#CIC15 Speakers on Defining and Effecting Real Change in Education

The 2015 Content in Context (CIC) conference, Development & Delivery for Digital Learners, offers expert insights from industry leaders, researchers, and educators. Get a sneak peak of these thought leaders and their perspectives on the current state of education. Part four of the series offers insights from speakers on the Next Generation Science Standards and the Innovation Interludes—each looking at changes in the classroom and the market. Visit the CIC website for more information and to register.

Untangling the Next Generation Science Standards

David Beacom, Publisher and Associate Executive Director for NSTA

On teachers preparing for the NGSS: “This approach to classroom instruction marks a significant departure from traditional instruction and from how “inquiry” is done in most classrooms these days. Therefore significant professional development across the K-12 spectrum is also required, though teachers’ needs may differ at different grade bands. Elementary school teachers, for example, may be comfortable with the idea of students working together on investigations but may feel less confident about their science content knowledge. On the other hand, high school teachers may know the science but need help shifting from a teacher-centered approach to one that is more student-centered.”

“The Educators’ Perspective on the NGSS,” Educational Publishing(March 27, 2015)

William Penuel, University of Colorado, Boulder

On bridging the gap between researchers and practitioners: “A big question is: What kinds of support and guidance can educational research and researchers provide? Unfortunately, that question is not easy to answer. Most educational researchers spend much of their time answering questions that are of more interest to other researchers than to practitioners. Even if researchers did focus on questions of interest to practitioners, teachers and teacher leaders need answers more quickly than researchers can provide them. And when researchers and practitioners do try to work together on problems of practice, it takes a while for them to get on the same page about what those problems are and how to solve them…And if we want productive relationships between researchers and practitioners to develop, we need some robust infrastructures for collaboration, as Finnigan and Daly point out in their earlier post in this series. In this post, I argue that intentional organizing of partnerships between researchers and practitioners is hard but worthwhile work.”

“Why Teachers And Researchers Should Work Together For Improvement,” Bill Penuel, Albert Shanker Institute (September 4, 2014)


Innovation Interlude

Frank Freeman, CEO, Propagate

On vocabulary and gamification: “We are building games and assessments, so there is a gamification piece. I am all about creating opportunities that are intrinsically motivating for students. So, one thing that we are finding with our users, is that students are motivated to raise the count essentially—increase the number of words they know. So we help them keep track of how many words they know. At any given time they can watch their progress over time. We find that that helps them become increasingly motivated to learn new words.”

“Frank Freeman talks gamification and vocabulary,” MindRocket Media Group (March 2015)

Will Morris, Founder and CEO, EdConnective

On bridging the achievement gap with edtech: “The very nature of education is learning and your venture facilitates learning so you are creating social impact, right? Of course not! Middle and high-income students already learn at high levels, providing them with an alternative way to learn at a high level solves no pressing societal issue. It may make the founders of an EdTech venture rich, ensuring they themselves will never face poverty, but does it really do anything to address the lasting achievement gap? To what extent does it actually widen the gap?”

“Social Entrepreneurship and Social Impact,” The Huffington Post (November 19, 2013)

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