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EDU 807 Summer 2018 - Week 4 - Interview with Megan Erickson - Group 2

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In this episode of the Majority Report, Megan Erickson critiques a variety of ideas that are popular in current conversations related to educational technology. I have tried to mark a few spots in the video related to different topics, and I invite you to discuss these ideas -- in light of what you just read in the ISTE standards.

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As you listen, consider what the conceptions of students (and what technology/standards) can do with/for/to students? Who benefits? Who is left behind? What is the actual purpose for using the technology?

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As you read, make connections between Erickson's argument about how and why students should use technology and compare them to the ISTE Standards.

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What types of changes outlined in the standards appear to be easy to make? Which changes will be more difficult? Why?

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For instance, at at about 1:50, she talks about "student-centered" and "personalized" techniques and then deconstructs that argument. This reminds me of ISTE standard for students 5c, which suggests that students "Demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning." At this point in the video, then, I would want to offer some connection between Erickson and ISTE, pointing out the fact that -- while ISTE may have good intentions to help students become self-motivated and independent, Erickson notes that this is an unrealistic expectation fueled by a technocratic vision of education. What, in the ed tech industry's eyes, does it mean to be "personalized?" Is personalized learning in all students' best interests? Etc...

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Please offer three initial comments, as well as three replies to your classmates' comments.

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Troy Hicks (Jan 20 2017 12:38PM) : Personalized Learning more

In this segment, she talks about “personalized learning,” making connections to Skinner and Kahn Academy.

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May 27
Rebekah Redmer (May 27 2018 5:26PM) : Personalized learning more

This is interesting to me as mentioned by Erickson, the personalize learning options available appear to be student-centered, but as she states, “not much has changed” since implemented. I do not agree with her assessment of “baseless ideas” such as design thinking, they may be in my opinion underdeveloped and lack a solid framework for practice, similar to the ISTE standards. Teachers and school leaders are inundated with technology-driven initiatives, but how is their experience within a traditional classroom different? Are students truly able to move at their own pace? I agree with Erickson on this.

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May 27
Corinne McCabe (May 27 2018 8:38PM) : Also agree more

Hi Becky,

I also agree that what is being referenced as “student-centered” is not necessarily true, but I find that with lots of educational jargon (personalized learning, differentiation, etc.). I have to pose the question, if all students are being assessed with the same grade level standards (Common Core or otherwise) is it ever “personalized” learning?

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Troy Hicks (Jan 20 2017 12:40PM) : Management more

In this segment, she talks about “management.”

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Rebekah Redmer (May 27 2018 5:38PM) : Efficiency more

The word efficiency used by Erickson when referencing systems that were established is still a hurdle today. The theory of education and practice can be difficult to bring together, which causes a struggle when it comes to change with regards to management of schools. Taking more time to get it done is not efficient for the school…we need to be looking at individual students rather than a school building. I personally prefer “Center for Learning” over school.

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May 27
Corinne McCabe (May 27 2018 8:43PM) : Thoughts on Efficiency & Management more

Erickson explained that the goal of schooling tends to lean toward efficiency and management of classrooms and schools to teach the most students in the most “effective” ways. However, schools continually dismiss the research on how children (and adults for that matter) learn. I cannot tell you how many schools have “banned” recess because it is “not an efficient use of time” only to mandate “structured movement” breaks of 3-5 minutes each day (which must be part of a teacher’s schedule. Out goes responsive teaching and a focus on students needs!

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Troy Hicks (Jan 20 2017 12:41PM) : Charter Schools more

In this segment, she talks about “charter schools.”

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Rebekah Redmer (May 27 2018 5:45PM) : Charter schools more

Charter schools come in two forms, non-profit and for-profit. There are some terrific non-profit charter schools out there (and yes, I am saying this as a 20 year veteran of the public schools). It is the for-profit companies, such as some of the ones run in Michigan (ex. Cyber Charters), who do not have the student at the very center of all decision making…it is the financial bottom line for them. This is a legislative decision that impacts our kids…special interests can have a monumental negative impact on student learning, and then what happens to the student? They return to their resident district to address the gaps in learning. The accountability measures need to be more equitable when there is a profit made by a school.

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May 27
Corinne McCabe (May 27 2018 8:57PM) : Accountability and Equity more

I do not know enough about charter schools, as I’ve spent most of my teaching career in the public school system. However, I did spend two years teaching in a prestigious private school on the north shore of Long Island, New York. This school hand-selected its students and charged $18K for nursery school, $20-31K for K-5 (depending on grade level) and almost $33K for middle school. They are ranked in the top 3% of elementary schools in America and within the top 5% of elementary schools in New York. This is because of what students bring to the table.

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Troy Hicks (Jan 20 2017 12:43PM) : Income and SES more

In this segment, she talks about “income and SES.”

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Rebekah Redmer (May 27 2018 5:54PM) : Income more

Accessibility and equity for all students to learn and grow is a fundamental issue in our nation, as well as globally. The classroom needs to be extended beyond a traditional building and school day. The percentages were not surprising to hear, unfortunately.

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Troy Hicks (Jan 20 2017 12:44PM) : Classroom Design more

In this segment, she talks about “classroom design.”

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May 27
Rebekah Redmer (May 27 2018 6:04PM) : Prescribed instructioin more

This was a good point, prescribed instruction appears to be a bit linear as she references Skinner. Collaborative skills, as well as other academic behaviors are necessary and ill addressed in some instances within technology systems. It is why the teacher is such an important part of the overall learning experience and academic journey for students. I make mention on occasion that online courses can be beautifully designed and engaging, but void of a teacher, it is simply a digital independent study…teachers are so essential!

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Troy Hicks (Jan 20 2017 12:46PM) : Curriculum Reform more

In this segment, she talks about “curriculum reform.”

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May 27
Rebekah Redmer (May 27 2018 6:12PM) : Critical thinking more

I think Erickson undervalues teachers in this segment, making generalized statements about all learners not having critical thinking skills. There are great things happening in schools that could and should be highlighted, rather than assuming the social and emotional skills are not addressed (maybe just in this interview?). Stating amazing teachers “are creative and trained”, should be more of a focus, rather than scaling.

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May 27
Corinne McCabe (May 27 2018 9:06PM) : Managerial & Industrial Logic more

Applying “managerial and industrial logic,” as Erickson puts it, to classrooms has been happening for over a century. Often referred to as a “factory model” of education, this has been going on for years. It began in the 19th century during the boom of the industrial revolution. However, we are not in an industrial revolution anymore and our goal should not be to “produce” workers.

DMU Timestamp: January 02, 2017 19:32

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