Watchworthy Wednesday: Be Part of the Connected Learning Summit

The new Connected Learning Summit (CLS), to be held at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab Aug. 1-3, will be all about revolutionizing how kids learn, and those interested in progressive and inclusive education are invited to be part of it. Applications to present at the summit are being accepted through Jan. 22. The mission of the CLS: fuel a growing movement of innovators harnessing the power of emerging technology to expand access to participatory, playful, and creative learning. It aims to include a mix of engaging presentation and workshop formats ranging from speculative design, to

Reframing the ‘Progressive’ vs. ‘Traditionalist’ Debate in Education

One of the unfortunate side effects of the 2007-8 global economic crash has been our decade-long slide into intolerance of the unfamiliar and unknown. Rival groups trade blows over their proposed solutions to economic problems, which inevitably spill over into increased polarisation in other politically-charged areas, such as education. To my dismay, over the past five years in particular, I’ve seen an unhelpful and unhealthy bifurcation in educational discourse into “traditional” and “progressive” camps. Proponents of each approach never fully explain their position, instead defining it as the opposite of whatever “outrageous” statement has been made

Watchworthy Wednesday: Fellowship Targets Teacher Educators for Social Justice

Teacher educators interested in empowering future teachers to teach for social justice are being invited to apply to the Transformative Teacher-Educator Program (TTEP). “I developed the fellowship to provide a space and opportunity for teacher educators to come together to really think about how we need to change teacher education to better empower future teachers to teach for social justice,” said Kira Baker-Doyle, the Rosemary and Walter Blankley associate professor of education at Arcadia University, TTEP director and author of “Transformative Teachers: Teacher Leadership and Learning in a Connected World” and “The Networked Teacher: How New

Wearable Real-time Brainwave Training in the Classroom

Earlier this year, I began to detect a growing interest in the idea that “neurotechnologies” such as brain-scanners and Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) could be applied in education. A new field of “ed-neurotech,” I wrote, seemed to be emerging as part of a wider “neurotechnology revolution.” Ed-neurotech brings together educational technology development with aspects of educational neuroscience to monitor students through neural data. Some new developments suggest “neurofeedback learning” software might be used to train the brain, “neurostimulators” might improve cognition, or that “neuro-adaptive” software could be used to enhance personalized education. Students’ neural information and brainwaves

Watchworthy Wednesday: Feeding Mind and Body

A University of California, Irvine undergrad, whose mother died two years ago leaving her to care for her grandfather and younger brother, was lucky when she could afford a meal for herself. The transfer student, commuting from L.A. five days a week and working 10-15 hours per week, “was rarely eating one meal per day because she would use any funds she had to feed her grandfather and brother first. In addition, she has a medical condition (post-concussion syndrome), and her lack of appropriate nutrition was making it worse because she was always fatigued and feeling

Selling Social-emotional Learning

Social-emotional learning has become a significant education policy priority and a key focus for education technology development and investment. The core idea behind social-emotional learning (SEL) approaches is that the “non-cognitive” aspects of learning are fundamentally linked to academic progress. Improving SEL skills is, therefore, seen as an important prerequisite for raising attainment. This simple idea has now begun to catalyze an outpouring of policy lobbying, ed-tech developments, and, importantly, new models of financial investment and profit-making. SEL, in other words, is being sold as a policy solution to long-standing educational problems, a potentially lucrative ed-tech

Watchworthy Wednesday: Lessons on Digital Citizenship

Digital citizenship, according to Common Sense Media, is “a way of thinking critically online, being safe with your information and who you connect with and acting responsibly in how you communicate and behave.” As part of Digital Citizenship Week, which took place the third week of October in California, the nonprofit organization created a guide for educators for promoting digital citizenship. The 35-page guide, “Digital Citizenship and Social and Emotional Learning,” aims to help educators connect challenging digital dilemmas to social and emotional skills through discussion questions, lessons and digital tools that build students’ character. From the guide: A key

The Importance of Student Privacy in Big Data

I’ve written in the past about understanding the Terms of sites you are asking students to use and been interviewed about the implications of social media in classes. This year, one of the things I want to focus on is bringing those two things together. It is important that we don’t just know the terms we are asking our students to work under when we enforce the use of social media or other proprietary digital platforms for course work, it is important we know the implications and the devastating effects these tools and platforms might have

Watchworthy Wednesday: Day of the Dead Resources Guide Educators

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, today celebrated Nov. 1 and 2, is a tradition of honoring ancestors, and more educators are seeking ways to teach about it. Started by the Aztecs some 3,000 years ago, the ritual, which includes honoring deceased loved ones by erecting altars adorned with their pictures and favorite foods, colorful parades and skull face painting, has been spreading throughout the U.S. It’s featured in the movies, museums, schools and cultural centers. And, among the many resources offered to teachers, parents and other educators online, is the Smithsonian Latino