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"Students Who Took All or Part of Their Class Online Performed Better," Says a Study

It's Sunday and Education & Tech usually gets updated on weekdays. But what we have to say today is something we had to postpone for two or three days, given that our schedule was tight, so barely we were able to read feeds and update Twitter.

Someone asked me by e-mail about the uses of Twitter and Facebook by gender: Is there any specific gender preference by chance? I do not know, I've noticed for example that many of my friends prefer FB ... Men love Twitter .... I'm not generalizing but noticing it on friends' circle.

I don't have the answer. I couldn't see the same tendency as my female friend sees it. How I am going to see it if "teachers do not know technology", sentenced another female journalist. Well, it seems Twitter and Miguel Guhlin will help us to solve these questions. 

Following Mike's advice, beginning today we will start publishing relevant Twitter posts. Even when this post does not really respond to the first question, it does to the second one. "Effective teachers need to incorporate digital content into everyday classes and consider open-source learning management systems." That's what U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has said on the purpose of a study released by the Center for Technology and Learning, SRI International(pdf doc here):

    ◘ Students who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction. Learning outcomes for students who engaged in online learning exceeded those of students receiving face-to-face instruction, with an average effect size of +0.24 favoring online conditions. The mean difference between online and face-to-face conditions across the 51 contrasts is statistically significant at the p < .01 level.

    ◘ Instruction combining online and face-to-face elements had a larger advantage relative to purely face-to-face instruction than did purely online instruction. The mean effect size in studies comparing blended with face-to-face instruction was +0.35, p < .001. This effect size is larger than that for studies comparing purely online and purely face-to-face conditions, which had an average effect size of +0.14, p < .05.

    ◘ Few rigorous research studies of the effectiveness of online learning for K–12 students have been published. The systematic search of the research literature found just five experimental or controlled quasi-experimental studies comparing the learning effects of online versus face-to-face instruction for K-12 students. As such, caution is required in generalizing to the K-12 population because the results are for the most part based on studies in other settings (e.g., medical training, higher education).

Social Media works but notice that regular people outside the echo chamber are quite sure teachers does not know about technology. It's a generalization of which educators need to be careful. Not all teachers are at that level but certainly, a high percentage need to get better on these skills. 

We are in need not only of technologists of Education but professionals to whom, the work of "connectors" is very much understood. As an example only, there is Ph.D. Roxana Marachi, she is being so active about what teachers are supposed to introduce in their classroom during this period just about to start, look out to one of her post about Lecture Tools. 

Question about uses of Facebook/Twitter by gender remains open. Do you have the sources to respond to this empirical statement?

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