Research Question 4: Significant Challenges Impeding K-12 Technology Adoption

What do you see as the main challenges related to teaching, learning, or creative inquiry that schools will face over the next five years?

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

NOTE: The Significant Challenges are sorted into three difficulty related categories based on their appearance in previous Horizon Report editions -- solvable challenges are those that we both understand and know how to solve, but seemingly lack the will; difficult challenges are ones that are more or less well-understood but for which solutions remain elusive; wicked challenges, the most difficult, are complex to even define, and thus require additional data and insights before solutions will even be possible. In your responses to the trends below, feel free to explore why or why not the challenge should be in its specific category.

As you review what others have written, please add your thoughts and comments as well.

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Challenge Name
Add your ideas here, with few complete sentences of description including full URLs for references (e.g. http://horizon.nmc.org). And do not forget to sign your contribution with 4 ~ (tilde) characters!


The Achievement Gap
Michael Fullan's statement on how to systemically improve education is simple: "Raise the Bar and Close the Gap." Standards and curriculums set the bar for learning expectations, and plenty of digital tools are and content are coming onto the scene already to support specific standards like the Common Core in the US. The new opportunity, which is potentially huge, is for a wave of technology and tools that specifically address the closing the gap - identifying the needs of lower performing student groups. The existing solutions for ESL / immigrant students (in the US), special learning needs, and low income minority groups do not see enough focus from the ed tech sector. The size of the achievement gap is arguably the highest priority of most education system leaders, not only in the US. It is time technology solutions fully come to the fore to see not if they can provide a silver bullet, but if they can accelerate and dramatically advance the kind of solutions that decades of research show work to address the very different needs of different student groups. - maria maria Apr 22, 2016 I support the argument that technology can help close the gap. But to make it work, we have to embrace the attitude of working smarter not harder, which also means sharing resources rather than insisting on district and state autonomy for content, curriculum, assessments, etc. So much time is spent reinventing the wheel when most districts and states want to teach basically the same skill sets. If we chose to streamline that discussion, it would be easier to leverage technological resources to target achievement gaps. - brandon.olszewski brandon.olszewski Apr 25, 2016 Games-Based Learning helping students with mental health:
http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/app-tackles-teenage-mental-health-via-gaming-20160408-go1zi6?platform=hootsuite - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 27, 2016 Virtual reality also has potential (as yet untapped in the K-12 setting) for helping intellectually impaired children. Unfortunately VR with Facebook Oculus Rift comes at $600 a piece, not quite as low yet as we hoped - https://shop.oculus.com/en-us/cart/. I think the multi-modality approach of VR also has great potential in helping embed underprivileged kids in Science - i.e., walk through the body, visit a nucleus etc... This is an area I see of such rich possibilities. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 28, 2016

Balancing our Connected and Unconnected Lives
With technology now at the center of many daily activities, higher education institutions must help learners understand how to balance their usage with other developmental needs. To prevent students from getting lost in the abundant sea of information and new media, universities and colleges should encourage mindful use of digital tools while making them aware of their digital footprint and the accompanying implications. As education aligns closer with technological trends, instructors will have to promote this balance, facilitating opportunities where students feel, digest, reflect, touch, and pursue sensorial experiences that are crucial to developing character and integrity. Striking a balance and guiding learners to personal success in their own habits is especially critical for incoming generations of students that have come to rely on technology. While there are plenty of studies and articles discussing healthy amounts of screen time for children, there are no prescribed or agreed upon models for adults when it comes to learning. Furthermore, institutions have a responsibility to ensure that when students are connected it is with the purpose of transformation — not just replicating an experience that could easily take place without technology.
I do think we are spending more and more time connected than unconnected, as are students. Just out of habit we are using our phone one way or another, even when there is opportunity to participate in a more unconnected venue. I agree but are we leading by example? So many of us use online communication (text based predominantly) when it is often more appropriate to talk either f2f or otherwise - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Apr 29, 2016
https://www.rootsandshoots.org/content/connected-or-disconnected-role-social-media-our-personal-lives - jmorrison jmorrison Apr 12, 2016 - len.scrogan len.scrogan Apr 13, 2016
http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/online-vs-offline-social-life/ - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 19, 2016 - dsilva dsilva Apr 30, 2016
I believe this is a big driver for the rise of the Maker Movement and STEAM curriculum. As we have matured in our use of technology, it has become apparent that we may have gone overboard and now have to seek balance.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Apr 23, 2016 I don't believe this is just meant for higher education-- teachers in K-12 are the ones that can help students build the good habits. - kathyschrock kathyschrock Apr 26, 2016 agreed - kstubbs kstubbs Apr 27, 2016 agree, I am still shocked that we are getting students into 3rd level who are not consciously aware of their digital footprint, identity and the implications of what they do online - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Apr 29, 2016
Supporting a healthy balances - including on/offline, work/play/family, etc - is fundamental part of maintaining a healthy society, especially one that changes as quickly as ours. Teaching good digital citizenship from an early age is crucial to healthy behavior later in life. - brandon.olszewski brandon.olszewski Apr 26, 2016 - arjana.blazic arjana.blazic Apr 30, 2016 Agree but take a look around any restaurant and watch how people interact / / or not - most people adult or child will be on some device with very little "connection to each other" - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Apr 29, 2016
Remember however, that we cannot force students to balance their usage, nor can we teach them this. As a society slowly we are all forced to be connected- lisagustinelli lisagustinelli Apr 27, 2016
But how "connected" are we really ??? I'm in agreement with what Sherry Turkle has to say
https://www.ted.com/talks/sherry_turkle_alone_together?language=en - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Apr 29, 2016
I think this is solvable and within the working realm of most schools. We should not throw the baby (non-pc based instruction) with the bathwater; balance is part of the IBO learner profile we follow. That said, I myself am too often chained to this screen - at work too. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016 Balancing our Connected and Unconnected Lives could be considered a part of Digital Literacy. - claus.gregersen claus.gregersen May 1, 2016
Topics like civics will probably be Integrated in future curricula in some way or another in the future, that goes for digital literacy as well. Balancing various domains of lives should be Integrated there. - oysteinjohannessen oysteinjohannessen May 1, 2016

Blending Formal and Informal Learning
Traditional approaches to teaching and learning with roots in the 18th century and earlier are still very common in many institutions, and often stifle learning as much as they foster it. As the Internet has brought the ability to learn something about almost anything at the palm of one’s hand, there is an increasing interest in the kinds of self-directed, curiosity-based learning that have long been common in museums, science centers, and personal learning networks. These, along with life experience and other more serendipitous forms of learning fall under the banner of informal learning, and serve to enhance student engagement by encouraging them to follow their own learning pathways and interests. Many experts believe that a blending of formal and informal methods of teaching and learning can create an education environment that fosters experimentation, curiosity, and above all, creativity. In this sense, an overarching goal is to cultivate the pursuit of lifelong learning in all students and educators. However, formally acknowledging and rewarding skills both educators and students master outside of the classroom is compounding this challenge. I believe this is still a big challenge, really honoring informal learning. Integrating formal, informal and non formal learning does not seem to have congealed. - jmorrison jmorrison Apr 10, 2016 Big blended learning summit coming up in June in Asia: http://www.blendedlearningasia.com/ - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 19, 2016 Recognition of what kids do outside of school seems far away for us right now. But I do hope one day we can see ourselves as a learning society wherever and whenever we are.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Apr 23, 2016 Agree but we have to create this society and this involves many layers of change with many actors involved across all sectors and stakeholders. - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Apr 29, 2016
The world of work is fundamentally a blended environment - I conduct research to inform my own practice/perspective on the work at hand, then I work in a team to implement projects and complete the work. This involves an act of faith on the part of educators (that students will be responsible with their work), and requires educators to rise to the occasion and meet students where they are at (which is 2016 this year), meaning that traditional forms of teacher-centered content transmission no longer work. It's time that this change in thinking is ubiquitously adopted.- brandon.olszewski brandon.olszewski Apr 26, 2016 Agree - a little off topic, but this includes "blending" of multiple devices - music, text, & social media on a handheld, consumer use on a tablet, in school work on a cloud based device & complex activities on more robust laptop or desktop. - jon.k.price jon.k.price Apr 29, 2016
Experiential learning, once all the rage with the "homeschooler" population is now an important part of a child's K-12 education experience. The Round Square Schools program in schools throughout the world operates within an acronym IDEALS....Internationalism, Democracy, Environmentalism, Adventure, Leadership and Service. A good example of a Round Square School is: The Athenian School in California.
ps:www.roundsquare.org/our-schools/the-athenian-school/
http://www.experientiallearning.ucdavis.edu/why-el.shtml - lisagustinelli lisagustinelli Apr 27, 2016
I would agree here. The shift to modern pedagogies is very slow in many parts of the world. Schools, pre-service training, and MOEs have a understanding and commitment to improved teaching and learning for contemporary needs, but they have yet to take significant action. Our best EdTech schools seem to operate in pockets rather than the shining top of the hill. - matt.harris matt.harris Apr 30, 2016
The European Union has been working on validation of informal and non-formal learning. Member countries have to "establish systems that identify, document, assess and certify (=validate) all forms of learning to use this learning for advancing their career and further education and training."
http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/events-and-projects/projects/validation-non-formal-and-informal-learning
- arjana.blazic arjana.blazic Apr 30, 2016
The problems of the work done by umbrella organizations such as the OECD (and I don't think their work is not important) is that the "journey" for implementation takes years. We must promote and harness grassroots actions, i.e. to encourage institutions, schools and more likely cities and districts to take action and integrate schooling with learning. The best example I believe today is LRNG but there could be other and more lean solutions to start with. https://www.lrng.org. Another good resource is the work of SRI and the Open University on "Innovating Pedagogy 2105", it provide a thoughtful description of the different types of learning which by itself extend the scope of space and time, which means that the formal and the informal integrate. http://proxima.iet.open.ac.uk/public/innovating_pedagogy_2015.pdf - guyl guyl Apr 30, 2016
In Denmark there is an expanding initiative called “Coding Pirates” where IT professionals are facilitating kids the opportunity to experiment with the coding of computer games, APPs etc. The activities are held after the schooldays in libraries or institutions not in schools. The project is inspired by other similar European projects where the students are offered learning opportunities outside the schools. - claus.gregersen claus.gregersen May 1, 2016
In IBO schools (International Baccalaureate Organisation) the student "action" encompasses such informal learning; in my experience it has been notoriously hard to get students to do it and relate it. Action is a step taken (in the real world, often outside of school) to apply their research findings from an inquiry. Ecological change is a phrase used by Will Richardson to refer to the immense changes brought about today by computers and the Internet. The power of the web and the new technologies that provide novel ways to create, connect, and communicate has made such change the rule, not the exception in classrooms today. MOOCs represent an ecological change, because they are free; millions have signed on and tens of thousands have received certificates of completion. Some universities, like Colorado State University, now offer full college credit for completion of a free MOOC - something of a sea-change. As a result, young people today will have more opportunities to create their own paths to education once they graduate from Grade Twelve. The aim in schools ought to shift from ‘college readiness’ to ‘learning readiness’, an ecological shift in thinking http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar13/vol70/num06/Students-First,-Not-Stuff.aspx. My publicly posted Cerego site "Learning Readiness" introduces this concept to students, and it has inspired the students I teach to find their own learning path outside of school https://cerego.com/sets/736430. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016

