Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Conversation Starter

I found this to be a conversation starter.
If we are going to change education,  we need to know where we are going first.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Paper Circuits

This Is prettyy neat.
I would love to do this kind of thing with students.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Paper Speakers


I am really looking forward to trying this with kids.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Science Of A Great Subway Map | Co.Design | business + design

I am just convinced that this has applications to classroom data visualization exercises.

The Science Of A Great Subway Map | Co.Design | business + design:

'via Blog this'

Neat looking book.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Why students need to fail | University Affairs

This is incredibly interesting, for a number of reasons. First, this is far less typical in a higher ed setting than a K-12 one. Second, having said that, how about some real similar structure and rigor for this type of activity in a K-12 setting.

What do you think?

Why students need to fail | University Affairs:

'via Blog this'

Monday, December 2, 2013

MOOCS and Students

I was especially interested in the discussion of students as active participants in MOOCS.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mathematica on Raspberry Pi for free!

This is incredibly interesting.
What happens when students have easy access to all this computing power?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fake and Real Student Voice | Ideas and Thoughts

This is absolutely worth reading.
I was particularly interested in this author's exploration of student voices -- those fake and those authentic.

Fake and Real Student Voice | Ideas and Thoughts: 'via Blog this'

Monday, November 4, 2013

Revisiting Chess

This is really interesting:

As I was reading it, I was imagining this as a STEM project. Learning to build something while actually building it.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Look. Over There. Is that Bigfoot?

After going through a period of extreme crankiness about the flood of uninteresting education-related articles I receive via various lists daily (a topic for another post perhaps), I came across this article describing a teacher, Shane Donovan, who is having his students work in a self-directed fashion.

The article's title comes from a comparison that this type of learning and teaching is as rare as a sighting of Big Foot.

I added a comment, which I repeat here:
I really appreciated this article. As a middle school Science teacher, I developed a self-directed curriculum for an 8th grade Biology course, and delivered it over two years. It was an amazing experience, watching the students learn to work independently, and then going so far beyond what would have normally happened (in terms of depth of understanding) in a typical classroom.

What do you think? Have you seen Big Foot where you are?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

How to Make a Customized Google Map

This seemed like a cool thing that could be done with students.
How to Make a Customized Google Map:

'via Blog this'

Thursday, June 27, 2013

How to Apply Design Thinking in Class, Step By Step | MindShift

I was intrigued by this article, because it provides a step-by-step model to self-directed learning in a studio setting.

I want to work on modifying this for a Science classroom.

How to Apply Design Thinking in Class, Step By Step | MindShift:

'via Blog this'

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Libraries and love

In the Digital Age, What Becomes of the Library? | MindShift

This article does a great job connecting the printed  page with the digital world. And, in the center of this nexus, is the librarian.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Well said

Scratch on an iPad

Scratchin n Puffin | Math Revolution

This opens up lots of possibilities.

Schools as makerspaces?

MAKE | Is it a Hackerspace, Makerspace, TechShop, or FabLab?

This article made me think of something I have been churning about for a long time - schools as maker spaces.

I mean this in two ways.

The first is that I think that making if all kinds - arts, crafts, robotics, etextiles, welding, etc., should absoltely be in schools.

I also mean it in the sense of schools as places where people make deep understanding for themselves.

In a very real and practical way, I believe the two are intimately connected, and that these connections are essential to actual education reform.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

[Expletive Deleted] Ed-Tech #Edinnovation

This is an amazing piece by the prolific edtech blogger Audrey Watters. She does an amazing job talking about the past-lessness (my word) that goes with so much writing and (non-)research about educational technology.
I will make this required reading in my Emerging Technologies course.

[Expletive Deleted] Ed-Tech #Edinnovation: "Because there are other stories about the past and the future of education — ones where building human capacity trumps adding tablet capacity; ones where agency matter more than algorithms; ones where innovation comes from students, from professors, from librarians, from researchers; ones where new ideas are not driven by commercialism but by care; stories and initiatives that are local and will not scale but need not scale; and yes, stories and expertise that are Canadian."

'via Blog this'

Paint or Paint App? Value of Creating Digital Vs. Traditional Art | MindShift

Paint or Paint App? Value of Creating Digital Vs. Traditional Art | MindShift:
This is a really interesting article. One quote really stood out for me:
(Says one teacher,) “Not all young students are interested in utilizing technology to make their art,” she said. “There can be much resistance in my classroom when we work on an art project that is going to be produced using Photoshop. I explain to my students that these are just alternative tools, and like any other tool, you can create something digitally that would be impossible to create by hand. Conversely, you can create something by hand that you cannot replicate digitally.”
It made me think of other areas (like writing) where we may insist on using technology (keyboarding instead of hand writing), without perhaps providing and choice or thinking through what we get and lose by these choices.
'via Blog this'

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Arduino Blog » Blog Archive » Turning drawings into a music game

This is a really cool project which uses conductive ink and an Arduino based device to turn children's drawings into musical instruments.
And for me the next step would be making the device itself transferrable and hackable for the children themselves.
Arduino Blog » Blog Archive » Turning drawings into a music game: 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ed tech ads

Education Week

I really appreciated this article. IR starts, I believe, to reveal the always broader agendas involved in ed tech.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Teaching Uncertainty

Knowing the unknown - MIT News Office

As someone interested in robotics, I found this article fascinating.

