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The Evolution of Digital Curricula

Friday, May 31, 2013, 2 to 3 p.m. ET
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 The Evolution of Digital Curricula(05/31/2013) 
9:16
Bryan Toporek: 
Good morning and welcome to today's free chat, The Evolution of Digital Curricula, sponsored by Microsoft. I've just opened the chat for questions, so please begin submitting yours below. We'll be back at 2 p.m. ET with our two guest experts, Chris Merkert and Aimee Kennedy. Hope to see you then!
Friday May 31, 2013 9:16 Bryan Toporek
1:54
Bryan Toporek: 
Thanks again for joining us for today's free chat, The Evolution of Digital Curricula, sponsored by Microsoft. We'll get underway here in just a few minutes. In the meantime, please keep submitting your questions below. Thanks!
Friday May 31, 2013 1:54 Bryan Toporek
1:59
Bryan Toporek: 
Folks, we're ready to get underway. I'm passing control of the chat over to today's moderator, Katie Ash. Take it away, Katie!
Friday May 31, 2013 1:59 Bryan Toporek
1:59
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Thanks Bryan! And welcome everyone to today's chat.
Friday May 31, 2013 1:59 Moderator: Katie Ash
1:59
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
I'd like to start by asking Aimee and Chris if they could please introduce themselves.
Friday May 31, 2013 1:59 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:00
Aimee Kennedy: 
Hi Everyone, I’m the principal at Metro Early College High School. Metro is a STEM school on the Campus of the Ohio State University, and we are a 1:1 school—each of our students has a computer. We are an inclusive STEM school; students enroll through a lottery. Half of our students come from Columbus City Schools—the largest urban district in Ohio. At Metro, we use a mastery assessment model; students earn an A in the class before they earn the credit. We also accelerate out instruction so that students can enroll in coursework at OSU while they are still in high school.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:00 Aimee Kennedy
2:00
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Great! Thanks, Aimee!
Friday May 31, 2013 2:00 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:00
Chris Merkert: 
Hello, my name is Chris Merkert. I am an 8th grade science teacher and a Google Certified Teacher, teaching at East Hampton Middle School in East Hampton, NY. Within the past 2 years I have been piloting the deployment of a class set of chromebooks within the class.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:00 Chris Merkert
2:01
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Awesome! Welcome, Chris.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:01 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:01
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
We've got quite a few questions lined up, so let's go ahead and jump right in.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:01 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:01
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a question from Dave...
Friday May 31, 2013 2:01 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:01
[Comment From DaveDave: ] 
We humans like to do things the way we've done them in the past (especially if that way is working). What will it take for teachers to re-evaluate their role and embrace technology fully? (That's asking a lot of any professional!)
Friday May 31, 2013 2:01 Dave
2:02
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Aimee, this might be a good question for you - has it been challenging to secure teacher buy-in when it comes to technology?
Friday May 31, 2013 2:02 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:03
Aimee Kennedy: 
Hi Dave, administrative thoughtfulness (buying what we really need, not what we think we might need, or just want :) about technology purchases, providing staff with technical assistance, and finding technologies that are adaptive are all keys to teacher buy in
Friday May 31, 2013 2:03 Aimee Kennedy
2:05
Chris Merkert: 
Hi Dave: Great questions.
Change is one of the most challenging or resisted things for teachers. For honest change to occur, teachers must be willing to look at their students first, and think what is best for them. Get away from the old habit of teaching how they were taught or teaching through methods that they learn best from. Focus on students, and be reflective. Once they can be open and reflect, then they can allow for change. That was the launching point for me. That, combined with administrative support and backing goes a long way. Be willing to take risks and not just remain status quo.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:05 Chris Merkert
2:05
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Great advice Chris and Aimee.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:05 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:06
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Let's delve a little more into the curriculum side of this... here's a question from Matt.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:06 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:06
[Comment From mattmatt: ] 
