Posts tagged ‘Technology’

The digital Divide (SES)

Recently, I have read a couple of articles about the digital divide for ‘disadvantaged’ students and would like to share them with you:

From the OECD Education & Skills blog, an article by Marilyn Achiron titled Can Analogue Skills Bridge the digital Divide?

  • The digital divide has shifted. Instead of (and in some places, in addition to) separating people with Internet access from those without access, it now cuts a wide chasm between those who know how to get the most out of the Internet and those who don’t. It’s no longer a matter of getting the tool into people’s hands; it’s a matter of getting people to understand how the tool can work for them.
  • the Internet is most useful when you know how to use it. Results from PISA 2012 show that just because students have access to an Internet connection, it doesn’t mean that they know how to use it for learning. And differences in how students use the Internet seem to be linked to socio-economic status, although the strength of that link varies widely across countries. For example, PISA finds that while disadvantaged students play videogames on line as much as advantaged students do, they are far less likely to read the news or search for practical information on the Internet than their more advantaged peers.

Read the full report here.

AND, from  the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE), Molly Zielezinski and Linda Darling-Hammond have written Promising Practices: A Literature Review of Technology Use  by Underserved Students.

This report summarizes research findings about the conditions and practices that support positive outcomes of technology use for these student populations. Related to technology specifically, we find that:

  1. Underserved students benefit from opportunities to learn that include one-to-one access to devices.
  2. High-speed Internet access is needed to prevent user issues when implementing digital learning.
  3. Underserved students benefit from technology interactions designed to promote high levels of interactivity and emphasize discovery.
  4. Successful digital learning environments are characterized by the right blend of teachers and technology

Read the full report here.

Check it out! Rowan

July 28, 2016 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Library has The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couris

If you attended the TDSB’s Google Camp 3 on Saturday you will have heard the keynote by Canadian educator George Couros. The Library has copies of Couros’ 2015 book titled The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity. 

From page 120: ” Innovation is a mindset – a way of thinking that creates something new and better.”

The book has 4 parts:

Part 1: what innovation is and isn’t; mindsets and characteristics of the innovators’ mindsets

Part 2: creating a culture of innovation; importance of relationships; shared vision for learning

Part 3: making the change happen in particular by harnessing technology; “technology invites us to move from engaged to empowered” (p. 140)

Part 4: creating the culture where innovation and change  constantly moves us forward “today’s innovation could be tomorrow’s norm” (p 216).

Check out Couros blog at 

To borrow his book, TDSB teachers may contact the Library at (416) 395-8289 or email or reserve via the catalogue  (remember to login first)


February 22, 2016 at 11:34 am Leave a comment

Report: Tech trends in K-12 schools

The NMC (historically the New Media Consortium) is an international community of experts in educational technology . (About Us page). The NMC informs the decisions that people make about technology through timely and focused research, through events and collaboration, and through engaging people in substantive discourse.(Mission page)

NMC has released the 2015 report on trends facing K-12 schools.  Read the pdf here.  BTW, they have a similar report for libraries too.

Selected from the the executive summary section, pages 1 and 2. 

“The experts agreed on two long-term trends: rethinking how schools work in order to bolster student engagement and drive more innovation, as well as shifting to deeper learning approaches, such as project and challenge-based learning”.  (page 1)

” Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and makerspaces are expected to be increasingly adopted by schools in one year’s time or less to make use of mobile learning and cultivate environments where students take ownership of their education by doing and creating. The time-to-adoption for 3D printing and adaptive learning technologies are estimated within two to three years, while digital badges and wearable technology are expected to be mainstream in schools within four to five years.”  (page 1)

“It is our hope that this research will help to inform the choices that institutions are making about technology to improve, support, or extend teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in K-12 education across the globe.” (page 1)

From page 2, the following image brings together the teaching process trends, technology trends and the challenges.

Check it out! Rowan


December 28, 2015 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

OECD: Students, computers and learning (literacy and digital reading)

Students computers and learning is the name of a report released this week from the OECD.

