Affiliated with the University of California's systemwide
Humanities Research Institute
The MacArthur Foundation
An open letter to my students at a “no excuses” charter school in Boston… By Barrett Smith Last month I resigned from my position as a tutor and teaching assistant at a “No-Excuses” Charter School in Boston. What follows is … Continue reading →
Part 4 of my Top 10 Ed-Tech Trends of 2013 series
Barely a week has gone by this year without some MOOC-related news. Much like last year, massive open online courses have dominated ed-tech conversations.
But if 2012 was, as The New York Times decreed, the year of the MOOC, 2013 might be described as the year of the anti-MOOC as we slid down that Gartner Hype Cycle from the “Peak of Inflated Expectations” and into the “Trough of Disillusionment.” For what it’s worth, Gartner pegged MOOCs at the peak back in July, while the Horizon Report says they’re still on the horizon. Nevertheless the head of edX appeared on the Colbert Report this year, and the word “MOOC” entered the Oxford Online Dictionary – so whether you think those are indications of peak or trough or both or neither, it seems the idea of free online university education has hit the mainstream.
MOOCs: An Abbreviated History
To recap: in 2008, Dave Cormier coins the term “MOOC” to describe George Siemens’ and Stephen Downes’ course “Connectivism and Connective Knowledge.” In the Fall of 2011, Stanford offers open enrollment in online versions of three engineering classes: Artificial Intelligence (taught by Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig), Machine Learning (taught by Andrew Ng), and Databases (taught by Jennifer Widom). In December 2011, MIT unveil MITx. In January 2012, Thrun announces he’s leaving Stanford to launch Udacity. In April 2012, Ng, along with Stanford colleague Daphne Koller, launch Coursera. In May 2012, Harvard and MIT team up for edX. In December 2012, 12 British universities partner to launch their MOOC platform, FutureLearn. And in 2013…
Thomas Friedman declares that “revolution” – the MOOC revolution, that is – has hit the universities.
Coursera launches Signature Track, its plans to verify students’ identities so that it can confidently award “certifiable course records” (for a fee).
San Jose State University forms a partnership with Udacity to offer 3 online classes for credit.
This is a bit of a rant… This morning I was pinged on a tweet sharing the article, “Why new technologies could never replace great teaching“. For some reason, I was up early and read the article and then was WIDE AWAKE. Along with the author, I have a strong belief in the teaching profession. […]
Part 5 of my Top 10 Ed-Tech Trends of 2013 Series
In memory of Jeffrey McManus, founder of CodeLesson and friend
As with all of the trends I’m covering in my year-end review, neither the “Learn to Code” nor the “Maker Movement” are new. I’ll say it again: read Seymour Papert’s Mindstorms, published in 1980.
Last year, I wrote about “Learning to Code” and “The Maker Movement” in two separate trends post. This year, I’m combining the two. This decision shouldn’t be seen as an indication that interest in either has diminished. To the contrary.
What does the battle over the minimum wage have to do with education? Everything… By Adelle Cothorne Way back before I became a principal, a whistleblower, the “cupcake lady” and joined the fight to save public education, I was a … Continue reading →
Tech leader and long-time teacher Sister Geralyn Schmidt offers eight aspects of good teaching, from her warm and fuzzy, sisterly perspective. One of our favorites: teaching the integrity skill, both in the face-to-face world and the virtual world.
cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by ePi.Longo Yesterday morning I woke up feeling great and ready to take on the world. Lately, things have slowed down (in a good way) and you have those times in your life when you seem to hit your stride. I might be in one of […]
cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Ed Schipul “To sell well is to convince someone else to part with resources—not to deprive that person, but to leave him better off in the end.” Daniel Pink We have all heard it before…many teachers fear change. As I think about this statement more and more, I think it is often an easy out. Just because you are doing something, doesn’t mean someone else should be doing it. That is not enough to get someone to embrace something. I am firm believer that teachers have different strengths and that there should be a variance of people that you connect with as opposed to everyone being a carbon copy of one another. Often it is not that teachers fear change, but that people are bad at selling why change is better. Here is an assumption that we need to make in our work, if we want people to change. Educators want to do what is best for kids. With that being said, here are three ideas that we need to focus on that are all connected. 1. How will this save me time? No matter how many initiatives you want […]
It’s 2013. Ebooks have been around since 1971. Yet tens of millions of students in kindergarten through college are still hauling around piles of heavy, quickly outdated paper textbooks that cost anywhere from $30-$200 per subject, per student. Open educational resources provide a free digital alternative to traditional books. Boundless, a startup that’s two and a half […]
I like to read. As it turns out I like to eat Pecan Pie as well, but that’s not why you’re here. In a previous post this week I outlined a compendium of articles and write-ups from 2013 that I thought were truly brain candy for a cerebral Canadian like me. This particular entry focuses […]Dan's Related Posts:A Review of “How To Be Interesting” While Sitting Beside a Drunk on an…the FLAT ARMY cheat sheetThe 10 Winners of Flat Army Copies Are …The TED of all Leadership Management Conferences – A Review of the Drucker Forum…WHY I Wrote Flat Army: The Flat Army Golden Circle
cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo shared by Steven Shorrock I was a little surprised to see a tweet from someone talking about how we shouldn’t be talking about “being connected” with people anymore because everyone should…Read more →
If you’ve ever watched a movie in the genre of the Inspirational Teacher, you’ll recognize the formula: there’s a teacher who’s up against an evil administration; or unfeeling, conservative parents; or callous budget cuts (usually in the arts,) with a…Read more →
It’s not just schools that are responsible for preparing young people for the future. In Chicago, a successful summer experiment is going year-round, connecting kids to the city’s rich cultural resources and opportunities for learning outside as well as inside the classroom.
