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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009 and One-to-One

Working on a HotChalk column for January and thinking of what new things will be in store for One-to-One. So far the list includes:
  • Cloud Computing/Portals - without a robust learning community/environment the potential for one-to-one is static.  
  • Obama team pays serious attention to One-to-One - this is already starting as Don Knezek of ISTE asked me and several others for input in response to questions he'd received from the Obama team.
  • Apple releases a tablet?  No insider (or outsider) information here, just resurfacing of rumors - and a sincere hope that Apple takes what they learned from iTouch, along with their design sense and knowledge of schools, and releases a tablet.
This is a short list - the longer and more detailed list will be on HotChalk in January.  

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sustainability and One-to-One

An email from a reader of my HotChalk column asked about paying for 1-to-1 which made me think about sustainibility.  Back in October, I'd had a great conversation with Leslie Wilson who heads up Michigan's One-to-One Institute, about paying for laptop/tablet programs as well as continuing them.  So between Leslie's ideas and survey results (see it to the right - please take it if you can) I'll be writing a column on sustainability.  (By the way, in February I'll be in Dearborn, Michigan for the One-to-One Institute, teaching in a 21st C. classroom, viewed by educators as part of a 2-day conference.  And in August Leslie and I are planning a peer conference for national leaders of One-to-One programs.  Will post URL's when they're available.)

Initial thought about sustaining - it's about more than money, but in the end it's about money.  If the program hasn't been accepted by stakeholders, and if the program is viewed as an extension or an add-on to "real curriculum" or real "tools" - it might be cut.  Especially in these complicated times with our economy.  Schools are going to feel the effects because the dominoes will be falling.  Public schools are funded by tax dollars and if people have lost their jobs and houses, they're not paying full taxes, if at all.  Independent schools will likely feel the pinch in enrollment for the same reasons.  It will be a tough act for every program at many schools which use a zero-sum budget model.  

But in corporate America, if you're working, you've got a computer.  It's a given that it's how business gets done.  It would seem that in schools where laptops is how learning gets done, laptop budgets will continue.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cloud Computing, Google and 1-to-1

This week I joined the Google Teacher Academy in NYC along with 60 of my colleagues from around the country to learn more about using Google in the classroom, and am now a Google Certified Teacher.  This is exciting on many levels and I'm looking forward to designing presentations/workshops infused with Google tools.   The whole thing has me thinking about 1-to-1 and "cloud computing" - and how much this makes sense. 

Having your computing device with you anywhere you go is one thing - and a prime reason that 1-to-1 works - but what of your work?  It's either on your computer's hard drive or back at the school's network.  Was it synched and are you working on the latest version?  Did you collaborate with some other students and change things but someone else has the right version?  Did your computer start choking and make ominous noises and stop functioning?

Thinking back to Septembers when I would talk to 7th and 8th graders and share my hope that this would be the year that none of them lost any of their work due to failed computers and non-backed up files. After five years of making that speech to the 12, 13 and 14-year old rolling eyes, I wish I could say there was a year without lost work because it wasn't backed up - but there never was.  Diligent at first, as are we all, about dragging files to the server, by the time winter break rolled around, the slipping began.  Late fall or early winter there seemed to be at least one, maybe two, failed computers.  Sometimes through unavoidable mechanical failure, usually gravity claimed several.  "Were the files backed up?"  "No."  

But with cloud computing, the documents are backed up (provided the "cloud" is reliable) and accessible from another computer from home or school or the library.  The latest version is there, shared, and updated, even if several people are using it.  1-to-1 and its power amplified because collaboration, sharing, and backing up are the norm.  Maybe there may be fewer rolling eyes if the backup speech is eliminated, although in schools there are always other speeches.

Microsoft is now at a similar juncture to 10 years ago when they realized the Internet would be big - they are realizing cloud computing is going to be huge.  So they're developing tools for "the cloud" - so we can likely expect more players in the cloud computing arena before long.  It makes lots of sense for business and also for schools to combine remote computing with remote documents. 

