One MIT’s teacher’s successful experience with a low-tech teaching program that relies on video and lots of student interaction is calling into question many of the maxims about personalization and computer-based learning that have become popular. The model may not be as flashy as many of the education technology products currently on the market, but it is based on strong psychological and cognitive underpinnings, writes Annie Murphy Paul for the Hechinger Report.

“We know that students do not make optimal choices when directing their own learning; especially when they’re new to a subject, they need guidance from an experienced teacher. We know that students do not learn deeply or lastingly when they have a world of distractions at their fingertips. And we know that students learn best not as isolated units but as part of a socially connected group. Modest as it is from a technological perspective, MIT BLOSSOMS is ideally designed for learning—a reminder that more and better technology does not always lead to more and better education.”

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  • Maureen Devlin

    This article demonstrates the need for research based learning design that blends multiple tools, regular assessment, and response to standards, curriculum programs, and students’ needs and interests. Teaching well is not a simple process. Willingham’s book, Why Don’t Students Like School, exemplifies some of this research too.

  • Faith R, InsightersEducation

    How ironic that this is being “discovered” again, but in China. This is exactly what all those education outreach folks at PBS stations in the 1980s and 1990s were teaching in ITV utilization workshops. WNET’s National Teacher Training Institute was essentially based on this type of video use. Active use of video for learning was the core of Sesame Street PEP and PBS Ready to Learn workshops. Nice to hear that we were on the right track!

  • Awesome to know this! I recently switched my perspective from kids to parents and changed the diction of my online music education videos to address the parents, while being visually and aurally apealling to the kids so that both of them use it together and interact during and after the viewing. Glad to know my instinct is evidence-supported.

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