Fitzgerald, S., (2013). No Child Left Behind and Special Education: the Need for Change in Legislation that is Still Leaving Some Students Behind. Richmond Journal Of Law And The Public Interest. 553- 570.
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is considered as one of most significant laws impacting the American education system. The author avers that the Act was passed upon the desire by the government to see an improved opportunity and impact of education for all the children in the school going age. With the implementation of the Act, the government has increased funding and accessibility so that children from the needy families can afford and access quality education in the district schools. However, despite the Act being in force for more than a decade, it is clear that there are still some children left behind as far as the access and quality of education is concerned. The most hit children, in this case, are the children in need of special education due to lack of accessibility, the cost incurred and the resources provided to support their learning. The author indicates that in such category, their counterparts in the mainstream schools are advantaged and they leave behind the children in need of special education. Therefore, the author recommend for the amendment of the law to assist children with special needs to keep up with others. The author calls for stakeholders, including lawmakers, educators, and parents to speed up the amendment.
Social Media and Engaging Stakeholders in the Development of Literacy Program
Deil-Amen, R., Rios-Aguilar, C., Gonzalez, C. & Charles, H., F.(N/D). Social Media in Higher Education. A Literature Review and Research Directions. 1-30.
The authors were enticed by the growth in the use and relevant of social media in education today. The primary aim of social media usage has been to socialize, but with the discovery of the potentials of the media in productive activities, then the connectivity has intensified as the users try to draw the benefits. The college age users comprises individual within 18-29 years. According to the authors, about 86% of individuals in this generation are connected to the social media and use the social media for various purposes. The first use is the depicted by the creation of online college communities, which has enhanced connection to education and college life. Through the communities, the students are in a position to share information on various matters affecting their college life. The discussions on concepts and sharing of ideas on various topics assist the students to capture wider points of view. In addition, the students are in a position to share the reading and learning materials through the social media. Lastly, the article reveals that the college administrators and tutors can communicate to the students using the official social media platforms to convey information and provide directive to the students on academic aspects.
Russo, J., & Watkins, J., (2008). New Literacy New Audiences: Social Media and Cultural Institutions. 225-240.
The New Literacy New Audiences is a study aimed at assisting in the identification of new literacy, including the digital storytelling in Australia and beyond. The study aimed at identifying new models used in engaging audiences through the publication of contents in the social media sites. Professional media and cultural institutions are playing a role in the creation of content upon which the literacy can be enhanced. The knowledge presented through such a model can be used as a supplement to the concepts learned in the traditional classroom set-up. Learner and teachers interested in cultural issues find such sites resourceful because some of the content and information they communicate cannot be found in the traditional learning resources. The platforms facilitate interaction upon which the connected members can ask questions and engage in discussion for better understand of the concepts. Therefore, the author indicates that the cultural institutions are increasingly using the social media platforms to facilitate interaction and improve the literacy of the learners interested in studying the concepts and features developed and preserved in the institutions.
Moran, M., Seaman, J., Tinti-Kane, H., (2011). Teaching, Learning, and Sharing: How today’s Higher Education Faculty Use Social Media. Pearson Learning Solutions and Babson Survey Research Group. 2-32.
In recent years, Pearson has concentrated on research on the faculty use of social media. The research revealed that social media platforms are popular among the faculty members. In fact, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are among the most popular sites among the members. The study found that the awareness of the social media platforms translates into the usage. More than three-quarters of the members visited and used social media sites regularly. The finding on the class use of social media is the most relevant concern because it has the direct effect in the learning programs. Both the teachers and students use the platforms to interact, share contents and enhance learning. Students in the faculty post contents and materials for both the fellow students and non-students to read and view. In this case, the students become resourceful unlike in the traditional setup where teachers and libraries have been considered as the primary providers of reading and learning materials. Students also use the social media to seek assistance on concepts considered complicated, as well as in the group assignments discussions. The study also found that teachers use the social media to post reading materials, class notes, and assignment for the students to view. In addition, some teachers set aside some time to interact with students and respond to their questions.
Retta, G., (2012). The use of social media for academic practice: a review of literature. Kentucky Journal of Higher Education Policy and Practice: 1(2). Article 7.
