Articles tagged with Alliance for Excellent Education

NSBA gives ideas for school boards to honor Digital Learning Day

What is your school district doing to celebrate Digital Learning Day on February 6?

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is a core partner in the event, which is designed to help showcase learning through technology, including successful instructional practices and effective use of technology in classrooms across the country.

“Digital Learning Day is an excellent opportunity for educators to organize student demonstrations for school board members and other community leaders so they can see how technology is used to support learning,” said NSBA’s Director of Educational Technology Ann Flynn. “Many of today’s 21st century classrooms are filled with digital tools that can engage and excite students, but may seem foreign to graduates of another era,” she added.

Even though the event is geared toward teachers and classroom instruction, there are several ways school board members can take advantage of the time to highlight their schools’ programs, Flynn said.

For instance, consider an open house invitation for the community and government leaders to see how digital tools are transforming education in classrooms firsthand. Or, have teachers and students give demonstrations of their projects at a school board meeting. Last year, several school boards across the country marked the day by hosting student presentations at their board meetings.

A school board also could issue its own proclamation in celebration of Digital Learning Day, Flynn added, to call attention to the important role these resources play in preparing students for the future and educate the community to build support for the district’s future technology initiatives.

Digital Learning Day, now in its second year, is a project of the Digital Learning Policy Center, a division of the Alliance for Excellent Education, which promotes the effective applications of technology in schools.

Also be sure to check out Flynn’s recent appearance on Comcast Newsmakers, where she discusses the potential of educational technology and student learning.

 

 

Joetta Sack-Min|January 23rd, 2013|Categories: 21st Century Skills, Board governance, Educational Technology, Online learning, Teachers, Technology Leadership Network|Tags: , , , , |

Education technology: Game changer

Only four out of 10 ninth-graders today graduate from high school ready for college or the workplace—and it’s going to take a more thoughtful, strategic use of technology to change that equation.

That was the message of Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, who spoke Sunday at NSBA’s Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.

More attention must be paid to technology because limited financial resources and demographic trends are likely to force schools to hire fewer, younger, and less-experienced teachers in the years ahead, he said. Technology will prove a useful tool to help these teachers maximize their time and instructional effort.

But the promise of technology will only be kept if school leaders are smart about its use, Wise warned. Technology is not simply about adding laptops or Internet connections to classrooms.

“If you do that, you accomplish nothing but the spending of a lot of money,” he said. “What is required is a conscious strategy. When talking about districts where the technology is not working and large amounts of money were spent, you’re looking at a district that did not develop a conscious strategy beforehand.”

To emphasize his point, Wise showed his audience two slides: one of a classroom of a hundred students sitting in an amphitheater-style classroom with laptops in front of them; the other of a classroom where students were organized in small groups, with the teacher standing amidst half a dozen students, each working on their own laptop project.

The more intimate setting was the more reassuring, he noted. The scene suggested students were receiving personalized instruction. They were more engaged in individual instruction and advancing at their own pace, with an instructor available to answer questions, track individual student progress, and ready to step in when students faltered.

Any discussion of successful technology in schools won’t focus gadgets and software, he added. “It’s about the teaching, the pedagogy. We want technology to enhance teachers … We want technology matched with what teachers teach to allow them to do what couldn’t be done before.”

That’s going to take a lot of thoughtful planning—and school boards are just the entity to see that happen, Wise told conference attendees. One of the strengths of technology is that it can be adapted to variety of settings, and school boards are best positioned to determine what adaptations are needed for their school settings and student populations.

“During the next several years, the local school board will be the main agent for change,” Wise told School Board News after his presentation. “They will provide the innovation … school boards are where the rubber meets the road, and they’ll create the future education laboratories to help us find what works.”

Del Stover|February 5th, 2012|Categories: 21st Century Skills, Dropout Prevention, Educational Technology, Leadership Conference 2012|Tags: , , , , |

In support of digital learning

Earlier this month, Ann Flynn, NSBA’s director of education technology programs, participated in a lively discussion on the impact and power of technology in schools. Hosted by the Alliance for Excellent Education, the webinar highlighted successful schools and initiatives that advance and utilize digital learning.

Speaking of initiatives, the panelists– which included award-winning science teacher Jason Pittman, Jayne Marlink of the California Writing Project and the Alliance’s Bob Wise—also spent time discussing the inaugural Digital Learning Day, the flagship event of the Alliance’s Center for Secondary School Digital Learning and Policy, which recently released the report, “The Digital Learning Imperative: How Teaching and Technology Meet Today’s Educational Challenges.”

NSBA has joined other leading education organizations as a core partner of Digital Learning Day, the culmination of a year-round national awareness campaign to improve teaching and learning, utilizing the power of today’s technology tools.

Marked for February 1, Digital Learning Day will feature a nationwide, interactive town hall meeting and a request that everyone do one of three things: start a conversation, try one new thing and showcase success.

Naomi Dillon|January 18th, 2012|Categories: Educational Technology, School Board News|Tags: , , , |
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