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Opinion


ATTAIN: The Means for a Mandate

Have you ever wondered what the "THE" in THE Journal means? Occasionally? Even fleetingly? No? Well, I'll tell you anyway. It stands for "Technological Horizons in Education." Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, does it? Hence the acronym. But that aside, what it indicates is that we take as our premise that technology is inherently beneficial to education--that it can make the lives of educators easier, that it can facilitate learning, and that it can, when approached the right way, stimulate new ideas about learning and the teaching process. (And, as a side benefit, it happens to keep all of you IT folk off the streets.)

E-Textbooks: Points to Ponder on Pixels and Paper

Why bother with a printed textbook? Adopting an e-text seems like a no-brainer when you consider the potential advantages of learning in a multimedia environment that can be tailored to the needs of all learners.

Education Decisions: Looking for Strong Research and Better Implementations

What is strong research? How do you know if research warrants policy changes or adopting a technology intervention in your setting? Significant outcomes from research are not necessarily of practical significance. Where do you turn, if research is sparse or non-existent? How should a technology solution be implemented?

Welcome to FETC 2013

Educator and ed tech enthusiast Jenna Linskens went from onetime FETC attendee to featured speaker. She shares how the conference has helped shape her career.

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).

Hybrid Learning: Challenges for Teachers

With the move to hybrid or "blended" course delivery that is taking place in many institutions, there is a challenge for teachers to think through the pedagogical implications of both methods and develop new designs for instruction and course delivery that maximizes both environments. The goal in the design of the instruction is to make the experience as "seamless" as possible for students, providing intentionality for each environment and the technology used. This intentionality must emerge from the learning outcomes of the course, as well as the engagement of the student throughout and the effective use of technology to heighten interaction and to support the production of learning.

Expert Teachers: The Risk of Becoming Knowledge Workers

How can teachers become the workers or facilitators of knowledge development rather than merely remain as sources and transmitters of information? How can students be supported in knowledge growth that expands individual knowledge through meaningful application within the confines of regular coursework?

Stop Being a Victim of Federal Funding Cuts!

As the new school year starts, many technologists and curriculum directors are waiting with bated breath to see if and how much of E2T2 (Enhancing Education Through Technology) federal funding will be restored by Congress.

Biometrics in K-12: Vendor Claims and Your Business Plan

My own quest for "The Truth about Biometric Devices in Schools" led to this three-part series on biometrics in K-12. It's a controversial topic, not just in the United States, but in other countries, such as the United Kingdom, which has its own concerned citizens fighting to ban fingerprinting of children in schools. My premise has been that before you decide to ban its use or buy into biometrics, you need to have an understanding of the technology itself and applications available, knowledge of key issues and concerns that have been raised, a keen eye for vendor claims, and then a sound business plan of action that leads to a security solution you really need.

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