According to the author, the use of social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube among others for socialization and interaction is popular across the world. However, the use of the platforms for productive activities in areas such as teaching and learning is at the growth phase. The stakeholders in education are increasingly using the platforms to blend pedagogy and technology in education. Despite the increased use of social media among the students for engagement the direct communication and relationship building has been compromised. Application of the social media in learning activities is likely to increase because of the changing attitude and awareness, a situation that has encouraged more students to start using the sites for learning. However, the use of the media for teaching and learning activities was highly reported in Distance Learning and online learning environments. Students and teachers in such faculties have limited or no opportunity to meet face to face for learning to take place. Rapid sharing of study materials, the posting of assignments, communication and notifications, as well as discussions take place among the teachers and learners.
Sturgeon, C. M., & Walker, C. (2009). Faculty on Facebook: Confirm or Deny? Paper presented at the Annual Instructional Technology Conference, Lee University, Cleveland, TN.
According to the author, the faculty and students have increasingly used Facebook to facilitate learning and interaction. The study aimed at identifying the role that the platform plays in influencing performance. Considering the finding from the study, the researchers found that there is an indirect connection between the use of Facebook and the overall performance. The platform provides the opportunity upon which the students and faculty interact and communicate enhancing understand and better learning environment. However, members of the faculty are less interested in the use of platforms such as Facebook compared to the students. According to the author, the students are keen to build a close relationship with the professors through the platform to receive guidance and make queries on concept deemed unclear or difficult to understand. Lastly, the findings reveal that students are more interested to form relationship among themselves through the social media platforms compared to the traditional engagement. In fact, the engagement through the networks is preferred due to convenience and the low cost involved.
Selwyn, N. (2009). Faceworking: Exploring Students’ Education‐Related Use of “Facebook”. Learning, Media and Technology , 34 (2), 157‐174.
According to the authors, social network sites including Facebook and MySpace have been under significant demand among the players and interested parties in education. A number of educators support and intend to tap the potential in the networks, but there is fear that the application can compromise learning and disrupt the engagement. The study analyzed the Facebook wall activity of 909 students in a university in UK. Indeed, the findings revealed that a large number of the students used the platform in critiquing learning experiences and events, and in the exchange of information and learning materials. Therefore, it is clear that the students have the opportunity to interact among themselves, share resources, and exchange ideas, while expressing views on concepts covered in their studies. In addition, the students use the platforms to contact and communicate with both the teaching and non-teaching staffs on matter regarding teaching and learning processes and events. However, some teachers do not support the adoption of social networks because they believe that the technology would interrupt learning and may not be representing the opinion and perception of the learners.
Greenhow, C. (2009). Tapping the Wealth of Social Networks for Professional Development. Learning & Leading with Technology, 36 (8), 10‐11.
The author identifies Facebook, blogs, YouTube, Google Earth, and GPS among others as example of new technologies that bring people from all directions together. Interestingly despite the increased usage of the platforms in many aspect of human life a significant number of educators are not aware of how these tools can be used for teaching. Therefore, the author is of the opinion that despite being prevalent, the fact that a technology is innovative and popular does not guarantee it application as educational technology. However, the technologies can change the peoples’ thinking on teaching and learning. The study found that social bookmarking sites, including Delicious, Diigo, and CiteULik as being resourceful to scholars, teachers and students. On the other hand, media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and Ning among other facilitate social and emotional support among the students. In conclusion, the author stated that the social media platforms are new spaces enhancing literacy practices and programs.
Wang, Y., & Braman, J. (2009). Extending the Classroom through Second Life. Journal of Information Systems Education, 20 (2), 235.
According to the author, virtual world is becoming sophisticated, while its potential as an effective platform for a various activities has increased. Teaching and learning processes and activities are part of the aspect in human life receiving significant influence due to the use of social media. The article states that the social media platforms such Second Life are playing significant role not only in education but also in many engagements by human beings. The sites are used as a useful tool in improving the capabilities in the teaching environment. The platforms are used in engaging the students in class projects and providing the feedbacks conveniently and in timely manner. Therefore, it is clear that aspects not covered in class due to limitations in time can be tackled effectively in other platforms such as Second Life.