Showing posts from February, 2010

Learning with a class set of ipod touches

I know this isn’t anything terribly new.  Teachers around the world have brought sets of ipod touches into their classrooms.  This isn’t something our District has embraced yet.  I recently received an email from our Apple account rep with details on leasing a class set of ipod touches.  I forwarded the information to a middle and an elementary school principal who have previously expressed to me their interest in trying this approach to supporting student learning. So what, we buy these, a teacher takes a risk and embraces these devices for their students.  What are the learning opportunities?  How does using these devices compare in terms of learning value to using a netbook or laptop?  Although I’ve seen some great examples of using ipods, touches, and cell phones in classrooms, I’m not sure that any of these devices replace the need for a laptop or some sort.  The small devices seem to me to have too many limitations to be able to replace a laptop.  But, I can see how they can s

From Innovation to Adoption of Technology

I was having lunch with @gary_kern recently and we talked about the difference between innovation for and adoption of technology in education.  Innovation involves creating something new, a method, a model, a thing while adoption is the implementation or use of a method, model, or thing.  Gary and I talked about what to call an innovation involving the educational use of technology.  Is it a model, a program, a project, or something else?  The question is, “what will help us take an innovation to full adoption within schools?”  Does it matter what we call it?  Will calling it something like “a program” help people more easily connect with and adopt it? When talking about an innovation, we often talk about it being transformative or causing a transformation.  For example in our School District we often refer to laptops for students in a one laptop per student configuration (embedded use of technology) as transformative to their learning.  Another might be that  the use of Blogs by

How much technology is enough?

I spend a lot of time pondering the future these days and seem to be into books on futuring.  I just finished reading a very difficult book " The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization " by Thomas Homer-Dixon.  I have found the messages in this book to be rather troubling but messages that need to be heard.  The author researched the cause of civilization failure and parallels his findings to our modern society.  He shares fascinating stores about ancient Rome.  Access to a reliable source of energy (food, people, animals) played a significantly key role in their success.  They invested in technology to build amazing structures like the Coliseum.  Rome was an amazing society for hundreds of years.  What really caused their fall?  The author argues that complexity (technology) / size drove increasing demands for energy and when it became too difficult to secure energy, their collapse began.  Mind you, it took hundreds of years.  But think abou