Sunday, October 12, 2008

WiMAX Goes Live in Baltimore

WiMAX (30 mile radius microwave based wireless) is live in Baltimore read about it in Computerworld - what does this mean for schools?  What about schools that sold their spectrum in 2006 or 2007, is it gone forever and do they now regret it?  I'll be writing a column about it soon and after conducting a few interviews.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

1-to-1 and Constructivism/Cognitive Load Theory/Work from Kirschner and Sweller

Currently rereading an article by Paul A. Kirschner, John Sweller and Richard E. Clark from 2006's Educational Psychologist 41,(2) 75-86, available here which is challenging my thinking and will be part of a caveat for a chapter in 2nd edition of laptop book (publication Spring, 2009). The article is titled "Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction Does Not Work: An Analysis of the Failure of Constructivist, Discovery, Problem-Based, Experiential, and Inquiry-Based Teaching." That title definetly got my attention (and I'll be talking about this on EdTech Live! Sunday 8/3 at 11:30 a.m.) I have taught in a constructivist style for quite a while, and found it works well in a 1-to-1 environment, as well as with adults.

In spite of teaching in a constructivist style, I keep having concerns about constructivist approaches, having seen chaos ensue at times in my own classes and in others'. Plus having heard my daughter complain several times about teachers making them work on projects, saying, "why won't they just teach me!"

What follows is my interpretation along with quotes and references to the article. I would encourage you to read the article for your own interpretation.

The gist of the article's argument (that this instructional approach does not work) is based on how learning happens. To quote from the article: "Learning ... is defined as a change in long-term memory." (pg. 75) Meaning that when information moves from working memory, which can hold 7 or less things, into long-term memory, learning has occurred. And that this movement happens when there is a place for the information to go - when there is already some long-term memory in place already - some scaffolding in place to accept the new idea. The example of chess players being able to replicate complex moves from real games as they draw upon their experience/skill to quickly do so is given. But what then of being presented with problems for which there is no previous knowledge, no long-term memory to retrieve, no scaffolding in place? There's the rub for novice learners who have not been exposed to a concept, say the authors. And that's why instruction is key to prevent an overreliance on working memory (which can only hold a few items and which is lost when not "rehearsed") say the authors.

Additionally, the act of searching for information requires continual use of working memory, and when working memory is used for long periods it cannot be used to learn or to convert to long term memory.

The authors move next to looking at empirical examples concerning constructivism. The root of constructivism is that knowledge is constructed by learners and that learners need to construct their own learning in an instruction-sparse environment so that they discover the ideas on their own which then become their learning. The authors question here the withholding of information; traditionally constructivists give partial information allowing the learners to discover the rest of the information.

Here's the part that gives me pause and some trouble: the confusion by educators cited in the article between "teaching ... a discipline as inquiry...with the teaching of the discipline by inquiry" (p. 78) - and that the problem here is we (and our students) cannot be the researcher(s) with all the experience and background required to practice a discipline. (The part that gives me pause is that shouldn't there be some understanding of the research done by scientists? This is a real questioning of science labs done in middle schools and high schools everywhere.)

Moving to constructivist approaches a number of studies were cited supporting "direct instructional guidance" (p. 79) saying students learning purely by discovery "often become lost and frustrated, and their confusion can lead to misconceptions." (p. 79). The authors cite a study by Klahr and Nigam (2004) which found "Direct instruction involving considerable guidance, including examples, resulted in vastly more learning than discovery." (p. 79)

Another idea explored is cognitive load:

"free exploration of a highly complex environment may generate a heavy working memory load that is detrimental to learning...important in the case of novice learners who lack proper schemas to integrate the new information with their prior knowledge." (p. 80)

One antidote the authors suggest is worked examples for novice learners whereby they look over, in a guided way, how problems were solved. This works at least until the learners have a scaffold in place of long term memory and require less guidance.

