I am the Director of Educational Technology at an independent school, which in normal times means I do a lot of coaching and strategizing around technology-enhanced instruction. I chair a department and a committee of pedagogically savvy EdTech coordinators and teachers, and we work on ways to improve the academic program. However, due to some … Continue reading Solving Problems is an Inefficient Way to Learn How to Solve Problems
A tweet from Edutopia titled, "Dispelling Myths About PBL and Direct Instruction" had me quite confused today. In the tweeted video, the speaker, Dr. Darling-Hammond, explained how it would be incorrect to assume that Project-Based Learning (PBL) and direct instruction are antithetical because they are actually complementary instructional techniques that mix well. If direct instruction … Continue reading Are PBL and Direct Instruction Compatible?
I'm excited to announce that I am contributing a chapter on assessment and feedback for the upcoming book, Amplified Learning: A Global Collaborative! The book has quite an interesting concept: Each chapter begins by capturing the experiences of the contributing teacher through vignettes and examples before transitioning into the supporting research on a particular topic … Continue reading 5 Research Articles for Amplifying Assessment and Feedback
I was recently invited to speak on the From Page to Practice podcast about the book How Learning Happens: Seminal Works in Educational Psychology and What They Mean in Practice by Paul A. Kirschner and Carl Hendrick. The first author does a great job of introducing the book at the beginning, and my lovely voice … Continue reading Should Teachers Know How Learning Happens?
I recently attended a conference about teaching students with executive functioning challenges. Executive functions are a set of essential cognitive capabilities and skills typically encompassing the three areas of self-control, flexible thinking, and working memory. Depending on which executive function skill or capacity you're targeting, students can be supported by changing the environment, changing the … Continue reading Cognitive Load Theory, Executive Function, and Instructional Design
By far the most popular blog on this site (in recent years) is the The Unproductive Debate of Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Learning post that I wrote right as COVID hit, a post that already seems out of date. In a close second is the Scheduling Remote Learning to Allow for “Flow”. In both posts, I … Continue reading Asynchronous Learning: The Answer to Mid-Year Monotony and Teacher Burn-Out?
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
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
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
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