May 2013

MOOCs: A path to early college

Today the MOOC platform Coursera announced a new partnership with 10 major state flagships and state university systems. While Coursera’s existing university partnerships focus on professors at elite institutions producing and sharing online versions of their courses, these partnerships are different. The focus is on incorporating existing MOOCs and newly created MOOCs– covering basic intro […]

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Do you want your classroom disrupted?

A new paper out last week from the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation (formerly the Innosight Institute) sets out some theories and provocative predictions about the likely direction that innovation will take in K-12 classrooms. Christensen, a business expert, professor at Harvard Business School, bestselling author, and a devout Mormon, coined the term “disruptive innovation” about 20 […]

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MOOCs Come To K-12

A couple of announcements this week point to a growing role for massively open online courses in K-12. The Saylor Foundation, the most interesting nonprofit in open education that no one seems to have heard of, launched a program of Common-Core aligned K-12 courses. And Lumen Learning, David Wiley’s startup which I wrote about earlier […]

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The promise of iPads for special ed

A music lesson in Virani’s classroom When Neil Virani walked into his middle school special education classroom at Mulholland Middle School, part of the LA Unified School district, three years ago, he encountered a roomful of students with a range of cognitive, emotional and physical challenges. But the most toxic problem they had to combat […]

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Personalized learning and giant backpacks of cash

  Justin Reich, a history teacher and fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center who writes the “EdTechResearcher” blog for Education Week, is one of the smartest critical thinkers out there on education and technology, and I’m proud to call him a friend as well. Last week he gave a talk at Harvard’s Berkman Center that intersects […]

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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 […]

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Freedom, digital distraction and control

Annie Murphy Paul has an excellent article in Slate and this publication this week about the issue of digital distraction while learning. A recently published study by psychologist Larry Rosen found that in a short 15-minute period of observation, teenagers spent only 65 percent of their time studying. Their attention drifted after an average of […]

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Restaurants and food trucks: A new approach to blended learning

Scott Beale/Laughing Squid Laura Vanderkam, a bestselling career and business author, has just written Blended Learning: A Wise Giver’s Guide to Supporting Tech-Assisted Teaching.  Published by the Philanthropy Roundtable, the short book is intended as a guide for potential donors. Its publication is a sign of the times, showing the strong and growing interest by philanthropists […]

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Technology for education vs. technology for learners

The New York Times last week ran an irresistible profile of Sylvia Todd, a ten-year-old who produces and stars in a YouTube show that features herself doing all kinds of science and DIY projects. She’s received over 1.5 million views and collaborated with Make magazine, with companies that make science kits for kids, and to speak […]

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