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. […]

Blended Learning for High School – Montessori Style

I am obsessed with the work of Maria Montessori. The scientist observer mind that Montessori brought to the education of children, enabled her to construct social learning environments that would be the envy of any major corporate human resources department. Observing the Montessori pre-school my own children attended inspired me to restructure my high school […]

Why the Chromebook Matters..

In 1998 I attended a mini conference at Sun Microsystems in Redwood City, California. I was there because a more seasoned teacher, Larry, who had taken me under his wing, told me it would be fun. We sat in a small conference hall with a bunch of engineers while a bespectacled, big-haired guy at the […]

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 […]

Support the Odyssey Initiative

The glut of bad press about American schools and educators makes me want to point one of these speech jammers at the next person I hear use the words ‘broken’ and ‘schools’ in the same sentence. The antidote to that is the Odyssey Initiative, a project headed up by Brooklyn teacher and former Wall Street hack, […]

Whither the Test When Information is Ubiquitous?

The recent attention given to the New Media Consortium Horizon Report for k12 has me thinking of the future again. I had a free couple of hours on Saturday morning when I woke up early with a gentle summer hangover and decided to pick up Michio Kaku’s Physics of the Future. In the first chapter, […]

Summer of Video

Is there a difference between watching Sal Khan on the internet and having him teach you face to face? According to Sal’s cousins there is. In his TED appearance, Sal reveals that his cousins told him they prefer his internet videos to his in-person tutoring. The reason they prefer their virtual cousin to the real […]

Over the Horizon: High School in 2017

Writing about future trends in any industry, at least from the blogging perspective, is fun because there is no accountability and it is fair to be blissfully optimistic. With that disposition I write now, inspired by the recently released 2012 Horizon Report K12 edition, a projection of possible future trends in education technology authored by […]

What’s On the Minds of Tech Savvy Educators?

One kiosk at this week’s International Society for Technology in Education 2012 (ISTE12) encouraged attendees to tweet a question or a suggestion to be considered by those who will be in attendance at the ISTE leadership conference in December. I have selected from this list some of my favorites ans storified them here.

Big Data Will Save Education from Tooth Decay

Do you remember this ad slogan for Trident gum? “4 out of 5 dentists surveyed would recommend sugarless gum to their patients who chew gum.” I was a kid when that slogan aired on national television stations in the early 1980’s. Even then, I remember thinking to myself, what exactly does that last phrase mean? […]