From the description:  “The report highlights the importance of bolstering students’ ability to navigate through digital texts. It also examines the relationship among computer access in schools, computer use in classrooms, and performance in the PISA assessment. As the report makes clear, all students first need to be equipped with basic literacy and numeracy skills so that they can participate fully in the hyper-connected, digitised societies of the 21st century

This link, here, takes you to the main page that includes the full report, a video and infographic.

Selected from the infographic:

“Students in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Korea, Singapore and the United States show the most advanced web-browsing skills: the vast majority thinks before clicking on links.

Students who use computers moderately at school tend to be somewhat more skilled in online reading than students who rarely use computers. But students who use computers very frequently at school do a lot worse in reading, even after accounting for students’ background.”

From today’s OECD Education Today blog: Students, computers and learning: Where’s the connectionby Andreas Schleicher.  “… as long as computers and the Internet have a central role in our personal and professional lives, students who have not acquired basic skills in reading, writing and navigating through a digital landscape will find themselves dangerously disconnected from the economic, social and cultural life around them.”

And last but not least, from OECD PISA In focus (volume 55) asks Who are the best online readers? On page 4, the authors conclude that “To be proficient in online reading, students must be able to plan and execute a search, evaluate the usefulness of information, and assess the credibility of sources. Most students cannot develop these skills through casual practice alone; they need explicit guidance from teachers and high-quality educational resources to master these increasingly important skills.”

And for those of you who actually made it to the end of this page, the July/August issue of The Reading Teacher, pages 35-39, includes an article by David Salyer titled Reading the Web: Internet Guided Reading with Young Children which you can read online here.

Whew! Check it out! Rowan

September 18, 2015 at 1:00 am Leave a comment

Positive essay on teacher/student relationships & learning

Who reads the Globe and Mail, Facts and Arguments daily essays? I do, I do!

All teachers should read today’s essay by Toronto teacher Suzanne Socken titled “With the help of technology my students have become teachers” . This short essay is not really about technology, but how technology/social media, eg photos, emails, information and links, will not only extend student engagement, critical thinking but also teacher learning, and build relationships.

Check it out! This is a great-first-week-of-school motivator for teachers.


September 9, 2015 at 2:49 pm Leave a comment

Millennial ≠ Tech Savvy @TDSB_STEM @TDSB_IT @changetheequation

Does Not Compute, a research brief recently released by Change the Equation, shares powerful and compelling data about millennials and their technological knowledge.

  • 58% of millennials are not skilled in using technology to solve problems.
  • 88% of millennials with low tech skills believe that their lack of skill won’t hurt their employment & advancement possibilities.
  • On a scale of 1 to 3, people with Level 3 technological skills earn 2x what those with below Level 1 skills earn—with data controlled for race, gender, educational level, literacy, and numeracy.

Taken together, these three statistics highlight the importance of teaching students to leverage technology as a valuable tool for analysis, productivity, and learning and to recognize the value of these skills.

To read the blog post about Does Not Compute, please visit:

To read the full Does Not Compute report, please visit:

Contributed by Lauren M., Reference and Digital Resources Librarian, TDSB Professional Library

August 21, 2015 at 8:00 am

OECD monograph on teaching with technology

The July 2015 issue of the OECD Teaching in Focus is titled Teaching with Technology (PDF). The information is based on information via TALIS  – Teaching and Learning International Survey. Alberta represented Canada and  for the purposes of this report, it generally it scored positively compared to other countries (but not the best).

From the journal, page 1.

  • Information and communication technology (ICT) use has been identified as one of the more active teaching practices, which promote skills students need for success. And yet, less than 40% of teachers across Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) countries report using ICT as a regular part of their teaching practice.
  • Shortages in computers, Internet access and software are commonly reported by school principals as hindering the provision of quality education in their schools.
  • Across TALIS countries, many teachers report that the second and third most critical needs for their professional development are training in the use of ICT for teaching, and in new technologies in the workplace.
  • The use of ICT in teaching can be encouraged particularly by participation in professional development activities (such as those that involve individual or collaborative research, or networks of teachers) and a positive classroom climate.

Check it out!


August 7, 2015 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

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