April 2013

Can technology teach grit?

I recently heard Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth speak about her research at the filming of a TED/PBS TV special all about education, which airs May 7. Duckworth is the University of Pennsylvania psychologist credited with the discovery of  “grit”–a cluster of so-called non-cognitive skills, including tenacity and perseverance, that may be even more essential to […]


Toddlers and touchscreens: The case in favor

Hanna Rosin’s cover story, “The Touch Screen Generation,” in The Atlantic magazine last month, addressed a common dilemma. The American Academy of Pediatrics, as I noted earlier, recommends no screen time at all for children under age two, yet 90 percent of parents with children that age admit letting their kids watch TV and use […]


Toddlers and touchscreens: Scourge or salvation?

Because of a family vacation next week, I’m looking for some iPad apps in hopes of keeping my 16-month-old daughter entertained on the long flights. So far she’s shown very little interest in screens of any kind. I tried to sit her down to watch “Wonder Pets” the other day for a break when she had […]


New blended learning certificate program for K-12 teachers

Pace University and the New York City Department of Education’s iZone program just announced a two-year certificate program in Blended Learning for K-12 science teachers who are part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program, which targets both new graduates and professionals changing careers. “We are looking for teachers who believe that in order to […]


A tale of two summits: Sandbox vs. Education Innovation

I’m neither in Boston nor Arizona this week, but I am using Twitter and blogs to cover two important meetings in the world of K-12 blended learning. Together they give a sense both of the shape of the field and some of the gaps. The Education Innovation Summit at Arizona State University, co-presented by education […]


The scramble to sit at the blended learning table

Recently I found myself in the offices of Scholastic, the children’s publisher best known for K-12 book fairs across the country and Clifford, the big red dog. They are conducting a massive educational software launch this week, with both new and updated products for reading and math from kindergarten through high school. Margery Mayer, president of Scholastic Education, […]


The iZone and the valley of death

The Gap App from NYCDOE iZone on Vimeo. If you hang around conferences, incubators or hackathons devoted to K-12 blended learning, you’ll constantly hear people lament the so-called “valley of death”–the slowness of the public procurement process in particular, and bureaucracy in general, that provide an unbridgeable divide between innovations and students, teachers and classrooms. […]


Is online learning only for STEM?

If you survey the frontier of online learning, it looks heavily weighted to the science, technology, engineering and math side. The big MOOC platforms got rolling with courses in Circuits and Electronics, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, and Machine Learning, respectively. Khan Academy started with math videos and its interactive platforms heavily emphasize math. The National […]


Can a computer pass the “teacher Turing test”?

Have you ever spent any time with Eliza? You can reach her at this link. Eliza was one of the earliest attempts at artificial intelligence and natural language processing: building a computer program that can use language and interact in a conversation, more or less like a human. (The ultimate test of artificial intelligence, as posed by […]


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 […]


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