November 8, 2013

Super Bowl #eduwin

Filed under: Digital media and learning competition,edtech,learning,myscilife,teaching — Candace Hackett Shively @ 9:47 am

When learning works, it feels like a Super Bowl victory to a teacher. Unlike the Super Bowl, we receive no media hype, give no interviews, wear no ring, never have a sexy half time show, and certainly don’t make a profit on clever commercials. But we celebrate as best we can, and it feels GOOD. We WON! #eduwin!

Today I celebrate a BIG victory: MySciLife WORKS! And now we can share the report that proves it. Both the documented learning and the act of publishing the report are victories. Believe me, I am celebrating!Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 12.41.08 PM

Key findings in the report:

  • When asked to compare MySciLife to their experience with traditional methods of science instruction, most students replied that MySciLife helped them understand content, that they enjoyed the social interaction, and that MySciLife was fun and creative.
  • Three out of four groups using MySciLife showed a statistically significant increase in students’ science content knowledge as compared to the control groups using traditional instruction.

The background:

Almost four years ago, three creative teachers got together and dreamed up MySciLife, an entry in the 2010 MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning competition. A few months later, we were finalists. Then we “lost.” We did not receive the funding. I blogged throughout the process and have shared more as the project moved ahead in new venues. Fast forward to 2012, and we had enough funding to conduct a limited research pilot of MySciLife with middle school science teachers, collecting data throughout the 2012-13 school year. We watched the dream unfold and shared it at the ISTE conference 2013.

Unlike the Super Bowl, the learning game does not end. As MySciLife moves well into its second year and a much-expanded control group study, the players are going without a huddle, eager to engage with each other inside MySciLife. The teachers meet for monthly collaboration where learning also happens. Unlike the Super Bowl, the “coaches” cooperate and share strategies. Unlike a football game, there are no losers. We share the triumph as we watch learning unfold.

Today feels like a Super Bowl victory for social media-based learning, and we won unopposed. Here’s to us!

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