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The ideas presented in this

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The ideas presented in this article are wonderful, and I completely agree with your philosophy on educational games, however I see several flaws in this idea. First, how can teachers gauge that students are taking something from these educational games, rather than just playing and clicking along? Students with attention problems would likely end up clicking around in extraneous places and not getting the desired content out of the lesson. Most importantly, I see this widening the gap in digital equity. Sure these educational games are great for the students that have access to them, but what about the school districts that do not have the resources to make this possible? We should be focusing our time and effort on ways to bring those poorer schools into the digital age.

Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

Hi Jen- I have to agree with

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Hi Jen-
I have to agree with Dan. Kids have a highly evolved BS detector and are the definition of Occam's Razor- they will take the shortest possible route to the outcome they need to achieve. And in fact, we're all like this- speeding, even though it is against the law, to get to our destination just a little sooner....
So you have to look at what you are asking them to do and how to get to that deeper understanding. All the tech does is give them something other than paper and pencil to use- this is less about the tech and more about the instructional design.
Back in the old days, i was one of those kids moved into self paced math. I went, did work sheets, figured stuff out, and progressed at my own rate, working my way through a big box of materials in the classroom, with tests at the end of units to make sure I was mastering the material or whether I needed more help or practice. Is there a way to test for mastery rather than time on task? Or start asking them more questions about application of the skills they've just learned rather than just more problems? Often if you make the skill contextual and real, it helps to solidify the learning as well.
Let us know what's happening and how its working out!

K-5 Instructional Technology Specialist, Edcamper, Graduate Professor

Hi Jen, On the plus side, it

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Hi Jen,
On the plus side, it looks like your students are entrepreneurial at finding creative solutions to problems in front of them, they're just not solving the problem you want them to.

When attacking this kind of problem, I'd suggest looking first at what their incentives are for possibly cheating the system. How are their grades determined? It's not a stretch to see that if they get mostly graded on their participation in the online system, they're going to do their best to game that system.

Dan

Principal, East Leyden High School

Jen, I think the questions

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Jen,

I think the questions you ask are essential to continue to explore but the reality is likely that we are all still finding our way in this new environment. We have moved to a 1:1 environment in our high school this past year as well and I don't know if the issue you bring up here is unique to technology. I would actually propose the web amplifies an issue that has long been a part of formal education. Ultimately the answer likely resides in our constant examination of authentic ways we assess learning both formatively and summatively.

In regards to teaching math specifically with Chromebooks as a resource, see this video about innovative practices featuring one of our Leyden teachers:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DG25m0gmYWU

Thanks and feel free to follow up if you would like to discuss more.
Jason

Algebra, 8th grade science, and Discovery teacher.

Our school has just this year

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Our school has just this year gone to Chromebooks in order to take advantage of the individualized possibilities of the Web, as well as the high interest students seem to have in using technology and the Web to learn as you point out. The biggest concern I have is the way some students appear to be able to circumvent the learning that needs to take place by appearing to engage in the topic while finding loopholes that allow them to progress while not really learning the material fully. My limited experience in this type of learning is primarily in math using Khan Academy, but other teachers of math at our school have noticed the same problem. We have students who have looked impressive when we viewed their online stats, but who did poorly when asked to reproduce their success on an assessment. This is our first year doing this, and I would appreciate some input. Though there is not yet a clearinghouse like you envision, perhaps there are enough teachers out there who have some experience that can guide us in this venture. What is the best way to blend online learning and regular classroom learning? How do we teach topics for mastery in a particular subject (for example Algebra I) while allowing students to learn at their own pace? What tips can you give to help us organize our courses while maximizing the benefits of such online learning experiences?

On a mission to tap into the hidden strengths that all young people have th

Helpful article and helpful resources!

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Thanks for the great information. Really useful for our kind of program!

Former Edutopia Senior Manager of Research

Great article! In case

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Great article! In case helpful to others, Edutopia just published a review of Technology Integration Practices and Programs that have received support from rigorous research: http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-research-evidence-based-p...

Host and Co-Creator of Virtual Science University

The United States of America Must Follow This Model!

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This is the model that this country must follow! We have to follow this model if we are to regain our position in high school science education and high school education in general! We must stop the nonsensical Aptitude Testing which is discriminatory to Sub Group Populations! I am working day to day to make this happen in the United States. I get death ears from all the bureaucrats! So far it is nothing but rhetoric!!! To follow what I do visit my blogs at Virtual Science University www.virtualscienceuniversity.com or visit my personal science teaching page at www.flyingmidieagle1.com

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