Tag Archives: EdTech

Will Richardson: Should We Connect School Life to Real Life?

Should We Connect School Life to Real Life?
October 5, 2012 | 6:00 AM |

Excerpted from Will Richardson’s new TED Book Why School: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere. Richardson offers provocative alternatives to the existing education system, questioning everything from standardized assessments to the role of the teacher. In this chapter, “Real Work for Real Audiences,” Richardson envisions students creating work that is relevant and useful in the world outside school.

By Will Richardson

So what if we were to say that, starting this year, even with our children in K– 5, at least half of the time they spend on schoolwork must be on stuff that can’t end up in a folder we put away? That the reason they’re doing their schoolwork isn’t just for a grade or for it to be pinned up in the hallway? It should be because their work is something they create on their own, or with others, that has real value in the real world.

I’m not even necessarily talking about doing something with technology. (Let’s face it, though: Paper is a 20th-century staple that has severely limited potential, compared to digital spaces.) There’s lots of creating our kids can do with traditional tools that can serve a real audience. Publishing books, putting on plays, and doing community service are just a few examples.

But what if we got a little crazy and added some technology into the mix? We could tell our kids, “You know, in addition to taking that test on the Vietnam War, we want you to go and interview some veterans, then collect those stories into a series of podcasts that people all over the world could listen to and learn from.”


Edudemic: 20 Ways Libraries Are Using Pinterest Right Now

I only just recently heard about Pinterest through Twitter and so, in the interests of exploration and self-edification, I opened up an account and began noodling around. The internet is awash with a unending and constant wave of Web 2.0 innovation and many of these sites, although interesting, just don’t have the right… ‘it’ factor or oomph to stick around or to capture the imagination of web users. Pinterest, from what I gather, has earned some rave reviews (“Pinterest, the new social media craze“) and is, I believe, gathering steam in terms of the number of users.

[Note: I have also stumbled upon Pinterest’s detractors, such as here: Pinterest: Change Your Terms or We’re Leaving.]

I found this interesting article at Edudemic
again via Twitter (Ah, Twitter…) and thought I would pass it along:

20 Ways Libraries Are Using Pinterest Right Now

“Pinterest is taking the social media world by storm, and it isn’t just popular with individual users. Businesses, nonprofits, and even libraries are sharing ideas and information through the site as well, connecting with people from around the country and around the globe.

Whether you’re a librarian, student, teacher, or just an avowed bibliophile, Pinterest offers another great way to keep up with creative and cutting-edge ways libraries are engaging with their communities. Read on to learn about some of the many ways libraries are helping spread the word about the resources and services they offer, using this innovative new social media forum.

  1. Pinning book coversMany librarians are capitalizing on the visual power of Pinterest to show off book covers, especially those from new books, special collections, and kid-friendly material. It can be a great way to attract readers to books they might not have otherwise checked out.
  2. Showcasing historic archivesLibraries often have much more than books in their archives. Take the San Francisco Public Library, for instance. They’re using Pinterest to show off amazing historic images of the city, from photos of old library branches to some unbelievable WWII images of the bay.”

21 Things That Will Become Obsolete in Education by 2020

I feel a little behind the times, but better late than never, I guess. I just discovered this blog post from a site that already sets me aflutter whenever I go there.

21 Things That Will Become Obsolete in Education by 2020

But, to add to the complexity of this original post from 2009, the author, Shelly Blake-Plock (@blakeplock), has written about his revisiting the aforementioned post. And that re-visit is powerful in and of itself:

What Will Education Look Like in 2020?

Here’s a quotation from the article:

“We aren’t professionals with clear-cut job descriptions or miniature technocrats micromanaging our classrooms, after all. Our job is to lead young learners to new heights of understanding and achievement.

The future of education isn’t in finding the best way to get all students to pass the same test. It’s in using the connections that technology enables to leverage the social capital of ­communities and inspire children to dream, innovate and create.”

Infographic: Generation Mobile

The next front of the epic ‘battle’ for engaging students may well be with the smartphone front: can we walk the fine line between using and harnessing these devices to keep pace with the realities of students while cultivating a culture of responsible usage? (I hope I don’t sound fuddy-duddy by writing this!)

But to ignore the realities of student usage is, one might argue, like an ostrich hiding its head in the sand…

nInfographic: Generation Mobile

The 7 Golden Rules of Using Technology in Schools




July 6, 2011 | 3:43 PM | By  of Mind/Shift


The 7 Golden Rules of Using Technology in Schools

“Sometimes teachers and administrators need a kick in the pants to see what they perceive as problems re-framed in a
different way. Adam S. Bellow, author of The Tech Commandments, and founder of eduTecher, spoke to a roomful of receptive teachers at the recent ISTE 2011 conference, and demonstrated some of the ironies and contradictions the education system is mired in. And he had some advice…”


Have students use their phones to take pictures of important information on the board

Guest post by Joyce Long, educator in Colorado
On The Innovate Educator
“In my classroom I see cell phones as a time saver and tool of engagement rather than a distraction.  For example, in my health class we were on a roll discussing the possibilities of making our own anti-alcohol/tobacco video, improving on the one we had just watched.  The students were excited, motivated, and full of ideas.  I knew they needed to get the ideas off of the board down before they left.  I didn’t want to stop their thinking.  So, I waited until the last second and then asked them to get out their phones and take a picture of the board.  For the ones without phones I posted the photo to the class website and printed out a picture for those without computer access.  This allowed us to continue the brainstorm while on a roll, right up to the last seconds of class time.
In the past I would have had to stop the storm so that everyone would have time to write down what was on the board, or ask them to write as we go, constantly interrupting the flow of ideas.   Now the ideas will be at home too, ready to look at and text adaptations, new ideas, specifics, details, etc. The kids who were absent go the picture texted to them and came back ready to go the next day. Creative energy is such a powerful force.  Having cell phones as a tool to increase the energy simply aids great educational experiences.”

Text messaging: a lecture hall epidemic?

Research suggests only a small fraction of students refrain from texting in class

By Dennis Carter, Assistant Editor

College students say their professors would be “shocked” to know just how often they send text messages during lectures, and one researcher has offered a simple and stringent solution: Give failing grades to text-happy students.

Nine in 10 students said in a Wilkes Universitystudy released this month that they have sent and received texts during class, although a much smaller portion of students believe … READ MORE.