Mobile Device Security

Today’s mobile devices and cell phones are as powerful as our PC or laptop.  A good question to ask yourself is, “Am I as careful with internet and device security with my cell phone as I am with my PC or laptop?  Here are some suggestions from Stay Safe Online:

  • Make sure that you keep your security software current including updating to the latest web browsers and operating systems.
  • Make sure that you have protected any device that connects to the internet.
  • Secure your phone using a strong passcode.
  • Make sure to review the privacy policy on apps that you download.  Also, pay attention to the manifest, or the permissions that your are giving to the app (location, access to social networks, etc.).
  • Only give your mobile number to people you know and trust and never give away somebody else’s number without permission.
  • Learn how to disable the geotagging feature on your phone at
  • Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device when your are connected to Wi-Fi hot-spots.
  • When banking and shopping, check to be sure the site is security enabled.  You can do this by looking for the “https://” or “shttp://”, in the url address bar.  This means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information.
  • If you get a text, call or email that you are unsure about, don’t respond.  Requests for personal information and other scams are on the rise.

Differentiation + Technology = Time and Support for All Students To Learn

Students in schools with lower levels of student family incomes receive qualitatively different instruction than do students in schools with higher family incomes.  Specifically, there is an inverse relationship between low-income students and constructivist teaching (Abbott, 2003).  Technology helps teachers to create a more student-centered classroom and helps to facilitate a constructivist approach to learning, therefore it is easy to see how low-income schools such as ours struggle to provide a student-centered environment for students.

We subscribe to the Tomlinson et al (2003) definition of differentiation, “Differentiation can be defined as an approach to teaching in which teachers proactively modify curricula, teaching methods, resources, learning activities, and student products to address the diverse needs of individual students and small groups of students to maximize the learning opportunity for each student in a classroom.”

Marc Prensky (2008) defined the role of technology in education when he wrote, “The role of technology in our classrooms is to support the new teaching paradigm”.  The new teaching paradigm that Prensky was referring to was the shift from a teacher-centered to a student-centered classroom.

Now, combine Tomlinson’s definition of differentiation with Marc Prensky’s role of technology in education and you see how we aim to improve student achievement through the infusion of technology into our classrooms.  We aim to topple the standard equation of “Time + Support = Learning” where Time, Support are constants and Learning is the variable.  We aim to replace this traditional equation with “Time + Support = Learning” where Time and Support are VARIABLES and Learning is the CONSTANT.  In other words, you will learn – we will find the time and support for that to happen.  We feel that by differentiating instruction through the use of technology, we can provide a more student-centered approach for our kids where all students get the time and support they need to be successful.

Abbott, M. (2003). Constructivist Teaching and Student Achievement – Seattle Pacific … Retrieved from

Prensky, Marc (2008) The role of technology in teaching and the classroom.  Educational Technology, Nov-Dec 2008.

Tomlinson, C.A., et al (2003).  Differentiating instruction in response to student readiness, interest, and learning profile in academically diverse classrooms: a review of literature.  Journal for the Education of the Gifted. Vol. 27, No. 2/3, 2003, pp. 119-145.

4 Pillars of the Flipped Classroom

Just read an interesting post by David Nagel of THE Journal.  He discusses a report, “A Review of Flipped Learning” by identifying the 4 pillars of the flipped classroom and then listing challenges and concerns.  

4 Pillars:

  1. Flexible environments
  2. Culture shift
  3. Intentional content
  4. Professional educators

Challenges and Concerns:

  1. Fear that the flipped classroom will lead to further standardization/privatization of education.
  2. Unequal access to technology
  3. Inability to engage students immediately when instruction is being delivered.

You can download the pdf of the 27 page report by clicking: LitReview_FlippedLearning


eTech Summer Summit

Having a great day at the eTech Ohio Summer Summit.  See this for an interesting presentation on the basics of the Chrome book and Chromebox.

Also, good information on PARCC Testing.  Important to participate in any trials that are offered down the road.  Assessment registration and validation.  Tracking results and being able to report results.  The scale of PARCC’s testing system will be immense.  20-25 million users (Students) with content being delivered both ways in a short period of time.   Comparable and perhaps more immense than Amazon or the IRS.

PARCC is in the process of developing an open source architecture for testing content. This won’t be in play until at least the second year of PARCC.

Sending students to computers or sending computers to students?

Final word – don’t look for sample items anytime soon as vendors have not been chosen yet.