Education

Meet the DD Writers

June 14, 2010 2 min read
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Katie Ash | kash@epe.org

BRIC ARCHIVE

“My story about administrators’ use of mobile devices to do their jobs highlighted some of the challenges that arise from being connected 24/7. But the more folks I spoke with, the clearer it became that although technology is both a blessing and a curse, smartphones and other digital devices have become absolutely essential for administrators as they have for so many other professionals. New technological devices and approaches have also opened the door to virtual learning for special education students, who may thrive under the individualization that occurs in that environment. Likewise, embracing digital games can help teachers illustrate difficult concepts and engage students in learning. The momentum of change that technology is creating in K-12 schools feels as if it is building faster than ever, and we will continue to keep a close watch on the benefits and drawbacks of those changes.”

Michelle R. Davis | mdavis@epe.org

BRIC ARCHIVE

“For my story on social networking, I went back and reread the last story I did on this topic, which appeared in Digital Directions in 2008. Then, educators questioned whether there was any role for social networking in schools and struggled over how to deal with disciplinary issues that arose from such networks. Things have changed dramatically since then. There’s no shortage now of creative and innovative examples of educators’ using social networking successfully both with their students and for professional development. But that doesn’t mean all the questions are answered: Educators must still navigate the murky waters of social networking and the difficulties using such tools with students might pose.”

Ian Quillen | iquillen@epe.org

BRIC ARCHIVE

“You know that bit about a crisis being when danger meets opportunity? I’m not sure that’s the case every time, but it was certainly an underlying theme with the teachers, administrators, and technology professionals I talked to while reporting for this, my debut in Digital Directions. And in the aftermath of a recession, it’s easy to get excited about chances to reduce costs by more scrupulously negotiating with technology vendors or by implementing a classroom-management system at a fraction of the cost of hiring another teacher. But the dangers are real, too. Getting laptops on the cheap, or having students using the Web during instruction time, is insignificant if the educational experience doesn’t improve because of it.”

A version of this article appeared in the June 16, 2010 edition of Digital Directions as DD Writers

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