What changes do you see that need to be made in the tradtional publisher curriculum to make it more useful in a "digital classroom?"
Friday May 31, 2013 2:06 matt
2:06
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
What kind of curriculum are you using in your classroom, Chris? And what is available for teachers in your school, Aimee?
Friday May 31, 2013 2:06 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:08
Chris Merkert: 
Hi Matt: In my classroom I have gotten away from the published textbooks. This year, I have even not used them once. We are due for new texts at about this time, however, we are holding off, evaluating digital possibilities and first and foremost how the Common Core play in. . .
Friday May 31, 2013 2:08 Chris Merkert
2:08
Aimee Kennedy: 
Hi Matt, I think one of the most promising opportunities in a digital classroom is the chance for teacher to really curate their content--and not be tied to a text book. We don't purchase many textbook at Metro; we use online course management tools to organize context for kids. That way teachers can teach to standards, integrate their local context, and meet the needs of kids in their class
Friday May 31, 2013 2:08 Aimee Kennedy
2:09
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Interesting that you've both taken a step back from the traditional textbook model.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:09 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:10
Aimee Kennedy: 
Katie--we've never found a textbook to be as effective as a great teacher!
Friday May 31, 2013 2:10 Aimee Kennedy
2:10
Chris Merkert: 
Currently, I try to write my own texts, borrowing from other credible sources. iAuthor allows teachers now to create very impressive text with rich images and media, and customize it to their curriculum. An easy starting place can be the free site CK21.org, where you can use all the texts or modules created there and use, cut, paste, and modify as needed. It also allows for embedding of video and quizzes, assessment.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:10 Chris Merkert
2:11
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Great! We've had a couple of questions come in about social networking....
Friday May 31, 2013 2:11 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:11
[Comment From Steve ScottSteve Scott: ] 
This past year our school district "rolled out" a one-to-one laptop program for all students attending its four high schools. Social networking has plagued the classroom as students access Facebook, Twitter, and other SN sites via the laptops and smartphones. What are the feelings of this panel regarding school policy towards such?
Friday May 31, 2013 2:11 Steve Scott
2:12
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Have either of you developed policies around social networking for your students?
Friday May 31, 2013 2:12 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:12
Chris Merkert: 
Aimee makes a great point about the local context piece. In NY, we have the Regents exam for my accelerated 8th graders. It asks questions related specifically to NYS or situations within NY. National texts would never provide that context.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:12 Chris Merkert
2:13
Chris Merkert: 
Steve: The age old question - at least as old as the digital age anyway....
Friday May 31, 2013 2:13 Chris Merkert
2:16
Aimee Kennedy: 
Steve--social networking is definitely something that we work to use to our advantage, and work to minimize the negatives. The availability of cell phones to access social networking sites makes it a challenge to eliminate. We work with kids proactively to be responsible users, and react swiftly when they are not. Coaching teachers to be monitors of what kids are doing on their technologies in their rooms, and to plan for engaging activities with the technologies keeps the distractions to a minimum
Friday May 31, 2013 2:16 Aimee Kennedy
2:17
Chris Merkert: 
This primarily can start from the districts view of what to see as wrong vs. a change in society. It may be kind of like Rock and Roll in the 50's. Bad??? Can "adults" really stop it entirely? Consider the whole picture.
You can spend all the time suppressing it, only to have it become a part of society. Once can look at teaching students digital citizenship. That can even tie itself into character ed. pieces schools now need to help teach students.
If teachers use the technology in engaging ways, students will tend not to use them in negative ways. Just like being involved in a lesson and they would be less likely to pass notes 20 years ago.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:17 Chris Merkert
2:18
Chris Merkert: 
But that is a very deep and philosophical question all districts struggle with. This is new, so there is not book on it.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:18 Chris Merkert
2:19
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
That's very true - it seems like many schools and districts are struggling to figure out exactly what path to take... For instance, some schools have banned students from bringing cell phones to class while others are harnessing that technology and embracing it in the classroom. Same goes for social networking.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:19 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:21