Competing Models of Education
New models of education are bringing unprecedented competition to schools, especially for students whose needs are not being well served by the current system. Charter and online schools have particularly gained traction in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Scandinavia. According to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, there are more than 6,000 charter schools in the US alone with more than 1.9 million students enrolled, compared to over 98,000 public schools where 49.4 million students are enrolled. Most US states also offer and encourage enrollment in online courses, and some states are requiring students complete them in order to graduate. Adding to this challenge is the fact that many students do not formally attend either type of school; the National Center for Education Statistic reports that nearly 3% of the school-age population was home schooled during the 2010-11 school year. Ninety-one percent of the parents of these children cited concern over the environments of tradition and charter schools when asked about their choice. For school leaders and policy makers, the challenge is to meet such competition head on, offering high-quality alternatives to students who need them. As new platforms emerge, there is a growing need to frankly evaluate models and determine how to best support collaboration, interaction, deep learning experiences, and assessment at scale. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Apr 15, 2016 thinks the presidential elections may restructure the way charter schools are funded...as well as the current structure of universities. Many second year university students (30%) are dropping out and colleges are rethinking their present design.
This description seems very focused on the US models. But this is happening in other forms here in Brazil. We have new types of schools opening, the publishing companies are becoming competitors in the education market as are foundations. - cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Apr 23, 2016 International schools opening all over China. Biggest competition: English language only or Bilingual (Chinese-English, Korean-English). - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 25, 2016
An intersection between nationally-recognized standards, well-funded public schools, and opportunities for alternatives is elusive but may be necessary. How can these all coexist in a pluralistic, diverse world? - brandon.olszewski brandon.olszewski Apr 26, 2016
Competing models of education is not an issue in countries like Ireland (indeed many European countries) where education (at all levels) is centrally funded and managed at the State level. We don't even have a significant level of private education as our education system is free right through to undergraduate level - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Apr 29, 2016 Same in Croatia - arjana.blazic arjana.blazic Apr 30, 2016
In Denmark citizens have the right to start a private school with more than 90% public funding as alternatives to the public schools. - claus.gregersen claus.gregersen May 1, 2016
This is a hard issue, and seems to be that the public schools in North America have enough on their plate demand side without facing this - they are swamped. A few are facing this - the charter and some online schools. In International schools it is all about getting high grades and moving onto university, and we all compete at this; with most leaders not giving too much credence to the storm described above. A most telling recent example (in my mind) of the doomed Dodo nature of public schools is that Palmer Luckey, the boy-wonder who created Oculus Rift VR from a kickstarter campaign and sold it to Facebook for a couple billion dollars was an American who was home schooled! - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016 - shafika.isaacs shafika.isaacs May 1, 2016I share the view that competing education models remain an important challenge. In many cases the competition is between the focus on drill and practice pedagogy focused on scoring well in standardized tests and new forms of learning, teaching and creative enquiry that accompanies digital learning.

Creating Authentic Learning Opportunities
Authentic learning, especially that which brings real life experiences into the classroom, is still all too uncommon in schools. Authentic learning is seen as an important pedagogical strategy, with great potential to increase the engagement of students who are seeking some connection between the world as they know it exists outside of school, and their experiences in school that are meant to prepare them for that world. Use of learning strategies that incorporate real life experiences, technology, and tools that are already familiar to students, and interactions from community members are examples of approaches that can bring authentic learning into the classroom. Practices such as these may help retain students in school and prepare them for further education, careers, and citizenship in a way that traditional practices are too often failing to do.
Liberal Arts majors may consider this a challenge for different reasons, but there's definitely a trend to encourage students majoring in STEM subjects versus Humanities or Liberal Arts: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/22/business/a-rising-call-to-promote-stem-education-and-cut-liberal-arts-funding.html With more and more K-12 schools starting STEM programs and businesses getting involved, we may soon have a continuum of authentic learning from K through 12 and then on to higher ed: http://eie.org/sites/default/files/bayer_compendium.pdf - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 9, 2016- len.scrogan len.scrogan Apr 13, 2016
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/04/13/the-power-of-experiential-learning.html?cmp=eml-enl-eu-news2- jmorrison jmorrison Apr 15, 2016 Experiences are part of the lesson; no longer sitting and listening which can be done in a mobile environment. How do we create simulations and design learning spaces that are open for more than just an assigned class to experience? Students are demanding to enter the experience...just look at what VR is doing. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Apr 18, 2016 - adrian_lim adrian_lim May 1, 2016
I agree with the above. I see this is a challenge and a trend. More and more schools here in Brazil are integrating with the community to offer more authentic learning opportunities. - cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Apr 23, 2016 - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 25, 2016 In order to really engage with this way of learning requires a whole shift in thinking and more importantly school organisation and management of the school day. Many teachers have tried to bring real life experiences into classrooms and are hampered by timetabling etc - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Apr 29, 2016 Agree, teacher preparation & professional development is critical in these areas. - jon.k.price jon.k.price Apr 29, 2016 - arjana.blazic arjana.blazic May 1, 2016 - claus.gregersen claus.gregersen May 1, 2016
I would piggyback on this to recognize that our Assessment models, especially in secondary schools outside the US, are so content focus and rigid that technology adoption becomes an exercise is content access rather than impactful learning - matt.harris matt.harris Apr 30, 2016
I think we pay great lip service to this concept, and don't give it enough credit for driving learning. I equate it to the challenge from US President Kennedy in the 1960's to put a man on the moon. The goal was so grand and so open, that any and every effort could be integrated into the vision. It played across social, economic, and intellectual boundaries. It inspired and made us look both backward and forward to understand how to do it. We are thinking too small when trying to implement this concept, and that is our downfall. - alex.podchaski alex.podchaski May 1, 2016
Yes, this is a proven and valid approach. I believe as a country Finland has taken this on by having students play at real jobs, and the work-stations they use are supported by real businesses and industries in the community. It goes back to an honorable American practice that has bore many fruits of mentorship; I have read about a UK school that does this; almost all of their students walk into jobs right away, jobs they have been partnering with in the educational setting. This approach solves the riddle of how we prepare kids for work in the 21st century, certainly one reason why schools exist. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016

