column | Research

How Are Schools Changing? EdSurge Unveils Final Chapter of Yearlong 'State of Edtech' Report

By Mary Jo Madda (Columnist)     Dec 7, 2016

How Are Schools Changing? EdSurge Unveils Final Chapter of Yearlong 'State of Edtech' Report

No matter where, when or how you grew up, a single word unlocks a complex trove of memories: School.

Over the last 150 years, the notion of what a school should be has evolved. From John Dewey’s one-room schoolhouse and the industrialized “factory model” to the open classrooms movement of the 1970s, schools have oftentimes tried to incorporate the latest ideas in education—some that proved to be successful and others less so.

Changing demographics and the widespread use of technology have forced teachers, administrators and parents to readjust for a school population with dramatically different needs. Providing an optimal learning experience to every student has never been more challenging, specifically because there are so many building blocks that make up a school.

In our final chapter of EdSurge's yearlong 2016 "State of Edtech" report, entitled "How Schools Are Changing," we have explored how schools and districts across the U.S. are experimenting with their models, technology and those building blocks in order to better prepare students for the future ahead. 

Each building block has a tremendous impact on the learning experience for students, staff and families, and every school handles those elements differently. So, EdSurge has identified:

  • 19 of those elements—from “edtech selection” and “professional development” to “change management” and “infrastructure,” and
  • a collection of schools and associated profiles that champion each of these elements, all in order to help others create learning experiences that best meet the unique needs of today’s students.

Yes, technology plays an important role in today’s classrooms. While the pace of change has accelerated, however, one constant remains the same: Good teachers are critical to delivering an effective learning experience.

From a rural school district delivering on a vision of self-paced learning, to a charter system incorporating social-emotional learning into its curriculum, to a group of Los Angeles administrators who failed big before creating a far more supportive, blended environment for their students, this research and these stories give a taste of how schools are changing, as well as the role technology is—and isn't—playing in that change.

Curious to read the other three chapters of EdSurge's 2016 State of Edtech Report? Check out our coverage of the biggest trends in K-12 and edtech, how money shapes the edtech ecosystem, and how edtech tools have evolved.

Mary Jo Madda (@MJMadda) is Senior Editor at EdSurge, as well as a former STEM middle school teacher and administrator. In 2016, Mary Jo was named to the Forbes "30 Under 30" list in education.

column | Research

How Are Schools Changing? EdSurge Unveils Final Chapter of Yearlong 'State of Edtech' Report

By Mary Jo Madda (Columnist)     Dec 7, 2016

How Are Schools Changing? EdSurge Unveils Final Chapter of Yearlong 'State of Edtech' Report

No matter where, when or how you grew up, a single word unlocks a complex trove of memories: School.

Over the last 150 years, the notion of what a school should be has evolved. From John Dewey’s one-room schoolhouse and the industrialized “factory model” to the open classrooms movement of the 1970s, schools have oftentimes tried to incorporate the latest ideas in education—some that proved to be successful and others less so.

Changing demographics and the widespread use of technology have forced teachers, administrators and parents to readjust for a school population with dramatically different needs. Providing an optimal learning experience to every student has never been more challenging, specifically because there are so many building blocks that make up a school.

In our final chapter of EdSurge's yearlong 2016 "State of Edtech" report, entitled "How Schools Are Changing," we have explored how schools and districts across the U.S. are experimenting with their models, technology and those building blocks in order to better prepare students for the future ahead. 

Each building block has a tremendous impact on the learning experience for students, staff and families, and every school handles those elements differently. So, EdSurge has identified:

  • 19 of those elements—from “edtech selection” and “professional development” to “change management” and “infrastructure,” and
  • a collection of schools and associated profiles that champion each of these elements, all in order to help others create learning experiences that best meet the unique needs of today’s students.

Yes, technology plays an important role in today’s classrooms. While the pace of change has accelerated, however, one constant remains the same: Good teachers are critical to delivering an effective learning experience.

From a rural school district delivering on a vision of self-paced learning, to a charter system incorporating social-emotional learning into its curriculum, to a group of Los Angeles administrators who failed big before creating a far more supportive, blended environment for their students, this research and these stories give a taste of how schools are changing, as well as the role technology is—and isn't—playing in that change.

Curious to read the other three chapters of EdSurge's 2016 State of Edtech Report? Check out our coverage of the biggest trends in K-12 and edtech, how money shapes the edtech ecosystem, and how edtech tools have evolved.

Mary Jo Madda (@MJMadda) is Senior Editor at EdSurge, as well as a former STEM middle school teacher and administrator. In 2016, Mary Jo was named to the Forbes "30 Under 30" list in education.

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