The idea of using chat as a communication tool with students is widely accepted in education. Using the same tool to progress critical thinking is not often discussed. That is, the question might be asked, "Why use an online tool when I can discuss with my students face to face?"
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.
Teachers who are pressured into transferring information to students at a rate that supports test taking rather than knowledge building face considerable challenges. Not only does the system itself not support this approach, there are others risks to face.
Miami Public Schools in Oklahoma prides itself on being an early adopter of technology, thanks to a leadership team that truly values the benefits of technology as they relate to education and the future of individualized learning. As educators, we have a responsibility for creating a positive learning environment where all students have the opportunity to achieve academic success and become productive, responsible citizens. As such, our goal was to build a technology infrastructure that would support this mission.
- By Sandy Ankenman
What is strong research? How do you know if research warrants policy changes or adopting a technology intervention in your setting? Significant outcomes from research are not necessarily of practical significance. Where do you turn, if research is sparse or non-existent? How should a technology solution be implemented?
- By Patricia Deubel
Remember the old Monty Hall program Let's Make a Deal? In that game show, you could win the prize behind one of three doors. If you started by choosing door 1, should you have changed your mind and selected door 2, if Monty showed you what's behind door 3? What has this to do with research? Well ... people are convinced what they know is the right thing and forge ahead with decisions based on their rationalizations, no matter what research indicates.
- By Patricia Deubel
How can teachers become the workers or facilitators of knowledge development rather than merely remain as sources and transmitters of information? How can students be supported in knowledge growth that expands individual knowledge through meaningful application within the confines of regular coursework?
While the wider uses of technology have increased student awareness of what is possible, within teaching and learning technology use often remains quite stagnant and out of date based on notions of what good teaching looks like and how standards must drive the process rather than the process itself. This is most clearly seen in current course delivery software platforms, which remain supportive of teacher-driven instructional design and content production and delivery. But a tension now exists between the potential for individual customization that threatens the very essence of conventional wisdom in course design and delivery.
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.
The lightweight, mobile nature of podcasting has the potential of moving education beyond familiar constraints of coursework and promoting a level of networking and input never seen before. But challenges still exist. Can more be achieved with podcasting that would heighten student engagement and maximize knowledge building in instructional contexts? Can we move beyond the obvious in their use?