Author Archive

    Should schools ban spiral notebooks?

    February 6, 2018 | by Thomas Arnett

    From the first-hand experiences of millions of students and teachers worldwide, it’s clear that paper notebooks are a deterrent to quality education. For generations, students have used them in class to scribble or doodle, pass messages to their friends, or construct wads, planes, and spitball projectiles. Given the numerous ways students can use their notebooks […]

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    Belief—the first key to blended-learning success

    July 27, 2017 | by Thomas Arnett

    In the fall of 2014, Mallory Mattivi, a seventh-grade English language arts and world history teacher at Bella Romero Academy in Greeley, Colorado, took a leap that radically transformed her teaching. When her principal, Jon Cooney, began encouraging ambitious blended learning initiatives across her school, she felt tentative. She thought blended learning made sense for […]

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    Can teachers really do it all?

    May 9, 2017 | by Thomas Arnett

    Many teachers feel a need to go beyond their regular responsibilities to support and nurture their students. I’ve written previously about the heroic lengths we often expect teachers to bridge. Recently, I was impressed by how Dominicca Washington, a teacher in South Chicago, described the lengths she and other teachers undertake to make a difference […]

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    Will blended learning fulfill its disruptive potential?

    December 1, 2016 | by Thomas Arnett

    As I mentioned in my last post, the history of education in the United States includes a long list of ambitious programs, initiatives, and reforms that have floundered in producing their promised improvements in student outcomes. Veteran teachers and school leaders have seen wave after wave of pedagogical, curricular, and policy fads wash over the […]

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    Teaching may change, but students are at center

    July 27, 2016 | by Thomas Arnett

    In this post, I share an excerpt from a recent interview with Chris Walter, a blended-learning math and science teacher at Innovations Early College High School in the Salt Lake City School District in Utah. Innovations operates a Flex model of blended learning in which students access all the assignments and learning resources for most […]

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    OER will evolve to address the problems we hire it to solve

    June 3, 2016 | by Thomas Arnett

    Today, open educational resources (OER) are an increasingly common feature in the K–12 education ecosystem. As one example, consider the popularity of Khan Academy, whose library of practice activities and videos are accessed each month by over 10 million users around the world and in many schools across the United States. Similarly, as school systems […]

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