via Grégoire Lannoy on Flickr

Things That Edtech Makes Better (and Worse)

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. This new edtech is beginning to […]

16 Things to Consider When Going Google One to One

1. Ask Why? There are millions of connected educators around the world who would be delighted to answer that question for you. You must answer it for your own education context. Best not to try doing so alone. Which leads to… 2. Engage a Diverse Array of Stakeholders from the Beginning. Moving teachers and students to […]

Diligent Use of Cycles of Inquiry Makes Huge Impact

Some of you are aware that in August of 2012 I began working with the Hapara team as lead educator. Since that time, all of my creative efforts have gone into that work. Only recently have I begun to blog again; still mostly within the context of my work at Hapara. I plan to re-post here […]

Innovative New Schools in Africa Succeeding Without Edtech for Students

The Bridge International Academy (BIA) came across my gaze this week in a feature article from Wired Magazine. Guest edited by Bill Gates, the issue highlights several of his philanthropic investments around the world. What strikes me about the model of BIA is the conspicuous lack of edtech in the hands of the students. In […]

Common Core Assessment 20x More Expensive? What Can Edtech Do?

The forthcoming Common Core (CC) Assessments are the next generation of standardized tests in the US, and will meet the testing frequency requirements of the most recent version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act also known as No Child Left Behind unless congress should act to change this, which is most unlikely. Forty six […]

So Much Data Yet Still So Little Meaning

I had a mentor early in my career, also named Jack, who was a very well respected and well liked business owner. I worked at his company in the summers of my high school and college years as a delivery boy. Jack took me under his wing and would entertain my questions about the systems […]

The Challenge of Managing Student Data in the Cloud

Call it what you want; the digital revolution, the cloud migration, one-to-one. The move to pervasive use of computing as the medium for education is underway. Schools around the world have moved beyond teacher websites, and are empowering students to both access curriculum and create products to demonstrate their learning entirely in the digital medium. […]

What would Maria Montessori Say About Edtech?

What would Maria Montessori say about the use of the edtech available to us as we approach the year 2013? Heaven forbid any actual Montessori educators should read this post. My summaries of Montessori ideas and structures most certainly do not do justice to the wonderful body of work Maria Montessori left behind, nor do […]

Too Much Screen Time in a Blended Learning Class?

The mid-July issue of Newsweek, linked below, was sitting on the coffee table at the Tahoe cabin of a friend of mine this past weekend. My interest was piqued by the cover image so, despite the fact that it was dated, I picked it up. The author of the feature article, Is the Web Driving […]

What Arne Duncan Said to Me Last Week

On Wednesday of last week, several members of the US Department of Education kicked off their Back to School Bus Tour at the high school where I teach science in Redwood City, California. The visit was an edtech themed visit, and spotlighted a panel discussion that included edtech pop stars Sal Khan of the Khan […]

Blended Learning in the Traditional Classroom

It’s not about the hardware. No laptop, tablet, lapdock, or webtop is going to change education by virtue of its screen resolution, haptic capabilities or processor speed. However, a proliferation of free, cloud-based, high quality, curated curricular materials (videos in particular) just might. Sal Khan is not the harbinger of a revolution in education because […]

Blended Learning at Harvard

Harvard Computer Science Professor and former Dean of Harvard College, Harry Lewis, has written an article in this month’s Harvard Magazine about his experience blending a preliminary computer science course entitled, Discrete Mathematics. While reading his first person account of this pilot course, I kept nodding my head in agreement as he recounted both the […]

So This is Democracy – Edcamp, the Unconference

It is easy for a middle-class, Washington outsider to become skeptical about our political system that, by some metrics, operates more like a polarized plutocracy than a socialistic democracy. However, in the same week, three members of a Russian girl punk band got two years in prison for playing protest songs in the face of […]

Entrepreneur Education to Save Our Dominance

Four weeks ago I was sitting at Sharon Park Starbucks in Menlo Park chatting with two colleagues about the currently ongoing Connected Educator Month. A young man with a Cheshire Cat grin approached our table with a, Yes, there are raffle tickets in my back pocket that I would like to sell you, look on […]

Questions at the Beginning

Motivating questions have been used by master teachers probably for as long as humans have inhabited their neocortex. An inspiring question targets the background, interests, and capabilities of a student. Such a question can be a launching pad for discussion, inquiry, and a starting place for a learning trajectory. This summer, I have the privilege […]

Build Your Edtech Dream in a Weekend – RemixEd

You’ve been talking about it for years. If only there were an application that graded all of your essays, delivered personalized, daily emails to all of your students, and then prepared your coffee for you just the way you like it. Now is your chance! In less than two weeks, dozens of hardcore developers (that’s […]