Investigative Research Portal

A.)   Research

  • Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants, by Marc Prensky (2001)
    Often referred to as a “seminal” text because Prensky coined these now widely-used terms to discuss the divide between those who have grown up in the “ubiquitous environment” of technology and those who have not. Key concepts such as the changing brains of today’s students, the “accent” of digital immigrants, the outdated teaching methodologies of educators who are uninformed about the ways today’s students learn (“parallel processing” and multitasking), the rapid-learning preference of students, called “twitch speed”, the notion of “cultural migration,” and the need to present knowledge differently, such as through gaming.
  • How Teachers Make Cell Phones Work in the Classroom  from KQED in San Francisco (2012)
    When we talk about using cell phones in class, we’re not just talking about using cell phones in class.The idea of mobile learning touches on just about every subject that any technology addresses: social media, digital citizenship, content-knowledge versus skill-building, Internet filtering and safety laws, teaching techniques, bring-your-own-device policies, school budgets.
  • Cell Phones in the Classroom, from                               Cell phones are in our schools and classrooms. According to data recently gathered by the Pew Research Center, 88% of teen cell phone users text message. While schools have taken various approaches towards student cell phones, from banning and storing in lockers, to lunchtime use, there are free online resources available that can transform cell phones into handheld classroom response systems. Unlike traditional Classroom Response Systems or “clickers” that can take a chunk out of a school budget, cell phones can become response systems at no cost to a school district. When harnessed in this manner, cell phones become a means to check for understanding, enhance discussion, promote debate, clarify understanding, and express perspective.
  • Embracing the Cell Phone in the Classroom with Text Messaging Assignments, EmergingEdTech  This article discusses whether we as profession can keep ignoring the usage of cell phones in the classroom. This article also is a gateway to other topics that could be used for more research. In each topic, articles and other links are given for a depth of research that will create the best argument for cell phones in the classroom.
  • Tips for BYOD K12 Programs, District Administration
    Considering the nationwide acceptance of Bring Your Own Technology programs by 2015 an inevitability, this article highlights issues that must be addressed by each district individually: How will schools dictate what a student can and cannot do on his or her own device? Can a school legally take a student’s own device away from him or her for a period of time as a consequence of unacceptable use? How will schools protect students while they are online? How will the minimal level of functionality of the devices used in classrooms be determined? How will issues of equity be handled? These questions are not answered but it moves educators into the conversations that will need to happen by 2015.
  • Are You Ready for BYOD, The Journal
    Interviews with five school technology leaders in school districts that have embraced the Bring your Own Technology movement about the network upgrades necessary for a Bring your Own Device program, what questions they wish they had asked vendors, and what they wish they would have done differently. This is a highly technical look at the nuts and bolts of getting a school district’s network ready for wireless connectivity throughout.
  • Bring Your Own Device, HR Magazine
    Business is confronting some of the same issues with bring-your-own-technology as schools as well as some different ones but the benefits seem to outweigh the challenges. A survey found in July of 2011 that 75% of surveyed companies around the world allow employees to use their own devices for work purposes. The security issues for businesses are more at the forefront than in education but seeing as how business decisions are made without the more intangible concerns that sometimes dominate decisions made in education, this article can inform us on where technology adoption may be headed.
  • Creating a Robust and Safe BYOD Program, District Administration 
    An overview of Bring Your Own Device models being implemented by schools as well as introductions to topics such as platform-neutral applications, cloud computing, network security, and managing access points.
  • Mobile Devices Drive Creative Instruction, District Administration
    “People can’t just digest worksheets and stick them on a cell phone and think that’s going to be some kind of breakthrough. Good curriculum has to be rethought—not so much transferred, but more creatively redesigned,” says Chris Dede, a professor at the Harvard Masters of Education program in this article by Kelley Puente in this article highlighting the innovative teaching that accompanies the use of mobile devices in schools across the country. She also quotes Don Knezek who assumes educational software will rapidly accelerate in the next few years and said, “I think every student who doesn’t have access to a digital learning device in five years will be viewed as deprived.”
  • Left to Their Own Devices, The Journal
    A fascinating look inside one school district using school-provded MacBooks at one of their high schools and venturing into Bring Your Own Technology in the other. The cost savings and the challenges of Bring your Own Technology are explained as is the impulse to utilize the devices to the level of the “least common denominator” and the necessity to use web-based applications that are available on multiple platforms. The question of what device best serves as a baseline supplement to students without their own technology is explored and the analogy of the school bus is proveded to anyone who doesn’t get dropped off at school is used to explain how the supplemental technology will be viewed.
  • Mobile Digital Devices, Teacher Librarian
    Rebecca Hill’s well researched article contends that the use of mobile technology in schools is a no-brainer and resistance to its implementation can be attributed to teachers’ resistance to changing their methods. As an overview of the context, barriers, and possibilities of mobile internet devices in the classroom it suggests the digital divide that exists between Americans will be closed by smartphones rather than by internet connect computers in homes, school districts are giving up on the idea of providing one-to-one access in the face of buget cuts, the role of the teacher is strengthened in the new technology-rich classroom rather than diminished, and the necessity but also challenges internet filters pose. An important deliniation made in the article is between using handheld technology as a supplement versus using it as an essential component in education.
  • Stretching Your Technology Dollar, Educational Leadership
    Ten practical and straightforward tips from a district technology director on ensuring that funds for technological purchases are maximized including phasing out desktop software in favor of web-based. Doug Johnson’s aggressive approach to ensuring that money budgeted to technology really supports student learning provides gems such as, “Budgets, however, need to focus on technologies that still have a long life span, not prop up those that are dying,” and, “A sustainable technology practice means not purchasing more technology than a school can regularly maintain, upgrade, and replace.”
  • To Have and Have Not, School Library Journal
    Bolstered by data from the National Center for Educational Statistics, the Economics and Statistics Administration, and the Pew Internet and American Life Survey about the saturation of technology in America’s schools and homes (or the lack thereof,) Audrey Watters sounds a cautionary tone in regards to the choices facing school districts getting technology into the hands of students. The patchwork of approaches to technology adoption by schools today are influenced by and the myriad of variables and considerations that must be taken into account. Bring Your Own Technology may seem like a panacea to some for the challenges of getting technology into the hands of students in a time of school budgets getting slashed but this article asks whether it is simply a move that shifts the cost from schools to families and whether or not the benefits gained from the technology justify the problems it causes.


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