NEPC issues ‘red flag warning’ on personalized learning initiatives

So-called “personalized learning” programs are proliferating in schools across the United States despite “many red flags” as to their effectiveness and the motivations behind them, according to a new report from the National Education Policy Center. The NEPC says these “personalized learning” initiatives are “fueled by philanthropic dollars, tech industry lobbying, marketing by third-party vendors, and a policy environment that provides little guidance and few constraints.”

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Do cellphones belong in the classroom?

The announcement this week that Portage High School would be banning cellphones from the classroom this fall has generated a lot of reaction on both sides of the issue. While many believe cellphones distract from learning in the classroom, others believe they can be used to supplement learning. At the same time, some parents like the idea of always being able to reach their children via cellphone.

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Technology is an important tool in education, but it can never replace the teacher

In education, the “Big T” is for Teacher and the “little t” is for technology, River Falls Superintendent Jamie Benson writes this week in a featured column in the River Falls Journal. “To be clear, technology in our schools will have little or no positive impact on increasing student learning unless teachers guide that learning,” Benson writes. “It’s not a tech device that does the teaching, rather it is the teacher that adds life, personalized, caring, mindful and connected learning opportunities to these experiences.”

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Three ways technology can’t replace people in the classroom

Technology is dramatically changing our classrooms and the approach we take overall to education. From iPads and Chromebooks to e-learning to virtual reality, technology is enhancing opportunity and giving educators more ways to reach students. But, as NPR Education Blogger Anya Kamenetz points out in her latest post, technology just can’t replace the value of having teachers and students together in the same place, face-to-face, engaging in personal, human interactions.

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Hospitalized Oconto third-grader attends school through ‘walking’ iPad

Elysia Mireles, a third-grader at Oconto Elementary School, attends Melissa Sowle’s class through a moving iPad mounted on a Segway-type device on wheels. Elyria is unable to attend class in person because she has been diagnosed with Stage 4 High-Risk Neuroblastoma and is being treated at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay and Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee. But thanks to technology and a very caring staff, Elysia can still feel like she’s part of her classes at Oconto Elementary, keep up with her studies, and maintain her friendships.

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