Digital Education

The Hechinger Report keeps a close eye on ways that technology is changing the ways we teach and learn.



Classroom technology can make learning more dangerous, and that’s a good thing

By Greg Toppo

Steve Jobs once called the personal computer “a bicycle for our minds,” a tool that helps us go farther with the same amount of energy. But for many teachers, it has been a bumpy ride. Educators have long held new technology at arm’s length, and probably for good reason: For more than a century, they […]

Superintendent John Deasy is seen in this file photo before the start of a public hearing at the headquarters of the Los Angeles Unified School District. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

After months of turmoil, LA Schools Superintendent Deasy resigns

By Brenda Iasevoli

Los Angeles Unified School Superintendent John Deasy’s resignation Thursday ended weeks of speculation over whether the school board would oust him or he would leave the post of his own accord. “Needless to say this has been hard work, in fact exhausting work,” the beleaguered superintendent wrote in his resignation letter. “I have neglected my […]

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy. File photo. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

As Deasy’s fate in L.A. remains uncertain, other districts continue to move ahead in tech purchases

By Nichole Dobo

With the tenure of L.A. Unified School District’s school superintendent John Deasy in doubt, school officials across the U.S. say they have already learned one major lesson from the city’s botched iPad rollout: Classroom technology is here to stay, but it is important to choose wisely. “There are recipes for success out there, and there […]

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After 20 years, a teacher reinvents her classroom using technology

By Nichole Dobo

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Teacher Valyncia O. Hawkins knew she needed extra time with students who arrived in her classroom behind grade level, but slowing down the whole class risked boring the more advanced students. But even after 20 years as a teacher, Hawkins still didn’t have a good method to keep everyone moving forward. The […]

Fourth grade teacher Milton Bryant works with students in a small group during a blended learning session at Ketcham Elementary School. Elsewhere in the classroom students worked with other educators and on computers, and they rotated at intervals to each station. (Photo: Nichole Dobo)

Is the next Khan Academy star a teacher in D.C. Public Schools?

By Nichole Dobo

WASHINGTON, D.C. — When a bell rang in a fourth grade classroom at Ketcham Elementary School, students rotated on the learning circuit. There were several learning stations, giving children a chance to work in small groups with educators while others worked at their own pace on educational games on computers. The D.C. Public School District […]

File photo. (AP Photo/Joerg Sarbach)

Should we tailor difficulty of a school text to child’s comfort level or make them sweat?

By Annie Murphy Paul

“A man who traveled from Liberia to visit family members in Texas tested positive for Ebola on Tuesday, marking the outbreak’s first diagnosis outside of Africa, health officials said.” That’s a pretty standard lead-in for a news story, pitched at the level of a newspaper-reading adult. But it’s a long, rather complex sentence, and a […]

Teachers give their opinions on how a computerized “master teacher” might help educators with lesson planning. (Photo: Nichole Dobo)

‘Thinking computer’ that won on Jeopardy could help teachers

By Nichole Dobo

A computer program named Watson became famous after it won on Jeopardy in 2011, and it might soon be used to help classroom teachers. The “Watson Master Teacher” concept is still in development, but it’s already drawing attention from national education leaders. The creators say they do not intend to create a robot with all […]

In this April 2, 2014 file photo, Pre-K students use electronic tablets at the South Education Center in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Mining educational data by inventing apps for all to use

By Annie Murphy Paul

One indisputable effect of introducing technology into education has been the generation of unprecedented amounts of electronic data on America’s public school students — their attendance, their test scores, their graduation rates, and many other kinds of information that can now be tracked and stored in massive databases. What to do with all this data […]

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Teachers figure out when to turn technology on, and when to turn it off

By Alexandria Neason

This summer, nearly 100 new and veteran teachers from the New York City public schools became students themselves. The subject? How to introduce blended learning into their classrooms. Blended learning combines online and teacher-led instruction. Instead of learning in a traditional, lecture style classroom, students use laptops or tablets to study independently and move through the […]

File photo. (AP Photo/Jaime Henry-White)

How computer coding can increase engagement, provide a purpose for learning

By Annie Murphy Paul

“Why does this matter?” Teachers are often called upon to answer this question about an academic subject, and computer science instructors may face this demand more frequently than most. Learning to write lines of code can seem, to many students, like a pointless exercise in tedium. But a few professors of computer science have a […]

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