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?
How can teachers really create assignments that demonstrate what students know both in content and in technology skill development? And how can these assignments be rigorous, accessible, and holistic--yet also specific--and all the while remain student-centered and integrate technology freely?
Most Web 2.0 tools are discussed at length in terms of their application to the learning process. While there is much that can be learned from using these tools in instruction, there are also principles upon which that use rests that have long been the goals of instruction at various levels. In other words, while the tools may change, the goals of teaching and learning remain much the same.
There are always challenges in the actual use of technology in instruction, not only in practical terms with familiarity with the technology itself, but more importantly, in a pedagogical sense as the benefits to teaching and learning are examined more thoroughly. How can the instructional uses of a wiki be maximized to ensure this higher level of engagement with students?
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.
- By Patricia Deubel
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.
Good communication is central to good education, and teachers have long been aware of the importance of teaching students how and when to use various language forms and to what purpose. What is viewed as "regular" constantly changes, and, with the use of Web 2.0 tools, those changes are more rapid and pose continual challenges to K-12 teachers.
Much of the debate about the mainstreaming of Web 2.0 tools in K-12 education here is in the United States centers on the challenges the kind of delivery of instruction required would face. That is, while we remain fairly rigid in how instruction is delivered and the idea of teacher-driven models, the use of Web 2.0 tools will always be marginalized.