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's some feedback from Barry about that...
Friday May 31, 2013 2:21 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:21
[Comment From Barry WixomBarry Wixom: ] 
I allow students to use cell phones for doing research and for looking up info when completing assignments. I agree that we must have policies regarding cell phone use in the classroom. However, I have also seen a big drop in the number of cell phones I have had to confiscate. It comes down to management and having a plan in place.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:21 Barry Wixom
2:22
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Now, let's get back into preparing teachers for this kind of shift..
Friday May 31, 2013 2:22 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:22
[Comment From Priscilla NortonPriscilla Norton: ] 
Good Afternoon. As a professor in the College of Education at George Mason University with some expertise in digital curriculum, I believe teachers are at the heart of any effort to realize the potential of digital curriculum to transform teaching and learning. To that end, we have recently launched a new certificate and Master's degree program that focuses exclusively on the Integration of Online Learning in Schools (IOLS) to support teachers' ability to transition to digital curriculum to support blended, flipped, or fully online learning. I am curious about how Chris and Aimee see the professional development piece. What do teachers need to learn? How do we support teachers or even help them understand what kinds of learning needs they might have? Thank you, Priscilla Norton
Friday May 31, 2013 2:22 Priscilla Norton
2:22
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
What kinds of support do you have in place for teachers? How big a part does professional development play?
Friday May 31, 2013 2:22 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:22
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Have you undergone any PD yourself, Chris?
Friday May 31, 2013 2:22 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:23
Chris Merkert: 
Great Question. I read this on on the side and thought "wow, wish I was working at GMU"!
Friday May 31, 2013 2:23 Chris Merkert
2:23
Chris Merkert: 
No, it is all self taught. . .
Friday May 31, 2013 2:23 Chris Merkert
2:24
Chris Merkert: 
Hours at night on iPad, twitter with other great teachers and resources. Better than any PD course I can remember. We know how much we tend to remember from workshops we are assigned to go to ~10%, right. . .
Friday May 31, 2013 2:24 Chris Merkert
2:25
Aimee Kennedy: 
Hi Priscilla, we use a combination approach to professional development. A few situations where we use outside technical support--if we have a demonstrated need. I prefer to use a train the trainer model within our own staff. I might ask a few teachers to pilot something and then train others.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:25 Aimee Kennedy
2:25
Chris Merkert: 
The key is how deeply you embrace it and make it you own. That will get you hooked and then you end up learning and digging deeper.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:25 Chris Merkert
2:25
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's another example from Bill.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:25 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:26
[Comment From billbill: ] 
This past year our school division implemented BYOD in all levels of school. We provided some optional PD for teachers during last summer on how to best implement the use of personally owned devices in instruction. We also provided PD to school administrators. While not all have embraced it, few issues have come to light. BYOD does include cell phone use.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:26 bill
2:26
Aimee Kennedy: 
I agree with Chris--if teachers don't see it as necessary or relevant, it's a tough sell
Friday May 31, 2013 2:26 Aimee Kennedy
2:26
Chris Merkert: 
For my second masters 10 years ago, I was in a constructivist environment, but did not really grasp it. - until now. I have truely become a Life Long learner, but it is because it is something that is truely meaningful to me. Kind of what we try to do with our students.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:26 Chris Merkert
2:26
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
What about the role of administrators? Here's a question about that from Lori...
Friday May 31, 2013 2:26 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:26
[Comment From Lori TerrellLori Terrell: ] 
Coaching the teachers seems to be a challenge when the administrtors do not know how to begin. What comes first the gadgets or the PD?
Friday May 31, 2013 2:26 Lori Terrell
2:27
Chris Merkert: 
Unfortunately, due to very limiting budgetary restraints, our district has to pull back a bit.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:27 Chris Merkert
2:28
Aimee Kennedy: 
Lori--I think it depends on your staff, but I like a combination of both, A coalition of the willing who want to pilot (with the equipment) works well. Or, giving teachers the tools and letting them try implementation and self assessing what they need