This challenge to constructivism has left me reeling as an educator. I wonder about the examples used and the implementation. Leaving students unguided would not be my approach nor the approach of most of the educators I know. But does PBL, IBL, discovery learning, constructivism result in real learning that sticks? This article suggest that, at least for learners new to a concept, no, because these approaches rely too much on working memory and are based on taking the approaches used by experts and having student emulate these approaches - while leaving out the vast experience and knowledge these experts possess.

I need to see the other side more clearly - research on PBL, IBL and constructivism to see what that says about how (or if) it works.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Lausanne Laptop Institute - Live Blogging - Scott Kososky keynote

At the Lausanne Laptop Institute in Memphis. Hearing a presentation from the superintendent of the American School of Bombay. ASB is featured in the tablet PC of 2nd edition of my laptop book. Shabbi Luthra is the director of technology and she and ASB have a large cohort attending, including at least one recent graduate (Sunny) who wrote a very articulate piece for the tablet chapter of laptop book (to be published in Spring 2009) on what it's like to be a student in a tablet school. Getting ready to hear the keynote speaker in a minute.

Over 80 attendees at Laptop institute from outside the U.S.

Discussion on the bus with someone from an independent school in Kentucky in their 4th year of a program. Issue becomes after time, once the issues are solid, what will you do with 1-to-1?

Scott Kososky has said "technology is just a tool." First thing for me to disagree with (have written about this - laptop as a digital assistant, not "just a tool.") Tool idea, in my opinion, is too limiting. A tool has one or possibly two uses, a computer has far more.

His son changes the material the same percentage that he changed his "research" from what he found from the library except he did his with Google and found the material in 15 minutes instead of in about 3 or 4 hours. Good point!

Number 2 advertiser in the world is now Google. Drastically changed advertising. Google knows what you do and where you go online, can advertise things you have bought or looked into. Apple, not music industry company, becomes #1 seller of music in the world. When needs exist, needs get filled, not necessarily by the industry or the people you expect to fill the need. This could be the case for education - who might fill the need for education? Laptops are a rock pile until someone looks at it with a vision. Cathedral made of rocks, rocks don't have value, it's what's made from it.

Three leverage points to improve school he says:
  • Learn the better "see" the future - we think too short term (agreed!) - we think of performance on the short term
  • Understand the impact of technology (how does it change people, what they do, how they learn, how they digest information.
  • Evolve how you teach with new tools. Teaching the same way and enabling is not the quantum leap forward, is just faster. Same report on Ghandi in 15 minutes that he took hours to do. Was anything learned? Both taught the same way and both learned as little
High beam theory - if you can only see a year ahead of time, won't see far enough, think long term enough. We'll always be polaying catch up if we don't think far enough ahead.

SecondLife mentioned. A virtual world created in China for Chinese citizens. Google mixing GoogleEarth with virtual world - when you walk into the building, turns into a virtual world. Will they merge together? Idea of making the meeting room better than the room world, move people from agree to disagree so that people move from their opinion. Some walk on, some move, speaker can see this. Give visual clues where people feel. For schools can be Understand and Don't Understand. Students move over. A way to see what is going on for the speaker/teacher. (What I LOVE about this idea is that it is the idea that technology improves something that exists in another way!)

If you are going to create value, you must infuse progress that will be relevant in the future.

How to create your community - blogger notebook about ecommunity. Young people are assembling their ecommunity to assemble their community. It is going for us to start connecting. He recommends Plaxo, Linked-In and Facebook as the starter systems to become their eCommunity. Says NetWork is not NetFun NetVisit NetPlay. It's work. You have to work at building a network.

On the grid and off the grid - people start expecting you are always working. Sometimes you need to go off the grid. Not take the cell phone.

The idea of a grid profile. First thing - check grid profile. Tools (IM, Twitter, email, where are); where you are - proximity (GPS); status - busy,invisible,available, invisible,emergency - I'm on the grid but you can't get me but I can get you, emergency you can reach only emergency; groups; how represented - avatars, profiles; best communication methods (e.g., don't call but send me email.) Think of how this will change how we communicate with each other. People call just to ask a question, when texting/IM/email might be better.

