What We Can Learn from Family Dinner

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A recent broadcast on San Francisco’s Public Radio, KQED, reviewed the studied benefits that regular family dinner offers to children.
Anne Fishel
, Director of The Family and Couples’ Therapy Program at Mass General Hospital, shared what twenty years of research reveals about dinner conversation. Among the many benefits of conversing while eating with kids are the following:

  1. Better vocabulary development than generated by reading out loud to children
  2. Higher school achievement gains than doing homework
  3. Lower risk of teen pregnancy and tobacco use

Read more at the Hapara blog…

Beautiful Learning Spaces – Not Just for the Aesthetically Attuned

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This weekend landed me at the EdTechTeam (I love camel case) Summit Featuring Google Apps for Education at Palo Alto’s Gunn High School. The summit, filled with presentations about ways to increase student agency and the authenticity of student work in school, was a nice counter to the other reason that Palo Alto’s schools have been in the news this year.

Read more at the Hapara blog…

Student Data Privacy – It’s a Big Deal

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This week I head to DC for the Student Privacy Boot Camp for Edtech Companies. This event, co-hosted by Rethink Education and the Future of Privacy Forum is timely. Over the past several weeks, student data privacy has again been in the news as a software engineer and dad from the Silicon Valley took some time to reveal that many of the applications his children use in school could be easily hacked to capture student information.
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Screen Time Rules in My House

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Not all screen time is the same. At least I hope not. At least that’s what I tell myself when I sit down to my computer in the morning and strap myself in for ten to twelve hours of emailing, video-conferencing, video editing, and various other forms of copy writing; interspersed, of course, with the occasional youtube video of a guy smashing his testicles in a skateboarding accident, courtesy of my younger brothers.
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School Profile – The Met Sacramento

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The following is a profile I wrote with the collaboration of the great folks at The Met Sacramento as a part of the work I do as lead educator with Hapara.

Ther2014-11-22 14.25.16e are many paths to adulthood, and this is something that is well understood by the young adults that belong to The Met, a Big Picture High School, in Sacramento, California. Big Picture Learning is an association of schools in the United States that are committed to the personalization of learning in a unique and creative way.

Read more at the Hapara blog

Things That Edtech Makes Better (and Worse)

via Grégoire Lannoy on Flickr
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Education technology in the twenty first century has made some remarkable progress. The ubiquity of software tools with cloud-based computing, the significant drop in price of powerful computing devices, and the explosion of easily accessible content represent more significant quantum leaps than say the VHS did over 16mm film.

via Grégoire Lannoy on Flickr

via Grégoire Lannoy on Flickr

This new edtech is beginning to change what education looks like. There is more independent learning that happens. Have your kids ever watched a Youtube video to get inspired for an art project? Try searching Rainbow Loom. We all have access to creative tools that can make whatever we do look like the work of skilled artists. Ever mistake a friend’s Instagram post for an advertisement? And we can more easily connect all that we do to the people that matter to us, whether we have met them in person or not. Continue reading