In the education community, there is a common analogy comparing emerging technologies and blended learning models with the common pencil, the Deseret News reports. The concept behind the analogy is a hypothetical world where writing, pencils and books do not exist. Then, when the pencil appears as an emerging technology, as tablet devices and competency-based learning programs are now, the question is whether it would be quickly embraced, or whether policymakers would call for pencil pilot programs to study their effect on classroom learning. Richard Culatta, who serves as acting director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology, demonstrated the pencil analogy Monday to guests of the Early Education and Technology for Children conference at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center…

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