Blended Learning

Ed-tech without educators is doomed

Elements 4D is a current project on Kickstarter featuring a set of wooden blocks engraved with the elements of the Periodic Table. When viewed through the frame of an iPad or iPhone, the blocks have “augmented reality” codes that cause them to show up on the screen as clear cubes, labeled with their various properties. If […]


The Gates Foundation is the $36 billion gorilla of education

In the circles in which I move, there has been a lot of talk this week about a major article published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, taking on the Gates Foundation‘s outsized power in education policy. As a former Gates Foundation contractor I spoke at length to the authors of the piece and am […]


InBloom is wilting thanks to privacy concerns–but they don’t stop with InBloom

In my first post for this blog I covered the splashy debut of InBloom at the SXSWEdu conference in Texas in March. I noted that it’s tough to explain exactly what the company does (essentially, they provide the infrastructure for a variety of smaller applications to harness the data generated by students to make their […]


Can games and toys get girls interested in STEM?

This morning I was watching my daughter push a pink dump truck around the living room, and it got me thinking about what games and toys do to shape gender stereotypes. There’s evidence that children gravitate toward sex-stereotyped toys as young as 18 months, which is just my daughter’s age; unfortunately, there’s also evidence that parents […]


The teacher as entrepreneur

There was an arresting moment on the radio show This American Life this week. Host Ira Glass interviewed award-winning science teacher Jason Pittman who’s leaving the profession. He was making less than $60,000 and hadn’t had a raise in 10 years. For the past five years his position had been funded by a nonprofit, started by […]


Updated: New task force on Internet and learning has a controversial name: Bush

This week, a new, high-profile ed-tech initiative made its bow: The Aspen Task Force on Learning and the Internet. Billed as “a national conversation” on how to “optimize the web to improve learning,” it’s supported by the MacArthur Foundation (with which I’m currently involved in a small, unrelated project.). It features several folks whom I know […]


5 biggest ed-tech headlines of the week

I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of major news and announcements lately. So I’m going to take today’s post to round up a few. 1) ConnectED: The Obama administration today announced a new initative called ConnectED with a pledge to provide broadband or high-speed wireless Internet access to 99 percent of America’s schoolchildren within 5 years. […]


Data support disruption theory as online, blended learning grow

By Michael Horn When Disrupting Class hit the bookstores five years ago, it contained a prediction that stunned many: by 2019, we said, 50 percent of all high school courses would be delivered online in some form or fashion. The prediction was built off of data from third-party sources that had been collected over the previous eight […]


Do you want your classroom disrupted?

A new paper out last week from the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation (formerly the Innosight Institute) sets out some theories and provocative predictions about the likely direction that innovation will take in K-12 classrooms. Christensen, a business expert, professor at Harvard Business School, bestselling author, and a devout Mormon, coined the term “disruptive innovation” about 20 […]


MOOCs Come To K-12

A couple of announcements this week point to a growing role for massively open online courses in K-12. The Saylor Foundation, the most interesting nonprofit in open education that no one seems to have heard of, launched a program of Common-Core aligned K-12 courses. And Lumen Learning, David Wiley’s startup which I wrote about earlier […]