The Digital Divide
We still have a gap between the use of tech by girls and boys. Look at the numbers surrounding how many boys vs. girls are majoring in computer programming in college. How many men vs women are leaders in tech fields. It's prevalent in both "old" companies and new start-ups. There are a host of initiatives aimed at solving this riddle... which is a great start -programs like Girls Who Code, the UNESCO and UN Women Mobile Learning Week event, this new venture funded by FaceBook. But, it's still a problem that we face in education today. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, has some great data on this topic. She and I presented together on this issue at the UNESCO/UN Women event and will again this summer at ISTE. She also spoke at SXSWedu on the gender game related to games. - kstubbs kstubbs Apr 13, 2016 Agree this is a HUGE challenge today. Lots of great projects, but those projects have not, for the most part, hit the schools--and school counselors---effectively. - len.scrogan len.scrogan Apr 13, 2016 Totally agree. With the "homework gap" issue as well, this is one of the major challenges we must overcome. Interesting to see how the renewed effort toward girl only math and STEM classes is going to go (we're starting to see increaseing districts offer this in California now)- digitalroberto digitalroberto Apr 28, 2016 We're still fighting the "Girls Aren't Geeks" stereotype, and probably will be for years to come:
http://www.washington.edu/news/2015/02/11/how-to-interest-girls-in-computer-science-and-engineering-shift-the-stereotypes/ - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 13, 2016
Both boys and girls face their own challenges in education. Girls often achieve better, but enter competitive STEM fields at lower rates. What accounts for this difference? This is a sociological question. - brandon.olszewski brandon.olszewski Apr 26, 2016
As with the boys in Science and Math, teachers need to help girls get into code and computing - the new gender divide to concern us. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016
Regarding the area of females in STEM or in technology, more teachers should encourage female students to take technology courses. Many a guidance counselor still believe that technology is male specific and this reflected in the area of IT. As a female, minority, CTO of a school district, there are very few of us and many of us have been in IT trains where we are the only female in the room. Organizations such as NCWIT, Women in Tech by Cisco and Microsoft's DigiGirlz Day encourages female students to meet female IT professional where they talk about being in IT. At NJIT, Professor James Geller has been working on getting more females to be in his program of Computer Science because he sees the need in his University. He has developed a group of young ladies that have attended the Grace Hooper Celebration of Women in Computing conference and that are willing to go to the local high schools to talk about women in technology. -Sandra Paul
http://ghc.anitaborg.org/, https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/diversity/programs/digigirlz/digigirlzday.aspx
http://www.ciscolive.com/us/learn/programs/cisco-empowered-womens-network/
https://www.ncwit.org/
Internet Connectivity Issues: "Connectivity Gap" and Developing Country Connectivity Challenges Thanks to Pres. Obama's ConnectED Initiative, which aims to outfit nearly every American public school with high-speed internet, it is hoped that American schools will all be adequately equipped with high-speed internet in the next 5 years. However, there are signs that internet connectivity is another facet of the "digital divide" emerging. There are huge discrepancies of connectivity across school districts, especially between rich and poor districts. Furthermore, since students need good connections at home to complete their work, some are being hindered by their family's lack of high-speed internet. This is being called a "connectivity gap." Potential solutions (or stop-gap measures) are wifi on school buses or wifi kiosks in public housing projects. Agree, see Net Neutrality
https://www.whitehouse.gov/net-neutrality - jon.k.price jon.k.price Apr 29, 2016
But while most schools in more developed countries have adequate internet connectivity, there are still many schools around the world (including some top-notch international schools) that do not have the bandwidth needed to take advantage of the technology in the classroom. This is a major challenge as teachers have ideas and intentions about how best to integrate their Chromebooks, tablets or other devices, but they have to temper their expectations, or adjust their plans, due to insufficient internet signals. - acarter acarter Apr 28, 2016acarter Agree- even in small countries trying to get the infrastructure in place is a challenge. However the bigger challenge for many of our schools is managing bandwidth / wifi inside the school building as funding often is set aside for bringing the "pipe" to the door of the school and not for how it is going to be deployed from there - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Apr 29, 2016. - shafika.isaacs shafika.isaacs May 1, 2016 I think Internet Connectivity Issues remain a critical challenge in African contexts. Access to reliable, sustainable, quality access to the Internet eludes many learning institutions. This topic combines well with the Digital Equity topic at the bottom as they are both the same. Adding to the above, Kent Washington is providing Wifi Kiosks in apartment areas for families with touchscreen interactivity as well as student access. In the US at the District level, the recent changes to E-Rate allowing districts to purchase and manage dark fiber solutions as well as purchase optical hardware are freeing districts from legacy telco providers; this is allowing greater connectivity speeds at a lower cost to be realized for many districts. My District is anticipating that the move to become our own ISP, managing a dark fiber active passive network with commercial provider grade equipment is going to save significant money over standard telco offerings after only 4 years. At the same time, the District is planning to use that savings to provide home wifi access to students to via the ConnectED Initiative. Creative thinking like this is required to ensure students are able to connect at home, on the road at after school extra-curricular activities, or where ever they may be. If 1:1 initiatives are going to be realized rapid connectivity at school and home is required. - digitalroberto digitalroberto Apr 28, 2016
I describe this as the Educational Digital Divide and have written a full article on it.
http://mattharrisedd.com/2015/07/13/the-educational-digital-divide-a-research-synthesis-of-digital-inequity-in-education/ - matt.harris matt.harris Apr 30, 2016
In the Republic Plato wrote that in each city a war goes on between the rich and poor, and we know who is winning this war. In the US for example, as the above introduction notes, the disparity between government payments to the have and have not schools is 10 to 1; whereas in most other rich democracies - i.e., Canada and the UK it is 3 to 1. So that some US schools, for the poor, are more like third world schools, so the President's initiative may not get to the real root of the problem. As to the real poor in the rest of the world, a key problem they found with running MOOCs in parts of Africa was that students were plentiful and bright, but they needed tutors on the ground to support them. I understand Google is working on using balloons to deliver Wifi around to the poor, and they may use smartphones to get online learning, but the problem of the MOOCs arises. These kids need educators on the ground to help them. We who succeed in MOOCs are already university education. So this evil problem goes to the deeper problem of the divide of the rich and poor, and ICT technologies according to Brynjolfsson at MIT are only making this divide worse. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016 Access to Digital Tools. Still. In a world where inequality within countries is growing ever greater (see BillG on this:
http://live.reuters.com/Event/Newsmaker_with_Bill_Gates/256049831), students' lack of digital access and literacy is a huge threat to education and to our societies. Access to digital tools and information resources - for kids in particular - is increasingly considered a basic human right. Over 10 countries have now established national 1 to 1 policies for all students. Unfortunately, the US is not one of these countries... yet. - maria maria Apr 22, 2016 - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 23, 2016
One has to ask the tough question of whether "equity" within economic systems that function based on the management of accumulated wealth is really a possibility. To see equity in education, we may need to have "equity" - or at least, reasonable basic living standards - in other sectors too, such as health care, housing, etc. I think it may be naive to separate these issues. - brandon.olszewski brandon.olszewski Apr 26, 2016 Agree - I think it is important not to confuse access to digital tools with equity and access to "quality" education - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Apr 29, 2016 - dsilva dsilva Apr 30, 2016
As a teaching librarian, I take on the role of teaching digital literacy. It is not a simple thing, given the flux of students at our international school, and the amount of instructional time dedicated to it. So getting hardware into the kids hands is one thing, but the least important. Teaching them to be creators and not consumers is the hard one. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016 - arjana.blazic arjana.blazic May 1, 2016
Most schools in Croatia lack equipment and access to the internet, but recently e-Schools a pilot project, partly funded by the EU was introduced. The main objective is to establish a system of digitally mature schools. Students in selected schools are provided with state-of-the-art technology (although not 1:1) and internet access, whereas for teachers continuous training and support is provided throughout the duration of the project. http://www.carnet.hr/e-schools/project_description - arjana.blazic arjana.blazic May 1, 2016
Digital Use Divide For lots of schools, the technology is there...teachers just don't use it. Some say it's because teachers haven't been trained properly. But I suspect it has more to do with policy, e.g., are teachers evaluated at least partially on their technology use? http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/01/06/us-ed-tech-plan-calls-attention-to-digital-use.html
- davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 6, 2016 Im here with you David. Most of the schools are using technology in experiential matters and not in meaningful ways to enhance learning and closed the achievement gap. I often recommend our Directors that when they go on recruitment, they often mention "tech savvy teachers". What does this mean? What about tagging along a set of ISTE Standards for Educators? for Administrators? It is quite fun to see their facial expressions - dsilva dsilva Apr 9, 2016- lisagustinelli lisagustinelli Apr 27, 2016
In reality - in my more than 20 years experience - good teachers who take such an interest are the minority. This gets to the paucity of inspired teachers and moreover to the paucity of good, inspired leadership. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016
Digital Equity/Lack of Outside of School Broadband Access The civil rights issue of today in education will increasingly be access to broadband outside of school. See CoSN's Digital Equity initiative. www.cosn.org/digital-equity While
 nearly 
two 
decades
 of 
improved
 Internet
 access
 for
 schools
(including
billions
of
 federal
E‐rate
dollars)
is
largely
closing
what
 remains
of
the
so‐called
digital
divide,
the
ubiquity
 of
more
recent
mobile
technologies
has
now
 opened
wide
a
new
'homework
gap'
into
which
 lower‐income
students
too
often
fall.
As
a
large
 part
of
education
still
happens
after
school
lets
 out,
students
with
reliable,
robust
Internet
access
 and
task‐appropriate
devices
seamlessly
stay
 connected
to
classwork,
assignments,
teachers
and
 all
manner
of
necessary
online
resources
for
work
 and
learning
they
accomplish
at
home.
Meanwhile,
 those
without
a
meaningful
home‐to‐school
or
 student‐to‐resources
connection
in
their
home
 environments
face
challenges
that
make
for
a
very
 uneven
playing
field.
And
the
gap
extends
beyond
 homework;
parents,
too,
stand
to
lose
out;
being
 connected
is
tantamount
to
being
fully
informed
of
 their
child’s
academic
performance.
Such
access
and
 opportunity
can't
in
fairness
be
seen
as
a
luxury
 afforded
only
for
affluent
or
better‐connected
communities
when,
in
today's
reality,
Internet
 access
on
appropriate
devices
with
a
sufficient
 amount
of
bandwidth
are
basic
and
essential
tools
 for
learning
and
participation
in
our
system.
- keith.krueger keith.krueger Apr 25, 2016 - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 26, 2016
The lack of efficient connectivity outside school for students is certainly a major civil rights issue of today as Keith mentioned above. As 1:1 proliferates throughout both the US and other countries around the world, the inability to continue one's studies upon walking off campus is more than an hinderance, it is a violation of a student's learning rights. This "homework gap" is going to be the biggest obstacle to overcome if we expect 1:1 as an educational right. Without creating means to mitigate this gap when preparing 1:1 deployments or increasing the use of technology in schools, all of the technologies we support and outline in this report are never going to fully succeed. - digitalroberto digitalroberto Apr 28, 2016
As in Canada - my home country where I have many years public school teaching experience - government calls this shot. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016

