Monthly Archives: June 2013

Inquiry-based learning sparks innovation and collaboration

Inquiry-based learning models increase student motivation and lead to higher student achievement, as discerned in our national research study. This discovery is being reinforced in STEM programs across the country.

According to a recent article in US News & World Report, the success of many STEM academies is not the focus on science, technology, engineering and math courses. Instead, it’s the project-based teaching model, which sparks critical thinking and collaboration.

Inquiry-based pedagogy keeps students engaged by putting them in the driver’s seat as self-directed learners.  The personalized learning experience that is the hallmark of this model is enhanced by various technology tools. As the Project RED research revealed, technology plays an important role in helping students collaborate with other students, with experts in subject areas, and to participate in “virtual field trips” that enrich the learning process by developing critical thinking skills and fueling student motivation.

Has your district’s pedagogy changed? Are teachers spending less time lecturing and more time serving as guides along a student-directed path? How has technology been a part of this shift in teaching models? Share your experience in the comments below or at the Project RED Forum.

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Using Technology-infused Interventions to Motivate Students

Lisa Nielsen, over at the Innovative Educator blog, shares an inspirational project from a class of Pennsylvania students who were tasked with creating a compelling video to change the world. The videos are powerful, and the students’ investment in them is nearly palpable.

However, technology-infused projects are still a rare occurrence in most schools. Nielsen writes, “How can we make schools places where you don’t have to wait until the last few days at the end of the year to make time for world changing? This is the work that excites and motivates students to want to stay in school.”

Her statement is right on. Project RED’s comprehensive research study discovered that technology-transformed interventions are the top-model predictor of improved high-stakes test scores, dropout rate reduction, course completion and improved discipline.  And this is especially true for targeted intervention classes, such as ELL, Title I, and reading intervention.  Online collaboration and interaction among students contribute to improved graduation rates and other academic improvements.

With that knowledge, how can you help your districts’ students stay motivated and engaged to their full potential in the upcoming school year—without waiting until the last two days of it? Share your ideas here or at the Project RED Forum.

Webinar: Mooresville & Piedmont districts share best practices on the Financial Implications of Ed-Tech

Many district leaders shy away from the costs associated with education technology. But, when properly implemented, technology leads to cost savings on many levels. Hear real-world examples of a “digital conversion” from district leaders at Mooresville Graded School District and Piedmont City School District in the next Project RED webinar.

Just last week, President Obama visited with students and leaders at Mooresville to tout the importance of digital learning and high speed broadband. Mooresville credits its Project RED aligned technology program with transforming the district from low-performing to having the second best test scores in the state. Not only is Mooresville’s program wildly successful, it’s also cost effective. Learn about the district’s best practices.

When: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 1pm EDT

What: Project RED Webinar: Financial Implications and Impact of Technology-transformed Schools

Sign up today at ProjectRED.org.