State of E-rate and broadband in schools

CoSN’s E-rate and Broadband Survey 2013 is available at:
http://www.cosn.org/sites/default/files/2013EratebroadbandFinal.pdf
One notable finding – “43% of the school districts indicated that none of their schools can meet the goal of 100Mbps of internet access per 1,000 students today.”
and
“57% of districts do not believe their school’s wireless networks currently have the capacity to handle a 1:1 deployment.”
 

Ending the Digital Natives myth?

Tim Unwin takes a good swipe at the concept of digital natives (http://unwin.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/the-damaging-mythology-of-digital-natives/) following the publication of Ofcom’s latest Communications Market Report.
It is well worth a read – for example he suggests that “These differences [between natives and immigrants] are in large part structurally determined, rather than merely a factor of age.”

Is Lecture Really the Problem?

Couple of interesting back to back pieces in the chronicle this week:
Can Universities Use Data to Fix What Ails the Lecture?
By Steve Kolowich
“In a culture of accountability, universities call on technology to collect information about student participation in the classroom.”

followed by:
Is lecture really the thing that needs fixing?
By Robert Talbert
“Based on the headline and framing of the article, you might be tempted to think that the problem is that lecture is ineffective and that data might be able to fix it. But that’s not really it.”
Talbert is (fortunately) unwilling to give those faculty who claim to be too busy a pass on obtaining and honing the skills they need to become better teachers.

And of course the comments fly back and forth, and a majority of them seem, IMHO, to miss the point. The point being what it takes to make someone a better teacher. Educator is probably a better word.
Many traditionally minded instructors appear to want to put every sort of course and content into one neat little box. While this is certainly expedient, it doesn’t address the nuances of the varied content OR students.

The whole discussion strikes me as similar to thinking about how we seek medical care. How a physician approaches a sore throat is somewhat different than how they might approach a kidney stone, both in terms of the diagnostics, the treatment, and the follow through. And they have to take into account the condition of the patient almost above all else.
Education is not terribly different. Teaching math is arguably different than teaching philosophy, and students come at them from wildly different experiences and contexts. So why should we treat them the same?

What about Students Without Internet Access ?

A few resources via the TeachThought blog and YouTube:

“6 Ways To Support Students Without Internet Access At Home”:

http://www.teachthought.com/technology/6-ways-support-students-without-internet-access-home/

…and Shannon Holden’s YourTube videos “Flip Without Internet” parts one and two, which includes resources for capturing web-based videos into standalone files that students can use anywhere.

The Most-Needed Competency for Online Instructors

Interesting article with some common sense comments from Larry Ragan and Brian Redmond at Penn State.
“Ragan explains: “Our research leads us to believe that active teaching and responsiveness is the primary skill set that faculty need to have to be successful online, and one of the most challenging. The challenge is in the transition from the face-to-face environment to the online environment.”
http://www.academicimpressions.com/news/most-needed-competency-online-instructors?qq=22101j683268pV1001&awp=0