Expanding Access
The global drive to increase the number of students participating in undergraduate education is placing pressure across the system. The oft-cited relationship between earning potential and educational attainment plus the clear impact of an educated society on the growth of the middle class is pushing governments to encourage more and more students to enter universities and colleges. In many countries, however, the population of students prepared for undergraduate study is already enrolled — expanding access means extending it to students who may not have the academic background to be successful without additional support. Many in universities feel that these institutions do not have sufficient time and resources to help this set of students.
Related to the STEM-vs.-Liberal-Arts issue is that although Liberal Arts majors tend to benefit, at least re: earnings, from attending "elite" schools, STEM majors tend to make the same money regardless of institution: http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/02/02/if-you-major-in-stem-it-doesnt-matter-where-you-go-to-college/ So...overall access is easier, including if not especially re: cost, for STEM students. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 9, 2016
This is a huge issue in Brazil. With the "cotas" to try to give equal access to minorities, but not improving the quality of K12, these students get in but very few manage to graduate. The numbers increased comparing to what we had before, but we still haven't addressed the cause, only the effect. It's a short term solution. http://revistaforum.com.br/digital/138/sistema-de-cotas-completa-dez-anos-nas-universidades-brasileiras/- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Apr 23, 2016- lisagustinelli lisagustinelli Apr 27, 2016
Kepler is an experimental MOOC run by a small nonprofit called Generation Rwanda that aims to bring blended education to young, bright, poor Rwanda university aged students, often innocent victims of the 1994 genocide. Kepler received 2,696 applications for only 50 slots in the 2013 fall program; American teaching fellows in Kigali will offer direct teaching and support for the MOOC. Kepler will partner with Southern New Hampshire University to provide an associate of arts degree concentrating on business, and once students acquire this degree, they may earn a bachelor degree in business administration, computer science and perhaps engineering via a number of university MOOCs. (Bartholet, Jeffrey. “MOOCs: Hype and Hope.” Scientific American, August 2013: 53-61. Print.) Kepler points to the key problem; the need for capable teachers on the ground to help the disadvantaged. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016

