Knowledge pills, robo-graders, brain implants and other dystopian edtech

It’s been a good week for the weird fringes of ed-tech. On Tuesday,  Nicholas Negroponte took the stage at the 30th anniversary of TED, the starry technology-entertainment-design conference. He’s the mastermind of One Laptop Per Child. It pioneered the idea of low-cost personal devices for students around the world. Negroponte has been criticized as an extreme apologist for […]


Why it’s so hard to get schools online in the digital age

In recent months there’s been a lot of news about public, private and philanthropic commitments to getting our public schools access to broadband Internet. In February, coming off a State of the Union address by President Obama that highlighted the issue, the FCC announced that it would move money around to double the sum available […]


The top 5 #EdInnovations to watch

The benefit of a big conference like SXSWEdu is a sort of ambient exposure to trends. Here are five concepts that everyone (or at least key, smart people) were talking about at last week’s conference, and that bear keeping an eye on for the future.   1) ConnectED . Companies including Apple, Microsoft, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, Autodesk, Adobe, […]


Amplify unveils new digital curriculum

Amplify, the digital education brand owned by News Corp, unveiled its new digital curriculum today at the SXSWedu conference in Austin, TX. They offered me a preview on February 21st. At last year’s conference Amplify announced its own custom-built educational tablet with great fanfare. Since then it’s had a rocky rollout with a recall in […]


Chineasy reinvents language learning through design

Less than one in five American public school students take a foreign language. Last year, a $27 million federal grant program funding foreign language instruction was cut, leaving schools scrambling for funding.  But there are more free and low-cost online resources out there than ever before for language learners. There are web tools like Duolingo and Livemocha, online […]


The Top 10 Digital/Edu Stories of 2013

I took over this blog in March 2013 and it’s been an incredibly enjoyable–and educational!–experience so far. Thanks to all of you who have read, linked, and commented on the blog. I hope you’ll stay with us into 2014! At the suggestion of my editors at the Hechinger Report, I’ve compiled a list of the […]


How KIPP uses technology

While they have their critics, KIPP has among the best reputation of all charter school networks. There are over 40,000 KIPP students nationwide, which is expected to grow to 60,000 by 2015. Over 90 percent of 8th graders consistently outperform their public-school counterparts in reading and math. KIPP alumni, according to a recent report, are […]


Five unexpected benefits of a wired school

Eric Sheninger, principal of New Milford High School in Bergen County, NJ is an unabashed ed-tech evangelist who has wrought some significant transformations in his “traditional blue-collar,” yet highly diverse public school through the use of technology, B.Y.O.D. programs, and particularly social media. He says the lightbulb moment came when he joined Twitter just three […]