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Opinion


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.

Data Protection: Make a Wise Decision

It's not unusual for school district staff members to emulate Lewis Carroll's Mad Hatter, wearing six or eight hats simultaneously in their everyday efforts. Sometimes, the hat hardest to wear is IT management, which is important and challenging at the same time.

Driving Digital Change

Several states have taken steps to make adopting digital content easier for schools. Not all have been entirely successful yet, but their early mistakes can be guideposts for others considering the same thing.

Should States Mandate Online Learning?

In Keeping pace with K-12 online learning: A review of state level policy and practice, Watkins and Lewis (2006) reported, "As of September 2006, 38 states have either state-led online learning programs, significant policies regulating online education, or both." (p. 6). In 2006, "Michigan passed a law creating an online learning experience requirement for high school graduation" (p. 7). Michigan Merit Curriculum Guidelines (2006) indicate "Students must take an online course or learning experience or have the online learning experience incorporated into each course of the required curriculum beginning with the class of 2011" (p. 8). I have a concern about any state or education institution mandating online learning for any education level. 

Web 3.0 and Its Relevance for Instruction

While Web 3.0 has been talked about for some time, there has been increasing and ongoing discussion as to how it should best be defined and what the foundational characteristics of the technology are or will be. The reality is, however, that while there are attempts at clear definitions, the ideas and concepts continue to evolve as users make sense of where things are going.

Professional Development is Hot, Hot, HOT!

Steven Paine, superintendent of education for West Virginia, recently mentioned at a conference that West Virginia requires 18 hours of professional development time for teachers every year.

Winners and Losers with Open Education Resources

In the fourth installment of their monthly column, blended learning experts Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker discuss the growth of open online resources and their impact on blended learning.

Web 2.0 in Education: Trends for 2008

While the technologies collectively known as Web 2.0 have penetrated the consumer sector rapidly over the last four years or so, the process has been much slower and more measured in education. There were some breakthroughs in 2007, with upward trends in the adoption--or at least availability--of Web 2.0 technologies in the areas of teacher professional development and supplemental instructional technologies, such as podcasting, streaming media, and blogging.

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