Improving Digital Literacy
With the proliferation of the Internet, mobile devices, and other technologies that are now pervasive in education, the traditional view of literacy as the ability to read and write has expanded to encompass understanding digital tools and information. This new category of competence is affecting how education institutions address literacy issues in their curriculum objectives and teacher development programs. Lack of consensus on what comprises digital literacy is impeding many colleges and universities from formulating adequate policies and programs that address this challenge. Discussions among educators have included the idea of digital literacy as equating to competence with a wide range of digital tools for varied educational purposes, or as an indicator of having the ability to critically evaluate resources available on the web. However, both definitions are broad and ambiguous. Compounding this issue is the notion that digital literacy encompasses skills that differ for educators and learners, as teaching with technology is inherently different from learning with it.
I do believe this is a solvable challenge, but I do not believe that digital literacy differs for educators and learners-- we are all learners, and educators can be mentors when it comes to effective searching, critical evaluation of Web-based information, picking the correct tool/app for the job at hand, and creating a product (blog post, Web site, SlideShare, etc.) that meet the needs/wants/abilities of the intended audience. - kathyschrock kathyschrock Apr 8, 2016 - michael.lambert michael.lambert Apr 15, 2016- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Apr 23, 2016 We have a dual challenge: improving the digital literacy for the teacher and opening the door to use digital tools in our everyday instruction. Example: AP essay responses must be written, not typed (responses are different when written vs typed), and assessing understanding beyond fill-in-the-bubble. In other words, assessment should reflect the digital tools students have available. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Apr 24, 2016 Agree, assessments generally drive teaching and learning - we need to be cognisant of and embrace the range of possibilities that are possibly for creating meaning when we extend the palette of digital tools - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Apr 29, 2016
Digital literacy is certainly a solvable challenge but it must redefined and restructured. For example, Video becomes a significant source for learning, YouTube is now the number two search engine after Google, and users are searching for video in YouTube. If video is an important source for learning, we must develop video literacy, which is a component of digital literacy. Video is now a language one must learn in order to understand it the best way possible. Good analogy is The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco, where text was used for archiving and not for reading and learning, video today is in its first step to become a language like text. Nevertheless, we must integrate it into digital literacy toady. In the same token, we can look at video as a tool for creating knowledge by the users, which also should be part of today’s digital literacy.- guyl guyl Apr 28, 2016 Agree but look forward to the day when we move beyond "digital literacy" to "digital fluency" - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Apr 29, 2016
I would argue that we have promoted Digital Literacy as part of our push for Digital Citizenship and yet it is still on the sidelines of contemporary curriculum and assessment. - matt.harris matt.harris Apr 30, 2016 Agreed.- alex.podchaski alex.podchaski May 1, 2016
I too think this is solvable. Suitable definitions exist, so that is not a key issue. As to the discrepancy of teaching ICT and learning with it, may I suggest the genius hour (free, independent student inquiry) or the inquiry method as one solution. Based on their research in Irish primary schools, Bruce and Casey advocate inquiry as the “signature pedagogy for digital literacy” (2012, 2). They see the inquiry approach as a “means for educators to foster inquiry-based learning while making the best use of new digital media and tools” (Bruce and Casey 2012, 2). The intellectual foundations for inquiry run deep: Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, Rousseau, Piaget and Dewey (Bruce and Casey 2012, 9-10). https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/handle/2142/30786. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016Still an issue after all these years. In the upcoming revision of the national curriculum in Norway, digital literacy will be kept as a transversal, basic skill. - oysteinjohannessen oysteinjohannessen May 1, 2016
Integrating Technology in Teacher Education
Teacher training still does not acknowledge the fact that digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession. Despite the widespread agreement on the importance of digital competence, training in the supporting skills and techniques is rare in teacher education and non-existent in the preparation of teachers. As teachers begin to realize that they are limiting their students by not helping them to develop and use digital competence skills across the curriculum, the lack of formal training is being offset through professional development or informal learning, but we are far from seeing digital media literacy as a norm. This challenge is exacerbated by the fact that digital literacy is less about tools and more about thinking, and thus skills and standards based on tools and platforms have proven to be somewhat ephemeral.
Firstly can we remove the word "training" - we prepare teachers to design learning environments so this does not involve "training" in requires "immersion" in challenging and exciting learning environments which embed the use of a wide range of digital tools. So the emphasis is on "learning" and not "training" - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Apr 29, 2016 We first reach our goal when we also can remove the word Technology from the sentence so that Information Technology is a natural and embedded part of Teaches Education - claus.gregersen claus.gregersen May 1, 2016 Both these statements are correct. We need to get to the point were whatever technology is used is viewed as necessary as pencil and paper are now. That has to come from not only the teacher desire but the way material is being presented.- alex.podchaski alex.podchaski May 1, 2016
Ties in with...heck, maybe it's inseparable from...the Digital Use Divide, added below. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 6, 2016- len.scrogan len.scrogan Apr 13, 2016
This is a great challenge and we seem to still be far from solving it. - cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Apr 23, 2016
"Research on preparation for blended and online instruction advocates for coursework and practica focused on effective methods for designing and facilitating instruction in such environments (Journell et al., 2013; Kennedy & Archambault, 2012a). However, most teacher education programs have yet to provide these learning experiences for teaching candidates, thereby failing to adequately prepare them for their futures in the profession (Barbour et al., 2013). At Lenoir-Rhyne University, we have designed and implemented learning pathways to prepare teaching candidates for effective blended and online instruction. It is my hope that by sharing our approach to teacher preparation for blended and online instruction, other teacher educators will envision possibilities for incorporating components of blended and online learning into their courses and programs to better prepare teaching candidates for their futures. "
http://www.fractuslearning.com/2015/05/11/preparing-teaching-candidates-blended-online-environments/ - jmorrison jmorrison Apr 27, 2016 Agree - jon.k.price jon.k.price Apr 29, 2016 - arjana.blazic arjana.blazic May 1, 2016
Teacher training should include something of this, but in the general case where students in Education programs in the brick and mortar universities have little or no practical experience teaching, it is questionable how beneficial such training would be. Many teachers, myself included, pick it up by distance education once we are situated as real teachers and perceive the need. I am doing an M.S. in Multidisciplinary Studies online from Buffalo SUNY - well so are thousands of others; it is a big industry, and profitable for the universities. I did the first half with CoETaIL - http://www.coetail.com/about/. This route is likely the best route. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016
ICT training is still not obligatory PD requirement for the majority of European teachers and as such not offered to teachers. According to the EC's Digital Scoreboard 2012 (Vuorikari et al. 2012), only one out of three students in Europe are taught by teachers whose PD includes compulsory ICT training. In OECD's 2013 TALIS report, 19% of responding teachers report that they need more ICT-based PD training. Two years later, in Eurydice Report, 57% of lower secondary school teachers expressed moderate or high need levels for PD training that supports technology enhanced teaching. An online survey of eTwinning teachers conducted in 2009, showed that 42% of the respondents claimed to have received ICT-related PD training (Ferrari et al, 2011) through eTwinning . In a recent online survey (Kearney C. & Gras-Velázquez, 2015) 66% of eTwinners have reported that eTwinning has had a moderate or large impact on their technology skills for teaching. This is in line with the survey results of Wastiau et al (2013), which indicate that 70% of European students are taught by teachers who have participated in a form of personal PD training in their free time. - arjana.blazic arjana.blazic May 1, 2016
PD as well as ICT as a part of initial Teachers training should be secured. If digital literacy is a part of the curriculum, it should be Integrated in PD and teacher training as well. - oysteinjohannessen oysteinjohannessen May 1, 2016
Technology Advances Faster Than Teachers Learning Technology: If a teacher is slow to adopt technology and then uses it for substitution because it is comfortable. What measurement is there for how long it takes for them to get comfortable to move beyond substitution? How many new technologies and ideas have cropped up in the meantime so the teacher is now really really behind. How do teachers "teach the future" when their technology skills are in the past? How do they catch up and keep up? [[user:mrskeeler|1462167652Keeping Formal Education RelevantAs online learning and free educational content become more pervasive, stakeholders and administrators must seriously consider what schools can provide that cannot be replicated by other sources. It is no longer necessary for parents to send their children to school for them to become knowledgeable and gain skills that will lead them to gainful employment. There are, however, valuable skills and attitudes that can only be acquired in school settings. Soft skills, such as face-to-face communication and collaboration, for instance, are essential practices for solving problems in a world that is increasingly interconnected. Similarly, work ethic and the ability to persevere through even the toughest challenges, both social and academic, are reinforced in formal education environments. The idea is to rethink the value of education as a means of reinforcing attitudes and skills learners will need to seek credible information, work effectively in teams, and persist in achieving their goals. A recent survey by the Workforce Solutions Group found that more than 60% of employers say applicants lack “communication and interpersonal skills.” On the same note, the National Association of Colleges and Employers surveyed more than 200 employers about their top ten priorities in new hires and found that hiring managers desire people who are team players, problem solvers and can plan, organize and prioritize their work while technical skills fell lower on the list. Generally speaking, trends in hiring make it clear that soft skills such as communication and work ethic are differentiating outstanding applicants from the pile.Not sure exactly where this belongs...but it's connected to all the shifts in roles re: teachers and students.https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-01-20-what-are-the-top-10-higher-ed-tech-issues-of-2016 New teachers are graduating with their teaching certificates/licenses, having spent four or more years being indoctrinated by dinosaurs! The stereotype is that it's older teachers who have difficulty with change, but quite often it's the youngest teachers who are convinced they're following The One True Path. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 6, 2016 Agree, David. I am finding that new teachers are in search of 'the curriculum' and lack how to innovate. Seems many new teachers want to 'teach the test'...the generation that learned this way. Just sayin' - michael.lambert michael.lambert Apr 18, 2016 It has been our experience that older teachers feel more comfortable with the classroom management and are risking new practices more than some of our younger teachers, who are still insecure and spend most of their time trying not to lose control. So I totally agree with David and Michael.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Apr 23, 2016 - adrian_lim adrian_lim May 1, 2016
For many of the outreach in schools and research projects I've been involved with it has been in the majority of cases teachers who are "confident" in their own teaching and "supported" by school management - so these are the factors rather than "age" that I would highlight. Similarly we have witnessed time and time again that our young preservice teachers are quickly "shut-down" by the prevailing "school culture" of this is not how it is done around here / or you'll never survive long-term if you keep going that way. So to me the shift is "societal" we need to rethink what is valued and how schools can change to meet the demands of a complex, connected global society. This is a "thorny" issue and requires systemic change. - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Apr 29, 2016
Yes, building the collaboration skills of kids is something that schools are well positioned to accomplish. One of the 4 Cs - the key skills - as envisioned by the Partnership for 21st Century learning: creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016

Interoperability and Integration of Technology
It may be out of vogue, and not a strict edtech issue, but Interoperability and Integration need to start making their way into the overall discussions about how we integrate technology in the classroom, school, and district. There are many technologies and systems that are listed here all as an end point of the integration of technology into education. We have AR and Virtual Reality, and for the most part, they should go together, but don't because the systems and tech aren't compatible. We talk about makerspaces with our 3D printers, but have drones, robots, and other systems that should be there but aren't because it is a whole different set of tools to work with each technology. There there is tying together all the online, blended, mobile, and open learning systems, which bring a separate set of headaches. And on top of the we need to manage the devices and networks that allow access to all of this. We need to look at the linkages between the technologies and where they are headed.- alex.podchaski alex.podchaski May 1, 2016 [Editor's Note: This reads more like a challenge and will be newly added to RQ4.]

Managing Knowledge Obsolescence
Simply staying organized and current presents a challenge in a world where information, software tools, and devices proliferate at the rate they do today. New developments in technology are exciting and their potential for improving quality of life is enticing, but it can be overwhelming to attempt to keep up with even a few of the many new tools that are released. User-created content is exploding, giving rise to information, ideas, and opinions on all sorts of interesting topics, but following even some of the hundreds of available authorities means sifting through a mountain of information on a weekly or daily basis. There is a greater need than ever for effective tools and filters for finding, interpreting, organizing, and retrieving the data that is important to us.
Another reason why I like "content curators" such as Scoop.it: http://www.scoop.it/ The info is picked by humans...an important filter to begin with. One idea, yet to come to fruition, is to have one curator put together a "This Week in [Insert Educational Topic Here]" for administrators. Half an hour, once a week...and they're in the proverbial loop! - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 10, 2016 I would love to have this curation David! Now that we're in the exponential part of the curve, it is all we can do to try to keep up! Though I firmly believe that no matter what the new technology is, what will truly make a difference is the new pedagogical approach and best practices!- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Apr 23, 2016 Agree - everyone needs to develop their own critical thinking skills to use a range of tools and strategies to determine for themselves what is "good/ useful" information in order to be able to use it to construct knowledge - become their own content curators as it were - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Apr 29, 2016
I would say that keeping up with the tools is a challenge for K-12, not for the students but for the organization. From with birth of a new tool to implementation of that tool for student use in learning is often long enough to make the tool obsolete before it even gets implemented.- jmorrison jmorrison Apr 12, 2016
To me, this is one flavor of the skill, "keeping up with life." Some of the problems and solutions are technological - such as using a password manager. Understanding that society (and its technology) is something that evolves helps remind us to not get attached to things and methods that may one day expire - this is an important mindset.- brandon.olszewski brandon.olszewski Apr 26, 2016
David has given some good links here. I think that our working in this space and keeping in touch with others in the same sphere is the best way forward. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016 Agree, learning together is what makes us move forward. - arjana.blazic arjana.blazic May 1, 2016
I think we need to remember that there was always information out there, that we could access, but the opportunity cost for us to get it exceeded the amount of time, effort, etc we were willing to pay. Now that everything is instantaneous, and there is always a new tool to gadget to try, we think we need to do that to stay on the cutting edge. We forget that we really need to be efficient with our time and resources, and need to put aside a set amount of time in our regular processes to review information, try new tools, and figure out how to best do the job of education. We need to remember that the way everyone processes information and learning is different, and just because there is a new tool or process does not mean our current one needs to be replaced, but it should be reviewed regularly to make sure we are doing our jobs properly.- alex.podchaski alex.podchaski May 1, 2016

