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.
The challenge of teaching language well is one that is central to the K-12 experience. Web 2.0 provides some tools to help meet that challenge.
If we truly want America’s children to have access to the internet in school, then it's time that the FCC steps in and requires the telcos and the cable companies to provide educational pricing for Internet connectivity!
- By Cathie Norris, Elliot Soloway
In a recent editorial in K-12 Tech Trends by Patricia Deubel, Ph.D, "Should States Mandate Online Learning," the author questions Michigan's new high school graduation requirement, which mandates students take an non-credit online course or learning experience.</p><p>It should be noted that, in addition to this experience, Michigan has adopted 16 credits state graduation requirements, including four credits in mathematics and three in science—yes, Algebra, Algebra II, Biology, and Chemistry which will go into effect for the Class of 2011.
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?
There's a bumpy road ahead on the way to a successful Common Core State Standards movement. Already states and districts are examining the match between current standards, what they currently teach at various grade levels, and the CCSS. Of particular significance is that online tests will become the norm in the years ahead for many states. But are schools and teachers ready for this? Should you be concerned?
- By Patricia Deubel
School administrators are a cautious group. But the pressure to adopt social networking in school settings is on, and it's forcing them to consider how to implement these potentially valuable educational tools with the privacy and "safety" needs of their underage constituents in mind. Christopher Wells, director of IT policies and communications for Gwinnett County Public Schools, looks at ways administrators can protect their students while continuing to move forward with technology. He also supplies six concrete tips for crafting an Internet policy.
- By Christopher Wells
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
We all have our opinions about open-source technologies. While many are in favor of "free" and "open" software conceptually, there are those whose reservations about open source trump even the high ace in the deck, also known as budgetary restrictions. So, no matter how good open source might seem to many of us--no matter how many benefits we can enumerate--those reservations hold back any serious attempts at implementation.