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Opinion


Shifting Focus from Technology to Student Learning

In the world of education technology, we are often guilty of preaching to the choir—the believers who know in their hearts (and now more often with data) that technology can improve teaching and learning.

Forget About Blended Learning Best Practices

In the first installment in our new monthly column, blended learning experts Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker advise schools to skip the "best practices" and instead seek innovations that work in their unique circumstances.

A Time and Place for Cell Phones?

T.H.E. Journal Executive Editor Michael Hart talks about the storm of comments readers had to a handful of articles published over the last few weeks concerning the use of mobile devices in education, in general, and the use of smartphones either in or after class, in particular.

Showing Support for Teacher Websites

It’s necessary in this era of accountability for teachers to have a classroom site, and to post their pages among those of the school or district site. The name of the school or district and its logo should appear on all pages to provide evidence of an official connection and a unifying element among all teachers’ sites at the school. Unfortunately, I don’t always see this.

3 Simple Steps to Do-it-yourself Professional Development

Today every teacher needs to be in charge of his or her own professional development, if for no other reason than district budgets require everyone to be so much more creative. Here are a few ways teachers can better take advantage of formal and informal learning, the use of a back channel, and modeling life-long learning.

Can Game Development Impact Academic Achievement?

Electronic gaming has recently been hailed as the great new potential for transforming education. A growing body of research and practice suggests videogames can motivate as well as teach and help users learn. Fewer scientific studies, but just as much potential, exist within the area of student game development. In part 1 of this two-part article series, we look at the foundational reasons for why game development matters in the K-12 curriculum, both inside and outside of school.

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.

Mobile Matters for Blended Learning

In the third installment of their monthly column, blended learning experts Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker address BYOD and other mobile device strategies for blended learning.

Technology's Impact on Learning Outcomes: Can It Be Measured?

The ongoing debate on the effectiveness of technology use for student learning outcomes still seems to have no clear answers. Some will say technology is highly effective for students; others will say technology has had no measurable impact on outcomes. Why is this, and what can be done about it?

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