Personalizing Learning
Personalized learning refers to the range of educational programs, learning experiences, instructional approaches, and academic-support strategies intended to address the specific learning needs, interests, aspirations, or cultural backgrounds of individual students. While there is a demand for personalized learning, it is not adequately supported by current technology or practices — especially at scale. The increasing focus on customizing instruction to meet students’ unique needs is driving the development of new technologies that provide more learner choice and allow for differentiated instruction. Advances such as online learning environments and adaptive learning technologies make it possible to support a learner’s individual learning path. A major barrier to personalized learning, however, is that scientific, data-driven approaches to effectively facilitate personalization have only recently begun to emerge; adaptive learning, for example, is still evolving and gaining traction within higher education. Compounding the challenge is the notion that technology alone is not the whole solution — personalized learning efforts must incorporate effective pedagogy and include faculty in the development process. Agree - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Apr 29, 2016
http://www.impatientoptimists.org/Posts/2014/11/4-Examples-of-Personalized-Learning-K12-Education#.VxAISU32aJA - jmorrison jmorrison Apr 14, 2016 - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 23, 2016 - adrian_lim adrian_lim May 1, 2016
I think this fits with blended/flipped learning approaches - figure out what content is best taught via digital delivery methods, and what kinds of work need to be done live/in person/collaboratively.- brandon.olszewski brandon.olszewski Apr 26, 2016- lisagustinelli lisagustinelli Apr 27, 2016
"If students feel that that their opinions and ideas are heard and valued by their peers and teachers, they're much more likely to be engaged with their education. These 7 videos offer up strategies for giving your students more agency in their lessons and day-to-day classroom life."
http://www.edutopia.org/film-fest-student-voice-agency?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=042716%20enews%20stuengage%20ngm&utm_content=&utm_term=fea1hed&spMailingID=14327911&spUserID=MjcyOTI0Mjk3OTkS1&spJobID=761935071&spReportId=NzYxOTM1MDcxS0 - jmorrison jmorrison Apr 27, 2016
No, technology alone is not the whole solution. Genius hour - akin to the 20% time that has proven so worthwhile at Google - allows students to freely inquire and personalize their learning. It can also be put in place by any homeroom or specialist teacher anywhere, anytime. http://www.geniushour.com/. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016 - arjana.blazic arjana.blazic May 1, 2016
Personalized Learning. This was THE topic at ASU GSV this year. Everyone including Bill Gates was talking about it. The technology is finally at the point that this is possible. - mrskeeler mrskeeler May 1, 2016 [Editor's Note: We agree! We're adding this observation to existing RQ4 challenge "Personalizing Learning.]

Rethinking the Roles of Teachers
Educators are increasingly expected to be adept at a variety of technology-based and other approaches for content delivery, learner support, and assessment; to collaborate with other teachers both inside and outside their schools; to routinely use digital strategies in their work with students; to act as guides and mentors in to promote student-centered learning; and to organize their own work and comply with administrative documentation and reporting requirements. Students add to these expectations through their own use of technology to socialize, organize, and informally learn on a daily basis. The integration of technology into everyday life is causing many educational thought leaders argue that institutions should be providing ways for students to continue to engage in learning activities, formal and informal, beyond the traditional school day. As this trend gathers steam, many institutions across the world are rethinking the primary responsibilities of educators. Related to these evolving expectations are changes in the ways educators engage in their own continuing professional development, much of which involves social media and online tools and resources.
For years, I've patiently listened to the arguments re: how terrible it would be to try to force teachers to use technology:
https://medium.com/the-higher-education-revolution/considering-forcing-teachers-to-use-technology-think-again-eacdbbf70e6e#.f7ut52hrz And I even, for a while, proposed allowing teachers to rethink their roles for themselves. But it's 2016 and we still have teachers working essentially the same way they would have in 1916! I think we're way overdue handling this how we would have in the corporate world, via Change Management (here's the new teacher model, here's how we're going to help you get there...and, BTW, you're fired if you don't). It can be done in a "humanistic" manner, but let's face it: Give teachers a choice re: change and some will choose simply not to. ;) - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 9, 2016 I find these remarks deeply upsetting and not reflective of many of the teachers I have worked with. Think about how these teachers are supported / or not; the conditions they work in / their standing in society etc. Effective change management is required to bring teachers with you - and perhaps "the management" personnel could be a real part of the problem - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Apr 29, 2016
http://www.slideshare.net/davidwdeeds/2015-nmc-conference-full-steam-ahead-via-change-management-david-w-deeds
Yes...the role today includes experimenting with new apps and programs, creating simulations and experiences for students and extending one's role beyond instruction but becoming a life-coach for students. The role has expanded, similar to a mentor or even a parent. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Apr 23, 2016
Teachers have a great fear of becoming obsolete or useless when you start talking all the time about student-centered approaches and guide by the side roles. One fantastic argument I heard last week by Leo Burd from MIT and that really got teachers hooked on change was when he told them they were the most important part of the learning experience, that they are now designers of learning environments and it is their careful planning that will allow students to grow as they work on their projects. That really boosted their confidence and gave them new energy to work on the changes we are designing. We have to help them see themselves as important in this process and that it's best for the kids. Tap in to their passion and make them feel valued. That's when they will buy in to the change! - cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Apr 23, 2016
Feeling valued is incredibly important. However I think what is perhaps being overlooked here is the social standing of teachers in society - this is really the key to how the teacher is "valued". We only have to look to Singapore and Finland for example where there is enormous competition to even get a chance to become a teacher and then they are supported with strong professional learning opportunities throughout their careers. Teachers are respected, valued and seen as learning professionals, teacher quality is important. Compare this to how teachers are recruited, prepared and supported in other countries. So it makes discussing their role and how they react to change difficult as you are not comparing like with like - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Apr 29, 2016
"Deconstruction of the Teacher"In addition: "Welcome to University of Internet. Teachers, artists, scientists, musicians and students design courses, place them in a module format, open to the public. The student follows the course outline to work through the lessons, receives immediate feedback and progresses to the next level at any time – no waiting. The Internet has transformed our tradition –attend university to advance your skills. Today, online courses are rated like products and the virtual campus is valued by businesses. Watching videos, collaborating with others online, and engaging in learning activities allows the students to meet the course objectives, often, without the teacher. The teacher is becoming marginalized and challenged, at the least, in the area of content delivery. Disruption is at the core of a teacher’s role; new jobs emerge." - michael.lambert michael.lambert Apr 24, 2016
Yes, teachers need to use media and develop their own digital literacy. Another key idea is that of "distributed leadership" where each teacher should foster a culture of free exchange of ICT knowledge and expertise, drawing on the relevant expertise of students too - all can and should be leaders in this volatile field. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016
It's important to encourage teachers to become global networkers and to build their global PLN. Too often they are lone cowboys at their insitutions so connecting with like-minded colleagues from other parts of the world will not only be inspirational but it will also keep them going. - arjana.blazic arjana.blazic May 1, 2016
Teachers as innovators and global Professionals: That's the Challenge par excellence - oysteinjohannessen oysteinjohannessen May 1, 2016
At some point, I think we lost the perspective that the goal of a teacher was to help a student learn. It wasn't so much about how much material, or making sure everyone got and A, but that everyone could think for themselves and discover the joy of learning. Teachers are not content matter experts, they should be experts on how to learn, and apply that to a field of knowledge. Any subject matter expert can create a video that disseminates knowledge, and that is not what we need from our teachers. We need our teachers to be able to help us identify how to learn that knowledge so that it is integrated into who we are. This perspective puts teachers back into the places in society where they should be. Most of us can share a story about a teacher and how they helped make us feel special or important as we learned a piece of information. It was not the information that made us special, but that relationship and how it affected our ability to learn. We need to get teachers back to that, and things should start getting better for teachers overall.- alex.podchaski alex.podchaski May 1, 2016

