This article about texting from The New York Times points to some of the frustrations of allowing cell phones in the classroom. According to the article, teenagers are spending more and more time texting each other, including during class, with their cell phones hidden underneath their desks or jackets. It's to the point where teachers find it more productive to ignore the behavior than stop class to reprimand those who engage in covert in-class texting. And it's not just in the classroom that texting is causing problems. Many teens are now sending hundreds of text messages a day, which works ...


With the National Educational Computing Conference, or NECC, about a month and a half away, my inbox is currently being flooded with invitations from various ed. tech. public relations firms, hoping to garner some time to meet with their clients. And perhaps it is because of this sudden influx of requests that at least one PR group has decided to do something to stand out from the crowd. Instead of PR pitches, they're writing rhyming couplets, inspired by NECC. I should say up front that this is in no way an endorsement, just something I'd like to share. With Obama ...


I've heard many educators and school reform advocates talk about the importance of increased communication between teachers and parents. The more information teachers share with parents about their child's progress, the better, right? Well, teachers in Louisiana will have to adhere to some pretty stringent guidelines for reaching out to parents and students using their own personal computers, cellphones, and other communication devices. Lawmakers in the state legislature in Baton Rouge could be close to finalizing a bill that would restrict teachers from using personal devices to communicate with their constituents. For many educators around the country, communication with students' ...


While catching up with my blog roll this morning after the weekend, I discovered a lot of buzz about WolframAlpha, a new Web tool that you can use to type in equations and get the answers. If you're at all interested in data, statistics, or little bits of information, it's worth spending a few minutes checking out. I highly recommend the screencast of WolframAlpha to get an idea of how it works and what kinds of information is available from it. Although you can type in mathematical equations and get the results, you can also type in questions about things ...


Within the past year or so, a new trend has cropped up called "sexting"—where teens send naked pictures of themselves through text messages, which has implications for educators, administrators, parents, and students.


Blackboard Inc., a dominant company in the U.S. for e-learning tools, announced this week that it had acquired education software developer ANGEL Learning Inc. The Indianapolis-based ANGEL’s products include learning management software and an electronic portfolio system that tracks student progress. The $95-million deal will expand Blackboard’s client base to nearly 6,000 schools, colleges, government agencies, and corporations, according to a company statement. The Washington-based company, which reported significant losses in revenue last year but has since seen revenues improve, said it anticipates seeing savings by combining some of the two companies’ infrastructure, sales, and administrative ...


This blog item I found via @berkshirecat, a New England teacher who I follow on Twitter, is a letter to teachers who are loathe to use technology. The writer, Patrick Higgins, makes a snide case for the way technology helps teachers break out of what he implies to be unproductive or counterproductive traditions. He includes reasons for his shared loathing of technology, mimicking the subconscious complaints he imagines his change-fearing colleagues make for avoiding tech-integration in their classrooms. "The fact that there will be conversations about topics in my class that occur UNABATED and not in my presence is inconceivable ...


Digital textbooks are back in the news, with the release of a new, larger-screened Kindle by Amazon.com, which could be suitable for digital textbooks, but there are still obstacles that stand in the way of e-textbooks taking off—such as a lack of awareness about them.


Ed-tech proponents were dismayed to learn of the cuts to the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program proposed in President Obama's budget. Four organizations promoting the use of effective technologies in schools released a statement yesterday urging more money, not less, for the flagship federal ed-tech program. Obama's budget proposal would slash funding from $269 million to just $100 million. In the stimulus package, the program received $650 million in additional funding. The program had been slated for elimination by the Bush administration, and its funding was progressively cut over the last eight years. The stimulus money brought the program’s...


It turns out I'm not the only Katie blogging about technology in education on edweek.org. We've just launched a new blog, Teaching Generation Tech, written by Katie Hanifin, a teacher at Canastota High School in upstate New York. She's blogging about her experiences as a teacher, trying to bridge the gap between modern technology and the classroom. It's refreshing to hear about the ways that technology can help, and hinder, instruction through the eyes of a teacher, rather than just from researchers or academics. Like this post, which talks about cell phones that repeatedly go off during class despite ...


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