If your school is not yet investing in teaching and using technology in the classroom, this US Department of Education report may be the impetus needed to spur the school on to this task. Digital technology is the future of education, so students need to know how to use it effectively for learning. This report on using digital technology as part of the educational experience in science–especially science labs–is an important and necessary item to review. Although the National Center for Education Statistics report came out in 2009, its existence is again released by NEAP to remind schools of the importance of digital technology in education, especially science education.
From this NEAP report (National Assessment of Educational Progress):
For the first time, the NAEP science assessment also included interactive computer tasks in science. While performing the interactive computer and hands-on tasks, students manipulate objects and perform actual experiments, offering us richer data on how students respond to scientific challenges. Several key discoveries were observed.
Students were successful on parts of investigations that involved limited sets of data and making straightforward observations of that data.
Students were challenged by parts of investigations that contained more variables to manipulate or involved strategic decision making to collect appropriate data.
The percentage of students who could select correct conclusions from an investigation was higher than for those students who could select correct conclusions and also explain their results.
The newsletter below has published a list of ways to keep students learning during the summer break. It includes tips on engaging students with technology, learning to use web tools, and even has tips for professional development for educators. You can even subscribe to get your own newsletter emailed to you as it hits the internet.
I love Edutopia, even though I no longer teach in the K-12 classroom. It always offers a host of ideas that I can share with pre-service teachers and graduate education students. Technology is here to stay, and teachers need to learn how to effectively use it with students.