Much of the debate about the mainstreaming of Web 2.0 tools in K-12 education here is in the United States centers on the challenges the kind of delivery of instruction required would face. That is, while we remain fairly rigid in how instruction is delivered and the idea of teacher-driven models, the use of Web 2.0 tools will always be marginalized.
The spread of cheap and powerful videoconferencing tools had led to widespread adoption of the technology in an effort to lower costs and put resources to better use. But Education Consultant and Executive Director of Academic Programs and Faculty at Daymar Colleges Group Ruth Reynard argues that it can improve teaching and learning as well.
How can teachers really create assignments that demonstrate what students know both in content and in technology skill development? And how can these assignments be rigorous, accessible, and holistic--yet also specific--and all the while remain student-centered and integrate technology freely?
T.H.E. Journal's newest column, Funding Survival Kit, will offer advice on how to navigate the K-12 funding landscape to help with the acquisition of technology. In this inaugural column, RedRock Reports President Jenny House provides an overview of the five most important funding trends likely to impact the K-12 environment in the coming year.
Key words in data security are confidentiality, integrity, and availability. While K-12 school districts can address data security by putting systems and policies into place, I suspect that one additional issue is often overlooked. That is, data security is a people issue. Network administrators can't do it all. It takes knowledgeable and vigilant staff and students to support the process. One might categorize security at macro and micro levels.
- By Patricia Deubel
The issue of mobile devices two pronged: that of administrators charged with overall school safety of our children and that of the educators who desire some degree of academic freedom to wisely select whatever it takes to prepare every student in their charge with 21st century skills within a safe environment. Which side do we take? Can we make both sides happy? What are potential challenges and opportunities for learning via mobile devices? It's time to explore.
- By Patricia Deubel
It's interesting that face-to-face instruction is still the measure by which all other forms of instruction are evaluated. As the standard model of instruction for decades, it's often assumed to be the proven method, while other methods have yet to prove themselves. This assumption is not only misleading, but it might also be helping to diminish potential opportunities of better learning for our students.
A global team of researchers goes around the world to see what it takes to prepare students for their futures, and suggests ways to apply the lessons here in the United States.
- By Linda Shear, Larry Gallagher
While wikis provide an engaging and accessible tool for collaborative work with students, there can be an easy shift back to regular teacher-driven methods in their use as it is difficult and challenging to continue to facilitate collaboration throughout a wiki project. The technology itself does not develop the skill, nor is it the teacher; the technology is only a tool, and teachers must remain committed to the collaborative process, if students are to engage fully and develop the skills necessary to work collaboratively with their peers.
As we move toward more interactive media, continuous real-time networks and dynamic learning communities, bolder and media-rich exchanges of content, and increased opportunities for self-authoring, the role of the instructor is challenged again. The challenge this time is that facilitation is not enough--the challenge for the future of instruction is that we stand side-by-side with our students and all contribute equally and actively to a learning community.