October 15, 2010
With the election weeks away, Fremd High School teacher Jason Spoor asked students in his government class, some of them first-time voters, to research local candidates vying for office.
They would have 15 minutes and one learning tool: their cellphone.
“If you are driving down the street and headed to vote, you don’t have a computer at the touch of a hand. You have a cellphone,” Spoor told his students last week.
The lesson would have been impossible in the past. But with cellphones tucked in the book bags and pockets of three-fourths of today’s teens, many high schools are ceding defeat in the battle to keep handheld technology out of class and instead are inviting students to use their phones for learning.
Under a teacher’s guidance, students might record themselves speaking a foreign language, text an answer to an online quiz or send themselves a homework reminder.
“It’s one of those things — if you can’t beat them, join them,” said Jill Bullo, principal of Wheaton North High School, which plans to review its policy this year.
Full article available at http://goo.gl/EgqAg
This is an interesting viewpoint about faculty and the use of emerging technologies in higher education. It raises some points about the challenges, and perhaps more so the role of administrators, in creating an environment conducive to utilizing emerging technologies in the teaching and learning process.
Let Faculty Off The Hook
By Trent Batson, Campus Technology
Why is it taking so long for higher education faculty to adapt to the myriad opportunities made available by information technology and Web 2.0 interfaces and functionalities? Instead of trying to find fault, let’s look for causes.
We early adopters, or at least this specific early adopter, believed in the innovation adoption curve. I therefore expected that the pedagogical (actually andragogical) magic I, and others, discovered years ago in using new technologies would gradually be discovered by other faculty members. We expected, as would be normal according to theory, that mainstream faculty would be using technology as we risk-taking early-adopters did within 10 or 15 years. Wrong. At least not in the big numbers we expected.
It’s now more than 30 years since the introduction of micro-computers. It’s almost 20 years since the Web was created and 6 years since Web 2.0 tools swept the culture and transformed communication and social patterns across the board.
I’ve argued, as have many commentators on technology and higher education, that the evidence for needed changes in teacher-student interaction is so overwhelming, why can’t faculty start to make the change?
Full article available at http://campustechnology.com/articles/2010/03/17/let-faculty-off-the-hook.aspx.
Every year, the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) collaborates with the New Media Consortium (NMC) on the development of an annual report highlighting trends in emerging technologies. The key areas identified in the 2010 Horizon Report include:
Time to adoption: One Year or Less
- Mobile Computing
- Open Content
Time to adoption: Two to Three Years
- Electronic Books
- Simple Augmented Reality
Time to adoption: Four to Five Years
- Gesture-based Computing
- Visual Data Analysis
Full report is available at http://www.educause.edu/ELI/2010HorizonReport/195400 or http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2010-Horizon-Report.pdf
As we continue to explore emerging technologies, we must consider the implications for not only available bandwidth and Internet-enabled computer access, but also the impact on technologies used to support students with disabilities (SWD). SWD often utilize various technologies (e.g., screen readers, JAWS) to access information on websites and in academic courses. E-books are considered an emerging technology – what impact do they have on SWD and their access to academic content?
Finding the Kindle a Poor Device for the Blind, 2 Universities Say They Won’t Buy More
By Simmi Aujla
Two universities say they won’t order large numbers of Amazon Kindles until the company releases devices that are easier for blind students to use.
The University of Wisconsin at Madison and Syracuse University, which have both made Kindles available to their students in pilot programs recently, say they won’t buy more devices until they’re improved. Though most Kindles read text aloud, it’s impossible for a blind person to navigate their basic menus because they aren’t “voiced.”
Full article is available at http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Finding-the-Kindle-a-Poor/8808/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en.