Social Media's Dyke
Ron Schachter's article "The Social Media Dilemma" (July/August 2011) provides great insight into the struggles schools face when deciding how to use, and attempt to control the use of, social media. It's easy to fi nd reasons to block access to social networking sites, but ultimately, those efforts will fail like a boy with his finger in a dyke. It is important to experience social media and then develop policies that set appropriate guidelines.
"Trickle down" works with social media. As teachers and administrators use social media tools, they become more positive about the value of these tools in education and will find more ways to use collaborative technologies to enhance the teaching and learning process.
Lisa Schmucki, Founder and CEO, edWeb.net
2015: Korea Goes Mobile
A response to a Going Mobile blog post that ran on July 13, "Korea Goes Mobile Learning in 2015—As We Predicted! (Sort of)" The enthusiasm and interest I have personally observed in the "lower half" of the student body when exposed to mobile learning devices such as the iPod Touch and iPhone as well as the iPad make me think that well-designed mobile learning experiences coupled with formative assessment that gives immediate feedback to teachers as well as students will bring a whole new class of students into learning that is relevant to them.
I hold out a great deal of hope that teachers trained in our colleges and universities in the use of mobile technologies will "save" American public education and those children in the lower half of the student body. We must begin to think of our education problem not as one that is just K12 but one that runs from pre-K through colleges and universities. We all have to be in "it" in order for "it" to work.
Jeffrey Shafer, Associate consultant, 3W Educational Consulting Group
STEM's Big Picture
As I read Ron Schachter's article about the need for STEM education ("Helping STEM Take Root," April 2011), I thought he made some great points. But he only addresses part of the problem by mentioning just science and math. We need the whole picture. Consider that science is the study of our natural world, technology is the study of our manmade world, engineering is the study of our designed world, and math is the study of the relationship of numbers.
Each area is distinct, yet they all rely upon each other. We cannot promote true STEM without promoting all of the areas, and this is what our country needs to be competitive in the future. Including all areas of STEM could have turned a good article into a great one.
Brad Moore, Technology education and pre-engineering teacher, Eastern Pulaski Community School Corporation, Winamac, Ind.