that identifies best practices for implementing technology in schools to see improvement in student achievement and cost savings.
The One-to-One Institute (OTO) and Amplify have partnered to provide districts and schools with a short guide to launching your first 1:1 program. This guide is based on OTO’s best practices and co-authored research, Project RED. It is not intended as step-by-step instruction but rather as an overview of the key elements needed to develop a successful and sustainable 1:1 implementation.
In an effort to inform EdTech procurement decisions in schools and districts across the country whose leaders realize the potential of technology to personalize learning and improve high-quality educational opportunities, Digital Learning Now! brought together experts from Getting Smart, Curriculum Associates, and The Learning Accelerator to create the Smart Series Guide to EdTech Procurement.
The procurement process outlined is informed by the lessons gleaned from the collective experiences of the authors in working with hundreds of school districts and across education policy matters in dozens of states. The authors have learned a great deal about the challenges that districts face when attempting to discern how best to integrate technology into their schools in a way that creates better environments for teachers to teach and students to learn.
They have heard consistent challenges articulated by educators around the country who are facing inter-related shifts in standards and assessments. In the race to meet these challenges, providers often market themselves in strikingly similar ways, even when their product and service offerings are very different. Frequently, the result is confusion and frustration from educational leaders who do not know where to begin.