An infographic is a visual representation of information, and it can be a good tool for either formative or summative assessment for students. FETC veteran speaker Kathy Schrock lists five ways students can use them to present data in an understandable format.
Second Life appears to be the biggest online community to hit the Internet in recent times. It's a 3D digital world, imagined, created, and owned by its residents, which number more than 7 million from more than 100 countries at the time of this writing. It's not a site that most K-12 educators would consider using, as Second Life requires residents in its main grid to be at least 18. A number of businesses, universities, libraries, museums, and a few educational organizations that cater to K-12 have joined Second Life, and at least one middle school, Suffern Middle School (NY). As a newbie, I wondered what the excitement is all about and decided to explore. What I found was that reading about Second Life and actually experiencing it are a world apart.
- By Patricia Deubel
In conducting research on America’s digital schools this past year, I found a major shortfall between budgeted bandwidth and the estimated need for bandwidth.
While wikis provide an engaging and accessible tool for collaborative work with students, there can be an easy shift back to regular teacher-driven methods in their use as it is difficult and challenging to continue to facilitate collaboration throughout a wiki project. The technology itself does not develop the skill, nor is it the teacher; the technology is only a tool, and teachers must remain committed to the collaborative process, if students are to engage fully and develop the skills necessary to work collaboratively with their peers.
As we move toward more interactive media, continuous real-time networks and dynamic learning communities, bolder and media-rich exchanges of content, and increased opportunities for self-authoring, the role of the instructor is challenged again. The challenge this time is that facilitation is not enough--the challenge for the future of instruction is that we stand side-by-side with our students and all contribute equally and actively to a learning community.
The challenge of teaching language well is one that is central to the K-12 experience. Web 2.0 provides some tools to help meet that challenge.
Those educators among us who are familiar with constructivist and constructionist models of learning understand the impact that social learning theory has had on the field. Likewise those of us who are familiar with the application of new technology in learning understand that customization (or "the user") is what drives every structure, every program, and every software function.
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.
- By Patricia Deubel
The term "flipped classroom" is becoming more familiar all the time. Learning no longer need take place just between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. or within the walls of the old-school classroom. I probably heard the term "flipped classroom" a dozen times during the Consortium for School Networking conference in Washington, DC, in March.
Apple's new software lets anyone create digitally rich eBooks for iPads. iBooks Author experts Joe Wood and Burt Lo share why this new software is important and how to introduce it to schools right now.
- By Burt Lo, Joe Wood