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December 17, 2012

Sir John Daniel: Openness Rather Than Scale is MOOC Contribution

"I'm delighted that openness has gotten to some very closed institutions," said Sir John Daniel. As the former CEO of Commonwealth of Learning and Vice-Chancellor of Open University, he knows a lot about higher education, open education resources (OER), and online learning.

December 14, 2012

Powering the Real Revolution in Higher Education

We've heard a lot about Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) -- the breakout trend of the year -- but it's still a fringe concept feeding what Clayton Christensen calls non-consumption. The real story is how the diverse web of nearly 5,000 institutions (broadly speaking) of higher learning in the U.S. are responding to cost pressure, calls for higher completion rates and better job preparation, and student demands for relevance.

December 13, 2012

Big History: An Organizing Principle for a Compelling Class, Block or School

After Bill Gates saw a series of lectures by David Christian on big history Gates said, "He really blew me away. Here's a guy who's read across the sciences, humanities, and social sciences and brought it together in a single framework. It made me wish that I could have taken big history when I was young, because it would have given me a way to think about all of the school work and reading that followed. In particular, it really put the sciences in an interesting historical context and explained how they apply to a lot of contemporary concerns."

December 12, 2012

How Digital Learning Contributes to Deeper Learning

Here at Getting Smart, we spend a lot of time thinking about how to improve learning. We advocate for tools and schools that work better for students and teachers. We love to see and share stories about engaged learners producing quality products.

November 14, 2012

Why Haven't Districts Adopted Blended Learning Faster?

Consultants asked, "Why haven't districts adopted blended learning faster?" I answered, "Because it's complicated."

November 13, 2012

Simulations Spell Sizzling Science

It's usually true that there's nothing better than learning by doing, but sometimes simulation is better than the real thing. When it comes to life, physical, and earth science, simulation can compress time, connect tasks, and allow students to see multiple dimensions.

November 12, 2012

MOOC vs. MOAB (Mother of all Baumols)

You've probably seen William J. Baumol's book, The Cost Disease, or you've read an Inside HigherEd column about how education and health care are labor intensive and have not seen the same kind of productivity gains as other sectors. Perhaps you heard Paul Hill and Marguerite Rosa talk about Baumol's disease, "The combination of rising costs and stagnant productivity are major problems in an environment where many children are not learning the skills they need and education is now not likely to receive sustained increases in public funding."

November 06, 2012

Better & More Writing: Review of 42 Apps

Math gets all the love--at least that appears to be the case in the edtech world. But applications of automated essay scoring have been growing steadily for 15 years. The shift to digital instructional materials, preparations for state online assessment, and a new crop of writing apps is adding new energy to digital ELA.

November 02, 2012

What's Next? A Flex Plus School Model by Connections Education

I'm a big fan of flex model secondary schools; there at least 10 Reasons Every District Should Open a Flex School. In short, these models create options fast, can leverage community assets, and create a picture of the future of personalized competency-based learning.

October 15, 2012

Common Sense Media: Making Sense of the Learning App Explosion

Common Sense Media aims to provide "trustworthy information to parents and teens about technology and media." Founder and CEO Jim Styer has been working on this mission for 20 years. He's the author of a new book, Talking Back to Facebook: A Common Sense Guide to Raising Kids in the Digital Age, a look at how digital media affects the development of young children.

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