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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Intimacy, Destruction, and a Google Doc #Edtech #Education #k12

The first time I asked students to submit papers to me as a shared Google Doc instead of an attachment, I sensed their reticence. The reticence was not because these IB diploma candidates in the capstone epistemology course I was teaching for them did not know how to do that. These digital natives felt that […]

Concept Maps are Cool, but.. #EdTech #k12

..Infographics are way cooler. If you are a fan of Wired Magazine, then you know this. I can spend as much time looking at and thinking about a well-done infographic as I can a well written feature story. That is, unless the feature story is about pirates, high-profile technocrats that disappear at sea, narcosubs in […]

New #EdTech, Old Teachers, The Adoption Myth #ISTE

An unfortunate assumption that edupreneurs frequently make is one that is also made by administrators inside the system; the ageist assumption that older teachers are unlikely to change their practice. It is a small minority of teachers in their later years that refuse to change their practice. My experience has been just the opposite of […]

Flipped Classroom sounds like an old best practice reborn #Edtech #ISTE

Constructivist education, for those who don’t already know, is when a learner actively participates in creating their own knowledge. There are myriad hierarchies that rank the effectiveness of the different ways we can learn, but an old favorite of mine goes something like this.. We learn some of what we hear We learn a bit […]

A critical examination of School of One pilot study

School of One is all over the blogosphere. I took a close look at their website tonight for the first time. The program is interesting. It appears that the company is using a comprehensive algorithm that is not only adaptive inside of the box, but outside as well. The algorithm considers how best to meet […]