Independent EdTech Research – Untethered Mad Science

No one would deny that education research is difficult to do well. Humans don’t behave like frictionless carts in perfectly elastic collisions. The gold standard of a double-blind study with randomly assigned subjects is impossible to accomplish in a school setting. Education institutions would like to use data-rooted studies to effect positive change, but the […]

How Do We Measure the Value of EdTech?

For better or worse, NCLB has forced public schools to be data driven. School leaders think hard every time they make a purchase, condone a new course, or approve a field trip request. And it’s not just because their purchasing budgets have shrunk by 50% in each of the last three years. School boards, accreditation […]

Gooru: The Future of STEM Education Resources

The former head of Google India is drawing with a whiteboard marker on the glass cover of his white office desk. He is showing me the organizational structure of his STEM education resource, search, and curation portal called Gooru. Prasad Ram — Pram to his friends — started Gooru as a 20% time project while still at Google. Like the […]

Horizon Report for K12 – Meet Elroy Jetson

It is 2016. We are shadowing a fourteen year-old student in a suburb of a major metropolitan city. His name is Elroy. Elroy wakes up, gets dressed, eats breakfast, and brushes his teeth just like any teen would today. That’s when Elroy’s day diverges dramatically from that of anyone who attended school in 2011. Instead […]

The Alchemy of EdTech – Predicting Future Trends

Prognostication is an occult art usually left to wizards, be they charlatans or visionaries; Nostradamus or Kurzweil. In EdTech, however, there is a global cooperative engaged in predicting future trends on a yearly basis – and they’re pretty good at it. The New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report is an annual view into trends in education […]

Data Dashboards Crash into Education – Will It Matter?

Soon may be sepia-toned memory the professional development days when groups of number-phobic teachers sit around a spreadsheet attempting to divine something about their practice from the non-existent causation patterns they conjure out of the data presented to them. The data dashboard, a tool that has been employed for twenty years by the business community […]

BYOT to school is going to happen – K12 is bracing for impact

I received a survey in my school email inbox today. The administration is considering changing the school cell phone policy and they want faculty input. The leadership recognizes that times are changing, and they are not alone. I carried out an anonymous survey in my five science classes last year to determine what percentage of […]

Imaginek12 is about to change your teaching career. What is it?

To understand this post anywhere outside of the Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bay Area requires some qualification.  Despite the talk of a double-dip recession, despite the tenaciously high unemployment numbers, and despite Standard and Poor’s choice to move the U.S. credit rating one step closer to junk bond status, creativity and ingenuity are in full swing […]

How families should be choosing a high school

Education is a social enterprise. So is the process of selecting a high school. Parents talk to their friends with school-aged children and seek their opinions. Sometimes this anecdotal reporting is insightful. I suspect, given how few parents spend time in their children’s high schools during the school day, that these exchanges are rife with […]

Blow Up Standardized Testing, Please. #EdTech #k12 #Education

Really.  There is an inferno of activity in the EdTech sector right now.  Many teams are attempting to use technology to address problems that have existed since the beginning of compulsory schooling.  A few of these teams are onto something.  Witness the use of online video to free up class time for more interactive student […]

Beginning of end for ETS? Notes from the SF EduTech @Meetup #EdTech #k12

One thing is for sure.  There will be no dearth of choices for adaptive learning math-in-the-box tools.  This was my fourth SF EdTech Meetup, and included my 13th, 14th, and 15th encounters, respectively, with young, bright-eyed founders developing cloud-based learning environments for basic math instruction.  Why wouldn’t they do this?  Math instruction, at the lower […]

Memory loss at the hands of the internet @NYT #EdTech #Education #k12

A series of psychology experiments conducted by Betsy Sparrow of Columbia University and reported by the NYT suggest that we may be moving toward distributed memory. That is, knowing that information is accessible to us through the web at the press of a few imprints on our touch screen, we make pointers in our brains […]

Crowdsourcing Education Funding @EdSurge #EdTech #k12 #Education

Grant writing is not for the faint of heart. Teachers are loathe to make an attempt to fund projects, even great innovative projects, because it involves spending several hours writing with what may be a small chance for success. Big risks with small chance of reward is the land of the entrepreneur. Teachers already have […]

Online Text Reading Level Assessment Tools Reviewed #k12 #education #edtech

When assigning text reading to students it is helpful to appropriately target the grammatical complexity and vocabulary level for the audience you are teaching. I teach conceptual physics to a very diverse student body. In the same class with sophomore English language learners I will have senior IB diploma candidates. It is helpful to be […]