The Direct Network

Bring the World to Your Classroom

Posted by Liz Schulte on Feb 16, 2017 5:30:00 AM

Every day new technology is introduced that makes the world a little bit smaller. You can talk with people in all corners of the internet-touched world almost as easily as you can step outside and meet your neighbor. You can tour other countries and learn about their cultures and experiences with a few swift clicks on the keyboard. Higher education and K-12 students can benefit from the variety of experience that these virtual learning tools bring into a classroom. All it requires is a strong internet connection and a willingness to learn.

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Virtual Reality in Schools Brings Real World to Life

Posted by Jason Smallheer on Jan 13, 2017 5:30:00 AM

More than 87 million virtual reality headsets were sold in 2016. Often used for gaming, watching programs and education, the VR market is expected to explode from $1.5 billion in sales in 2015 to almost $40 billion in the next five years. How will your school take advantage of the industry boom?

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MBS Direct's eGlossary: A Primer on the Digital Dialect [Download]

Posted by Dean Asher on Nov 24, 2016 5:00:00 AM

While experts still argue about the details, one thing is clear: digital course materials are here to stay. With such a meteoric rise of such a complex subject, it’s no wonder a lot of buzzwords cropped up in an attempt to define, explain and establish each element that makes up the digital learning experience.

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What in the EdTech?

Posted by Carrie Watkins on Nov 9, 2016 7:00:00 AM

This past week, I traveled to several of our partner schools in the Dallas Fort Worth area. I received tours of maker spaces where students 3D-printed working electric guitar frames, heard about Invention Conventions where students come up with inventions that could change the world, and a student-run ad agency that did social media management and design work for outside companies.

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MBS Direct: No Magic Bullets, Just Solutions

Posted by Bill Dampier on Nov 4, 2016 5:00:00 AM

Education is changing today faster and more frequently than perhaps any other time in recent history. Technology has a place in the classroom that's evolved beyond the overhead transparency projectors and solar-powered pocket calculators many of us remember from our education. However, that doesn't mean that technology is achieving its full potential. In other words, educational technology keeps changing with many new players offering promises of single-handedly transforming how your students learn.

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Could Your Next Teaching Assistant Be an AI?

Posted by Dean Asher on Oct 27, 2016 9:20:57 AM

"Siri, may I have a pass to go to the bathroom?"

It's a pretty weird question to ask your iPhone at home, but some ed tech experts believe this is the future for your classroom. As technology becomes more advanced — and students become more comfortable with it — there's a real shot that AI programs could do everything from helping educators run their classrooms to finding commuters the right buses to get to their destination.

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Ed Tech Predictions from Yesteryear: What Came True and What's Still Waiting

Posted by Dean Asher on Oct 13, 2016 5:00:00 AM

No one has a crystal ball, but we all like to try and make predictions about what's next for education. It can help us imagine the direction our students' education will be going in for the future, and it helps us better prepare our technological plans and infrastructure. With technology shifting so rapidly, however, it's easier said than done. Sometimes going back even five years reveals predictions that were well off the mark.

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What Paper's History Tells Us About Ed Tech's Future

Posted by Dean Asher on Aug 24, 2016 3:30:00 AM

Sometimes to understand where a technology is headed, we have to take some time and look at where it's been.

It's true that paper will never truly go away — especially when many students still prefer print textbooks to digital titles — but the business and academic worlds as we know them are rapidly going more and more paperless. That said, paper itself has a very long and rich history as both a technology and a means of communication, which Inside Higher Ed columnist Joshua Kim recently learned by reading Mark Kurlansky's micro-history "Paper: Paging Through History." This history can help us better understand the evolving nature of educational technology as we use it in our classrooms. 

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Seymour Papert and the Evolution of Ed Tech

Posted by Dean Asher on Aug 11, 2016 5:00:00 AM

Last week, technology in the classroom lost one of its earliest and most passionate pioneers. Seymour Papert died July 31 in his Blue Hill, Maine home at the age of 88.

If you're not familiar with Papert's life, it's a fascinating one. Born in South Africa in 1928, Papert studied mathematics and earned doctorates from South Africa's University of Witwatersrand and England's University of Cambridge before coming to America and working at MIT. There he began his work in robotics, and the future of technology in the classroom was changed forever. See how far we've come since then.

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How Games Are Art in the Modern Classroom

Posted by Dean Asher on Aug 10, 2016 5:00:00 AM

While it doesn't necessarily mean that your cousin Billy was secretly your generation's Da Vinci because he was good at Pitfall on his Atari, the notion that video games are an art form continues to gain traction. Fans were convinced early, but now more and more critics and even educators are coming around. In fact, educators from all over gathered in Pennsylvania earlier this month at the EduGaming Conference to discuss the benefits of games-based learning and gamification. EdScoop explored these notions further in a preview article they wrote for the conference, noting how once educators get over some of the negative stigmas video games have earned, they can see some pretty amazing results with their students.

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