Teacher turnover (also known to some as "teachers quitting their jobs") is becoming a critical concern for school and district administrators. Not only can it have a negative impact on student learning, especially in troubled districts, but it's emerging as a fairly major financial drain on districts in all regions, according to findings released last month by the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (NCTAF). So is there anything school and district technology leaders can do about it? According to the NCTAF report, there is.
The acceleration of technological change in schools is apparent to virtually all educators. What are these new technologies that are the cause of the collision of educational philosophies? They are evident in hardware and in software, in systems and in pedagogy.
- By Michael Chimes
Cognitive psychologists have told us for some time that people process information differently and that meditative and transmittive technologies have affected thinking and perception, which in turn has affected learning. Therefore, instructors have had to become instructional designers conscious of how technology works and what it can offer to the teaching and learning process. Current mobile technology challenges that design even further as it demands a totally different approach to instructional design and also teaching methodology. It requires a fluidity never before seen and new skills from both teacher and student. In fact, I would argue that while we focus on the skills needed for students in the 21st century, we must discuss more and learn more about the skills required of teachers in the 21st century.
There are good arguments on both sides of the question. What's yours?
- By Therese Mageau
RedRock Reports President Jenny House explains how the latest Race to the Top competition will have a long-lasting impact on federal funding.
There has been a lot of recent debate on the benefits of social networking tools and software in education. While there are good points on either side of the debate, there remains the essential difference in theoretical positioning. Most conventional educational environments are "Objectivist" in nature and highly structured in terms of students progress and choice. Social networking essentially requires a less controlled, user-generated environment which challenges conventional views of the effective "management" of teaching and learning. Therefore, can social networking both as an instructional concept and user skill be integrated into the conventional approaches to teaching and learning? Do the skills developed within a social networking environment have value in the more conventional environments of learning?
As people who are part of an education community, we can educate ourselves and others to understand the true "total cost of ownership" of our computing devices: not just the cost to our pocketbooks, but the human cost to the people who make them for us.
- By Therese Mageau
Podcasts are becoming popular for educational purposes. Increasingly students in K-12 and in higher education are creating podcasts to demonstrate what they are learning. The technology is becoming so important that online course management systems, such as Angel Learning, are now incorporating features enabling content providers to include podcasting. However, many of those I've heard appear to be created by individuals experimenting with the technology and suffer from poor quality in the audio, content, and speaker presentation.
- By Patricia Deubel
As we move into what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts as an above normal Atlantic hurricane season, this month's column will focus on a little considered aspect of disaster recovery, personal business continuity. What does business continuity have to do with security? Both are based anticipating and planning for bad things. So don't be surprised when your boss wants you to be on the organization's disaster recovery team. You may be surprised at how much you can contribute.
News flash! Young children like technology! Early childhood programs can reinforce safe and appropriate usage by being intentional with their policies and instructional practices.
- By Gail Lovely, Deb Moberly