Expert Perspectives


The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Blended Learning Policies

In the fifth installment of their monthly column, blended learning experts Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker discuss the policies prohibiting and fostering the growth of blended learning.

UNESCO’s 2nd Annual Mobile Learning Week

Mobile learning is really taking off! In developing nations, at least! We present a few highlights from UNESCO's 2nd Annual Mobile Learning Week, held at UNESCO’s Paris HQ, that we participated in recently.

Web 3.0 and Its Relevance for Instruction

While Web 3.0 has been talked about for some time, there has been increasing and ongoing discussion as to how it should best be defined and what the foundational characteristics of the technology are or will be. The reality is, however, that while there are attempts at clear definitions, the ideas and concepts continue to evolve as users make sense of where things are going.

The End of Liberal Arts Education?

Historic forces in higher education may have serious repercussions for K-12.

Social Media: How to 'Sell It' to Your Team

Social media is something that many younger teachers will have a familiarity with outside of the classroom. Ask any colleague under the age of, say, 30, and it's fairly likely that he or she will have a profile on a social network like Facebook or MySpace. Business-facing social networks like LinkedIn have also seen explosive growth from educators in the last year.

Getting Schools to Embrace Collaboration Tools

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN; http://www.cosn.org) recently released a report titled Collaboration in K-12 Schools: Anywhere, Anytime, Any Way. I helped produce the report as a volunteer member of CoSN’s Emerging Technology Committee, and will use it as the basis for my column.

The K-12 Web 2.0 Debate: Learning To Communicate

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.

Tips for Using Chat as an Instructional Tool

Chat software (text or media-based) provides an excellent tool in supporting academic dialog (exchange), critical thinking, and knowledge building. The immediacy of the technology provides students with a direct connection with the instructor as well as other students. While chat software is usually used for "chatting," and, therefore, it has a relaxed and colloquial protocol, with a little thought and planning, it can also be used well to support instruction.

Open-Source Schools: Got Data?

We all have our opinions about open-source technologies. While many are in favor of "free" and "open" software conceptually, there are those whose reservations about open source trump even the high ace in the deck, also known as budgetary restrictions. So, no matter how good open source might seem to many of us--no matter how many benefits we can enumerate--those reservations hold back any serious attempts at implementation.

Is It Really Hip to Flip?

"Try it! You might like it!" is not a sufficient reason for initiating flipped instruction. What are the questions educators should be asking in order to ensure the best outcomes for students?

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