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EDITOR'S NOTES: The App’s the Thing

By David Hoffman - Posted Sep 1, 2014
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You can’t get away from the subject of mobile learning in K–12 anymore. And why would anyone want to? Consider all the devices, the electronic resources, the channels that deliver the resources, and then the software tools—the apps—that allow us to use those resources for learning. Taken together, they have “disrupted” education in a way that’s … OK, I’ll steal a buzzword from the marketing and PR worlds … “revolutionary”!

The app wave for mobile devices is upon us, so we asked Victor Rivero to swim through it and assess it for us in this month’s Tools for Learning feature. He’s got stats and facts, a little context, and then a terrific overview presented in a very pragmatic way. I mean, who can isolate the few “best” among thousands upon thousands? So Victor opts “for what we hope is a more thoughtful approach and provide[s] you here with some of the best aggregators of apps and tools that will assist you in narrowing your search and actually finding the quality results you may be looking for.” See Mobile Learning Has Gone App-Happy! (page 6).

In addition this month, two of our regular columnists step up. Looking to the future as always, Pipeline columnist Stephen Abram discusses the need for school librarians to increase their influence—and school libraries’ influence—on K–12 education. The proof of libraries’ positive effects is out there already and is well-known, he points out. So, in Influence: 7 Rules (And You Can’t Just Do One!) (page 10), he offers a “magic seven” set of rules for asserting more influence and oversight in the librarian’s
professional world.

And Carolyn Foote’s Idea Watch column seizes on Twitter as a PD tool, not just on a global scale, interacting with educators around the world, but on a local scale. See The Twitter Edchat: A Global Tool, a Local Focus (page 12) for a description of the in-district edchat, what it’s like, who it can help, and how best to do it, along with real-world examples from, where else, Carolyn’s and neighboring districts.

David Hoffmaneditor

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