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Being Mobile | Blog

Here you'll find analysis and views on mobile computing in elementary and secondary education by two outspoken technology advocates, Elliot Soloway and Cathie Norris. Being Mobile is published four times per month; a new post appears each Monday in this location.


We Do Know This: More Education Leads to Increased Economic Growth

Income inequality, in its various guises, dominates the news these days. But one surefire way to address income inequality — a way that is fundamental to the democratic experiment — has virtually disappeared from view. Where is education? We educators must take the lead in returning education to its rightful place — front and center — in the Great American Conversation!

All God’s Children Gotta Learn to Program!

This week's blog marks an amazing, unprecedented event: the editors of the New York Times chose a picture, with accompanying story, of three children learning to program for the front page, above the fold, smack-dab in your face, of the May 11, 2014 Sunday edition of the New York Times. So, what’s this all-of-a-sudden hub-bub about learning to program, anyhow? Read on!

It’s (Past) Time for a USA National Curriculum

While there are issues with the Common Core State Standards, 2+2=4, the water cycle, the War of 1812 and Captain Ahab are all the same in Georgia, California, New Hampshire, Michigan – and even Texas. There are, then, defacto national educational standards. In an era of diminishing resources, does it make sense, then, that each state – and each district – should spend those precious resources developing their own curricula that align with the CCSS? NO! We need to tell politicians to stop using our children as pawns in their political games! Let’s be reasonable, not political, for a change.

Are you getting a little crazy in your classroom?

Like many teachers, I was resistant to using technology at the start. I didn’t use any technology my first two years in the classroom (except the days my administrator would evaluate me and, for those days, I would throw together a PowerPoint!). Now I am lucky to work with some amazing districts, schools, administrators and teachers around the world who are revolutionizing education. Here are the first three reasons I don’t think I can be a great teacher without using mobile technology in my classroom.

The Second Machine Age: The Inflection Point is Coming, the Inflection Point is Coming!

This week we explore a recently published book: The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies. In a nutshell: “Computers ... are doing for mental power ... what the steam engine and its descendants did for muscle power.” And the steam engine "was ... the biggest and fastest transformation in the entire history of the world.” Buckle up!

Teachers Who Blog About Technology: Reflective Practitioners

In this week's blog we recognize the profession of teaching. We introduce our readers to the blogs of two teachers — a veteran blogger and a newbie blogger. Both are demonstrating the highest of professional skills: reflection. If you are a teacher-blogger, tell us about it, please!

Personalized Learning, Flipped Classrooms, Video Watching: Last Gasps of the Old Education

The dominant educational model in the United States is still "education as acquiring stuff." Even when modern technologies are used to support this model, the hordes of unemployed and underemployed students — OUR children — are proof that this model is broken and ineffective.

The $100 Computer Is Here: K-12's Inflection Point Is At Hand!

K-12 is about to hit an Inflection Point – "a moment of dramatic change." The $100 computer is here; access is no longer THE roadblock. It is difficult to predict what will happen at an inflection point. Business as usual, however, is rarely the outcome.

When Will They Ever Learn, When Will They Ever Learn

Cathie and Elliot hold an intense conversation about the need for teachers to be provided with curriculum that has been built from the ground up exploiting the affordances of mobile devices using technology is going to have a positive impact on student achievement!

'Life IS Good' When Robbie Melton's Around!

If you, your school, your district is considering purchasing mobile gear, RUN, don’t walk to a site Dr. Robbie Melton (Mobile Gadget Maven Extraordinaire) and her crew have created where you will find tips, reviews, descriptions, pictures, testimonials, etc., etc. etc. on all the "stuff" involved in supporting mobile learning. But before you run off, read a fun story about how Robbie and her Magical Gadget Bag saved our bacon at the UNESCO meeting in Paris (February 2014).

Being Mobile | Podcast

The Being Mobile podcast series features Elliot Soloway and Cathie Norris at their outspoken best, having lively conversations about a different mobile technology topic each month.

  • Bringing Down Barriers to Mobilism

    Fresh from UNESCO Mobile Week in Paris, Elliot and Cathie report on how students in developing countries are using feature phones for education. April 2013; File Type: WMA; Size: 2,919 KB Length: 04:00 Listen Now

  • One Tablet Per Child?

    Falling prices for computers and data plans could have a major impact on K-12, but is your infrastructure ready? March 2013; File Type: WMA; Size: 2,039 KB; Length: 02:48 Listen Now

  • What Does "Successful" Mean?

    When it comes to using mobile devices in class, Elliot and Cathie caution against mistaking engagement for achievement. February 2013; File Type: WMA; Size: 2,757 KB; Length: 03:47 Listen Now

  • Welcome to the Podcast

    Mobilists Elliot and Cathie introduce their podcast and explain why mobile technologies are becoming an inescapable part of the classroom. January 2013; File Type: M4A; Size: 7,246 KB; Length: 03:39 Listen Now

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