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Connecting… The Isolated

October 3, 2013 at 1:52 pm PST

I’ll never forget my first day as a brand new high school teacher.   As a young college graduate (with absolutely no experience teaching and a one-hour course on classroom management), I stood stiffly in front of the room on that hot end-of-summer day, afraid to crack a smile.  Thankfully, a more seasoned teacher had taken me to lunch the day before school started, so I at least had a pretty good idea of how to set up my grade book, allocate points to assignments, and fashion a seating chart.

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Back to School With Tech

It’s back-to-school time once again. Whether it is smartphones, tablets or laptops –devices and the classroom are more intertwined than ever before. Thanks to the growing connections in the Internet of Everything (IoE), it is now easier than ever to integrate the device into the classroom. With college costs on the rise, there is no question why many students, professors, and colleges, are turning to technology to increase access to resources.

The days of ‘my roommate ate my homework’ are coming to an end. Read More »

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Flipped Learning – Transforming Education

To say the way students learn today has dramatically changed since I was in school would be an understatement. Not too long ago, technology played a limited role in education. Computers were not an active part of any discussion; it was a lab we went to for an hour a day.  Now students are fortunate to have access to a variety of technologies that enrich teaching methods such as interactive smart boards, laptops and tablets, video technology and more. This has transformed  the way educators engage with their classes and how students learn.

I think video collaboration technology specifically has had a profound impact on education. Today, teachers and school officials alike are utilizing video collaboration for many diverse uses such as advanced instruction, distance learning, virtual field trips and global student collaboration. Most recently, flipped learning has been receiving a considerable amount of attention and buzz for the powerful benefits it offers students and educators. Read More »

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Connecting Every School in America To High – Speed broadband

September 5, 2013 at 7:55 am PST

In every school district in America today, educators are faced with a simple, yet critically important, question.  How do we obtain, implement, and integrate transformative technology into all of our schools and classrooms?

Some districts have embraced technology and put mobile and collaborative devices in the hands of students.   In The Katy School District in Texas, for instance, performance on math tests increased from 70th to 90th percentile following adoption of mobile technologies and devices. Similarly, in the Mooresville Graded School District in North Carolina, the district increased levels of competency in all subject areas from 60 percent to over 85 percent, and graduation rates increased by 22 percent.

But in too many schools and school districts today, the promise of connected classrooms is just that – a promise, and not reality.

That’s why it’s so critical that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) modernize and streamline the E-Rate program.  E-Rate is the cornerstone of America’s effort to provide digital education to students.  Since the program’s inception 15 years ago, E-Rate has connected more than 100,000 schools and libraries to the internet. It has a proven track record of success.

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ISTE 2013: The Idea Incubator

We attended ISTE 2013 this year and came away filled with ideas and excited about a bright future of technology in education. One of the most inspirational takeaways was from the keynote speech by Steven Johnson, “Where Good Ideas Come From”.

Kevin talked about the evolution of ideas. Contrary to popular belief, the best ideas aren’t a light bulb going off, they take time to mature and develop. He defined this as the “slow hunch”, the source of true creativity. Furthermore, ideas are usually not single and solitary, but are built on a network of other ideas. Within this incubator of ideas, connections and collaboration become more and more important, both for development and implementation.

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