Innovation

Could a video game replace ADD medication?

In America, 6.4 million children have been given diagnoses of attention disorders. That’s 11 percent of the school-age population.  Annual production of Ritalin-like drugs has quadrupled since the 1960s, and millions of children are taking these powerful stimulants every day. Some argue that this “epidemic” is in fact an artifact of a test-driven, high-stakes, high-pressure school […]

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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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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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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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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 […]

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Is education a good field for leaders, or just for managers?

Who is a leader, and who is a manager? A leader creates change. She leads by example, through charisma, persuasion, and reason, and is concerned with effectiveness and ultimate goals. A manager is someone who implements change. He coordinates, directs, and is concerned with efficiency, with means rather than ends, and with control rather than […]

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Student writing and digital tools: good, bad and indifferent

A newly published Pew survey of 2462 AP and National Writing Project teachers provides some great indicators for how skilled high school English teachers are using digital tools to enhance writing instruction. The survey also highlighted some common concerns about digital tools’ effects on written communication that are applicable beyond the classroom as well. First, […]

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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 […]

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Maker Camp kicks off online

When most people think of summer camp, they think of a resolutely analog experience. But Maker Camp, which just kicked off its second season, is designed to take place online and offline simultaneously. The Make Magazine/Maker Faire community got together with Google Plus to present a series of 30 fun projects in 30 days for […]

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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 […]

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