Davin McHenry

Is technology in the classroom a bust?

The New York Times ran a front-page piece this past weekend on the fact that test scores don’t seem to be getting a boost from the billions being spent on new technology in the classroom. The education-policy world has been all over the story, with some knocking The Times and reporter Matt Richtel. Others are […]


Ensuring quality in digital learning

Given the rapid growth in digital learning, how can we ensure that these new approaches to teaching and learning are of high quality? Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute tackles that question in a paper released today by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. He envisions a complex future for digital learning, where schools pull […]


Impact evaluations under fire again

The New York Times has a front page piece today on Impact, the controversial teacher evaluation system where teachers can be (and have been) fired for poor performance. The piece, set in Washington, D.C., mostly focuses on criticisms of Impact, with teachers complaining that: -The system doesn’t take into account the economic backgrounds of students […]

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For-profits and charters growing, private schools declining, report says

New education statistics were unveiled Thursday that show big changes in for-profit education, charter schools and more. Each year, the National Center for Education Statistics releases a report on the state of education that includes tons of new data. Some of the stories emerging from the report: For-profit colleges spend less than a third of […]

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Which college degree pays the best money?

The value of a college degree is once again the subject of a study, this time by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, which recently released its report. This is at least the fourth study/survey on the broader issue of degrees released in the last couple of months. HechingerEd wrapped up the findings […]


More time in the classroom doesn’t always mean better scores

Our recent post on the long school days that some Chinese students put in got me wondering what kind of connection there might be between lots of classroom time and student performance on an international level. After all, Chinese students scored remarkably high on the latest PISA test. Turns out there really isn’t an ironclad […]


Is college a good investment?

The value and cost of a college diploma have been popular subjects in the last few months. No less than three surveys/studies have been released that look at the issue. Youth on Education The Associated Press and Viacom teamed up to do a phone survey of 18-24-year-olds for their thoughts on higher education. The survey […]


How to get those civics scores up? Video games!

So the release of the 2010 NAEP scores on civics shows there’s lots of room for improvement. But how to get better? An outfit called iCivics — the brainchild of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor — uses video games to teach students about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. iCivics has more […]

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Why are video games so good at teaching?

Eduptopia has a great post up by Dr. Judy Willis that explains some of the science behind why video games are good at teaching kids. Basically, the brain encourages kids (and adults) to make correct decisions or predictions and rewards us with dopamine, which triggers a powerful sense of pleasure/satisfation. This rush helps encourge people […]

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What video games can teach us about the educational process

Looking for a new model of education that could eliminate the need for traditional testing while also encouraging problem-solving and guaranteeing that students will be fluent by the time they finish their lessons? Most kids are already very familiar with this very system—while playing video games. Researcher James Gee recently gave a run-down on the […]