As I learned from my story about open content licensing, there's a lot of confusion on the part of both teachers and students about copyright law. The Internet in particular has made copyright even more difficult to figure out, since it's so easy to copy information, pictures, music, and other forms of multimedia, whether it's legal or not. That's why I was particularly excited to get the announcement from the American Library Association's Office for Information Technology Policy and the American Association of School Libraries (AASL), in partnership with the National Council of Teachers of English, about new copyright lesson ...


There's been a lot of debate about the role of personal technologies in schools, particularly cell phones and text devices. Schools generally try to prohibit students from phoning and texting when they are supposed to be listening in class. So what kind of role models are these lawmakers who were Twittering during President Obama's State of the Union address? Dana Milbank's columns in The Washington Post are always entertaining, and offer unique insights into the inner workings of Congress. Today's piece is a commentary on lawmakers' preoccupation with the 140-character messages they were sending to their "followers" on Twitter, questioning ...


One segment of the K-12 population that I think is sometimes forgotten about by ed-tech folks (and I admit: I'm guilty of it as well) is the "little folks" as Tammy Worcester, author of several books about computer activities for K-3 students, would say. The last session I attended at NCCE was her talk on "Computer Activities for Little Folks," which went through many suggestions of activities that could be used for K-3 students. I'm not going to go through everything she talked about—like the greeting cards or mini-books she showed us how to make through PowerPoint—but she ...


As I mentioned before, I attended two sessions at the NCCE conference last week that were great. The first session I went to, which was standing-room-only, was about open-source tools and content for teachers by Karen Fasimpur. She spent the first part of her talk explaining the different licenses that are available to create open resources, something that I wrote about awhile ago after I realized how much confusion was out there about those licenses. She then went on to talk about how open licensed content can be used in the classroom and where educators could find those resources. Check ...


Working from home can be isolating at times, and it's always a treat when I can get out of the house and talk with real, live people about ed-tech issues, which is what I spent all day Friday doing at the Northwest Council for Computer Education's "Navigating the New World With Technology" conference here in Portland. The conference opened with a keynote address from Debra Pickering, author of several books about teaching and learning that she's co-authored with Robert Marzano. Pickering addressed a couple of issues that I hear about over and over as I talk to teachers who are ...


Most of the attendees at the Mobile Learning Conference in Washington this week are among the true believers when it comes to the potential value in putting handheld devices, along with well-designed content, into the hands of more students and teachers. So you might expect them to get a bit ruffled when someone suggests that cellphones and other small, wireless electronics have no place in the classroom. But Elliot Soloway, a professor of computer science and education at the University of Michigan, was outraged by a statement by Janet Bass in this New York Times article. Ms. Bass, a spokeswoman ...


There are certainly a lot of cool tech tools and projects available or in the works to enable broader use of mobile devices, like cell phones and handhelds, by schools and students. I got a chance to see and hear about a few yesterday at the Mobile Learning Conference in Washington. Like Project K-Nect, which puts cell phones loaded with a math program into the hands of middle school students, who then collaborate and practice more. The first results on the project are due out next month. There are also a number of ed applications for iPhones and other cellular ...


Catching up on all the blogs I read over the long weekend, I discovered this post from Snarkmarket about a new public charter school slated to open up in NYC in the fall that's completely designed around game-inspired teaching methods. There's more information on the Institute of Play's Web site about the school, called Quest to Learn, which will serve kids in 6th-12th grade. Also, here's the press release (PDF) about the school. The school is being created by the Institute of Play, an NYC-based nonprofit organization that researches the connections between games and learning, and New Visions for Public ...


My colleagues Alyson Klein and Michele McNeil have the latest on the economic stimulus bill. Has anyone waded through the details on ed tech? We are beginning to take a closer look at the specifics and it looks like there is roughly $650 million for it. Did ed tech get a good deal or was it shortchanged? Give us your take. Meanwhile, I'm making my way through the summary. Ed Week Asst. Managing Editor Mark Bomster calls the file for the bill, on the House of Representative's Web site, "a choke-your-computer monster." Hopefully I will be able to have it ...


Readers of this blog might enjoy my co-blogger Kathleen's story on virtual field trips. Through the Internet, teachers can access thousands of virtual field trips to places all over the world, many of which are free, says the article. The trips are a good option for schools that are cutting budgets and can't afford to bus every student to a specific place, or for schools that are short on instructional time but still want students to explore a place outside the classroom. And according to at least one evaluation, students retain more information from the virtual trips than students who ...


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