Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting

Education with Technology Harry G. Tuttle

ISTE 2016

By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D.

College World Language Students’ Preferences

Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48%

World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges
Digital Badges Pro-
– Breaks down proficiency more
– Shows all badges at once
– Is more attractive
– Is more appropriate since we use Schoology
– Avoids misplacing paper certificates

Con – Prefer Paper Certificates
– Looks more official / credibile
– Has a physical touch
– Is easier for me, limited tech at home
– Is easier to read the proficiency name
– Can have it when the course / Schoology ends
– Can see a pile of my certificates
– Can easily show it to others
– Can post it on frig / decorate my folder with it

Advantage of Both:
– Tells me my actual speaking skill, not my grade with homework,etc.
– Shows my  progress in speaking (still…

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Posted by on June 23, 2016 in Uncategorized


How to choose programming languages for learners: Reviewing JavaScript and Ready

Computing Education Blog

My Blog@CACM post for June is Five Principles for Programming Languages for Learners. The five principles I identify are:

  1. Connect to what learners know
  2. Keep cognitive load low
  3. Be honest
  4. Be generative and productive
  5. Test, don’t trust

I wrote the essay in response to Idid Harel’s influential essay American schools are teaching our kids how to code all wrong. There were many responses to Idit’s essay, on social media and in other blogs. Much of the discussion focused on text programming languages vs. drag-and-drop, blocks-based languages, which I don’t think is the most critical distinction.

In this post, I respond to two of the suggestions that came up in some of these discussions. I use the five principles to review the suggestions.


If we were going to teach a professional language to students, JavaScript is attractive. It’s free and ubiquitous, available in every Web browser. There are many…

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Posted by on June 20, 2016 in Uncategorized


#EdTech: Are We Trying Too Hard?

When it comes to #edtech, are we trying too hard? This is a question that has been weighing heavily on my mind lately. A few weeks ago, my good friend Robin and I co-wrote a post on the pedagogical…

Source: #EdTech: Are We Trying Too Hard?

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Posted by on June 16, 2016 in Uncategorized


Learning to use technology through play

Kaleidoscope for Learning

As part of my research I am interested in how technology can be used to support teaching and learning in early years education. This week I have been reading an article by Jo Bird and Susan Edwards which looks at how children can use play to learn about technology.

The abstract describes their study:

Digital technologies are increasingly acknowledged as an important aspect of early
childhood education. A significant problem for early childhood education has been how
to understand the pedagogical use of technologies in a sector that values play-based
learning. This paper presents a new framework to understand how children learn to use
technologies through play. The Digital Play Framework is based on the sociocultural
concept of tool mediation and Corrine Hutt’s work regarding epistemic and ludic activity
as basis for understanding play. The Digital Play Framework presents a series of indicators for how children learn to use technologies…

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Posted by on June 15, 2016 in Uncategorized


Lite Beer: Google Classroom Revisited

google classroomI have previously declared myself an avid Moodler, and this has not changed. However, most of the teachers in my school have swung over to Google Classroom, many from Edmodo, and so I have decided to give it a second look.

I now run my English classes off a Google Classroom platform, so I’ve been able to have a good hard look at it. Other teachers tell me they have chosen to move to Classroom because it is easier to use, and looks good. They do, however, then complain about lack of functionality. I have to say that I find Classroom neither pretty, nor particularly easy to use. In terms of functionality it is light years behind platforms like Moodle. My opinions regarding its strengths and weaknesses have not really altered.

So what has changed? I have to say that ultimately the only thing is that most teachers at my school have now adopted Classroom and so it has become the nearly universal platform. Having a single platform in a school is a great benefit, especially for students who do not have to access multiple platforms. Assignments are reasonably easy to create, although teachers have struggled with aspects such as creating copies of Google docs for each student. You need to be careful not to save the assignment and add the document later, which is not very intuitive. Being able to create copies of a single document is, nevertheless a great function, and perhaps Classroom’s single greatest strength, its ability to seamlessly link to Google Drive and the collaborative power that brings! The ability to email groups of students who have not completed an assignment, for example, is also a key benefit. Beyond this, though, the lack of ability to create rubrics, to assign students to groups within a class, the lack of plugins and modules allowing for peer assessment, or ability to add html elements such as twitter feeds for back channels renders Classroom somewhat emasculated. The design is stilted and grading assignments tricky if the connection slows. Were it not for its ubiquity, I would certainly not be using it!

Like a lite beer, Classroom seems like a watered down version of the real stuff! And yet it is winning hands down. Is it simply that it has the backing of Google? Or is it that its uncluttered functionality better suits teachers who are not focused on the technology but need a handy tool they don’t have to think too much about? I suspect that both of these reasons apply. As a dyed-in-the-wool Moodler my hope is that Classroom will get teachers used to the advantages of using a LMS, but will either acquire necessary functionality or will ultimately drive teachers towards proper platforms like Moodle. What Moodle needs to do is ensure that it improves its look and feel, become more intuitive and user-friendly, while retaining the ability to get under the hood and customise as need be.


Fostering a Global EdTech Ecosystem

In-depth with the founder of Europe’s largest edtech conference.

INTERVIEW | by Victor Rivero

CREDIT EdTech EuropeBenjamin Vedrenne-Cloquet is Co-Founder of EdTech Europe and an SXSW LAUNCHedu advisory board member. He previously wrote about “The Digitalisation of Education” for EdTech Digest. EdTech Europe is Europe’s largest Education Technology conference for thought leaders, innovators and investors. He is an advisor for SXSW Edu, the world’s largest conference on Innovation in Education. Benjamin is also Partner at IBIS CAPITAL (London), a leading European investment and advisory firm specializing in media and education technology. Formerly Europe’s Head of Strategy, Business Development and New

We tend to consider the administration of education as digitalization of content and bringing of smartphone and tablet, within the schools. But I think it’s much more interesting to think about digitalization of education as how it can be a response to the need for a more fluid and fast and…

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Posted by on June 7, 2016 in Uncategorized


5 Surprising Advantages of Marking Longer Answers Using Google Forms & Sheets (Guest Post By Michael Caplan)

Ideas Out There

This post by my colleague Mike Caplan is re-blogged from the original on my dynamic new school’s blog. I think he is onto something really interesting…

5 Advantages of Marking Longer Answers Using Google Forms and Sheets (By Michael Caplan, History & English)


Many tech-savvy teachers may be aware of the super cool self-marking that Google Forms in combination with Flubaroo brings. However this works mainly with short answers, multiple choice matching columns, true and false etc. Nevertheless, Forms (in combination with Sheets) can also be used for longer answers. I had a go at this and after several uses have found some distinct advantages, some of which were quite surprising:

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Posted by on June 1, 2016 in Uncategorized


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