He suggests when you can call, here are the ways to link to me. How to communicate. OR click on my grid profile.

He says this is where we're headed. Is very natural for us to do.

Cloud computing - software served by others. All software can be rented. Applications untethered. Don't even need hard drives. Just need input device and a stream. Already seeing Google docs in the business world because graduates are used to collaborating on their documents. Graduates came out of college with all their cloud-based computing tools knowledge and entering the business world but hitting against standards and non-understanding of the potential.

If you can't see the world the way students see technology, with empathy, have to see the world the ways they see the world, in order to teach this generation.

Never before have there been so many tools in this world, we live in a blessed time. Let's not waste this chance and these opportunities. Don't want to waste it. Do something to use our technology skills.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

NEC 2008 - Article for TechLearning - Musings under deadline

TechLearning asked me to write a short 300-500 word article on trends from NECC2008 for their August issue and I'll be turning that in tonight. But here are a few more personal observations from NECC2008.

San Antonio is a cool town. Never been there before, but really like its charm, beauty, history, and how easy it is to get around via the riverwalk. Also some great Mexican food, dancing and singing.

The ISTE book area (near and dear to my heart because of my book) was well done this year, felt like a "real" bookstore, and allowed purusing and enough space for a change.

Second Life might grow on me. But am I the only one who thinks every avatar looks like Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt? Is this reality? It's obvious this phenomenon is expanding and people are tapping the possibilities. My friend Kevin Jarrett has promised me a guided tour sometime. Have to get over my reluctance!

Web 2.0 is no longer the toddler technology, it seems much more mature, and a given. Probably the term will disappear pretty soon.

In the vendor area, it's LMS's everywhere (Learning Management Systems.) I'm really psyched about this one. 1-to-1 needs the power of LMS. Let's all push for really great ones.

I (heart) Edubloggers and having an edublogger area. Every time I dropped in there was someone I followed on Twitter or online or knew some other way to see and talk with.

Next week I'll be at the Lausanne Laptop Institute and will post from there. Memphis in July, woo-hoo! Seeing more ed tech colleagues next week: priceless.

Friday, July 4, 2008

HotChalk Column is Live

Two of the new Hot Chalk columns are live at - scroll down to the One-to-One area. They will be monthly although they asked me to write a few more to start off.

Two chapters for the 2nd edition of "1-to-1 Learning: Laptop Programs That Work" turned in a while ago (Leadership and Tablet PC's - the tablet chapter written by Dr. Dave Berque) and still ruminating about the third. This third chapter was going to be called "1-to-1 and Web 2.0" but then I thought the term Web 2.0 is going to become passe; who would title a book nowadays "The Information Super Highway" or something else archaic. People are talking about Web 3.0 anyway. This chapter needs to be about what you can do with 1-to-1 - or what people are doing with 1-to-1. So today will be spent scaffolding this chapter.

What pedagogies, what teaching approaches, work best with 1-to-1? Project-based learning and constructivism/constructionism come to mind. Also inquiry-based learning. Teaching without fear of losing control is really an underlying assumption when you start your practice shift. Shift is the idea. Technology as infrastructure, teaching from the side. Leadership has shifted so that most leaders understand they cannot be didactic and prescriptive but supportive, inspirational and enabling. Teachers that understand that will do best in the 1-to-1 classroom. The trick is making the work rigorous and meaningful while putting learners front and center.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

NECC Survey, Trends ...

Writing a quick article for TechLearning's August issue and asking for input via a very short survey here Take our Online Survey

Thanks if you can participate!

My take on NECC: big, interesting, sometimes overwhelming. Hey, I guess this technology in education stuff is here to stay (grin)!

Best thing for me (although I spent far less time there than I'd have preferred): the EduBlogger area. What if we had an entire floor and there was always something going on. Well, I guess you could say that the Second Life area plus the EduBlogger area plus Emerging Technologies plus the UnConference counts.

