Archive for the ‘Current trends’ Category

Are digital-only textbook classrooms the wave of the future?

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

By Guest Blogger, Jason Davis

Ed Tech magazine, which focuses on K-12 issues, in November 2012 published a report on six hot trends in educational technology with a move toward digital-only textbooks as the No. 1 item. According to the report, 37 percent of teachers surveyed — no information was given as to the total number of respondents — say they plan to transition to only digital textbooks within the next one to five years. Just 26.3 percent of them believe they could do so easily given their current network infrastructure.

This is an interesting development, as a move to digital-only textbooks would align with a push by legislators and district officials to implement more technology in the classroom. The push coincides with the need for students to be more techno-savvy as they look for 21st-century jobs.

My question is: who foots the bill for the technology? Would it be the school? Most districts are strapped for cash and looking for ways to slash budgets.

Would the money come via a vote of the public? At a time when so many people are hurting financially, I think it would be tough to sell taxpayers on the idea.

What about funds for upkeep and repair? Would the school or the students be held responsible for that? In principle, the idea sounds like a great one. But, as with many other things, finances are the major hurdle.


Sunday, March 17th, 2013

I just wanted to share that I had the opportunity to be among the speakers at EMU’s very own TEDxEMU last Friday. I tried to cover in 15 minutes how certain trends were affecting higher education (or about to). These trends included open access publishing, digital badges, automated data gathering, and MOOCs.

It was a lot to cover in a short time, but I wanted to remind the audience that for all the flash and zip in the new projects that are hitting our institutions of higher learning, there is always the human element of what it means to be a teacher which lies just beneath the technology.

Future of Teaching

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

If you get a chance, swing over to fastcoexist‘s site to look at a fascinating map of the future of technology and teaching. The map begins with old favorites of 2012 such as the interactive whiteboard which, when you think about it, was just a glimmer in a few eyes a decade ago (at least IWBs as a ubiquitous classroom tool). So perhaps this might be a fair vision of the future.

If you look closely at their map, you will see that as the years roll by teaching and learning take place less and less in the physical classroom.

New Horizons for Higher Education

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

You might be interested in the latest release of the New Media Consortium Horizon Report on technology in education. A version for Higher Education has been released.

In this edition, the two tools/applications/services that will have the most impact on Higher Education within the next year are tablet computers and massively open online courses (MOOCs).

Citing a Tweet

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

It happens. You are writing an academic paper and you come across a tweet that is an essential part of your paper. How do you cite it? MLA has a very simple citation method.

In the EDMT program, we use APA formatting and that formatting is a little more exacting. Chelsea Lee has a great post on how to cite Twitter and Facebook Updates. She shares a very good example:

BarackObama. (2009a, July 15). Launched American Graduation Initiative to help additional 5 mill. Americans graduate college by 2020: [Twitter post]. Retrieved from

By retaining the author name as written, she notes that the process of retrieving the tweet is easier and, of course, in research writing, retrieval is a very important factor in how and why we cite.


Monday, January 28th, 2013

If you want a quick and easy way to visualize the growth of your followers on Twitter, look at the Wildfire Social Media Monitor. While your total number of followers on Twitter is really more of a vanity metric, the Wildfire tool is a great way to see if certain accounts have been artificially increasing their following.

You can also compare your growth in followers against those of your competitors. Warning though, many of the more popular Twitterers will make your robust growth in followers look like a flat line.

Social Media Influencers

Friday, January 25th, 2013

So what kind of Social Media Influencer are you?

Klout produced an interesting matrix of Social Media Influencers (see image) but not everybody agrees or they find the matrix to be inefficient.

Influence Matrix

Lisa Barone came up with a simpler list that corresponds well with Klout’s list:

  • The networker (Social Butterfly): one who has the biggest contact list and found on all platforms. He or she who knows everybody and everybody knows him or her.
  • The opinion leader (Thought Leader): one who can become the best ambassador of a brand. He or she has built a strong authority in his or her field by based on credibility. Their messages are most often commented on and retweeted.
  • The discoverer (Trendsetter): one who is always the first to use a new platform.  Constantly on the lookout for new trends, they become the “hub” in the sector.
  • The sharer (Reporter): one who distributes information to the bloggers to journalists through the specialized webzines. He or she usually amplify messages.
  • The user (Everyday Customer): one that represents the regular customer. He or she does not have a network as large as the networker, but his or her network remains equally important.

So where do you fit?

Rules of Facebook

Friday, January 11th, 2013

If you use Facebook and other social media either inside or outside the classroom, you may have noticed there are some unwritten rules of the road that you and other Facebookers follow, perhaps without even being conscious of them.

In this interesting article about the unwritten rules of Facebook, there are some suggestions of ways of approaching young children when talking about social networking with them. This may be the very start of the way we teach online etiquette in schools.

One of the rules that almost achieved overall endorsement from the survey was: I should be aware the information this person posts about me can have real world consequences. The article and the rules shared are worth a read.

Bryant, E., and Marmo, J. (2012). The rules of Facebook friendship: A two-stage examination of interaction rules in close, casual, and acquaintance friendships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 29 (8), 1013-1035 DOI:10.1177/0265407512443616

Cyberbullying, Trolls, and Free Speech

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

I came across a fast-paced video broken into three short sections: Cyberbullying, Trolls and Trolling, and Free Speech Online. To generate some excellent discussions with your own students, there is plenty to share with students in this from issues raised by anonymity to psychological effects such as online disinhibition effect  Bad Behavior Online features commentaries by Alice Marwick, Professor at Fordham University, Whitney Phillips, Lecturer at New York University, and Andy Sellars, Berkman Center For Internet & Society, Harvard University.


World Internet Report

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

The Center for the Digital Future just released their fourth World Internet Project report. You may find it interesting to view how other nations regard online privacy, purchasing, work on the web, and other aspects of life on the Internet.

One interesting tidbit from the report:

Students in Spain spent an average of eight hours per week online at school, followed by those in Australia, who averaged 6.4 hours per week. On the other end of the spectrum, students in Italy spent just above one hour a week online at school.

I would have thought there would be little difference between European nations in school internet use. Data from the United States is not available as we did not participate. Interested students may be able to figure out the reason for these national differences.