Following last month's unprecedented massacre at Virginia Tech, security has, once again, temporarily moved to the top of the policy agenda in schools. As educators, parents, school staff, and concerned human beings in general, we all want to provide the absolute safest environment possible for the children in our care. Incidents of violence on college and school campuses remind us of our vulnerabilities. Couple this feeling of vulnerability with major media coverage, and we wind up with pressures both internal and external pushing administrators into immediate action.
Math education has not kept up with technology--especially with Web 2.0 tools, which have the potential to transform and expand learning beyond the classroom and into kids' social and recreational lives. What can be done, and what free resources are available to educators to help make a transition possible?
- By Patricia Deubel
We all pay lip service to the need for educators to be learners as well as teachers, but how often do we really act on it?
- By Geoffrey H. Fletcher
This may be the first generation of educators whose students know more about their literacy tools than their teachers. When monks taught writing, they were also the experts on the quill, but today's teachers are more likely to be taught by their students on how to set up a blog.
- By Therese Mageau
In the second installment of their monthly column, blended learning experts Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker address the issue of blended learning costs.
- By Michael Horn, Heather Staker
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.
- By Geoffrey H. Fletcher
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.
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!
- By Cathie Norris, Elliot Soloway
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.