The technology crazy cycle: implementing educational technology successfully

I’ve come to the realization that one of the largest gaps in education is the distance between an idea and the actual implementation of that idea. You know…the length of time, required effort, and necessary collaboration needed to get something done in the school setting? If you are working in or with a school district, you have experienced this gap and know the frustrations that this can bring. Though there are quite a few of these implementation gaps worthy of highlighting (don’t worry, we will do more over time), we are diving in to the technology implementation process and where things go wrong (that informs how to do it right). This technology implementation process typically looks like this.

Practice-based Evidence: Identifying What Works in YOUR Classroom

Over the past few weeks, Jason C. and I have been writing about how to find and understand evidence-based practices for the classroom. Especially when considering the application of technology during instruction, the reality is that it is impossible for researchers to keep pace with innovation (I originally discussed that phenomenon briefly here). With that in mind, what are we to do?

Microscope looking closely at a subject

Pardon our dust as we are building something great!

Ooops! Yesterday, we accidentally sent out a repeat of last week’s post. I know you were as shocked as we were to receive information that was a week old! So the cat is out of the bag, we are officially Under Constructionknocking the dust off the old blog to improve, expand, and enhance what we do. I hope that (unintentionally) we’ve built some anticipation about what may happen next. Over the next few months, we have some exciting things in store. So until we get all our ducks in a row, please overlook our imperfections and jump straight to the incredible content that we have always delivered.

Many thanks!

Jason G.

When Searching for Evidence-based Practices, This is What You’ll Find

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In the pursuit of research to support and inform our work, finding relevant material is the first hurdle to clear. Jason C. tackled this task through sharing practical suggestions on how to use Google Scholar to locate this research. Once you start digging through search results, it can be pretty overwhelming trying to determine what is good and what is not. There are a few things to know when combing through your search results.

Using Google Scholar to Locate Research Based Practices

In the first post of the new year this blog discussed the importance of ensuring that technology and strategies used in classrooms are based on research.  While research doesn’t always keep up with the latest technology, it is still necessary to know what works and modify it as needed to fit your setting.

So where do you find research? While several options exist, including professional development opportunities or academic libraries you may have access to, one of the most exhaustive resources available is Google Scholar.  In this post I will share what Google Scholar is and some tips to help with its navigation.

Google Scholar Homepage

Framing Routine: A High Powered Graphic Organizer

Last week Jason C. shared 5 great examples of web-based graphic organizers that you can use with your learners. With those tools in mind, here is another great instructional strategy using a graphic organizer that you can use to help your learners:

  • recall key information
  • understand the relationship between the main ideas and associated details
  • summarize the main idea of the passage

Graphic Organizer Strategies

Over the last couple of weeks Jason G has done an excellent job of explaining the lens we look through when providing assistance to others.  In his first post of the new year he discussed the three components that almost every post we share will revolve around: Technology, Strategy and Research.

Today’s post is going to focus on the strategy piece that accompanies Graphic Organizers.  If you aren’t familiar with Graphic Organizers, they are basically a way to demonstrate knowledge, or communicate information in a visual way.

Graphic Organizer Screenshot

Does Research drive Practice, or Practice drive Research?

One of my committee chairs in grad school was an incredible innovator in developing and evaluating instructional practices for diverse learners. One day he began (once again) talking about the importance of implementing with fidelity (aka doing the procedure correctly) educational practices validated in the literature.  Then he asked a very important question, “does research drive practice, or practice drive research?”.