Expert Perspectives

Why BYOD, Not Banning Cell Phones, Is the Answer

It's difficult to have a conversation about using cell phones for learning without someone complaining that the phones will be a distraction. These complaints are presumably made by those who have never been in schools where cell phones are used as learning tools. Those who have know that not only do teachers find distraction is not an issue, they also find students are more engaged and excited about learning.

The Communications Revolution and What Schools Need To Do About It

In 1980, futurist Alvin Toffler stated that we are in a communications revolution and that the “link between communications and character is complex, but unbreakable. We cannot transform all our media of communications and expect to remain unchanged as a people.” How true those words are today, as we engage in communication and collaboration globally using Web 2.0 tools.

Common Core Technological Standards: They Are the Tail, Not the Dog

Up to now, test makers have been the dog--and education has been the tail. But the test makers are increasingly out of touch with students who use mobile devices for everything including learning. The dog is, finally & rightfully so, becoming the tail.

OMG: Engaging Students on Their Own Terms

Technology Director Anthony A. Luscre of Mogadore Local Schools challenges educators to use students' mobile devices to provide technology-rich, highly engaging, and fun learning experiences that reflect real-world skills.

Accountability, Yes. Teaching to the Test, No.

Since the 1950s, standardized test scores have been used to compare and rank schools, districts, states, and now nations, according to Rick Stiggins (2007), founder of the Educational Testing Service's Assessment Training Institute. In a commentary on assessment myths, he posed a question that has probably been discussed since standardized testing was chosen as the large-scale measure of effectiveness of schools: "Are we helping students and teachers with our assessment practices, or contributing to their problems?" (p. 28).

The Suitability of Technology-based Education for Skills Development

Learning to communicate clearly, work collaboratively, network efficiently, manage and organize information and tasks, think critically, and develop new knowledge is increasingly required across all working areas because expectations are changing and because budgets and organizational planning demand more efficiency in the workforce. So more exploration should be made as to how these kinds of skills, often referred to as "transferrable" skills, are developed, and technology can play a crucial role in this.

The Impact of Education Technology on the Future of Individualized Learning

Miami Public Schools in Oklahoma prides itself on being an early adopter of technology, thanks to a leadership team that truly values the benefits of technology as they relate to education and the future of individualized learning. As educators, we have a responsibility for creating a positive learning environment where all students have the opportunity to achieve academic success and become productive, responsible citizens. As such, our goal was to build a technology infrastructure that would support this mission.

Homework: A Math Dilemma and What To Do About It

The issue of assigning homework is controversial in terms of its purpose, what to assign, the amount of time needed to complete it, parental involvement, its actual affect on learning and achievement, and impact on family life and other valuable activities that occur outside of school hours. I have encountered all of those controversies in my years of teaching mathematics. Math homework is usually a daily event. Unfortunately, many teachers assign most homework from problem sets following the section of the text that was addressed that day. There is little differentiation. For the most part the entire class gets the same assignment. (In fairness, teachers do take into consideration the nature of those problems, which are often grouped by difficulty, deciding which to assign based on the general ability level of students in the class: below average, average, above average, or mixed.)

Planning for the Next Disaster: Pandemic

The experts tell us that a pandemic is inevitable. The only question is when it will happen. Is your organization ready? Can you keep essential IT functions running? What can you do to be prepared?

Survival Tips for the New School Year

The start of any school year can be very stressful for a building- or district-level technology director. To deal with the pressure, here are a few tips to help you get through the first few weeks. Some of these suggestions are too late to implement this year; however, it’s never too early to start planning ahead for next year.