June 2013

Sugata Mitra and schools without teachers

Sugata Mitra at TED 2013 Since Sugata Mitra won the  $1 million TED prize in March, the education world has continued to buzz with debate over his work on “Self-Organized Learning Environments” or SOLEs. Mitra’s experiments, dating back to the 1980s, mostly in India, have sought to show “that groups of children, given shared digital resources, can learn to use […]

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What the Internet of the future could do for learning

EngageCV, 3-D telepresence using the Kinect Mozilla Ignite is an open innovation challenge sponsored by the nonprofit that makes the Firefox web browser together with the the National Science Foundation. The call was to create “civic apps”–software applications for the public good–that take advantage of some experimental technologies that can run the Internet at speeds […]

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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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Teaching to the tablet

Recently I had the opportunity to interview Stephanee Stephens, an 8th grade Spanish teacher at a school in Fulton County, GA, which is piloting the new Amplify tablet computer from News Corp’s Amplify brand. Introduced this spring as a challenge to the Apple iPad, which is the most popular classroom tablet, Amplify is the first touchscreen tablet designed from […]

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Updated: New task force on Internet and learning has a controversial name: Bush

This week, a new, high-profile ed-tech initiative made its bow: The Aspen Task Force on Learning and the Internet. Billed as “a national conversation” on how to “optimize the web to improve learning,” it’s supported by the MacArthur Foundation (with which I’m currently involved in a small, unrelated project.). It features several folks whom I know […]

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Learning through game-making–what the research says and doesn’t say

When we talk about learning and games, we usually mean students playing games that someone else has made up. But the process of constructing a game has its own potential benefits. Game-making represents an active and creative, rather than more passive, approach to technology. It’s a core practice of constructionism, the learning theory championed at […]

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5 biggest ed-tech headlines of the week

I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of major news and announcements lately. So I’m going to take today’s post to round up a few. 1) ConnectED: The Obama administration today announced a new initative called ConnectED with a pledge to provide broadband or high-speed wireless Internet access to 99 percent of America’s schoolchildren within 5 years. […]

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3 out of 4 teachers pay out of pocket for digital content

We already know that public school teachers are forced to spend up to $1000 per year on essential school supplies for their students not provided for in public school budgets. Now we know that that personal outlay is extending to digital content as well–apps, games, lessons, stories, and other software products and online resources meant […]

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Images from Reimagining Education

It’s become all the rage at conferences and events to have an artist create “graphic notes” to visualize the conversation. These images are from the “Reimagining Education” conference held on May 28 and 29 by the US Department of Education and the MacArthur Foundation (Disclosure: I am currently working with MacArthur on an unrelated project). […]

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Data support disruption theory as online, blended learning grow

By Michael Horn When Disrupting Class hit the bookstores five years ago, it contained a prediction that stunned many: by 2019, we said, 50 percent of all high school courses would be delivered online in some form or fashion. The prediction was built off of data from third-party sources that had been collected over the previous eight […]

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