Second Life is a 3D digital world, imagined, created, and owned by its residents, which number more than 7 million from over 100 countries at the time of this writing. It has generated excitement for entertainment, business, and education. And the number of colleges and universities, libraries, museums, and organizations exploring its possibilities is growing. In part 1 of this three-part series, I introduced some resources to help you learn about SL, join, and get the basics about navigation and communication. I also alerted you to some frustrations that you might experience getting your feet wet. Hmm ... did it happen to you when you stopped flying?
- By Patricia Deubel
In the seventh installment of their monthly column, blended learning experts Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker outline the five skills that will increasingly be important for many teachers in the future.
- By Michael Horn, Heather Staker
T.H.E. Journal recently invited Carolina Nugent, education director of startup app finder KinderTown, to review a few of her favorite apps geared for the K-1 set.
- By Carolina Nugent
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.
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
Key words in data security are confidentiality, integrity, and availability. While K-12 school districts can address data security by putting systems and policies into place, I suspect that one additional issue is often overlooked. That is, data security is a people issue. Network administrators can't do it all. It takes knowledgeable and vigilant staff and students to support the process. One might categorize security at macro and micro levels.
- By Patricia Deubel
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