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Opinion


3 Simple Steps to Do-it-yourself Professional Development

Today every teacher needs to be in charge of his or her own professional development, if for no other reason than district budgets require everyone to be so much more creative. Here are a few ways teachers can better take advantage of formal and informal learning, the use of a back channel, and modeling life-long learning.

Can Game Development Impact Academic Achievement?

Electronic gaming has recently been hailed as the great new potential for transforming education. A growing body of research and practice suggests videogames can motivate as well as teach and help users learn. Fewer scientific studies, but just as much potential, exist within the area of student game development. In part 1 of this two-part article series, we look at the foundational reasons for why game development matters in the K-12 curriculum, both inside and outside of school.

Two Plans, One Vision

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.

Mobile Matters for Blended Learning

In the third installment of their monthly column, blended learning experts Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker address BYOD and other mobile device strategies for blended learning.

Technology's Impact on Learning Outcomes: Can It Be Measured?

The ongoing debate on the effectiveness of technology use for student learning outcomes still seems to have no clear answers. Some will say technology is highly effective for students; others will say technology has had no measurable impact on outcomes. Why is this, and what can be done about it?

Putting the Mobile Puzzle Together Today: It's Worth the Struggle!

It is inevitable that eventually a school will be able to purchase a total, mobile learning package. But today, putting a pedagogically effective mobile learning initiative into a K-12 classroom means putting pieces to a puzzle together. Based on personal experiences in mobile learning classrooms we are here to bear witness: it IS worth the struggle!

Interactive Whiteboards: Truths and Consequences

What do we know about interactive whiteboards? For some, they're indispensable teaching tools. For others, they're just IT waste. Either way, the research isn't really there yet to tell us whether they've resulted in any kind of academic gain for students in the years they've been in use in classrooms. Education consultant Patricia Deubel breaks down the issues and looks for some interim answers.

Beyond Social Networking: Building Toward Learning Communities

Much has been written recently about the impact of social networking tools in teaching and learning and how educators can build on the skills of their students in using these tools. But if educators only integrate the ability of students to connect and socialize, deeper points of learning will be missed. While good teaching and learning rests on effective relationships, in an active learning community, those relationships should evolve into actual idea exchange and knowledge construction.

HTML5: The Web Beyond Web 2.0

The implications for HTML5 technologies on learning are profound. As technologies become more "intelligent" and requirements shift away from the manual skills needed to use them, teaching and learning can focus more clearly on the processes of thinking and application.

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