Education

“Digital Is” Website Accelerates Teacher-to-Teacher Learning and Collaboration

Monday, August 22, 2011 Comment Digital Is graphic of words describing meaning

Over the course of four days earlier this summer at a lush retreat in Seattle, I had the opportunity to write and engage with some of the most exciting teachers I’ve been able to interact with in my career. Aside from the fact that I spent most of the day typing up notes on my iPad, the lush environment was a perfect retreat for allowing me to reflect thoughtfully on what practices had contributed most to my students’ writing practices over the past year. And the best thing about this opportunity to write while being surrounded


Wanted (And Needed): ‘Radical’ Collaborations

Monday, August 01, 2011 Comment painting with words 20 Learn

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. This insight from Anne Frank is evidenced today all across the world in education and many other domains. People are doing amazing things. Start ups, reforms, revolutions. It’s good news. It’s happening everywhere. And it all fits together, whether we see the connections today or not. Pointillism. Perpetual beta. If you’re not feeling it, if you’re wondering if you’re a part of education’s big picture…we’re thinking, more than anything, you need to know that you are – assuming you


Digital Media, Learning, and the Future

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 Comment The future of learning agents infographic colorful explaining needs for change

New research findings from a global study of education systems suggest that the promise of a hi-tech, high-skills, high-wage future for kids is a fantasy. Does digital media and learning offer a better future? It’s always important to remember that the future has a history. Back in 1939 the satirical book The Saber-Tooth Curriculum showed how seemingly radical educational innovations can quickly lose their intended utility and become conservative even while they are justified on the basis of their supposed cultural value. The book explains how the “paleolithic curriculum” of practical skills of “fish-grabbing-with-the-hands,” “horse-clubbing,” and


How Can We Help Miguel?

Friday, April 08, 2011 Comment photo of man walking in alley and sun flare

One of the hardest parts of doing fieldwork is hearing difficult, nuanced stories that break my heart.  The more complicated the story, the harder it is to tell, but I feel a responsibility to at least try.  Given how many educational reformists read this blog, I want to provide a portrait of some of the teens I’ve met who are currently being failed by the system.  My goal in doing so is to ask a hard question: how do we help these specific teens?  Let me start with Miguel. Miguel is 17 and in the 10th