What do we know about interactive whiteboards? For some, they're indispensable teaching tools. For others, they're just IT waste. Either way, the research isn't really there yet to tell us whether they've resulted in any kind of academic gain for students in the years they've been in use in classrooms. Education consultant Patricia Deubel breaks down the issues and looks for some interim answers.
- By Patricia Deubel
The implications for HTML5 technologies on learning are profound. As technologies become more "intelligent" and requirements shift away from the manual skills needed to use them, teaching and learning can focus more clearly on the processes of thinking and application.
I just got off the phone with a colleague who had returned from a business trip. After visiting with various school districts, she presented remedial reading products to a school board in an affluent suburban school district. When she finished presenting the need for her product, the school board member asked, "Why are you bothering to build remedial reading products when there are so many kids who are performing in the middle of the pack?"
According to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (2007), "Research shows that the single most important school-related factor in raising student achievement is the quality of the teacher in the classroom. Today, in the era of high standards and increased accountability, boosting teacher quality is more crucial than ever before" (p. 4). The nature of the 21st-century classroom is rapidly changing. Online education in K-12, also called virtual schooling, is growing at about 30 percent annually (North American Council for Online Learning [NACOL], 2007). With this rise comes an increase in demand for experienced teachers to teach online, which adds another dimension to this issue of teacher quality.
- By Patricia Deubel
The federal government lately has been passing out lots of money through competitive programs by way of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Together, the grants represent a huge investment in education, while providing one more example of the golden rule: He who has the gold makes the rules. What will those rules be going forward?
- By Geoffrey H. Fletcher
Early childhood education expert and FETC speaker Gail Lovely shares her favorite free web tools for students, which require nothing more than a computer with internet access.
Learning to communicate clearly, work collaboratively, network efficiently, manage and organize information and tasks, think critically, and develop new knowledge is increasingly required across all working areas because expectations are changing and because budgets and organizational planning demand more efficiency in the workforce. So more exploration should be made as to how these kinds of skills, often referred to as "transferrable" skills, are developed, and technology can play a crucial role in this.
What is educational technology? What are its purposes and goals, and how can it best be implemented? Hap Aziz, director of the School of Technology and Design at Rasmussen College, explores what he terms the "five key components" to approaching educational technology.
Second Life is a 3D digital world, imagined, created, and owned by its residents, which number more than 7 million from over 100 countries at the time of this writing. It has generated excitement for entertainment, business, and education. And the number of colleges and universities, libraries, museums, and organizations exploring its possibilities is growing. In part 1 of this three-part series, I introduced some resources to help you learn about SL, join, and get the basics about navigation and communication. I also alerted you to some frustrations that you might experience getting your feet wet. Hmm ... did it happen to you when you stopped flying?
- By Patricia Deubel
In the seventh installment of their monthly column, blended learning experts Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker outline the five skills that will increasingly be important for many teachers in the future.
- By Michael Horn, Heather Staker