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.

New OECD Report Slams Computers — and Actually Says Why They Can Hurt Learning

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development just released a detailed study of the use of computers in the classrooms in 70 countries. It was no surprise that he study did not find improvement in student achievement due to computer use. It was a surprise, though, that OECD Director Andreas Schleicher named what he saw as the root cause of that failure!

The Uber-izing of K-12 Is Underway

Charter schools, vouchers and now venture capital! Uber is the model: Squeeze out cost relentlessly, use software and everything will be wonderful! Where do teachers fit into this model?

Is There an Uncrossable Chasm Between Research and the Classroom? Part 2

CCSS and NGSS are driving curricula and pedagogical change. Coding those new curricular materials, imbued with the best research, in HTML5 will enable those materials to run on virtually every BYOD computing device in the classroom. You read that right: every computing device!

There Are No Silver Bullets in Ed Tech

Over the past 20 years, boosters of several new technologies have promised to “revolutionize education.” In this week’s post, we review the various predictions about laptops, interactive whiteboards, iPads and Chromebooks. Ah, techies and their penchant for hyperbole....

Is There an Uncrossable Chasm Between Research and the Classroom?

There has always been a chasm between what educational researchers do in their labs and what educational practitioners do in their classrooms. There is no well-defined path for taking an idea from research and putting it into practice. In this week’s post, we discuss the different paths across the chasm that Logo (the programming language) and the graphing calculator took.

The Single Biggest Roadblock to Innovation in America: Student Loan Debt

While educational start-ups are securing record amounts of investment, the percentage of computer science majors going into start-ups of any kind is actually quite small. In this week’s blog post, we argue that fixing the student loan problem would unleash innovation that would boggle the imagination.

A Fundamental Flaw in Competency Learning

The “competency learning" movement is gaining serious momentum. But, drawing on decades of research in the psychology of learning, we will argue in this week’s blog post that competency learning appears to be based on a fundamentally flawed model of how learning takes place and how learning needs to be assessed.

K-12 Needs Social Learning!

“Social” as an adjective — as in social gaming, social media and social networks — is everywhere these days, and for good reason! We constantly engage in social learning: learning from and with each other. So is K-12’s current love affair with “personalized learning” a mistake? Hmmm.

Help Wanted: Write Curriculum to Support Collaborative Learning Using Technology

If collabrified apps are truly going to make a difference in the classroom, then teachers need curriculum that shows them how to use such technology. This week’s post is an open invitation to join our team of writers in creating a new generation of curriculum that explicitly leverages collaboration technology.

A Brief Critique of Mastery/Competency Learning

The mastery/competency learning movement is picking up massive amounts of momentum in K-12, but its reliance on an old method of instruction will, in the end, not result in creating students who can solve “uncharted problems” and learn how to learn.

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