A MacWorld 2007 presentation by Dr Monica Beglau of the University of Missouri


I think NCLB and a few other little requirements from state DOEs have made us feel like the mouse in this graphic: Who moved my cheese?

Question: How do we as educators who know technology can make a difference get that message out to policymakers
– most important things in the world don’t have to do with wealth and fame, but rather the things they create

Policymakers and people in business like to see charts and graphs, the “results”
– the bottom line

Missouri standardized test results looking at classrooms where teachers have digital tools and teach with constructivist/inquiry-based methods
– graph indicates

Our mantra at eMints: “High-quality teaching powered by technology”

another graph of eMINTS students versus those without eMINTS resources and teaching methods

When you teach kids how to think, you teach them how to problem solve in ways beyond basic alorithms
– how to solve problems, describe what they are doing in ways that always show up on tests: any tests, multiple choice or constructed response tests

When you give kid a chance to learn how to think, they will and do blow the socks off any type of assessment or test

Picture of a student using a smartboard
– our PD helps teachers learn to create a community of learners
– everyone is responsible for and uses the technology
– not just a select few, or the kids who get their work done
– the teacher gives the center stage to student questions and student imagination, and ties it back to state standards

“Four years of extensive data collection and analysis show statistically signficant differences for 8 and 9 year-old students in eMINTS classrooms when compared to students not enrolled in eMINTS classrooms on Missouri state-wide assessments of communication arts and mathematics.”

In classrooms where students are the center of instruction, every sub-group needed to excel for AYP make signficant improvements
– when kids with special needs are able to make contributions to their community of learners, and have access to digital tools to facilitate their learning, they score closer to their non-disabled peers

Performance of subgroups:
– low-income and special education students in eMINTS classes generally score higher than their non-eMINTS peers
— enrollment in an eMINTS classroom reduces the deficit for low-income students by about 46%
— Enrollment in an eMINTS classroom reduces the overall difference for special education students by 53%

We’ve found in Missouri that “it takes a team”
– University
– State Dept of Elem and Secondary Education
– State Dept of Education

Getting all the players involved and reducing the competition / border wars that often happen in education can result in great things

Select technology carefully
– often less is more
– we recommend for technology:
— Student computers: 2 to 1 ratio
— SMART Board and projector
— Laptop for teacher
— Digital/video camera, printer, scanner
— Limit software (productivity, concept-mapping, digital editing) – LIMITED software is a different way of looking at technology and software that is very important to our program
— creation of graphs, spreadsheets, shows, PowerPoints, concept maps

I remember the cycles of moving computers out of the classrooms and into labs, and then back to classrooms
– wireless computers have empowered some of these changes

We are working with the state of Maine and others with fantastic 1:1 learning environments
– I have great hopes not just for the $100 laptop project, but also the Inkwell project that is going to provide us with an education-specific device instead of relying on products that come out of the business environment

Teachers tell us the SmartBoard makes the biggest difference
– as soon as we get teachers to let go of their ‘sage on the stage’ role and let the students in, they are amazed to see what happens

All of our teachers have a laptop and classroom websites
– so students have a safe place to launch from

I have seen concept mapping software used in every content area, in every grade level
– just saw a math teacher using concept mapping software, working in pairs, learning about multi-variate mathematics

use the tool to be the glue: teacher / content / student

Looking at adding
– notice I am NOT naming any curriculum or content-based software
– people are tempted to use teacher-proof curriculum
– I am insulted by this, you should be too
– we don’t need to be given a script

Biggest challenge when working with secondary teachers:
– how to map your curriculum to various problem-based, real world units and lessons

We teach teachers to “Teach like the Masters”
– constructivism: inquiry-based, problem-based, project-based
— some people have misused those terms and theoretical concepts
— a lot of you teach that way without even knowing the theoretical base for it
— creation of meaning using prior knowledge and experience
– Socratic method with levels of probling questions
— systematic observation, hypothesis testing and problem-solving
– real-world situations, public venues
– cooperative learning
– community of learners

Helping teachers ask questions that help kids as questions are skills not many of us were taught in pre-service teacher prep, and rarely taught in many in-service sessions
– key is getting students to ask questions that take them DEEPER
– if you refuse to do the thinking for your students by asking them the question that makes them think, whatever test they take they will know how to think and reason through the test
– it doesn’t matter how much material you cover, it matters how much you teach kids to THINK about the material you cover

Sustained, intensive professional development is the key
– you need to demand this as necessary to support your educational role

eMINTS Quality Assurance
– Bernie Dodge comes to Missouri and works with our teachers each year
– ISTE has reviewed our program, and received the “Seal of Alignment for High Quality Professional Development”
– that makes a difference in how our teachers think about teaching and learning

We need to be more demanding of our expectations of professional development
– 1 sie does not fit all, needs to be matched to local needs
– needs to be paired with in-classroom coaching and mentoring
– 70% pedagogy (how to teach, and how you teach) and 30% technology literacy skills (you can’t do that in a 1 hour session or week long boot camp, you need to provide this in a sustained way)
– skilled trainers use consistent sequence, materials, and methodology

What is the relationship of the professional development coach to the teachers in your district?
– if it is not very close, that is like having a basketball coach that just shows up at gametime, not during practice

We didn’t get those test results you saw first by offering optional sessions or a mismatch of sessions that varied greatly in how tech and education literate the trainer was

Know when to lead, when to follow, and when to get out of the way
– teaching with technology requires people to commit most precious resource: time
– program development team
– principal, technology coordinator, eMINTS and non-eMINTS teachers, library media specialist
– Team responsibility
— build vision, goals, objectives, plan and processes for implementation, including funding, evaluation and sustaining eMINTS
– Team support
— in-district champions
— out-of-district mentors

if you are alone, your success in changing the predominant teaching paradigms in your school will be quite dependent on how subversive you are in what you do with teaching and technology

Risk taking is key, and vision building is also
– vision comes from people who are willing to stick with it and support the vision (on the teaching staff) even when things get rough

in-district champions and out-of-district mentors play key roles for sustainability, and for supporting the type of risk-taking

The Presidential budget office believes that schools have all the wiring and technology they need

eMINTS is a professional development program, and we are advocates for the effective use of technology in instruction

Backward Design
– you need to begin with the end in mind: evaluation
– rigorous quasi-experimental design methods or other ways of research
— unless you can demonstrate that with your project, you may not get funded for next year or help our cause with edtech showing that technology makes a difference
— use matched pairs
– mixed methods
— qualitative
— quantitative
— survey
— observation
– longitudinal
– formative
– summative

Best gift in eMINTS: the gift of time, esp from State Dept of Education
– gave eMINTS 2 years before they had to look at test score results
– didn’t have to show test result changes for 2 years

Almost every time after 1 year, test results go down because people have to figure out how to pull that into a day to day practice

“We are teaching students to be life-long learners through the use of technology and that is an awesome idea.”
– Jeri Phillips, eMINTS teacher

eMINTS National Center

The eThemes are something every teacher is invited and welcome to use (eMINTS digital curriculum)

– built using graduate students at Univ of Missouri in library science studies
– fabulous database
– eMINTS teachers are the only ones that can make new requests, but ANYONE can use these resources

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