Reimagining Blog Posts: The Best That 2012 Had to Offer
I'm not a big "calendar" guy or "date" guy (I'm hit or miss with time in general, but I can usually guess within a few hours). However, my sources tell me that it is now the month of January, which allegedly follows the month of December, which allegedly is the last month of the year. As such, it is my sworn oath and duty as a reputable blogger to post some sort of Year in Review or Best of 2012. Everybody is doing it, and if there is one thing I came to understand with great certainty through my own K-12 experience, it's that if your friends jump off a bridge, you'd better follow suit right behind them!*
So here goes my attempt: Tom's Favorite Ed-Tech Blogs/Columns/Written Words of All Kinds from 2012!
First up, a piece from the man frequently seen following closely behind Rupert Murdoch. Former Chancellor of the NYC DoE and current head honcho at Amplify, Mr. Joel Klein, spells out a compelling case for private enterprise in K-12 education.
A must read for any current or future education startup is this piece penned by the cofounders of Wikispaces called How to Succeed in Education Technology. Reminds me of that old phrase, something about a hammer and nail's head...
Is the current climate of ed-tech a booming new industry, or a bubble waiting to be burst? Well that depends on who you talk to. This piece (featuring a handsome photograph of the data master of education, Jose Ferreira) examines the flow of venture dollars entering education technology and the impact of this rise in attention. Frank Catalano remains skeptical and sees a new tech bubble underway. Betsy Corcoran, leader of edSurge, offered a rebuttal to Frank here (by the way, if you are not reading edSurge's weekly newsletter, do yourself a favor and SIGN UP). For more bubble coverage, check out this piece from Ed Tech Now.
If you have the capacity to absorb information in more than 500 word increments, I highly suggest giving this paper from Michael Staton of Inigral a read: Disaggregating the Components of a College Degree. Spoiler alert: the paper contains a shoutout to Professor Matt Greenfield's Credentialing Stack.
A hot topic on the Higher Ed front has been the cost of college. Many, led by Peter Thiel and his mighty band of fellows, are trying to demonstrate that college in the 21st century is a meaningless, expensive, wasteful proposition (that may be slightly overstating it). Of course, I disagree. If it wasn't for college, I never would have been introduced to Chick-fil-A. Thankfully, others that actually know what they are talking about seem to agree with me, like Derek Thompson of The Atlantic, and Adam Looney and Michael Greenstone of The Brookings Institution and The Hamilton Project.
When Technologies Collide: Consumers, K-12, and Higher Ed examines how rates of tech adoption have shifted across the educational landscape.
While not a blog or article per se (though there are words involved!), this tool from Sparkreactor often provides a bit of inspiration for me when the ol' creative juices are running slow: ed-tech Buzzwords galore. Also, I feel like John Ashbery and Frank O'Hara would have had a blast playing around with this in the late '50s. The New York School was always my favorite of the mid-20th Century American poetry movements. For a more formal look at the buzzwords permeating the ed-tech landscape, check out this piece from Corey Murray.
"What Obama Can Do for Community Colleges" examines ways that CCs could be bolstered to help economic recovery. Personally, I think community colleges remain a significant untapped resource by tech giants in this country. Would it really not benefit a Google or a Facebook to basically set up shop at a community college (or 12) and simply teach their own future employees? Seems like a win-win to me.
In his piece "Startups Target Teachers as 'Consumerization' of Education Emerges," my colleague at EdWeek Jason Tomassini looks at the penetration of "freemium" in the K-12 start-up landscape and how young companies are building an arsenal of teacher users. I think Jason does a phenomenal job in general at blending news coverage and thought leadership. But then again, if you are reading this blog, you probably already knew that.
And finally, I have never been shy about my infatuation with all things Teddy Geisel (see: my first ever EdWeek post). Thus, this list from a blog called Mamiverse plucks violently at my heartstrings.
*I kid! Follow your own path, children! Make Bob Frost proud! Yet knowing how way leads onto way...