Technology

Netflix’s founder saves the day for one education software startup

The Hechinger Report has been publishing excerpts from Richard Whitmire’s book On the Rocketship: How Top Charter Schools are Pushing the Envelope. In this third and final installment, Netflix founder Reed Hastings steps in to take over DreamBox. CHAPTER 25: Danner (and Reed Hastings) Discover DreamBox March 2010: Palo Alto, Los Altos, California; Bellevue, Washington […]

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The birth and near-death of one piece of educational software

Over the next week or so, The Hechinger Report will be publishing excerpts from Richard Whitmire’s book On the Rocketship: How Top Charter Schools are Pushing the Envelope. In this second installment, software engineer Ben Slivka finally ships his educational software but finds his real customer base isn’t what he expected. CHAPTER 20: Slivka’s Sci-Fi […]

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Just who are the people behind today’s educational software?

Over the next week or so, The Hechinger Report will be publishing excerpts from Richard Whitmire’s book On the Rocketship: How Top Charter Schools are Pushing the Envelope. In this first installment, software engineer Ben Slivka — inspired by science fiction — dreamed of creating truly adaptive learning software. CHAPTER 9: Sci-Fi-Inspired Software February 2005: […]

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Why all screen time isn’t created equally

It’s a tempting thought: Put a toddler in front of a computer or video with the right program and they’ll quickly acquire skills like reading, writing and early math. The thought is so alluring that parents often ask early education teachers what the best apps are, said Lisa Guernsey, speaking at the national seminar of […]

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What’s race got to do with it? Everything, as topic eclipses ed-tech talk at NSVF Summit

SAN FRANCISCO – After two major education conferences in a row, I expected aggressive promotion of digital tools and products at last week’s NewSchools Venture Fund Summit, along with requisite promises of their potential to change teaching and learning forever. After all, I’d heard plenty of that at SXSWedu in Austin, and even more at […]

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Big question for edtech: But how do we know what’s working?

As more than 900 entrepreneurs and educators converge in San Francisco this week, some will talk academic standards, literacy and charter schools. Others will bypass weighty sessions at NewSchools Venture Fund summit altogether, preferring to tinker with dozens of new tools and products that promise to “transform teaching and learning.’’ Participants can teach to student […]

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Using better metrics to build better schools

Envision runs a group of three charter high schools in the Bay Area. They champion, as many schools do these days, “deeper learning” and “21st century skills.” Envision enacts this philosophy through a “Know-Do-Reflect” process that uses projects, portfolios and presentations to integrate assessment with learning. They prompt students to turn the lens both inward […]

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Almost 70% of teachers are not engaged. Here’s why that matters so much

Wednesday Gallup released a major report on the State of American Schools. Their data paints a picture of schools performing as a complex ecosystem, with the wellbeing, engagement, and performance of teachers, students, and principals all intertwined. The report combines decades of surveys of 5 million American teachers and principals with the results of the Gallup […]

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Do public schools beat private schools? The quality of evidence

Tuition at many of New York City’s top private schools is over $40,000 a year. That’s more than Harvard. It’s grown almost 50 percent in the past decade–faster than private university tuition.  It goes without saying that parents who shell this money out believe that their children will be getting a better education in exchange for all […]

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From Yale to Coursera

Coursera, the largest MOOC platform, announced today that Richard Levin will be coming on board as CEO. Levin was president of Yale University for 20 years before stepping down in 2013. “Technology,” Levin said in the press release, “now gives us the means to extend the reach of high quality education around the world and to […]

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