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Opinion


Mobile Devices: Facing Challenges and Opportunities for Learning

The issue of mobile devices two pronged: that of administrators charged with overall school safety of our children and that of the educators who desire some degree of academic freedom to wisely select whatever it takes to prepare every student in their charge with 21st century skills within a safe environment. Which side do we take? Can we make both sides happy? What are potential challenges and opportunities for learning via mobile devices? It's time to explore.

All That for a Football Game?

A bumper sticker I often saw in the 1960s proclaimed, “It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.” I always thought the sentiment was naive and unrealistic. Yet recently...

Accountability, Yes. Teaching to the Test, No.

Since the 1950s, standardized test scores have been used to compare and rank schools, districts, states, and now nations, according to Rick Stiggins (2007), founder of the Educational Testing Service's Assessment Training Institute. In a commentary on assessment myths, he posed a question that has probably been discussed since standardized testing was chosen as the large-scale measure of effectiveness of schools: "Are we helping students and teachers with our assessment practices, or contributing to their problems?" (p. 28).

5 Ways We're Diminishing Learning by Assuming Face-to-Face Instruction Is Best

It's interesting that face-to-face instruction is still the measure by which all other forms of instruction are evaluated. As the standard model of instruction for decades, it's often assumed to be the proven method, while other methods have yet to prove themselves. This assumption is not only misleading, but it might also be helping to diminish potential opportunities of better learning for our students.

Designing a Working Space for Chat

In the first installment this two-part series, we looked at chat as an instructional tool in general terms. Now we take a look at some of the major concepts in using chat effectively in the process of moving the thinking process forward: building ideas, constructing media, and establishing which elements are critical to making the environment dynamic and relevant to the student.

The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Blended Learning Policies

In the fifth installment of their monthly column, blended learning experts Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker discuss the policies prohibiting and fostering the growth of blended learning.

When Computers Are Free--Next Month--What is K-12 Going to Do?

A new era in mobile devices is dawning: Acer has announced the $99 Android 7-inch tablet. Is BYOD still relevant?

Common Core Technological Standards: They Are the Tail, Not the Dog

Up to now, test makers have been the dog--and education has been the tail. But the test makers are increasingly out of touch with students who use mobile devices for everything including learning. The dog is, finally & rightfully so, becoming the tail.

Why Wikis?

Most Web 2.0 tools are discussed at length in terms of their application to the learning process. While there is much that can be learned from using these tools in instruction, there are also principles upon which that use rests that have long been the goals of instruction at various levels. In other words, while the tools may change, the goals of teaching and learning remain much the same.

Six Degrees of Speculation

Speculation is as indigenous to Washington, DC as the national monuments; part of the game is trying to understand which rumors, leaks, and parcels of inside information are worth heeding and which are not. I think one bit of speculation now circulating through the Beltway warrants following: Dedicated funding for technology may not be included in the next reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Whitepapers