As negotiated rule-making continues around the country in anticipation of new rules to enforce provisions of the Higher Education Reauthorization and Opportunity Act (HEA), I wanted to remind rule makers of how good, thoughtful regulation can lead to disaster. First, I want to remind the that this is a particularly troublesome time in the financial […]
A good friend and fellow principal, Lydia Wilson, from Bixby Central Elementary, wrote me recently about personal motivation. I liked what she said so much, I asked her if I could share it with others. Her response is a good…Read more →
How can something so wrong feel so righteous? For far too long, three little words have been holding back the adult interests that long to put students first. What are they you ask? The teachers union conflict of interest laws. Thankfully … Continue reading →
cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by David Fulmer “Kids don’t have enough balance.” “We are dumber because of technology.” “People are disconnected from one another because of how we use technology.” “Technology kills our face-to-face interactions.” In my travels, I have heard all of these arguments. I actually remember dealing with one […]
Today’s blog is about qualitative methods, or more precisely learning them. In my introduction to qualitative methods class this semester, it became eminently clear that reading about qualitative methods topic by topic (or chapter by chapter) did little to promote understanding of the ways in which qualitative data collection and analysis, for example, inform one […]
I made a prediction in January and then reiterated it six months later that the utopian fervor attributed to MOOCs (massive open online courses) would cool down. And they have. Simply because something is BIG does not mean it is good or successful. Periodically throughout the year we also have been treated to articles that […]
But a funny thing is going to happen when the machines start taking the jobs of doctors, lawyers, stockbrokers, managers and professors. We’re not quite there yet, but the day is coming very soon when many of what had traditionally been considered untouchable jobs will be done just as effectively or better by machines. Diagnostics and radiology will be handled by machine, with basic examination and nursing work the most common medical professions. Humans won’t be needed for legal services beyond the courtroom and mediation room itself, computer programs will pick investments better than any human, employee evaluation and workforce structuring will be better assessed by analytics than by any middle manager, and mass online education programs will render teachers and professors little more than test proctors and homework readers. None of which assumes the actual intelligent robotic AI of science fiction, which is a whole other story and is also likely coming sooner than we think. Some people see this as utopia, some as dystopia. But either way, it’s coming and coming soon.
Have I mentioned that I own two teenagers, kids who are going to come of age at a moment when all bets are off when it comes to jobs and work and careers and…
I’m seriously interested in hearing from anyone out there that has changed their approach in terms of preparing kids for…for…for goodness knows what. I have this vague sense that cramming curriculum and demanding compliance isn’t the best way to help kids develop the mindsets and dispositions they need to think and create their way through what’s coming at us. Color me stressed, but if you think doing better on the Common Core and PISA is gonna make everything ok, think again.
Why on earth would a rational person give money to charity–particularly a charity that supports strangers? What do they get? A story. In fact, every time someone donates to a good cause, they’re buying a story, a story that’s worth more than the amount they donated. It might be the story of doing the right […]
There are a lot of uber smart people out there. It’s a collective intelligence of infinite proportions. Without their vast and often timely contributions, I personally would be left fumbling for answers. The trips as a wee child to the massive toy store — where I could peruse for hours the array of colourful boxes […]Dan's Related Posts:Steve Denning Nails It on Forbes: Paradigm Shift in Leadership and ManagementI Detached on Holiday. I Didn’t Unplug. You Should Too.Future of Work: Add Open Leadership, Enterprise 2.0, Connected Learning and MixIt’s Time to Revolutionize Corporate LearningAfter Five Years In My Role We’re Hiring My Replacement. Are You Interested?
A recent paper published in Developmental Science reinforced how tactile experience is important to learning in the developing brain. The experiment looked at how toddlers in a high chair learned the names of novel (edible) substances. Those who were allowed to get their hands dirty, quite literally, exploring the texture of the different samples, picked […]
It has been almost one week since I spoke at #Edscape in New Jersey, and it was a tremendous honour to have that opportunity. Not only because I was able to connect with amazing educators in the area, but because…Read more →
Yong Zhao on the latest PISA results:
The East Asian education systems may have a lot to offer to those who want a compliant and homogenous test takers. For those who are looking for true high quality education, Finland would still be a better place. But for an education that can truly cultivate creative, entrepreneurial and globally competent citizens needed in the 21st century, you will have to invent it. Global benchmarking can only give you the best of the past. For the best of the future, you will have do the invention yourself.
Unfortunately, the reactions to our middlin’ at best PISA results here in the U.S. is all about getting “better” instead of thinking differently. Not saying there aren’t some valuable things that PISA measures. But, a) those things don’t necessarily have to be measured by a test that then ranks everyone in the world and makes education a contact sport, and b) PISA doesn’t measure a whole boatload of stuff that might be more important than what’s on the test.
So it’s not just about inventing it. It’s about rethinking it, recontextualizing it, and then designing a different path. A messier path. A path that few of us will feel comfortable with at first, but one that will serve our kids better than the one they’re sticking to in Florida:
Joe Follick, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Education, responded by focusing on the benefits of taking such snapshots of student achievement. “By continuing to measure our performance, our students will meet the challenges necessary to succeed in college and career,” he said.
Every time I’ve watched Martin Scorsese’s Goodefellas (1991) (which is more than a few) one of the things that always strikes me is how familiar I am with the built environment of the film. I grew up on the South Shore … Continue reading →