Expert Perspectives


Higher Ed v. Lower Ed: Pursuing Personalized Learning — in Opposing Directions?

Both higher ed and lower ed are seeking to provide learners with personalized instruction. The issue, however, is this: Who does the personalizing -- the individual or the computer? We argue that higher is choosing the former approach while K-12 is choosing the latter approach. Has K-12 made a good decision?

The Age of Mobilism Has Hit Puberty: Prices of Smartphones and Tablets are Going to Plummet! YAY!

According to its CEO, HP is becoming a tablet and smartphone company; PCs are becoming small potatoes. And T-Mobile has disrupted the telcos' pricing scheme -- big time! Brace yourselves: price wars for mobile devices are soon to follow. Yes folks, the Age of Mobilism is definitely upon us and big changes are afoot! This is all good news for K-12.

The $10 Data Plan: 2 Game-Changing but Simple Proposals

The FCC needs to act now to support K-12 and solve the "connectivity access problem." Here's where to start.

E-Textbooks: Points to Ponder on Pixels and Paper

Why bother with a printed textbook? Adopting an e-text seems like a no-brainer when you consider the potential advantages of learning in a multimedia environment that can be tailored to the needs of all learners.

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.

Know Your NLEs

More and more schools across the country are bringing digital media into the curriculum--from digital painting and graphic arts to digital print production to digital video editing. In particular, there seems to be a surge of activity in the digital video editing space, with schools offering courses designed as either electives to fulfill an art requirement or as prep for students looking to pursue careers in production and post-production.

Data Security in K-12 School Districts

Key words in data security are confidentiality, integrity, and availability. While K-12 school districts can address data security by putting systems and policies into place, I suspect that one additional issue is often overlooked. That is, data security is a people issue. Network administrators can't do it all.  It takes knowledgeable and vigilant staff and students to support the process. One might categorize security at macro and micro levels.

Second Life: Do You Need One? (Part 2)

Second Life is a 3D digital world, imagined, created, and owned by its residents, which number more than 7 million from over 100 countries at the time of this writing. It has generated excitement for entertainment, business, and education. And the number of colleges and universities, libraries, museums, and organizations exploring its possibilities is growing. In part 1 of this three-part series, I introduced some resources to help you learn about SL, join, and get the basics about navigation and communication. I also alerted you to some frustrations that you might experience getting your feet wet. Hmm ... did it happen to you when you stopped flying?

Mobile Learning: It's Not Just About the Kids; It's Also About the Teachers!

So teachers are told to use computers (laptops, iPad--it doesn’t matter) in a curriculum that was made for pencil-and-paper learning activities. So teachers are given a Learning Management System that makes it harder for them, rather than easier, to deal with student artifacts. What’s wrong with this picture?!?!

Moderating and Ethics for the Classroom Instructional Blog

If I still taught in K-12, would I use a blog? It's one of those new technology tools that some of us digital immigrants might struggle to appreciate. Knowing what I do now, I probably would at least try one because blogs can support the collaborative element so important for peer to peer learning. While some blogs serve personal agendas, in education they can be used for student journals and portfolios, communication with parents and community members, faculty coaching, classroom management (e.g., posting assignments), and other knowledge management tools (Long, 2002) and enhancing classroom discussion.

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