Last Saturday My Son Found His People at the Maker Faire

Last Saturday my seven year old son found his people at the Maker Faire. It started on the train ride from the Menlo Park station. Normally the 9:34am train heading North on a Saturday is about as busy as the vomit circumscribed dive bars that dot its rails in each of the peninsula towns on […]

Why “Just How Small is the Atom” Has the Most Views on Ted-Ed..

..and why we should be concerned. Love. That’s what I felt when I first landed on TED’s new site for educators and students, Ted-Ed. From the hosts of the 18 minute talks that have inspired some of the most interesting lunchtime discussions in my classroom over the last few years, comes a site brimming with equally […]

Edtech Early Days

I don’t know who the two cute girls in the back are, but the African American boy at the keyboard was the right wing on my soccer team. And you may not recognize her, but the pigtails in the foreground belong to Kimya Dawson. She did several of the songs on the soundtrack for Juno […]

Government Study of Online Learning Revisited

Below are my notes from a DOE commissioned meta-study of the effects that online and blended learning have on student learning. This study was published in 2009 and is frequently referenced in the edtech community as evidence that there is value added in moving instruction out of the classroom and into the cloud. As the […]

Translating Krug’s Usability to Edtech

I am half way through reading Steve Krug’s, Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability.” First published in 2000, “Don’t Make Me Think” is a practical guide for web designers, providing advice congruent with the title. I approached the book curious if web design principles from 2000 translated to design appropriate […]

An Early Foray into Blended Learning

This is a little embarrassing. The link below will take you to a video of me, circa 2003, pimpin’ it for HMH. It is a promotional video for their adaptive software program, Destination Math. Figured I’d better post it before someone else does. Growth through humility. video link..

The Big Challenge in US Education and How Edtech Can Help..

Succinctly stated the challenge is this: The United States culturally undervalues education. We have low standards for the teaching profession. Not surprisingly, there is little trust placed in our teaching force to make education decisions, and the practicing professionals in schools are kept out of the policy-making process. Read more at the New Media Consortium..

Blended Learning, Merit Pay, and My Wife

I am ready to jump in. For fifteen years I have been employing educational technologies in my high school science classes to increase student engagement and improve student performance. I have documented increases in both of these with my most recent foray into Peer Instruction with clickers over the last three years. Before that I […]

Edtech Innovation Curve – Infographic

Online teaching and learning are charging into the public sector like a freight train. As my colleagues and I consider how to best meet the challenge of this fast-paced transition, it is helpful to see edtech innovation as movement along a curve of integration. To help my colleagues conceptualize the trajectory I have created this […]

Imagining Possibilities in Edtech: Formative Assessment

First, a primer: when a student takes a test or writes a paper at the end of a unit of study, if that test or paper is graded and used as a component of that student’s overall grade in the course, we call this summative assessment. When students take standardized tests, as they must do […]

Imagining Possibilities in Edtech: Lesson Content Delivery

This is the second in a series of posts I am writing about what the traditional classroom could look like in the near future with already available and nearly available edtech. The first postexplored lesson planning. By one edtech standard, my high school health teacher was well ahead of his time. He had videotapes of lectures […]

Power to the People – Free Interactive Textbooks are Coming

Stephen Wolfram, maker of Mathematica and author of A New Kind of Science, challenges the world again; this time by collaborating to offer free online mathematics texts with interactive simulations to help students see math. Working in concert with Neeru Khosla’s free textbook initiative, ck12, Wolfram Alpha (WA) has made available free to everyone their […]

Ca Student Bill of Rights Act – Friend or Foe to Public Education?

This topic will probably get more action from me in coming months. This post will be a quick informational one to start a conversation so that I can get more information. The California Student Bill of Rights Initiative (link to .pdf of initiative text) seeks to allow students anywhere in California access to UC approved […]

Teaching Anger Management with Game-Based EdTech

This is just too cool to spoil with a long critical analysis. I came across this video and the corresponding brief project description while doing research on GameDesk (a SoCal-based research nonprofit) for an upcoming post on a study GameDesk did on Motion Math. It seems that the goal is to teach anger management to […]

Are You Sure You Want This? AUPs from Around the World

One out of every five times I boot up my clicker software — a process that takes nearly 120 seconds on my MacBook — the program crashes. Re-booting requires a full-system re-start. I desperately want to make the move to personal digital device dependence in my classes. Not only would a cloud-based solution be more […]

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 […]