Vision K-20 is an initiative of the Software and Information Industry Association in the U.S. It works to promote best use of technology in support of education.
“Vision K-20 is the belief that to better prepare our nation’s students, every K-20 educational institution should effectively utilize modern technologies to:
- Personalize learning to increase student engagement and achievement
- Document and track student performance
- Maximize teaching and administrative effectiveness
- Provide equity and access to new learning opportunities
- Empower collaborative learning communities
- Build student proficiencies in 21st century skills”
Each year they survey educators regarding technology in the classroom. The 2013 survey include responses from K-12 educators (75% of the responses) and from higher education professionals (25%). The survey results indicated the level of technology integration in K-12 is currently at a rather low level and that, based on the responses, it should be much higher. The educators answering the survey view technology integration as being of high importance. The survey also indicated that 46% of school districts allow mobile devices in the classroom, generally with restrictions placed on usage.
You can find related resources on their site here, http://www.siia.net/visionk20/resources.asp, including resources for Digital Learning Day.
A recent blog by Amanda Fairbanks at edweek.org is titled “Digital Trends Shifting the Role of Teachers”. It reports on experiences with technology integration from several teachers in the U.S.
One of these, Chris Merkert, was science teacher of the year for 2012 in Suffolk County, New York, and is a leader in “flipped teaching”.
“Mr. Merkert has altered his teaching style—spending less time holding court at the front of the room and more time crisscrossing the classroom to answer questions and provide individual, targeted feedback. And rather than rely on outdated textbooks to drive the bulk of his instruction, he now writes his own curriculum.” He says, “I’m more enthused and involved than I’ve ever been.”
Tip: If you’re going to write your own curriculum, be sure to check out the over 50,000 free and open resources at welcome.curriki.org.
Ms. Rose Ann Throckmorton is a 4th grade teacher in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She reports that since the implementation of a digital learning approach in her classroom, student engagement has increased and the amount of material that can be covered has increased as well. “Twenty-first century classrooms are coming whether we want them to or not,” says Ms. Throckmorton.
The technology is not an end in itself, rather it supports a shift in pedagogy from teacher-centered to more personalized student-centered learning. Resources on Curriki are especially intended to support this student-centered learning modality.
A third teacher, Tom Whitby, is a retired English teacher with more than 30 years of classroom experience.
“If I limited my students to the content in my own head, I would be doing them a huge disservice,” he said. “Students are no longer empty vessels, where it’s our job to fill them with the knowledge that we have. We don’t have all the facts. Our role is changing every day.”
Take a look at the Curriki site to see what you can incorporate into your classroom activities in support of digital and student-centered learning.