There has been a lot of recent debate on the benefits of social networking tools and software in education. While there are good points on either side of the debate, there remains the essential difference in theoretical positioning. Most conventional educational environments are "Objectivist" in nature and highly structured in terms of students progress and choice. Social networking essentially requires a less controlled, user-generated environment which challenges conventional views of the effective "management" of teaching and learning. Therefore, can social networking both as an instructional concept and user skill be integrated into the conventional approaches to teaching and learning? Do the skills developed within a social networking environment have value in the more conventional environments of learning?
As people who are part of an education community, we can educate ourselves and others to understand the true "total cost of ownership" of our computing devices: not just the cost to our pocketbooks, but the human cost to the people who make them for us.
- By Therese Mageau
Podcasts are becoming popular for educational purposes. Increasingly students in K-12 and in higher education are creating podcasts to demonstrate what they are learning. The technology is becoming so important that online course management systems, such as Angel Learning, are now incorporating features enabling content providers to include podcasting. However, many of those I've heard appear to be created by individuals experimenting with the technology and suffer from poor quality in the audio, content, and speaker presentation.
- By Patricia Deubel
As we move into what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts as an above normal Atlantic hurricane season, this month's column will focus on a little considered aspect of disaster recovery, personal business continuity. What does business continuity have to do with security? Both are based anticipating and planning for bad things. So don't be surprised when your boss wants you to be on the organization's disaster recovery team. You may be surprised at how much you can contribute.
News flash! Young children like technology! Early childhood programs can reinforce safe and appropriate usage by being intentional with their policies and instructional practices.
- By Gail Lovely, Deb Moberly
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.)
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.
Sometimes I wonder if we (educators) will ever really use technology for what it should be used for. Yes, I know there are great examples of schools and teachers doing wonderful things. But I contend that when we take a broad view of how technology is being used, we see a lot of PowerPoint and electronic textbooks. Ouch!
Increasing numbers of studies are being done that seem to support the notion that blended course delivery or program delivery really captures the best of every possible world and, as such, is an effective way of learning for students.
Leaders from two schools that have implemented iPad programs share their insights, experiences, and recommendations for institutions looking to launch similar programs. They also reveal the six elements they consider "critical" to the success of an iPad 1-to-1 program.
- By Mitchell A. Salerno, Michael Vonhof