Digital Education

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




The Oregon Trail

Oregon Trail computer game lingers, amid a slew of new educational games

By Nichole Dobo

A computer game invented by Minnesota history a teacher in the late 1970s might seem like a bore these days, with its lo-fi graphics and lack of interactivity. The Oregon Trail remains a common denominator for American students born in that generation. It has its own meme. BuzzFeed publishes cheeky lists dedicated to it — […]

(Photo by Sarah Garland)

Technology skills only scratch the surface of the digital divide

By Jordan Shapiro

The realities of the “digital divide” are increasingly apparent. In a consumer culture that equates status with early adoption of the newest iPhone, access to new technology necessarily splits pretty clearly along socio-economic class lines. According to U.S. census data, for example, more than 30 million homes have no broadband access, most of them concentrated […]

Sunset Park Elementary School third grader Anaya Hardy, 9, uses an iPad during digital morning math at Sunset Park Elementary School in Wilmington, N.C., Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. (AP Photo/The Star-News, Mike Spencer)

Billions more in spending for school Internet connections under FCC proposal

By Nichole Dobo

After months of pleas from the nation’s school leaders, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission agreed Monday that billions more dollars each year are needed to improve school and library Internet connections. Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed raising the cap on such spending by about $1.5 billion a year to support work to link nearly […]

Didn’t make it to Palm Springs? Catch up on what happened this week at iNACOL Symposium

By Nichole Dobo

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Thousands of educators, technology firms and policymakers were at the annual iNACOL Symposium this week. On Tuesday, the social media hashtag for the event, #iNACOL14, was trending on Twitter — second only to hashtag for an Election Day conversation.

Carrie Sorensen, a teacher at Highlander Charter and a fellow with Fuse RI, works with students using a tablet computer. They are using an app to make a book cover. (Photo: Nichole Dobo)

Rhode Island teachers trying out blended learning — but without high stakes pressure

By Nichole Dobo

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Spaghetti sauce simmered on a hot plate, salami sat in the refrigerator and a student in a pink tutu danced to a video of a singing snake projected on the wall. Earlier in the day, these kindergarten students had helped their 7-foot-tall teacher reset an interactive table-top computer that he had attempted, […]

Teacher Howard A. Stern works with a student who is programming a graphing calculator to perform a simple math game. (Photo: Nichole Dobo)

What happens when a robotics class starts the year with no robots?

By Nichole Dobo

NEW YORK — When school started this fall at DeWitt Clinton High School a graphing calculator had to substitute for robots in a ninth-grade robotics class. The teacher, Howard A. Stern, was eager to teach the new robotics class for freshmen, but he started the year without a curriculum or the equipment he requested. He […]

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For the first time, schools in the nation’s largest charter network are investing in technology in a big way

By Gail Robinson

AUSTIN, Texas — Technology is everywhere at KIPP Austin Obras, a charter elementary school in Texas. One day at the beginning of the school year, first-graders grappled with math concepts as they tried to coax JiJi the penguin across the screen of their netbooks. Kindergarteners in a Spanish-language technology class learned to log on to […]

Barbara Kurshan. (Photo: submitted by the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.)

Q and A with Barbara Kurshan: New program trains educators online so they can teach online

By Nichole Dobo

The University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education has developed a new, online course on blended learning. Expected to launch this spring, the course is intended for teachers spanning preschool, K-12 and higher education. It comes at a time when a number of state boards of education and school districts are testing new methods of […]

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 […]

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