U.S. lessons: teaching with technology

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13 oktober 2011 | Teachers struggle with implementing new technology to create better learning experiences for their students. Darrel M. West from the renowned Brookings Institute points out a number of applications and how they significantly enhance personalized learning and real-time student assessment.

In his recent publication Darrel M. West puts forward ways that teacher canuse modern technology and social media to create personalizedlearning experiences and real-time assessment for students. Westworks for the renowned Brookings Institute, a U.S.think tank conducting research into a range of social sciences.

He advocates learning in a “personalized and collaborative”environment. With the help of technology students could be assessedin real-time while having access to a wide range of informationalresources through social media and digital libraries.

In this framework, teachers “take on the role of coaches,students learn at their own pace, technology tracks studentprogress, and schools are judged based on the outcomes theyproduce. Rather than be limited to six hours a day for half theyear, this kind of education moves toward 24/7 engagement andlearning fulltime

Personalized learning and real-timeassessment

West proceeds by pointing out a number of cases that highlighthow technology enhanced both the student’s experience and outcomes.For her statistics course at Stanford, Professor Daphne Kolleremployed interactive online modules that include “video pauses andpop-up quizzes to gauge student progress.”

According to her, “we teach classes in higher ed the same as thepast 400 years. We are constrained by the number of students andclassrooms, yet we are teaching due to constraints that are nolonger relevant.”

West also sees huge potential of technology changing the waystudents are assessed. Instead of taking a “snapshot” of studentperformance on one exam day, teachers should trace progressfrequently. Measuring student progress more frequently would alsogive a better understanding of which material or teaching method ismost effective for students.

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