Sophomore Morgan Wang (center) takes part in a rehearsal of The Miser at Arroyo Pacific Academy in Arcadia, Calif., last November. Wang plays Marianne in the play.
Much and more has been written about student learning. And it well should be, as the learning of all students — whether young or old — is how we help our society, and the people who make it up, to be the best possible. Lately, happily, even more of that writing has been researched-based. Consider, for instance, the column written regularly by Sarah Sparks for Education Week that focuses on how we learn and what the research says about that. Or, an increasing reliance on research connected to the Next Generation Science Standards in all of the National Science Teachers Association’s peer-reviewed journals.
SmartBlog on Education this month is exploring the science of learning. Join us for original content in which experts explore trends in learning research and highlight teaching strategies that can help improve student performance.
“But why do you want students to blog?” This question, posed by one of the professors for an action research course in our school district, gave everyone pause. We had been discussing questions to investigate in our classrooms. The teacher who proposed the blogging idea thought for a moment, then replied, “I don’t know.”
Technology is tempting to embed in the classroom en masse. It piques kids’ interests and it is fun to explore. But does it lead to achievement and help students grow as learners? We need to ask ourselves these types of questions if we want to realize the impact that connected education can have on students. I offer three declarations supported by research to help assess the necessity of technology in classrooms.