5 EdTech Myths We Should Leave Behind

This week I led a reading group session at my school on the article, "Have Technology and Multitasking Rewired How Students Learn?" by Daniel Willingham (here). Having led a lot of these, I'm convinced that reading groups are a more effective and enjoyable form of professional learning than ones that do not focus on a … Continue reading 5 EdTech Myths We Should Leave Behind

Why the Genius Hour Fad Died

When I first started teaching 9 years ago, there was a palpable buzz in the air around a pedagogical approach called "Genius Hour," also known as "20 Percent Time." This is where students choose a project that excites them, such as crocheting or building a rocket, and work on that project, unguided, every week during … Continue reading Why the Genius Hour Fad Died

Bridging the Gap Between Teachers and Researchers

Something I've been trying to do for more than a year is transition this blog from one about "Zach and Stephanie's latest thoughts on teaching" to one about evidence-informed teaching and learning design. Compare this older blog post, for example, to a more recent one to see the difference. I haven't been modeling this blog … Continue reading Bridging the Gap Between Teachers and Researchers

Linking Technologies to Effective Teaching Strategies

Using technology for the sake of using technology wasn't a good idea pre-COVID and it isn't a good idea now. Supporters of the unconditional use of technology, and there are many out there in EdTech positions like mine, typically argue that multiplying the use of technology will develop "21st century" domain-general skills like critical thinking … Continue reading Linking Technologies to Effective Teaching Strategies

Effective Feedback with Online Learners: Corrective vs. Suggestive vs. Epistemic Feedback

I've found feedback to be something of a unifier between teachers of diverse persuasions. Whether you're tech-savvy or tech-averse, traditional or progressive, elementary or secondary, everyone seems able to agree that a feedback-rich learning environment is something to strive for. But what sorts of feedback are most likely to yield the best results? My epiphany … Continue reading Effective Feedback with Online Learners: Corrective vs. Suggestive vs. Epistemic Feedback

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When Student Choice Backfires

More choice is good, right? We’d all rather have more items in the Taco Bell menu than fewer.  People prefer to be, or at least feel like they are, in control of their destiny (just ask the anti-maskers of the pandemic!) and it seems likely that our students are no different.   Theoretically, when students perceive … Continue reading When Student Choice Backfires

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Presenting Workshops that are Worth Attending

Time and time again I find myself coming back to an essay called "'How Obvious”: Personal Reflections on the Database of Educational Psychology and Effective Teaching Research" by Gregory Yates (2005). It is a rich piece of work that covers topics ranging from the process-product research of the 70's and 80's to the failure of … Continue reading Presenting Workshops that are Worth Attending

Why I memorize by educationrickshaw

Why I Memorize

One little-known aspect of international teaching is that very few expat teachers end up learning the local language in the countries where they teach. This may vary by language, of course; I've heard that far more international teachers pick up Spanish than Kazakh, for example; but by and large it seems that most international teachers, … Continue reading Why I Memorize

Scheduling Remote Learning to Allow for “Flow”

There are few concepts in education more mystical than the flow experience, a state in which the learner becomes so deeply immersed in the activity at hand that time becomes distorted, the need for food or sleep disappears, and concentration reaches extraordinary heights (Csikszentmihalyi, 2014). You've most likely experienced flow, or extended hyperfocus, before, perhaps … Continue reading Scheduling Remote Learning to Allow for “Flow”

Immersion Learning Fails Students In More Ways Than One

When I was 16, I attended high school in the French city of Rennes. Like many foreign exchange students before me, I was assigned the same classes as local French students - literature, math and science classes - all, of course, entirely taught in French. Despite my (and my parents') hopes that I would quickly … Continue reading Immersion Learning Fails Students In More Ways Than One