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Opinion


Masters of Learning

I had the delightful privilege of moderating the FETC Virtual Conference this past May. One of the events was a Q & A with Elliot Soloway, of the University of Michigan, and Cathleen Norris, of the University of North Texas, regarding their mobile learning research initiatives. Their strong contention is that students will bring their mobile phones to school to learn--and it will happen a lot sooner than we think. It's inevitable, they say, and educators need to get with the picture.

Enticing Teachers To Try Technology

Technology is a marvelous tool for enhancing the curriculum, engaging the students, and bringing life to an antiquated classroom. Most educators will agree this premise is true. But how do you get teachers to take the leap and dive into technology integration in their classrooms?

The Value of Connectivism

Today’s students have come to expect learning on demand. They are not afraid of technology, and speed is the name of the game. They multitask, think less linearly than those of us over 30, enjoy fantasy as an element of their lives, are less tolerant of passive activities, and use their tools to stay connected with each other. Nevertheless, this situation has implications for educators.

Technology Planning: Doing the Right Thing

Today’s technology planners face a huge dilemma: Technology planning activities throughout the United States have morphed from a locally driven assembly and alignment of visions that functioned quite successfully just a few years ago, into a veritable puppet show in which the strings are being pulled by superior agencies that hold the threat of money—or the lack of it—over our heads.

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.

Marty Heidigger Might Well Have Used a Smartphone for Learning

Being "ready-to-hand," a mouse (the computer kind) is a means to end: While using a mouse you don’t think about it, per se, but rather you think about menus dropping down when mouse-clicked, the cursor being positioned, etc. The "kids these days" use smartphones, as they are "ready-to-hand," as a means to an end--with the end being 24/7, all the time, everywhere learning.

UNESCO’s 2nd Annual Mobile Learning Week

Mobile learning is really taking off! In developing nations, at least! We present a few highlights from UNESCO's 2nd Annual Mobile Learning Week, held at UNESCO’s Paris HQ, that we participated in recently.

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).

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