Still, I sometimes want a little more controversy. It's my opinion we're not challenging one another enough.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

NECC Musings

Considering NECC this year, which will be maybe the 8th one attending, about the 6th presenting. Trip down NECC memory lane, or at least the memories that pop up. One NECC maybe 1999 memorable for Jennifer James the cultural anthropologist who warned that huge changes were coming and that because of these big changes, driven largely by technology, people would be disenfranchised and more people would be left out, painfully so, than from the Civil War. And that many teachers would be among those left out. Also that globalism, diversity, working in teams would be required. Hmm, pretty true you'd think.

Another NECC (maybe 2000?) where Bill Gates was a keynote and there was no way to fit in the main room so all sorts of smaller rooms with video cameras (with varying watchability) were set up for the overflow. And where several teachers and I brought along letters written by our students to Bill Gates telling him they were unhappy with the clipart in Microsoft Office because the images of people were not diverse. We gave the letters to someone from Microsoft, no one ever responded, but eventually the clip art reflected real people.

Seattle several years back (one of my favorite cities) where I brought my daughter and she went to the coolest ecology camp on Bainbridge Island sponsored by NECC.

Baby panda bears at the Atlanta Zoo one year.

Last year's videos of the Manhattan dance company that throws themselves at walls and floors as part of the interesting though spotty keynote panel on creativity.

But the best part for me every year is seeing colleagues from all over and getting a chance to talk and blog and share. So glad there is an unconference this year, a continuing blogger cafe, and lots of advance chatter and twitter and a Ning as well. My Personal Learning Network face to face for a change! What could be better.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Leadership and 1-to-1: Brainstorming

Brainstorming ideas on 1-to-1 and leadership:

  • Is leadership always leadership - does a good leader of a traditional school without committment to technology automatically become a good leader of 1-to1? (Likely it depends on philosophy, committment to learning, openness, personal beliefs about technology and whether it has the potential to transform teaching and learning)
  • Where does management fit. (Sometimes there are great leaders who are poor managers, sometimes great managers who fall short on leadership. What about 1-to-1 when there are logistical, technologicial, financial issues which must be addressed.)
  • Modeling and leadership - can the leader who personally eschews technology lead 1-to-1 (probably not)
  • Nurturing teachers - does the leader understand that everyone is coming at 1-to-1 from a different level and starting point - and needs then to move from that point - what is movement and how does the leadership nuture while challenging, support without enabling.
  • Change management - is it essential? One book we read at a school actually said change management was uneccessary for leaders. How can this be - or is this my prejudice?
  • Vision - built by consensus with others - or initiated by the leader?
  • Sharing and communicated vision - how?
A short list but will post again after the chapter on leadership is done.

Comments welcome!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Technology and Students: The Neighborhood, the Culture

This was one of our discussion during the course I teach at Chestnut Hill College one more Saturday in May and 3 Saturdays in June: what is the main (self-chosen) purpose of computers for students? We agreed it was - for fun. Our students view computers as fun, as how to communicate, as how to share.

What was our purpose as educators for computers? Mostly to do work, with some elements for fun and communicating.

The question then becomes how do we consider the social aspect of computers when we are integrating into our classes. And how to consider more deeply that our students are immersed in the culture of technology/computers, which means it's all around them, they are conversant and accepting of the culture, they are part of the culture, but oftentimes they do not question the culture. How then to relate their culture to what and how we're teaching, while keeping the bar high for rigor in content and expectations -- and how to challenge our students around technology. The challenging them part is important because of how accepting many students are of this digital culture, which is also their neighborhood.

Many adults of my age experienced a neighborhood of homes or apartments close together - and had a lot of free time. We weren't scheduled and structured so much so we used our feet or maybe our bicycles to go see who was around. We had the perception of "safety" and so long as we came home for dinner, we could spend a lot of time socially interacting with our peers. But students now are structured and scheduled and our neighborhoods are different. There is the perception of less safety.

The neighborhood today is all around IM, texting, Facebook, Myspace - and probably interactions happen later at night when all the homework and activities are done. And as students will tell you, email is old people's technology. Their neighborhood is just as important as ours was, and like ours was is also is an adaptation to their physical environment and the time available. (Knowing the term "our neighborhood" is loose and doesn't apply to all educators of course.)