PD needs to be as adaptive as we expect out classroom instruction to be
Friday May 31, 2013 2:28 Aimee Kennedy
2:28
Chris Merkert: 
The PD has to come first. Otherwise, you are throwing money and tools into rooms that may only end up being paperweights.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:28 Chris Merkert
2:29
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
We've had a couple of people report back about problems with the website that Chris mentioned... I think it's supposed to be www.ck12.org - is that right, Chris?
Friday May 31, 2013 2:29 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:30
Chris Merkert: 
One model that we used was to have a few teachers become turn key developers for staff. They piloted allowing other teachers to see and then meet and conduct workshops. It worded well, because it was in a real time setting, not a one day workshop in isolation. It was more live, kids, lessons - all immediately applicable. They could say I want to do this on Wed. and we worked on showing how and what they could use.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:30 Chris Merkert
2:30
Chris Merkert: 
YES www.ck12.org
Friday May 31, 2013 2:30 Chris Merkert
2:31
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
It sounds like both of you are in an environment that is technology-rich. Do you have any suggestions for schools/teachers who may not have as much access to technology? Here's a question from Jason about that.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:31 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:31
[Comment From JasonJason: ] 
Any there any suggestions on how to utilize technology where not every student has access simultaneously in the classroom. For example....there are no classroom laptops and not everyone has a phone that can access the internet. What is in the room is 1 computer (the teachers) hooked to a smart board. Thanks!
Friday May 31, 2013 2:31 Jason
2:32
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Are there ways for teachers to 'dip their toes in the water' so to speak without being in a fully 1-to-1 environment?
Friday May 31, 2013 2:32 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:34
Aimee Kennedy: 
Hi Jason, Do your students have internet access at home? Maybe they could somehow submit answers online the night before as homework, and you could project their responses. I'm also a big fan of learning stations--grouping kids into small groups and having them rotate around doing different projects. Some kids could work on the smart board as a s learning station
Friday May 31, 2013 2:34 Aimee Kennedy
2:35
Chris Merkert: 
Jason: Teachers can adjust - it's what we probably do the most, many many times a day. One can set up a circles or stations type of environment with one of the stations being the computer or IWB (smartboard). Also, look into other local bodies which may offer programs that may loan out devices, or grants.
Pick one topic you have done that may lend itself to technology, or perhaps differentiate, with one of the student groups doing their work via technology.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:35 Chris Merkert
2:36
Chris Merkert: 
PS: Aimee and I are not sitting next to each other, even though we are finishing each others thoughts. LOL!
Friday May 31, 2013 2:36 Chris Merkert
2:37
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Haha, eerily similar answers... must mean it's a good suggestion!
Friday May 31, 2013 2:37 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:37
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
With your students can you tell me what types of student engagements they like most inside the digital world and what teachers want to have available for student engagement inside LMS and digital products?
Friday May 31, 2013 2:37 Guest
2:38
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
What do you look for in the products that you choose for your teachers/students? What kinds of features or considerations are most important ?
Friday May 31, 2013 2:38 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:39
Aimee Kennedy: 
Products: No restrictive, prescribed curriculum. We only buy things that are adaptive. We like to be able to personalize the technologies course by course, semester by semester.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:39 Aimee Kennedy
2:40
Aimee Kennedy: 
Products (cont'd) we also look for high rates of reliability--nothing that is overly difficult, or works sporadically
Friday May 31, 2013 2:40 Aimee Kennedy
2:40
Chris Merkert: 
Features / Considerations:
At the onset, it was multimedia, quick simple ways to get info from students for either formative, HW - such as the likes of Google Forms, Socrative, etc. As I got deeper into it, it again moved to student expression and creativity - the deeper, higher level things. Students don't really like filling out a form as much as they like bubbling in a scantron - although it makes turn around time on HW immediate, and not 2 days. . .
