Inadequate Bandwidth, No Digital Learning

This is an article about a report I came across that i thought was really useful for schools or education groups assessing how much bandwidth they need and what other steps they need to take to ensure that they provide the necessary ‘backbone’ to enable effective digital learning, both now and in the future.

The Journal – SETDA Raises Broadband Targets For Learning in the Digital Age

I think, even though it’s written purely from a US state and District perspective it still offers some thought provoking and interesting insights in to issues of equity and fairness in society when it comes to digital access. There is no question that in developing countries equitable access to the internet is already a factor with vast implications and these will only become greater.

It also makes clear that in the private secotor, as we plan to expand the use of digital resources in the future, so we must ensure that we have the bandwidth, the firewall capacity and the networking infrastructure to support educators and students’ greater demands.

Ditch Grades, Focus on Learning

What may, in the past, have been not much more than a trickle is becoming a wave as more and more educators are turning against the whole concept of grades. These teachers are recognising that there’s so much more that we can do for children by removing grades and, instead using portfolios and comment-based feedback to engage children in the process of how they think about their own learning, how they achieve and what they’re trying to achieve in the future.

As I’ve reported here in the past, moving to ‘comment only feedback’ also brings about incredibly positive changes in the communication between parents and their children to focus on learning as a continuous process.

Such initiatives need all our support:

The Journal – Panel – Ditch Grades Now, Focus On Student Learning

Digital School – The Student Perspective

Here’s a well written piece by a student, giving her perspective on the experience of attending a ‘virtual’ online school from home. She gives a very balanced appraisal of what she sees as the pros and cons;

Getting Smart – Digital Learning Article

Personally, I don’t believe this necessarily represents the future for the vast majority of students. instead, I see far greater potential in hybrid models that would enable students to achieve the best aspects of online self-paced learning combined with the best aspects of social and intellectual interaction face to face in a school environment.

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