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.

Blended Learning Is the Future of K-12 Educational Technology

Unlike a previous blog post where we pooh-poohed blended learning, in this blog post we do a flip-flop and hail blended learning as the model for the future of ed tech. Now our formulation of Blended Learning may diverge from the orthodoxy, but so what: We see a future where K-12 students, with their 1-to-1 computing devices, will be engaging in lessons that are computer-based and computer-mediated. You can take that prediction to the bank!

What Obstacles Prevent Teachers from Using Technology?

In this week’s blog we ask YOU a question: What are the obstacles – the barriers – that prevent K-12 teachers from using technology in their classroom?

Personalized Learning 3.0 — Creating Personalized 'Bicycles for the Mind'

On the way to Personalized Learning 3.0, we may well need to “pass through” Personalized Learning 1.0. But we mustn’t tarry! Educational automation is not an interesting goal! The vision of a personalized “bicycle for the mind” for each and every child must drive us to "informate" – to create Personalized Learning 3.0 environments!!

'Modeled Sustained Silent Reading' Is Spreading Like Wildfire Internationally

Without question, children need to develop reading fluency. Commonsensically, having kids read lots and lots should help in developing such fluency. Well, the data from U.S. classrooms on methods such as “Sustained Silent Reading” and its cousin, “Drop Everything and Read” are equivocal, that’s not stopping the Taiwanese. In 3 short years, 10 percent of its 2,700 elementary schools have adopted the “Modeled Sustained Silent Reading” Program! The data be hanged! Commonsense is winning in Taiwan.

The (Native) App is Dead; Long Live the (Web) App

On 28 October 2014, the W3C approved a standard version of HTML5, a programming language for the web. For K-12 at least, HTML5 is totally disruptive – in a GOOD way! Educational app developers can now write highly interactive apps that will run on virtually all end-user-oriented, computing devices, i.e., on all the crazy computers that kids bring into their BYOD classrooms. Finally, BYOD makes good sense; finally, teachers can FULLY exploit the affordances of the kids’ BYOD computing devices!! HTML5 is nothing short of a sea change in educational software.

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.

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