The Department of Education recently launched Digital Promise, an effort to identify the best in education technology and get it into classrooms across the country:
The National Science Foundation will also be one of the first contributors to the effort, announcing today $15 million in awards to support research on how best to create contemporary, digital learning environments.
“The projects within the NSF portfolio for cyberlearning stand to demonstrate and promote learning technology, to transform our schools and to enhance our lives,” said Farnam Jahanian of the NSF’s directorate for computer and information science and engineering.
It’s good to see so much effort go toward recognizing the innovative ways technology can be put to use in the educational sphere. In addition to a host of other benefits, like reduced cost and more efficient content delivery, applying technology in the classroom helps educators accomplish two other critical goals: individualizing instruction and extending instructional time. We’ve written quite a bit on Oasis, a personalized learning platform that allows students the opportunity to practice writing at a targeted level, read text targeted to their reading level, and even engage in vocabulary activities. Oasis is built around the idea that targeted practice, when distributed over time, can help improve a student’s reading and writing ability. Best of all, because Oasis is online, it can be accessed year round and anytime of day; and because Oasis is self-guided, students have the opportunity to engage in targeted practice with limited teacher involvement.
Kudos to the Department for their effort to recognize the best in educational technology and to utilize it to ensure opportunities for all students.