Not new questions or conversations of course, all related to Vygotsky, Dewey, Seeley-Brown, others. But relevant to educators teaching those immersed in the digital culture.

Wondering what others are thinking ...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Multimedia and the Brain

This article from eSchoolNews this week is most intriguing - it's about a meta review of studies (kind of a research mash-up) from the Metiri Group commissioned by Cisco on how "multimodal learning" using various strategies including multimedia, works better for learning than unimodal, more traditional learning. It talks about sensory, working and long-term memory, and includes references to Bransford's How People Learn among other works. The Bransford work was the basis of Chapter 8 in my book written by Dr. Donna DeGennaro synthesizing a lot of Bransford's ideas.

One thing I really like if you read the entire study "Multimodal Learning Through Media: What the Research Says," is the specifity of the recommendations. Every instructional designer ought to be reading this because it says where text and graphics should be placed on a page for maximum understanding, for instance. Maybe designers already are reading it, I don't know. But there still are plenty of applications that haven't really taken how the brain is stimulated into consideration when creating their interfaces. It's also a great answer to the critics of "edutainment" - motivation, engagement, multimodal learning and brain research all point to interactivity and visual appeal as integral to effectiveness. Of course lots of good teachers pretty much knew this viscerally anyway. But good that it's all pulled together in an accessible and well-written way.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Parallel Computing

So this announcement about parallel computing and Microsoft and money to step up the research is intriguing. I should be finishing an article for Technology & Learning right now, which is on a fascinating topic - the state of distance learning today (and it really is different than in the 90's) (will be in the May 2008 issue) but parallel computing as a tangent is pretty compelling.

A quote from the article above:

"if researchers can use programming to harness the capabilities of multi-core machines, it will give mobile devices the computing performance that today comes only from supercomputers."

So if parallel computing becomes a major factor in the future, and I think it will, and if computers can truly process multiple strands of complex code simultaneously, how much more will be possible in our day-to-day lives that we don't have right now. For instance, could I be compiling lots of relevant research on distance learning at the same time while writing this and while also researching parallel computing and maybe also getting my taxes filed and of course as always having Twitter running in the background ... and all on my cell phone. Is this different than multitasking windows and widgets? Is the real limit the human brain? Even though we use the term multitasking in reality what we're doing is just fast task switching because we only can do one thing at a time. How can we maximize parallel processing if we have to be the triggers for the processing and we can only start one thing at a time because we can't truly multitask?

I have to say I don't get it yet. But I do sense this is going to be big. What would the late Mark Weiser, who coined the term "ubiquitous computing" and his vision of the future with "tabs" and calm technology everywhere, think of parallel computing.

This feels like the Next Big Thing.

Friday, March 14, 2008

No Digital DNA

Conversation today with a colleague about Digital Natives/Digital Immigrants (did Prensky ever realize he would get this kind of continuing traction from his article?) and ranting just a bit that some seem to almost believe that their students have Digital DNA - that on the magic date of January 1, 1980 suddenly all babies were born with an extra deoxyribonucleic acid strand just for technology. The day before, and an hour before, those other babies, even though they may have physical proximity in the nursery ward - just missed the 1/1/80 digital DNA creation, so they are going to have to be analog all their lives.

Okay, an exaggeration, but the dichotimizing that occurs between "digital natives" and "non natives" isn't helpful or healthy or positive. Creating these labels when it comes to something as important as teaching and learning, and when this digital immigrant/digital native concept is not backed up by research, and when being "just a digital immigrant" gives an "out" to those who fear technology and don't want to use it (and unfortunately that does mean some teachers), well then it's time to find some new ideas.

