Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting another Brain Train™ with three forward-thinking educators about the future of mobile learning (beyond just the devices and apps). Not only was it a lively conversation about instructional practices and educational philosophy, but it also revealed several interesting ideas and insights about the future.Read more about Mobile Learning on the Brain Train™
While our focus at Clarity Innovations has always been on the future, our brand and website hasn't always been able to keep up with the evolution of our expertise and services. After months of study, design, and review, we've really fallen in love with our new look. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Read more about Have you noticed a change or two around here recently?
About this time two years ago, while thinking about the growing void of quality mobile apps for education, an idea for a way to help fix that was born: EdAppCamp. The idea was simple, easy to implement and would spark interest in a problem that needed attention. And the perfect domain name was registered: edappcamp.org/net/me/com/mobi (we thought it was going to be big, right?). Unfortunately, with only 24 hours in a day competing with other priorities, the idea slowly fell by the wayside… until today.
Before the domains expire and get auto-registered from some remote corner in cyberspace, we’d like to transfer them (for free!) to an organization ready to carry the idea forward.Read more about An Idea Looking for a Good Home
At a recent conference, my suspicions were confirmed: no one else really has a clue to what the future of mobile learning looks like. The solution is getting more ideas out on the tablet.Read more about Envisioning the Future of Mobile Learning
I recently had the opportunity to provide feedback and suggest revisions to a draft report about a yearlong pilot of Android tablet devices in a 5th grade classroom. The lessons learned, obstacles avoided and learning opportunities revealed reaffirmed two things for me:
- teaching is always unpredictable and rewarding all that the same time; and,
- that mobile technology enriches and empowers the learner.
Read more about Mobile Learning Works, Regardless of Device
The Brain Train™ is a means to get away from the day-to-day distractions and obligations at work and instead dedicate a single day to focusing on the big-picture. On the journey, we'll brainstorm, share and reflect on the ideas of each other to achieve a common goal: improving the process and practice of teaching and learning. Read more about About the Brain Train™
Without further delay, here’s my informal assessment of ISTE’s national education computing conference (NECC), which took place last week in San Diego. (Yes, I know, it’s not officially called that anymore, but I’ll refrain from wasting your time about the insignificance of the name change.) This year’s exposition did not disappoint, with a full showing of enthusiastic vendors, countless sessions and, of course, mediocre wireless connectivity. Read more about Reflections on ISTE's conference
Teaching and learning using mobile devices is fundamentally changing classrooms everywhere. These devices are shifting how students read, communicate and think (and have been for a while now). The potential for using these devices for learning really caught on when the iPad was introduced in April 2010.
While there’s significant effort to bring the textbook to the mobile learning medium with immersive, multimedia experiences, there’s not much yet available for other instructional purposes. A wide range of factors may account for this education “app gap”, and I wanted to call attention to a few in this post. Read more about Making effective apps: factors to consider
At the opening session of SXSWedu this morning, Ken Kay suggested that the event will (or is) becoming the preeminent educational technology event. While I personally don't desire this fate for SXSWedu, it does raise a larger question: what is the preeminent educational technology event for the K-12 education field? Because it certainly isn't the ISTE Conference, formerly (and more widely known as) the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC). Read more about Preeminent edtech event?
As you may have noticed, Clarity Innovations is growing its team of Client Leads. While doing so will expand our capacity for working with clients to focus innovative ideas into meaningful results, it is one of the most challenging positions for which to hire. Read more about What is a "Client Lead" and why does it matter?
Since I'll be attending SXSW Interactive this coming March, I thought it would be good to extend my participation into the "mini southby" event known as SXSWedu. And why not share the knowledge by submitting a few proposals? Now is your chance to vote for the sessions you want to see at SXSWedu. (I'd be grateful if you give mine your consideration too.) Read more about Your turn to vote for sessions at SXSWedu
By now, you’ve probably seen quick response (QR) codes appearing just about everywhere. These high-contrast two-dimensional barcode graphics were appropriated from obscurity to convey information, mostly as a URL, about an object displaying the QR code. While it’s enjoyed widespread popularity in Japan and Europe for the last six years, it’s only recently become mainstream here in the mobile technology backwaters (better known as the United States). Unfortunately, not everyone realizes how QR codes are best used. Read more about The era of misplaced QR codes is here
As you can probably extrapolate from the gap in entries here, I've been slightly busy the last six months. (And for that, I offer my sincerest apologies to you, dear reader.) But even with such a pace, one must take time to pause, catch one's breath and look up to see what's ahead; otherwise, one will not see the obstacles ahead. To accomplish this, I tried something entirely different: I took a day trip on the train. Read more about Taking time to think ahead
Over twenty years ago, Apple released a concept video to illustrate a vision about computers in the future. The video, simply titled Knowledge Navigator, anticipated wireless networks, steaming video, the World Wide Web and truly portable netbook style computing. To this day, no company has succeeded in achieving that vision. Maybe after 23 years Apple would introduce a product that does. With the launch of the iPad yesterday, we might be waiting a little bit longer. Read more about Knowledge Navigator, where are you?
After reading a dozen or so "research summaries" of the effectiveness of various popular technologies marketed to schools, the familar experimental design pattern emerges (feel free to recite it along with me): two groups are formed, one with the technology and the other without to serve as the control, etc... Unfortunately, that's about as close as these "research summaries" get to being classified as research. Too many times it seems, they lack rigor in their design, control for bias, analysis and jump to conclusion of a causal relationship in their results. Read more about Placebo effects in educational technology effectiveness?
Back in the days before the term "Web 2.0" was coined, I started making note of when an emerging technology came into use by the early adopters and how many years it would take to reach the mainstream croud at NECC. This year's data point is Twitter. Sadly, the lag isn't getting any shorter: It's still about three years. Read more about Perfectly on schedule: Three years later.
Each year before NECC, we begin to receive the direct mailing materials from a variety of vendors luring participants to attend their session, watch a demo, win a T-shirt. For the last few years, we've made collages out of the mailers. It's helpful to visualize the variety, as well get a sense year-to-year whether the economy has slowed or not. If this year's collage is any indication, it hasn't seemed to impact vendors' budget for marketing. Read more about Results of the 4th annual NECC marketing collage
Last night was the forth installment of #educhat, an impromptu Twitter-based real-time conversation amongst educators world-wide. I decided to take a closer look at measuring how widespread the participation in the conversation really is. The results were interesting. Read more about Armchair analysis of the #educhat real-time group conversation in Twitter
Here's a suggestion for all you conference program planners out there: Use a Twitter backchannel for dialog, questions, and suggestions from your audience. Doing so will keep presenters sharp, the audience engaged, and attendance growing. Otherwise, expect attrition to rise as participants raise their expectations for interactive professional development. Read more about Reinventing the professional development experience: A suggestion for conference planners.
Earlier this month, I attended two conferences back to back in Austin (CoSN and SxSW Interactive). For me, the unfortunate side effect of attending conferences has always been some combination of a strained back, stiff neck, and sore feet. But for the first time ever, none of these were the case. This time, something was different: I wasn't carrying my laptop bag everywhere I went. Instead, all I had with me was my iPhone. Read more about How the iPhone Improved My Posture