April 2009 : Out of Control

Don’t worry. This isn’t some negative trope about “these kids today” with their Facebooks and iPhones. This is about some of your colleagues, who are out of control in the best sense of the phrase.

I recently restarted the Tech & Learning Twitter account (techlearning for those of you who tweet) and was astounded by the amounts of information, interaction, and innovation being transferred, all in a medium that demands 140 text characters or fewer. For the uninitiated: Twitter users post messages to an online personal profile through the Web or by sending text messages. Other users choose to follow your words of wisdom and can reply with another “tweet” or by sending you a direct message. Likewise, you can choose to follow and respond to what other users are writing. That’s all there is to it.

And yet, what at first seems like a trivial pursuit has become a powerful professional-development tool for edtech integrators. As I type, tweets from Tech & Learning advisor David Warlick [dwarlick] are scrolling down from Doha, Qatar: “Preparing for workshop tomorrow. German soap opera playing in the background. Very strange...” Curriculum director Patrick Higgins [pjhiggins] is contemplating cooperative learning in schools at the ASCD conference: “The person doing the talking is the person doing the learning.” Wes Fryer [wfryer] points to his blog notes on installing a virtual version of Sugar (read our Q&A with Sugar’s founder, Walter Bender, on page 16).

To be honest, it’s all a bit too much to handle, which basically justifies my job: sharing with you the increasingly out-of-control developments in education and technology. Keep reading the magazine, and join us online at techlearning.com to discover what we find.

Oh, and give me a tweet.

Kevin Hogan
Editorial Director