Being Mobile | Blog

Here you'll find analysis and views on mobile computing in elementary and secondary education by two outspoken technology advocates, Elliot Soloway and Cathie Norris. Being Mobile is published four times per month; a new post appears each Monday in this location.


The Great American iPad Buying Binge Has Commenced!

The next (massive) wave of iPad buying by K-12 schools is underway. How those purchases can lead to success for students is the theme of this week’s blog!

Who Made Me Sick? Do You Have Cooties? A Participatory Simulation for iPads

This week’s blog features a fun, engaging, and intellectually stimulating (free) iPad app: The Cootie Participatory Simulation. In participating in the simulation of the spread of an infectious disease – the Cuddle germ – children learn how diseases are spread. Usable from 1st to 12th grade.

Common Core is Common Sense: We MUST Resist the Tyranny of the Minority

The Common Core State Standards is taking a bashing. There was such positive momentum at the outset and now? While there are, of course, legitimate concerns about a range of implementation issues, what we see is a small, but very vocal and very –well organized, politically, leading the charge against CCSS. It’s time for the silent majority to stop being so silent!

Twitter Chats to the Rescue: Mitigating the Challenges of Teacher-Centric Tech Adoptions

In classrooms in the United States the responsibility for making technology work is placed squarely on the classroom teacher's back. Quite a load to carry by one's self! But in this week's blog post we describe a collaboration strategy — Twitter chats — that some educators are using to help each other in figuring out effective and productive ways to use technology in their classrooms. Maybe you and your colleagues should organize a Twitter chat!

Using iPads To Support Synchronous Collaboration: Examples from 1st Grade

Synchronous collaboration is a key 21st century skill that needs to be included in the curriculum. Easier said than done! But, WeMap, a collabrified concept mapping app for iPads (and Android tablets), scaffolds students working together simultaneously. And, as we describe in today’s blog post, even first-graders can work collaboratively in producing curricularly appropriate concept maps!

We Do Know This: More Education Leads to Increased Economic Growth

Income inequality, in its various guises, dominates the news these days. But one surefire way to address income inequality — a way that is fundamental to the democratic experiment — has virtually disappeared from view. Where is education? We educators must take the lead in returning education to its rightful place — front and center — in the Great American Conversation!

All God’s Children Gotta Learn to Program!

This week's blog marks an amazing, unprecedented event: the editors of the New York Times chose a picture, with accompanying story, of three children learning to program for the front page, above the fold, smack-dab in your face, of the May 11, 2014 Sunday edition of the New York Times. So, what’s this all-of-a-sudden hub-bub about learning to program, anyhow? Read on!

It’s (Past) Time for a USA National Curriculum

While there are issues with the Common Core State Standards, 2+2=4, the water cycle, the War of 1812 and Captain Ahab are all the same in Georgia, California, New Hampshire, Michigan – and even Texas. There are, then, defacto national educational standards. In an era of diminishing resources, does it make sense, then, that each state – and each district – should spend those precious resources developing their own curricula that align with the CCSS? NO! We need to tell politicians to stop using our children as pawns in their political games! Let’s be reasonable, not political, for a change.

Are you getting a little crazy in your classroom?

Like many teachers, I was resistant to using technology at the start. I didn’t use any technology my first two years in the classroom (except the days my administrator would evaluate me and, for those days, I would throw together a PowerPoint!). Now I am lucky to work with some amazing districts, schools, administrators and teachers around the world who are revolutionizing education. Here are the first three reasons I don’t think I can be a great teacher without using mobile technology in my classroom.

The Second Machine Age: The Inflection Point is Coming, the Inflection Point is Coming!

This week we explore a recently published book: The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies. In a nutshell: “Computers ... are doing for mental power ... what the steam engine and its descendants did for muscle power.” And the steam engine "was ... the biggest and fastest transformation in the entire history of the world.” Buckle up!

Being Mobile | Podcast

The Being Mobile podcast series features Elliot Soloway and Cathie Norris at their outspoken best, having lively conversations about a different mobile technology topic each month.

  • Bringing Down Barriers to Mobilism

    Fresh from UNESCO Mobile Week in Paris, Elliot and Cathie report on how students in developing countries are using feature phones for education. April 2013; File Type: WMA; Size: 2,919 KB Length: 04:00 Listen Now

  • One Tablet Per Child?

    Falling prices for computers and data plans could have a major impact on K-12, but is your infrastructure ready? March 2013; File Type: WMA; Size: 2,039 KB; Length: 02:48 Listen Now

  • What Does "Successful" Mean?

    When it comes to using mobile devices in class, Elliot and Cathie caution against mistaking engagement for achievement. February 2013; File Type: WMA; Size: 2,757 KB; Length: 03:47 Listen Now

  • Welcome to the Podcast

    Mobilists Elliot and Cathie introduce their podcast and explain why mobile technologies are becoming an inescapable part of the classroom. January 2013; File Type: M4A; Size: 7,246 KB; Length: 03:39 Listen Now

White Papers:

  • Creating Magic in the Classroom PDF Screenshot

    Download this informative Executive Summary from an exclusive event aimed to provide educators, administrators and IT leaders with practical tools for integrating technology into the classroom. Read more...