Scaling Teaching Innovations
Our organizations are not adept at moving teaching innovations into mainstream practice. Innovation springs from the freedom to connect ideas in new ways. Our schools and universities generally allow us to connect ideas only in prescribed ways — sometimes these lead to new insights, but more likely they lead to rote learning. Current organizational promotion structures rarely reward innovation and improvements in teaching and learning. A pervasive aversion to change limits the diffusion of new ideas, and too often discourages experimentation.
A major hidden theme in the 2016 NETP. Scaling matters. Ramping up innovation in the K-12 space requires lots of slow scaling, carefully administered pilot sites, and painstaking technical hand-holding. A plethora of ‘gotchas’ awaits, like performance, integration, device limits, bandwidth constraints, a steep learning curve, installation poltergeists, device Babylon and more.- len.scrogan len.scrogan Apr 13, 2016- jmorrison jmorrison Apr 14, 2016- alex.podchaski alex.podchaski May 1, 2016
To truly innovate you have to start from scratch, rethink the space, time and people who will be working in this new model. One great way we did that was using Design Thinking to rethink the curriculum, using as essential questions what teachers were passionate about teaching in their areas and what they thought was important for their students to learn. From these questions was born the curriculum matrix (content and abilities). We finally managed to get them to not think about the curriculum as a sequence of what was in the chapters of the textbooks. - cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Apr 23, 2016- lisagustinelli lisagustinelli Apr 27, 2016 We're trying to get there too with the ongoing Comprehensive Curricular Reform and give teachers more autonomy. Unfortunately, many are afraid of being autonomous. - arjana.blazic arjana.blazic May 1, 2016
We have to buy textbooks. We do not have to use them, but we are required to buy them and have them on hand. It just seems so archaic. From Meg Wheatley, "There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.- jmorrison jmorrison Apr 25, 2016 Ultimately it boils down to "trusting" teachers that they are capable of designing effective learning environments that are suitable for the students they are working with. Prescribing textbooks etc is archaic and inherent in this is the belief that "one size fits all" and that knowledge is something that can be "delivered" in neat packages. It is time for that money to be invested more wisely into authentic teacher professional opportunities so they are empowered to designed effective authentic learning environments that meet the needs of their students. - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Apr 29, 2016 - arjana.blazic arjana.blazic May 1, 2016
Part of the trouble with digital innovation is that there are so many discrete tools in use by student in a classroom, it is difficult for teachers to monitor each "app" and analyze the data that they provide. We find so many things that work well that it is very difficult for teachers to manage them all together at scale. Services like ClassLink http://www.classlink.com/ are emerging to address this need. - anton.inglese anton.inglese Apr 28, 2016
Most often true, and always attributable to ineffective leadership in any given school. Inspired leadership is not a plentiful quality. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016

Safety of Student Data
Safety of student data has long been a concern in K-12 education, which is evident through legislation that has been passed to safeguard students and their personal data, such as the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act in the United States.106 As schools embrace ubiquitous technology, and more learning takes place online and in 1:1 settings, researchers see great potential to leverage these digital learning environments to mine data, which can be used to decipher trends in student behavior and create personalized software. Schools around the world are adopting cloud computing to support adaptive learning, promote cost-savings, and encourage collaboration, but sometimes the safety of student data is threatened when third-party vendors provide low-cost software as a service in return for access to student data that they then profit from.
- roger.blamire roger.blamire Agree - jon.k.price jon.k.price Apr 29, 2016
It's part of the growing challenge of privacy in an always-connected age, the trade-off between enhanced personalised experiences and giving the provider data about yourself. Should students using Google and GAFE for example be encouraged to have separate accounts for their school and personal lives, confusing as that might be to manage?
As a data analyst myself, I tend to find some of this debate reactionary. I think a productive framing of the question is, "What data should be kept private, and what data don't matter?" To think that companies should make apps we use for free but that the company should not get any revenue/value from it is naive and fundamentally anti-reciprocal...and reciprocity is a building block of a safe society. How can we find a more moderate view on this? For instance, are students really going to use GAFE for something that MUST stay private? What is a reasonable approach here? - brandon.olszewski brandon.olszewski Apr 26, 2016Agree that this approach is needed- alex.podchaski alex.podchaski May 1, 2016
"Much ado about nothing." I hesitate to weigh in on this "issue" because lots of folks are keeping themselves busy, some even earning a living, being "concerned" about it. At my previous school, we talked to 400+ high school students, who told us they were not the least bit worried what, e.g., Google might do with their demographic info. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 27, 2016
Brandon, I completely agree with you, that as educators we must be prepared to either pay for services or anticipate that the data is going to be used by the app developer in any number of ways. I would many times over prefer to pay for a quality service my teachers and students are using that will keep student data safe, then see a scattershot approach to using multiple apps throughout the district providing limited oversite on how data is used. The question over what data is shared, how it's shared, and with whom is going to evolve over the next 2-3 years as this discussion continues. One benefit, I've found from a CTO perspective, is that by encompassing projects into the Data Privacy conversation instead of Network Security, Software Services, or some other initiative the response from senior leadership is much more positive and money seems to come to "Student Data Privacy" projects. - digitalroberto digitalroberto Apr 28, 2016 I think the question has to centre on what data is used and how / if students can opt out etc. To be able to make informed decisions it is incumbent on schools to ensure that teachers, students and parents can indeed make these decisions - so what is being put in place to see that this is happening ??? Otherwise companies can take advantage of ignorance - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Apr 29, 2016
I agree with these comments (except the "much ado about nothing" comment). 1. Yes, the technology enables access to more data than we can imagine & there is potential to learn from it. 2. Yes, a differentiation of "What should be kept private & what doesnt matter" would be excellent. Currently, one of the biggest problems with "Big Data" is that there is SO MUCH being collected we dont know what to do with it all. These two issues would be nice to blend into a standard of sorts. 3. The pathways & cookies associated with current consumer analytics isnt (much of) an issue because we elect to visit these sites, elect to agree/disagree or ignore the privacy & use policies. Students don,t have these same freedoms in a school. therefor there must be diligent oversight. - jon.k.price jon.k.price Apr 29, 2016 Agreed. but not only safety, but complete privacy. - matt.harris matt.harris Apr 30, 2016 A higher degree of transparency and awareness is needed in this area among schools, teachers and students - claus.gregersen claus.gregersen May 1, 2016
Yes, this becomes an issue. The solutions are available, and much can be accomplished by a good online student user agreement. As with encrypted email - Protonmail by CERN scientists; such concern is not the norm. Google sells our data, Facebook mines it. The corporate angle on the web wants everything open so they can pick our privacy and sell it. We as educators and parents are up against the greedy ones here; and they have lots of pull and power. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016
Hacking/Cyberattacks Many publics schools seem be targets of low level cyberattacks or DDoS attacks. However, given the complexity of data, our move towards data analytics, and the increased ability of hackers to get into any system Education seems to be in greater danger as the days go by. At this point, we haven't been targeted for a major attack, but it could be coming. - matt.harris matt.harris Apr 30, 2016 This is coming, as overall attacks are increasing. It is no longer a matter of if but when. We take certain aspects of security serious as an industry, such as student grades and testing outcomes, but not enough to avoid attention from those who would love to expose an entire system as incompetent. This should worry every school administrator.- alex.podchaski alex.podchaski May 1, 2016
Yes, no doubt, but with so much out there for hackers of higher monetary value, schools may never enter their sites. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016

Teaching Complex Thinking
It is essential for learners people both to understand the networked world in which they are growing up and also — through complex thinking — to learn how to use abstraction and decomposition when tackling complex tasks and to deploy heuristic reasoning to complex problems. Mastering modes of complex thinking does not make an impact in isolation; communication skills must also be mastered for complex thinking to be applied meaningfully. Indeed, the most effective leaders are outstanding communicators with a high level of social intelligence; their capacity to connect people with other people, using technologies to collaborate and leveraging data to support their ideas, requires an ability to understand the bigger picture and to make appeals that are based on logic, data, and instinct. While some aspects of this topic could be framed as similar to or overlapping “design thinking,” for the purposes of this report, the two are considered as distinct concepts. The term “complex thinking” refers to the ability to understand complexity, a skill that is needed to comprehend how systems work in order to solve problems, and can be used interchangeably with “computational thinking.” Teaching coding in is increasingly being viewed as a way to instill this kind of thinking in students as it combines deep computer science knowledge with creativity and problem-solving. "I think the answer here is obvious. As the world fills up with more and more technology, I think the answer becomes even more obvious. This is why we need to focus on teaching computer science and not just coding."
https://www.rootsandshoots.org/content/connected-or-disconnected-role-social-media-our-personal-lives - jmorrison jmorrison Apr 12, 2016 - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 23, 2016 Complex thinking teaching strategies--I don't see them often in schools. I see the low-lying fruit being taught oh-so-well, however. - len.scrogan len.scrogan Apr 13, 2016 Agree - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Apr 29, 2016- davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 17, 2016 STEAM is a great way to go for this! - cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Apr 23, 2016
- dsilva dsilva Apr 30, 2016 - arjana.blazic arjana.blazic May 1, 2016
No more technology for technology sake. Many blogs are simply warehouses for information about the newest teaching app and gimmick. Teachers are Educated professionals and know better. Technology still needs to be touted as a seamless tool used to enhance the expertise of the classroom teacher. New teacher training needs to include an innovative mindset. In other words, students should be guided in how to think, really think, create and cause change with and without technology.- lisagustinelli lisagustinelli Apr 26, 2016 - arjana.blazic arjana.blazic May 1, 2016
https://globaldigitalcitizen.org/the-importance-of-teaching-critical-thinking- lisagustinelli lisagustinelli Apr 26, 2016
Complex thinking is not just something to be "taught" - rather, I believe it is something learners must FIND through either organic or well-designed learning activities. - brandon.olszewski brandon.olszewski Apr 26, 2016 Agree - we need to acknowledge however that complex thinking is possible without the use of digital tools too - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Apr 29, 2016
This is a place where teachers often fall down. How many teachers truly concern themselves with getting at deep thinking and learning? The folks above have mentioned some good angles on this, but this comes down to the quality of teachers - outside of Finland and some international schools, the typical teacher is not much to write home about. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016
Computational Thinking I have noticed that in my part of the world there has been a wake of the term “Computational Thinking” used in the K12 context. It covers the ability to produce it-based solutions not only to be a consumer of these. Often it is part of the STEM (or STEAM) curriculum and involving technologies as Games, Drones, Robotics, APPs and Microprocessors as Raspberry Pi, Arduino or the new BBC Micro-bit. I suggest that we consider making it a new topic covering some of the areas mentioned above - claus.gregersen claus.gregersen Apr 10, 2016 [[user:davidwdeeds|1460334298] - cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Apr 23, 2016 I would also include 'bots'. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Apr 24, 2016 Computational thinking is part of the new ISTE student standards refresh that will be released in June. - kstubbs kstubbs Apr 27, 2016 The Australian Digital Technologies curriculum also focuses on computational thinking as well as design thinking and systems thinking. http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/introduction - peter.lelong peter.lelong Apr 27, 2016 - adrian_lim adrian_lim May 1, 2016 [Editor's Note: Added here from RQ2."]

