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Opinion


Hats off To Kyle! Education Needs More Like Him

Kyle Menchhofer kicked mobile learning off in rural, blue-collar, St. Marys, OH in 2007. But, in May, 2013, St. Marys voted down the school bond, and the visionary, pioneering program that Kyle created ended. Well, a chapter ended. Check out what Kyle did in 2007 to bring mobile learning to 160 students.

Are American Schools Going Backward? Can We Learn from Singapore?

A program in Singapore is bringing smartphones into the classroom as part of an effort to transform instruction to an inquiry-based model. The results? Let's just say the United States needs to take note.

Using Data to Drive Educational Change: The Bad, The Good, and The You-Decide

Student performance data is playing an increasingly important role in America’s classrooms. From scientifically based research to survey data to clickstream learning analytics, the volume of data is most definitely increasing. The question, of course, is this: for the better?

To See Increases in Student Achievement in 1:1/BYOD Classrooms Teachers Must be Given Curriculum with Technology Activities Baked In

We can't ask teachers to use 1:1 computing devices (BYOD or school-purchased) while still giving them only pencil-and-paper curriculum and askign them to figure it out on their own. We need to give teachers new curriculum, with detailed lessons that exploit the affordances of the computing devices, if we want to see increases in student achievement.

The Age of Mobilism Has Hit Puberty: Prices of Smartphones and Tablets are Going to Plummet! YAY!

According to its CEO, HP is becoming a tablet and smartphone company; PCs are becoming small potatoes. And T-Mobile has disrupted the telcos' pricing scheme -- big time! Brace yourselves: price wars for mobile devices are soon to follow. Yes folks, the Age of Mobilism is definitely upon us and big changes are afoot! This is all good news for K-12.

Higher Ed v. Lower Ed: Pursuing Personalized Learning — in Opposing Directions?

Both higher ed and lower ed are seeking to provide learners with personalized instruction. The issue, however, is this: Who does the personalizing -- the individual or the computer? We argue that higher is choosing the former approach while K-12 is choosing the latter approach. Has K-12 made a good decision?

The $10 Data Plan: 2 Game-Changing but Simple Proposals

The FCC needs to act now to support K-12 and solve the "connectivity access problem." Here's where to start.

Designing Learning Spaces for Instruction, not Control

Never before has it been more viable for educators to put instruction front and center of learning space design than now. Never before has collaboration with students and peers and with the world been more possible than now. So why are our learning spaces still so reminiscent of the past? Why are these spaces still so constrained?

Homework: A Math Dilemma and What To Do About It

The issue of assigning homework is controversial in terms of its purpose, what to assign, the amount of time needed to complete it, parental involvement, its actual affect on learning and achievement, and impact on family life and other valuable activities that occur outside of school hours. I have encountered all of those controversies in my years of teaching mathematics. Math homework is usually a daily event. Unfortunately, many teachers assign most homework from problem sets following the section of the text that was addressed that day. There is little differentiation. For the most part the entire class gets the same assignment. (In fairness, teachers do take into consideration the nature of those problems, which are often grouped by difficulty, deciding which to assign based on the general ability level of students in the class: below average, average, above average, or mixed.)

3 Simple Steps to Do-it-yourself Professional Development

Today every teacher needs to be in charge of his or her own professional development, if for no other reason than district budgets require everyone to be so much more creative. Here are a few ways teachers can better take advantage of formal and informal learning, the use of a back channel, and modeling life-long learning.

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