And here's the other thing this colleague and I discussed: research takes persistence and is part of what we need to teach students. That the instant gratification of Google is not deep, thoughtful research - although it's often a start. We need to have students not just take the easy answer or the first "hit" on Google instead of going deeper, broader and further - instead of taking the time to do thorough research.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

1-to-1 Leadership, Vision, Support, Sustainability

This is my current rumination - how does leadership envision, support, and sustain 1-to-1 in particular and technology in general. Lately I've been reading and editing things for various purposes and organizations and am struck how often technology is an add-on. Something to include, it seems, if the teacher has time, or maybe as a "supplement" - showing some Web sites to kids, let's say.

But now we have Web 2.0 and now we have 1-to-1 and now we have the opportunities and the vehicles for technology to truly be ubiquitous in classrooms in terms of not just hardware, but in terms of creating content that is potentially seen by nearly anyone. We should be thinking of technology in broader strokes now because the means and the possibilities exist to take our classrooms so much further than before in terms of technology infusion and fluency.

That does mean leadership needs to step up to the plate in terms of the vision, the support, and the means and resources to sustain technology. But what does this vision look like, what are its attributes, how then to lead when teachers are at different starting points, are teaching different disciplines, and when expectations and the technology itself seem to continually shift.

The statistics say that students are learning about technology at home and not in school and colleges are finding their incoming freshmen are less prepared than they expected, so are assigning them to remedial technology classes.

Visionary, supportive leadership is vitally important to the success of educational technology everywhere so that this generation of children can step up to the plate when it's their turn at bat.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

1-to-1 book, 2nd edition

Having many friends and colleagues contribute to the 2nd edition of my book "1-to-1 Learning, Laptop Programs That Work" targetted for Fall, 2008 publication. It will have new chapters on Web 2.0, Tablet PC's, and 1-to-1 Leadership and a rewritten introduction.

It pays to know people and to have a strong personal learning network (read: Twitter, Classroom2.0, EdTech listserv, edACCESS, ISED-L, ISTE, Wizards, NYCIST, AALF) of smart educational technologists who understand the pulse of what is happening. Because of these networks, I have been fortunate enough to have contributing articles or interviews for the book from Will Richardson, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Dave Berque, Gwen Solomon, Alice Owen, Leslie Wilson, Steve Hargadon, Milt Dougherty, and possibly a few others. All by just asking. Amazing, powerful, much bigger and smarter and broader than any other way - enriching and deepening and extending the continual discourse around 1-to-1 learning. W00t and double w00t!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Digital Directions article

Digital Directions is the new technology publication, as of this school year, from Education Week. Please check out the article I wrote in Digital Directions on 1-to-1 and feel free to email me your feedback.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

1-to-1 and Getting Work Done

Was in Los Angeles with a group of administrators/teachers at schools and colleges talking about 1-to-1, what's possible, what the research says, what the components for success are, logistics, caveats, hindsight from other schools, etc. Related this story but not in so much detail.

A neighbor of mine is in computers and during a neighborhood event started talking about what he did and asked what I did. When I talked about 1-to-1 initiatives in schools, and going to schools and districts to help them get started or move ahead, he laughed. Yes, laughed. Because he thought that giving laptops to kids was about the most ridiculous thing you could do with money. He felt kids would not take care of the computers, just use them for downloading music and games, and generally not be "serious."

I asked him about his computer use. Oh yes, he has a computer at home, actually more than one. Oh yes, he has a laptop. Yes, it goes with him everywhere. But he said, "I have work to do."

Don't children and teens have work to do also? Isn't this the era when there is so much information and expectation and accelerated programs in schools? Aren't we trying to compete in the global economy? Isn't there a proliferation of homework and projects and assignments and requirements for reports, presentations, research ... all work expected that our students accomplish on time and well and present or hand in? Why should their work have so much less value than my neighbor's work?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Intel Quits OLPC

Well, the Intel and OLPC partnership is over now - Intel quit this partnership over "philosophical differences" with Nicholas Negroponte. Could it be the child-centered nature of the OLPC, or the open architecture, or something else? Competition of different devices is cited by some articles, requiring only one device. My personal bias is I want more kids to have laptops, having seen the power and possibilities of self-directed learning when every child a laptop or tablet.