Ed tech quarantine?

[cross-posted at the TechLearning blog]


\n\n

This\nis a picture of the Mobile Quarantine Facility built by NASA for astronauts returning from\nthe Moon. It's basically a modified Airstream\ntrailer. The idea was to isolate the astronauts until it was determined that\nthey didn't have 'moon germs.' Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael\nCollins stayed in this quarantine trailer for 65 hours after their return to\nEarth (Welcome back, heroes. Get in this trailer!).

\n

Of course my pathetic brain saw this and immediately started thinking about\neducational technology. How sad is that?!

\n

This MQF (gotta love those government acronyms!) got me thinking about\nwhether we technology early adopters need a self-imposed moratorium on talking\nabout new technology tools, at least in certain settings. One of the most common\nrefrains heard from teachers or administrators who listen to us talk or blog\nabout all of these new cool tools is "Why do I care about this as an\neducator?" In our eagerness to share our nearly-palpable glee and\nexcitement, we often struggle to adequately answer the "So what?" question in\nways that are substantive and meaningful to the average teacher or\nadministrator.

\n

So when a new tool comes out – Twitter,\nDiigo, whatever – maybe we should hold off\nfor a bit before we start blabbing to educators who don't live as close to the\ned tech edge as we do. Maybe we should voluntarily follow a process that looks\nsomething like this:

\n\n

\n\n\n

\n\n

I believe that an emphasis on pilot testing, experimentation, and\nidentification of both mainstream educator use(s) and optimal training\nmechanisms before introduction to other educators\noften would help us quite a bit. Instead of turning off the very educators that\nwe want using many of these tools, some time spent in the ed tech\nquarantine might go a long way toward facilitating our overall\ngoal of greater technology adoption in K-12 classrooms.

\n

I don't know if I've gotten the quarantine process exactly right. And of\ncourse many of you already do some version of this. But I think this is a\nconcept that generally should be kept closer to the forefront of our brains.\nWhat do you think?

\n

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

Meet the Bajau sea nomads — they can reportedly hold their breath for 13 minutes

The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.

Wikimedia Commons
Culture & Religion
  • The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
  • Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
  • Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Keep reading Show less

Golden blood: The rarest blood in the world

We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.

Abid Katib/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
  • Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
  • It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less