Friday May 31, 2013 2:40 Chris Merkert
2:42
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Great... so flexibility, ease of use, multimedia and tools for creation..
Friday May 31, 2013 2:42 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:42
Chris Merkert: 
Student's engage more when they have the opportunity to express themselves and their learning creatively. Blogs, interactive posting sites such as glogster. It doesn't have to be all bells and whistles too. Keep doing good stuff in class and simply capture or share it via digital means, but don't lose the student involvement, creativity piece.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:42 Chris Merkert
2:43
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
What about cost? Chris, you seemed to allude to the fact that this was becoming more of an issue for your classroom... how big of a factor does cost become when looking into different products and tools?
Friday May 31, 2013 2:43 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:46
Chris Merkert: 
Currently, it is the inhibiting factor. Most items we use are either free web-based, or carry a very little subscription fee, that I cover within my own department budget. We were planning on moving to a 1:1 program, but that stalled almost immediately. We only got as far as my one set of chromebooks. Just this year, another science teacher got a set (as he was also self developed), but it has since stalled. Focus now is more on writing and literacy with Common Core. Tech. has had to wait.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:46 Chris Merkert
2:47
Aimee Kennedy: 
Cost--is a factor, but when you aren't buying textbooks there are a more resources to allocate. There are also great free options--we like ASSISTments http://www.assistments.org/ it has great content already, and teachers can also author in their own assessment items. It's FREE
Friday May 31, 2013 2:47 Aimee Kennedy
2:49
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a question for you, Aimee, and I think you may be able to weigh in as well, Chris:
Friday May 31, 2013 2:49 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:49
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Regarding educational technology trends at STEM schools in comparison to non-STEM schools, what are the differences and what are the similarities?
Friday May 31, 2013 2:49 Guest
2:49
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Does being a STEM-focused school change how you view ed-tech, Aimee?
Friday May 31, 2013 2:49 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:51
Aimee Kennedy: 
Ed-Tech--for us, technologies are tools. They don't make or break the class, the school, etc. For us, we use our systems design thinking and innovation to look for new ways to incorporate technology. For example--we are not buying new SMARTboards, we're using SMARTboard paint. We are switching from an all Mac school to Chromebooks for kids.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:51 Aimee Kennedy
2:52
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
I'm glad you mentioned that, Aimee - technology as a tool. That's something I hear emphasized over and over.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:52 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:53
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a question from Monte I don't think we've addressed yet.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:53 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:53
[Comment From Monte TatomMonte Tatom: ] 
I am trying to read all of the posts to see if this has been addressed, and I don't believe it has. What are some things that K-12 practitioners would like for Universities & Colleges to do with pre-service and in-service teachers to assist in "The Evolution of Digital Curricula"? ~ Director of iLearn Program at Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, TN
Friday May 31, 2013 2:53 Monte Tatom
2:54
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Do either of you have advice or thoughts about what kind of preservice training future teachers should be receiving to help them prepare to work with digital curricula?
Friday May 31, 2013 2:54 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:57
Chris Merkert: 
Hi Monte - Great Question. It's actually tough to answer, because things are changing so quickly, and I would bet that a lot of times the students may know and possibly use the newer versions or technologies. But something that should certainly be included in higher ed. glad you are inquiring.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:57 Chris Merkert
2:57
Aimee Kennedy: 
Hi Monte, I'd love to see teacher education focused on finding and organizing content to use in your class to help students learn. Most pre-service teachers went to schools where textbooks drove the curriculum, so their focus is frequently drawn to how they can best teach what's in the book. What we need are teachers who are skilled at analyzing standards, collecting resources and using technologies to improve organization and efficiency
