Computers

An ‘Hour of Code’ in one classroom

Melissa Loftis is a third-grade coteacher at Albemarle Road Elementary in Charlotte, NC. Her class of 40 includes many English language learners, some from Salvador and Mexico, others refugees from Nepal, Burma and Congo resettled in the area by Catholic charities. This week her students are among ten million (and counting) around the country participating in […]

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Is this the worst toy of 2013?

Yesterday, the iPotty, a potty seat that comes with an iPad holder (“Parents can give children a comfortable and fun place to learn to use the potty with the child-friendly iPotty from CTA Digital,” claims the marketing material), was voted the worst toy of 2013 in a parent poll sponsored by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free […]

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CogCubed is a video game you can reach out and touch

A recent paper published in Developmental Science reinforced how tactile experience is important to learning in the developing brain. The experiment looked at how toddlers in a high chair learned the names of novel (edible) substances. Those who were allowed to get their hands dirty, quite literally, exploring the texture of the different samples, picked […]

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Redesigning for student-centered learning

Brendan Campbell teaches at Southeastern High School in Detroit, which is under the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan, a statewide recovery district for schools consistently in the bottom five percent according to test scores. In other words, it’s a failing school in a violent, poor, bankrupt city. But this fall, Campbell and his collaborators have used […]

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Become a tech-savvy educator with these free badges

IPTEdTec is a free service operated by Rick West, an assistant professor in the Instructional Psychology & Technology Department at Brigham Young University. It offers educators everywhere the materials and rubrics to certify their basic understanding of key educational technology applications, like Google Sites, iMovie, and Blogger, and concepts, like internet safety and open content […]

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What Apple, IBM, Microsoft and LinkedIn Want with K-12 Schools

  There’s an ever-expanding universe of ed-tech startups out there, alongside the massive incumbents in textbook and educational materials that have moved aggressively into digital products and services. But to get a true picture of the direction of innovation in K-12, it is also helpful to look at how the big technology companies are tackling […]

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Teens, mobile phones, and the digital divide

After $4 billion worth of federal grants over the past few years, 98 percent of Americans now have access to high-speed broadband Internet–in theory.  Yet 30 percent of Americans, according to the latest report from the US Department of Commerce, don’t actually have the Internet at home.  Broadband access is effectively no longer a matter of infrastructure, […]

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Three rules for robograding, and other ed-tech innovations

Automated grading of students’ essays and short answers has been around for almost 20 years, but it’s engendering quite a bit of controversy as the technology progresses. A large study released in April, connected to a competition sponsored by the Hewlett Foundation, showed the grades assigned by a computer program to 22,000 7th, 8th and 10th grade essays matched […]

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Course Choice: the death knell of public education?

  St. Augustine High School Marching Band, New Orleans, via Angie Antimatter on Flickr Bobby Jindal, the Republican governor of my hometown state of Louisiana, is, by any measure, not a fan of traditional public education. As a graduate of twelve years of public schooling in the state and the daughter of two retired Louisiana […]

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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 […]

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