It's a big bustling conference stretching over four days with with lots of hangouts, receptions, and announcements. It's not mission-focused and coherent (e.g., better blended and online learning) like an iNACOL event; there's a stronger startup culture than at an ISTE event; there are more teachers than at ASU, but some of it (i.e., keynote choices) like Austin, were just weird. Oh, and it was cold, like freezing rain cold.
Maybe like me, you asked yourself last week, what does the $40 million Google investment in Renaissance Learning mean? There are two implications of the big deal: personalized learning paths are rapidly becoming a reality and the big guys will play a key role in innovation.
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) recently requested information about "public and private actions that have the potential to accelerate the development, rigorous evaluation, and widespread adoption of high-impact learning technologies." Comments are due March 7.
Secretary Duncan is addressing the Common Sense Media School Privacy Zone Summit today in Washington. I hope he acknowledges that student privacy is paramount--and so is student learning. We can and must craft updates to public education policy that reflect new opportunities as well as new concerns.
Using games to promote learning isn't a new idea. But the widespread use of game-based adaptive learning systems, the explosion of mobile-learning applications, and the growing use of game-based strategies makes gamification one of the most important education trends of this decade.
To learn more about professional development in the military, we called Mike Mosley, head of Learning Standards Branch in the Naval Education and Training Command.
The viral adoption of web and mobile learning tools, apps, and resources is probably the most important trend in education over the last three years—it's less discussed than the Common Core State Standards but has had a bigger impact on classroom practice. There are hundreds of thousands of teachers off and running, using the digital resources they can find and encouraging kids to do the same.
After 17 years at the helm of Florida Virtual School and 30 years as a Florida educator, Julie Young told the board and staff last week that she was retiring.
"In the new world the learner will be in the driver's seat, with a keen eye trained on value." That was the conclusion of Pearson's senior academic team who said "an avalanche is coming" to higher education. Chief Education Advisor Sir Michael Barber and his colleagues Katelyn Donnelly and Saad Rizvi released a report last year that outlined this problem statement for higher education:
New tools are making it easier to customize learning for every student. Playlists, projects, and portfolios support big blocks, maker spaces, and flex schools. One thing I appreciate about the Christensen Institute definition of blended learning is that it stresses student agency by requiring "student control over time, place, path, and/or pace."