Friday May 31, 2013 2:57 Aimee Kennedy
2:58
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
We're almost at the very end of the chat, but I want to squeeze in one more question if we can...
Friday May 31, 2013 2:58 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:58
[Comment From Silas KulkarniSilas Kulkarni: ] 
Can you talk more about how Common Core is affecting the use of digital and what you think the biggest needs when it comes to Common Core implementation are?
Friday May 31, 2013 2:58 Silas Kulkarni
2:58
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Common Core seems to be a hot topic on everyone's minds - I know it's come up a couple of times during this discussion. Do either of you have any thoughts about how it relates to digital curricula?
Friday May 31, 2013 2:58 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:58
Chris Merkert: 
I would suggest helping prospective teachers to learn how to analyze what is out there, find authentic literature in their content area. Get away from texts, notes, etc and make it more experiential.
Friday May 31, 2013 2:58 Chris Merkert
3:00
Chris Merkert: 
Common Core:
I just attended a great conference yesterday on CC. I walked away with such a changed view on how and what I should be presenting to my students as far as literature. Did a little 2am googling on it as I could fall back asleep. . .
Friday May 31, 2013 3:00 Chris Merkert
3:01
Aimee Kennedy: 
Hi Silas, Technologies (adaptive technologies in particular) provide a great opportunity for teachers to provide students a chance to work towards mastery of those Common Core standards of practice, and simulations. They also provide a platform for inter disciplinary integration
Friday May 31, 2013 3:01 Aimee Kennedy
3:02
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
As Chris finishes up his thought, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who submitted questions and participated in the chat! We've about to wrap it up here...
Friday May 31, 2013 3:02 Moderator: Katie Ash
3:02
Chris Merkert: 
Authentic literature in the content area is vital, so digital can free teachers from the text - which is too structured and does not allow the student do deconstruct much. Also, there are many things that can be "literature" for them to analyze and interpret. Video, animations, as well as journals, etc. Plus, you can not actually get papers from research scientists, nobel prize winners, and even interview and conference with them or follow on twitter or bogs. So in short, there is much more opportunity to really delve into the Common Core via the paths and means tech provides.
Friday May 31, 2013 3:02 Chris Merkert
3:02
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
And a big thanks to Chris and Aimee for joining us and sharing their perspectives and experiences!
Friday May 31, 2013 3:02 Moderator: Katie Ash
3:03
Bryan Toporek: 
Thanks again for joining us for today's free chat, The Evolution of Digital Curricula, sponsored by Microsoft. A special thanks to our two guests, Chris and Aimee, and our moderator, Katie. We'll be posting a chat transcript of today's chat on this same page by close-of-business on Monday. Thanks again for joining us, and have a great weekend!
Friday May 31, 2013 3:03 Bryan Toporek
3:03
Chris Merkert: 
Thanks so much everyone. This was a lot of fun, and a great exercise for me to think more too. Aimee - thanks for your great thoughts and suggestions from the admin perspective.
Friday May 31, 2013 3:03 Chris Merkert
3:04
Aimee Kennedy: 
Thanks everyone--great discussion today! Chris, it was great to chat with you :)
Friday May 31, 2013 3:04 Aimee Kennedy
3:04
 

 
 
 

The Evolution of Digital Curricula

Friday, May 31, 2013, 2 to 3 p.m. ET

The proliferation of digital devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets is changing the way many teachers are delivering instruction in their classrooms. Many are trading in textbooks for interactive digital tools such as videos, multimedia lessons, and games that they are using to engage and motivate students.

That digital shift has prompted teachers to re-evaluate their roles in the classroom, changing from being simply knowledge experts to learning guides. And technology advocates contend that digital curricula can help put students at the center of their learning, connect what they’re doing in school to real-world applications, and better prepare them for college and the workforce.

Guests:
Chris Merkert, science teacher, East Hampton Middle School in East Hampton, N.Y. (@merknet)
Aimee Kennedy, principal, Metro Early College High School in Columbus, Ohio (@aimeek1225)

Katie Ash, staff writer, Education Week and Education Week Digital Directions, moderated this chat. (@EWKatieAsh)

Related Story:
  • Teachers Report 'Major Impact' of Internet on Learning (March 6, 2013)
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