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Opinion


Should States Mandate Online Learning?

In Keeping pace with K-12 online learning: A review of state level policy and practice, Watkins and Lewis (2006) reported, "As of September 2006, 38 states have either state-led online learning programs, significant policies regulating online education, or both." (p. 6). In 2006, "Michigan passed a law creating an online learning experience requirement for high school graduation" (p. 7). Michigan Merit Curriculum Guidelines (2006) indicate "Students must take an online course or learning experience or have the online learning experience incorporated into each course of the required curriculum beginning with the class of 2011" (p. 8). I have a concern about any state or education institution mandating online learning for any education level. 

Open-Source Schools: Got Data?

We all have our opinions about open-source technologies. While many are in favor of "free" and "open" software conceptually, there are those whose reservations about open source trump even the high ace in the deck, also known as budgetary restrictions. So, no matter how good open source might seem to many of us--no matter how many benefits we can enumerate--those reservations hold back any serious attempts at implementation.

Avoiding the 5 Most Common Mistakes in Using Blogs with Students

Blogging can be an effective tool for learning, but its benefits shouldn't be taken for granted. It takes careful planning and skillful management to make it work in an educational setting. Here are five of the most common mistakes for instructors to avoid when incorporating blogs into instruction.

Stop Buying iPads, Please

I'd like to suggest a little restraint--or perhaps more effective communication--around what appears to be a buying craze among our nation's schools.

Putting the IT in Green

While IT departments are increasingly doing a good job at greening their own backyards, they're still fairly siloed when it comes to involvement in larger sustainability initiatives.

Designing Learning Spaces for Instruction, not Control

Never before has it been more viable for educators to put instruction front and center of learning space design than now. Never before has collaboration with students and peers and with the world been more possible than now. So why are our learning spaces still so reminiscent of the past? Why are these spaces still so constrained?

Biometrics in K-12: Ban or Buy? (Part 1)

Biometrics are creeping into nearly every market in our society. The technology is used in forensics, government and law enforcement, healthcare systems, the military, business enterprises, and now in education to authenticate transactions, control entry into various facilities, monitor time and attendance, secure access to laptops, PCs, and networks, and more.

Web 3.0 and Its Relevance for Instruction

While Web 3.0 has been talked about for some time, there has been increasing and ongoing discussion as to how it should best be defined and what the foundational characteristics of the technology are or will be. The reality is, however, that while there are attempts at clear definitions, the ideas and concepts continue to evolve as users make sense of where things are going.

They're Playing Our Song

Professional Development is Hot, Hot, HOT!

Steven Paine, superintendent of education for West Virginia, recently mentioned at a conference that West Virginia requires 18 hours of professional development time for teachers every year.

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