Under-resourced School Infrastructure
Critical school infrastructures are under-resourced. Rather than encouraging researchers to build on and extend core resources, leverage shared file systems, and open accessible service APIs, institutions are narrowing their focus to what they perceive as the minimal subset of enterprise services they can afford to sustain. As a result, educators are often trying to design new, innovative learning models that must be integrated with outdated, pre-existing technology and learning management systems.
If you consider network wait time, due to bandwidth and wireless coverage constraints. this continues to be a burr in our saddles. - len.scrogan len.scrogan Apr 13, 2016 - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 17, 2016
Yes, we are a relatively wealthy international school, but others in our neighbourhood have even deeper pockets. My experience in public school teaching in Manitoba, in the middle of Canada, showed me the problems here. Basically in Manitoba money is short, and where they cut costs is in not buying new books and resources, and in hiring less-educated and therefore less expensive teachers. They have it all backwards; international schools have this in the right way, often hiring highly educated people. In Canadian public schools, this is at root based on Federal government decisions, and the teacher and administrators have often severe financial restrictions. My limited understanding is that our bigger, wealthier neighbour Ontario has a wiser allowance on this, so in a country like Canada changes appear province by province, as they appear state by state in the USA. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016
A major challenge is funding. As school budgets get cut, the need to maintain or expand becomes very limited in scope due to funding.
Another major issue is mindset. Comments such as "past practice" or "we have always done it this way" does not allow for instruction or learning to move forward or prepare our students for the 22nd century. The 21st century is here now and we have to begin thinking on how to prepare the babies of today for a tomorrow we have no idea about. -spaul6414 (Sandra Paul)


Moved to RQ3 Trends


Programming's Fun, Everything Else Sucks. We all agree that teaching programming is the biggest thing to happen in education since the invention of blackboards and chalk...well, except maybe virtual worlds. BUT something that has been coming up over the past couple of years is the fact that Programming/Coding as a course needs to be separated from other Computer Science/ICT classes. Kids look at, e.g., an A Level Computer Science syllabus and many just roll their eyes. So much stuff they have absolute zero interest in. If we could have a course that focused on programming, we'd have a lot more students signing up, including if not especially girls. Can't really cite a source for this, can't find if anyone is actually doing it. But it's definitely a challenge to "Programming as the Fourth R." - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 6, 2016
Coding, STEAM, conceptual thinking,
http://digitalpromise.org/2015/08/04/a-new-model-for-coding-in-schools/ - jmorrison jmorrison Apr 14, 2016- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Apr 23, 2016
In early childhood and Elementary I am now looking at robots as a way into this. Here is a good video that I have shared elsewhere, except for the first item, a toy dog, the rest look good for education: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWL188k_foA. [Editor's Note: This discussion fits in well with "Rise of Coding as a Literacy" in RQ3 Trends and has been moved there.]

Assessment Data
Making it truly meaningful, digestible, actionable for teachers, parents, and learners. This EdSurge article captures some of the challenges associated with data surrounding teaching and learning. - kstubbs kstubbs Apr 13, 2016 Great article. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Apr 15, 2016 Yes, great article, was going to add it myself. - digitalroberto digitalroberto Apr 28, 2016 +1- matt.harris matt.harris Apr 30, 2016 [Editor's Note: This fits in well with existing RQ3 Trend "Growing Focus on Measuring Learning" and has been moved there.]

Other Insights


THE FUTURE, Triple Fold.
No doubt in 20, 40, 60 years our technology supported world will be much different then say, just 8-10 years from now. And, "much different" will impact education a great deal. Perhaps several of the technologies will be a catalyst to educational reform, and occur in a timely manner. To educate and prepare students for all these future possibilities I think we need to project further out into the future. As educators, data dudes, futurists, etc. how can we make that happen and disseminate to the populations? I think this is a challenge. (A few links below.)- jmorrison jmorrison Apr 27, 2016
Kevin Kelly, who helped launch Wired in 1993, sat down for an hour-long video interview with John Brockman at Edge. Kelly believes the next 20 years in technology will be radical. So much so that he believes our technological advances will make the previous 20 years "pale" in comparison.
http://www.businessinsider.com/the-future-of-technology-will-pale-the-previous-20-years-2014-6 - jmorrison jmorrison Apr 27, 2016
Welcome to the future! Below, you will find a speculative timeline of future history.
http://www.futuretimeline.net/ - jmorrison jmorrison Apr 27, 2016
http://www.futureforall.org/future-technology-predictions.html- jmorrison jmorrison Apr 27, 2016
With this rapidly changing environment, even short term projections are hard. A telling case in point is that some very bright MIT professors published a major study several years ago saying that some unique human abilities - such as complex pattern recognition - something we apply in driving a car - will never be taken over by a computer. One or two years down the road, and Google self-driving cars are introduced. MIT professors are not dullards, for sure, and even they can be this far in the dark. This should be a cautionary tale. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016

EdTech Backlash
Is this separate from the Digital Use Divide, and if so, is it a cause or effect? Folks think I'm paranoid when I say the Luddites have switched from defense to offense, but the propaganda spewing from, to cite just one example, Australia should send shivers down the spines of all dedicated techies:
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/education/computers-in-class-a-scandalous-waste-sydney-grammar-head/news-story/b6de07e63157c98db9974cedd6daa503. It gets worse, with even the OECD joining in: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34174796. Please note that their so-called arguments are based on the mere presence of technology, or "computer/Internet use," without any analysis of HOW the technology is used. This is a battle of Us vs. Them...Good vs. Evil...how are we going to fight back?? ;) - adrian_lim adrian_lim May 1, 2016
- davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 8, 2016. It's coming. It's coming. - len.scrogan len.scrogan Apr 13, 2016 See this infographic - len.scrogan len.scrogan Apr 13, 2016- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Apr 23, 2016
My hope is that reasonable discussion about off/online life balance, reasonable "privacy" and such may calm the debate. But, of course, I could be easily over-estimating the public appeal of "reasonable" debate...- brandon.olszewski brandon.olszewski Apr 26, 2016 I think when the discussion is about those things, people tend to at least listen to the other side, but when it conflicts with their personal teaching style/beliefs, then the battle begins. Everyone is reasonable in the abstract, but when it applies to me I am less open to change.- alex.podchaski alex.podchaski May 1, 2016
Although I have always been pro-technology in every way, I'm seeing the backers of the backlash gaining ground and with valid reasoning on the issue of handwriting in the classroom. Is it better for a student to take notes on a paper with a pen or pencil? I learned that way, but am not against no paper pencil use. I honestly could take either side of the debate. I imagine there will be other antiedtech challenges to come.
http://time.com/2820780/five-reasons-kids-should-still-learn-cursive-writing/ - lisagustinelli lisagustinelli Apr 27, 2016
I was not aware of the EdTech backlash, but I do know that the European Union has - as a whole - taken the opposite, correct path in recent years and produced a major study to integrate technology better in Elementary http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2015/563389/IPOL_STU%282015%29563389_EN.pdf. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 30, 2016