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Opinion


Are Your Classrooms Color Smart?

We've all in our lives made the mistake of thinking of color as this fixed quantity—some sort of absolute that can be communicated, interpreted and reproduced losslessly. The sky is blue. The tree is green. The car is red. I can write those words, and the colors materialize in your mind. But are the colors you "see" in your mind the same as the ones I intended to communicate to you? In other words, do they match? Surely not.

Moderating and Ethics for the Classroom Instructional Blog

If I still taught in K-12, would I use a blog? It's one of those new technology tools that some of us digital immigrants might struggle to appreciate.

Two Plans, One Vision

Tips for Using Chat as an Instructional Tool

Chat software (text or media-based) provides an excellent tool in supporting academic dialog (exchange), critical thinking, and knowledge building. The immediacy of the technology provides students with a direct connection with the instructor as well as other students. While chat software is usually used for "chatting," and, therefore, it has a relaxed and colloquial protocol, with a little thought and planning, it can also be used well to support instruction.

Putting the Mobile Puzzle Together Today: It's Worth the Struggle!

It is inevitable that eventually a school will be able to purchase a total, mobile learning package. But today, putting a pedagogically effective mobile learning initiative into a K-12 classroom means putting pieces to a puzzle together. Based on personal experiences in mobile learning classrooms we are here to bear witness: it IS worth the struggle!

Beyond Social Networking: Building Toward Learning Communities

Much has been written recently about the impact of social networking tools in teaching and learning and how educators can build on the skills of their students in using these tools. But if educators only integrate the ability of students to connect and socialize, deeper points of learning will be missed. While good teaching and learning rests on effective relationships, in an active learning community, those relationships should evolve into actual idea exchange and knowledge construction.

Focus Your 1-to-1 Program 'Around Learning, Not the Device'

Leslie Wilson of the One to One Institute explains how when it comes to 1-to-1 programs, it's not about the device. It's about teaching, learning, and transforming school.

Communicating to Educators about the Benefits of Mobile Technologies: We Must Help Mobile Cross the Chasm!

In "Crossing the Chasm," the high-tech marketing bible, G. Moore advises that If we want to convince mainstream educators to adopt mobile technologies, we need to (1) stop focusing on the technology per se (screen size, chip version, etc.), and (2) paint pictures of what goes on in the classroom when mobile technologies are used and what the kids will be like after using the mobile technologies. Here’s a crack at painting those pictures.

Science Labs: Virtual Versus Simulated

Over the last decade or so, numerous articles have appeared that conflate the ideas of a virtual science lab and a simulated science lab. For example, the College Board, in its guidelines, says, "A virtual lab is an interactive experience during which students observe and manipulate computer-generated objects, data, or phenomena in order to fulfill the learning objectives of a laboratory experience."

Addressing the Needs of Students with Disabilities in Math (Part 1)

Students can have a range of physical, cognitive, sensory, and learning disabilities that affect their entire lives. Any of these might pose unique academic challenges, particularly when learning mathematics. The good news is that technology is removing barriers for the education of students with disabilities in regular classrooms. Unfortunately, not all software is based on principles of universal design.

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