While wikis provide an engaging and accessible tool for collaborative work with students, there can be an easy shift back to regular teacher-driven methods in their use as it is difficult and challenging to continue to facilitate collaboration throughout a wiki project. The technology itself does not develop the skill, nor is it the teacher; the technology is only a tool, and teachers must remain committed to the collaborative process, if students are to engage fully and develop the skills necessary to work collaboratively with their peers.
While technology has changed what is possible in education, the principles of effective instruction never really change. Technology is not what drives learning but simply what mediates and supports the process. What has significantly changed is the way in which effective teaching strategies can be achieved at a higher level using new technologies.
Research has shown that both schools and parents believe social networking could play a positive role in students' lives, and both are interested in social networking as a tool. So why has social networking not been leveraged more in schools to enhance the education of youth?
- By Patricia Deubel
A new federally authorized test of students' technology literacy has little in sync with the tech curriculum schools are teaching.
- By Geoffrey H. Fletcher
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.
Much has been written recently about the impact of social networking tools in teaching and learning and how educators can build on the skills of their students in using these tools. But if educators only integrate the ability of students to connect and socialize, deeper points of learning will be missed. While good teaching and learning rests on effective relationships, in an active learning community, those relationships should evolve into actual idea exchange and knowledge construction.
Texas Governor Rick Perry signed HB 4294 June 19, and the world of textbooks will never be the same in Texas or across the country.
- By Geoffrey H. Fletcher
A tremendous amount of research can go into deciding on a projector, but the selection of a projection screen can be just as important--not in terms of capital outlay, but in terms of the impact it can have on image quality. The wrong projection screen can make images look terrible, which, in turn, can impact the way students receive and absorb information in class. But the right one enhances the contrast, brightness, and sharpness of images and can lead to less eyestrain for the viewer.
- By Denise Harrison
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?
The ongoing debate on the effectiveness of technology use for student learning outcomes still seems to have no clear answers. Some will say technology is highly effective for students; others will say technology has had no measurable impact on outcomes. Why is this, and what can be done about it?