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Classrooms Go Mobile to Enrich Student Learning

October 1, 2012 at 9:40 am PST

School is back in session, and from all the parents I’ve talked to, there’s been a new addition to the old school essentials list -- notebook, lunch and now,  a smartphone. We’ve reached a time where mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are entering classrooms at an accelerated rate. In fact, recent numbers in Canada showed that the back to school season is starting to rival the holiday season for buying cellphones.

In 2011, we asked nearly 3,000 college students and young professionals how fundamental they feel the Internet is. An astounding one in three respondents equated the Web’s importance with air, water, food and shelter. It’s safe to assume the younger set feels the same:  Research conducted by Project Tomorrow found that from 2009 to 2010 smartphone use for middle and high school students jumped 42 percent, so younger student are obviously adapting early expectations of anywhere, anytime online access.

If schoolchildren are using mobile devices on their own time to connect with parents and friends, it makes sense for schools to be working these devices into the learning mix, too. In fact, according to The Journal’s Mary McCaffrey, schools must go mobile to better personalize their students’ learning experiences.

Here are three ways mobile collaboration contributes to the learning environment: Read More »

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San Jose State University and the New Economics of Higher Education

Public higher education institutions in America are being squeezed with vice-like force unlike anything they’ve experienced before.  Legislatures are reducing their funding, for profit and not-for-profit competitors are proliferating and many civic and business leaders are questioning the very value of a college diploma.  University presidents and the regents or boards they serve are stuck in an “iron triangle”:  on one angle is access, their raison d’être and why their respective legislature chartered them in the first place – educate the people in our state. On the other angle is cost, which using conventional thinking rises when one provides access to the masses. The third angle is quality, which also is thought to be compromised when access – and costs – rises. What’s a university leader to do?

Invest his/her way out of the “iron triangle” and change the economics.  This is precisely what President Mohammad “Mo” Qayoumi of San Jose State University (SJSU) is doing.

Read More »

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Keeping Schools Safe in a BYOD World

It’s no secret that when schools embrace technology, students and teachers win. The introduction of digital trends, like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and flipped classrooms, has engaged students and improved education. We’ve frequently referenced the success found at Katy Independent School District (KISD) with their BYOD strategy. After seeing how ingrained technology was in students’ day-to-day lives, Katy ISD launched a program that leveraged mobile devices as an educational tool. The resulting improvements in student engagement and test scores were so astounding that their strategy continues to be mirrored by schools nationwide!

However, in a BYOD world it’s even more important for schools to ensure that its infrastructure is not compromised by the mobile devices students bring into the network. IT departments are eager to implement security policies, like filtering search results and regulating network access, on all personal devices.  On top of that, schools need to continually comply with federal regulations that protect student privacy like the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

Thankfully for IT professionals, Cisco understands the need for a network architecture that can grow to encompass a range of security challenges. From blocking malware and illegal sharing of copyrighted material to supporting BYOD programs and federal privacy standards, Cisco’s holistic approach solves the security needs of modern schools .

It is clear that technology is revolutionizing education and it shows no signs of slowing down. For IT professionals tasked with supporting the demands of modern learning now is the time to invest.

 

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The Three Dimensions of Learning

A large part of my job is explaining things to people. You can have the greatest technology in the world, but if you can’t explain to people why it is important, and how it will make a difference in their life or their business, then you have only done half the job.

That is why I am interested in different learning styles. One of the more widely-known models to describe different learning styles is Neil Fleming’s VAK/VARK model. Fleming postulates that there are three different types of learners: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. To vastly over-simplify Fleming’s work, some people learn best by seeing, others by listening and still others by touching and doing. While this might seem self-evident, understanding a student’s learning style can be a vital tool for teachers. Moreover, knowing your own learning style can significantly increase the amount you can learn and retain.

Read More »

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Flipped Classroom Transforms Personal Learning

The Flipped Classroom continues to enlist tech-savvy teachers as evangelists, and technologies that support them continue to evolve.   At this year’s ISTE conference, Cisco caught up with Flipped Classroom pioneers, Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams to discuss one of the hottest trends in education.

In the video below, Jonathan and Aaron discuss how the Flipped Classroom model transforms the entire classroom dynamic through conversation rather than dissemination of knowledge. Jonathan suggests one of the greatest benefits of flipping is that overall interaction increases: Teacher to student and student to student. With more than 67 percent of educators reporting that this model has improved student test scores by 67 percent it’s no wonder that this is being rapidly adopted.

Looking for more Flipped Classroom colleagues to connect with or model? Check out the People of Flipped Learning for a list of educators practicing, and blogging about their flipped experience.

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