As an educator interested in developing self-directed students, I found this article very intriguing. I loved the assessment (self-assessment, really) of uncertainty as the trigger for more learning. It seemed an appropriate conceptual model for a learning environment.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Jörn Loviscach: The Story Of A German Math Teaching Sensation

Jörn Loviscach: The Story Of A German Math Teaching Sensation:

I was really, really intrigued by this article and this teacher.
At the very least, it is really, really nice to see a model to this type of learning (and the learning seems deep indeed), that goes beyond the Kahn Academy.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Making music wins over computer science majors | News Center | Wake Forest University

Making music wins over computer science majors | News Center | Wake Forest University:

I especially liked this quote:
“If you give the students a lot more ownership and allow them to pursue their ideas rather than direct them too closely, you get much better results because they are so creative and they have great ideas,” she said. “But it’s scary teaching. I’ve gotten over thinking I have to answer every single question they have. It’s so liberating.”
'via Blog this'

Sunday, March 3, 2013

New Pew Study - What does it mean?

By the Numbers: Teachers, Tech, and the Digital Divide | MindShift

This study seems to have provided fairly predictable results.

The bigger questions for me are:
1. How can we capture the richness of technology usage by teachers and learners?
2. How can these technologies be used to powerfully close a digital divide?
3. In a true community of learners, what does it matter who knows more or less?

I desperately want us to move beyond this level of discussion, into something more transformational.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Experiencing data

Tongue-tingling interface lets you taste data - New Scientist - New Scientist

This could be an amazing way to teach students to "experience" data, instead of just talking about them.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How to Fuel Students’ Learning Through Their Interests | MindShift

How to Fuel Students’ Learning Through Their Interests | MindShift:

I am not sure that I agree with this definition of "open source," but I find this article intriguing.
For David Preston, the term “open source learning” — a variation on inquiry learning or passion-based learning –  is about helping students choose their own learning path, an approach that already has some well-known champions among educators.
What do you think?
'via Blog this'

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hope Springs?

Call me crazy, but this article from MindShift got me feeling hopeful about what could be possible.
Could teachers actually matter?
What do you think?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bots, anyone

This is a just a quick post as a placeholder for a longer discussion.

I am about to start teaching a high school computer programming course, really an introduction to Python, for the first time. So I have been thinking a great deal about the advantages of having adolescents developing programming skills and problem solving, etc..

Then, I came across this blog piece by Audrey Watters, which then referred me to one by Dave Lester about software bots.

I think their points are well taken and I am now trying to figure out how to incorporate these into my new course.

More as it happens.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Notes on Blogging

I am currently co-teaching a course at Pace University's Doctoral Program for Education Professionals called "Social Networking: Opportunities and Challenges."

One of our first topics is blogging, and so it seemed appropriate to capture my notes here, on an active blog.

Things to Consider
1. Blogging platform
2. Goal of your blog
3. What should your blog look like (look & feel).
4. Posting (talking to other people)
5. Comments (letting other people talk to you)
6. Allowing the blog to develop over time

0. What is a blog?

Just in case you don't know or are not sure, it is worth watching this video from Common Craft.

1. Blogging platform
The two most widely used blogging platforms are Google's Blogger and Wordpress. Both are pretty easy to set up and manage. Blogger plays nicely with the Google ecosystem. Wordpress has lots of features and is expandable in lots of ways.

Other things to consider in choosing a blogging platform is how it connects to the rest of your social media lifestyle/workflow. Certainly, both Blogger and Wordpress allow you to easily share to the various key social networks (Facebook, Google +, and Linked In) as well as other services, like Twitter. Since a blog is typically a part of a larger social media experience, this is something worth thinking about before you get started.

2. Goal of your blog
It is definitely worth taking some time to figure out what the goal of your blog is: what do you want to say and to whom do you want to say it?
It can also be helpful to publish the goal of your blog on your blog.

3. What should your blog look like
Since, in a very real sense, your blog is an extension of you, you should also give some thought to the look and feel of it. Both Blogger and Wordpress have tons of options for templates. You can find even more by searching the internet machines.

You may also find yourself wanting to change the look of your blog from time to time.

4. Posting
Now that your blog is set up and looking all bright and shiny, it is time to post something. Both Blogger and Wordpress have tools for producing nicely formatting and media rich posts. It is easy to insert links to other websites, upload images, and embed videos and other media.

The harder part, as with any other type of writing, is to decide on a topic, the appropriate length, and how often you want to post.

One of the biggest benefits of a blog is the ability to have conversations with others. Commenting is the way this happens.

Via settings on your blogging platform, you will have the ability to control the structure of the conversation: allowing commenting on certain posts or not; allowing anonymous comments or not; allowing comments to go live right away or not.

6. Allowing the blog to develop over time
Since a blog is a conversation, and, typically, a reflective one at that, your blog will probably change and evolve over time. This is a good thing.

And so it begins! Have fun with your new blog!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

"What models of education?"

I was just reading this great piece by Audrey Watters in her great blog, Hack Education.

She is discussing the wrongness of the predictions she made for Educational Technology for 2012, and blames her failure on having used inaccurate models for education. We seem to have, she argues, better models for things like weather patterns or political polling.

I loved this quote:
What models are we building for education (and why)?  Who are the experts we trust in ed-tech and why? What are their interests in making predictions or even -- and I am implicated here too -- in identifying trends? 
What models, indeed.