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Opinion


Podcasting in Instruction: Moving Beyond the Obvious

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?

Are We Ready for Testing Under Common Core State Standards?

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?

Social Networking: The Essential Balancing Act in Schools

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.

The Impact of Education Technology on the Future of Individualized Learning

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.

Is It Really Hip to Flip?

"Try it! You might like it!" is not a sufficient reason for initiating flipped instruction. What are the questions educators should be asking in order to ensure the best outcomes for students?

Avoiding the 5 Most Common Mistakes in Using Blogs with Students

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.

Controlling Social Media: Current Policy Trends in K-12 Education

As social media becomes ubiquitous, schools and districts should shift from trying to control its use and toward teaching faculty and students how to build successful learning communities.

Biometrics in K-12: The Legal Conundrum

Biometrics are among the latest implementations for school security. There are many issues to consider, which have been voiced by parents, students, and civil liberties groups. It's an international issue. Just look at LeaveThemKidsAlone.com, and you will see the extent of the uproar raised in the United Kingdom regarding fingerprinting of children in schools. For the most part, questions are the same ones being posed in our own country. Blogs are in use to discuss the issue in the United States and abroad, such as Pippa King's Biometrics in Schools.

Social Media: How to 'Sell It' to Your Team

Social media is something that many younger teachers will have a familiarity with outside of the classroom. Ask any colleague under the age of, say, 30, and it's fairly likely that he or she will have a profile on a social network like Facebook or MySpace. Business-facing social networks like LinkedIn have also seen explosive growth from educators in the last year.

Education Decisions: Where's the Evidence and Research Base?

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.

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