The (Native) App is Dead; Long Live the (Web) App

On 28 October 2014, the W3C approved a standard version of HTML5, a programming language for the web. For K-12 at least, HTML5 is totally disruptive – in a GOOD way! Educational app developers can now write highly interactive apps that will run on virtually all end-user-oriented, computing devices, i.e., on all the crazy computers that kids bring into their BYOD classrooms. Finally, BYOD makes good sense; finally, teachers can FULLY exploit the affordances of the kids’ BYOD computing devices!! HTML5 is nothing short of a sea change in educational software.

New OECD Report Slams Computers — and Actually Says Why They Can Hurt Learning

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development just released a detailed study of the use of computers in the classrooms in 70 countries. It was no surprise that he study did not find improvement in student achievement due to computer use. It was a surprise, though, that OECD Director Andreas Schleicher named what he saw as the root cause of that failure!

WiFi Is the New Water

School districts and the federal government are addressing the “mobility gap” between students who have 24/7 broadband access and those who don’t.

The Uber-izing of K-12 Is Underway

Charter schools, vouchers and now venture capital! Uber is the model: Squeeze out cost relentlessly, use software and everything will be wonderful! Where do teachers fit into this model?

Is There an Uncrossable Chasm Between Research and the Classroom? Part 2

CCSS and NGSS are driving curricula and pedagogical change. Coding those new curricular materials, imbued with the best research, in HTML5 will enable those materials to run on virtually every BYOD computing device in the classroom. You read that right: every computing device!

There Are No Silver Bullets in Ed Tech

Over the past 20 years, boosters of several new technologies have promised to “revolutionize education.” In this week’s post, we review the various predictions about laptops, interactive whiteboards, iPads and Chromebooks. Ah, techies and their penchant for hyperbole....

Is There an Uncrossable Chasm Between Research and the Classroom?

There has always been a chasm between what educational researchers do in their labs and what educational practitioners do in their classrooms. There is no well-defined path for taking an idea from research and putting it into practice. In this week’s post, we discuss the different paths across the chasm that Logo (the programming language) and the graphing calculator took.

The Single Biggest Roadblock to Innovation in America: Student Loan Debt

While educational start-ups are securing record amounts of investment, the percentage of computer science majors going into start-ups of any kind is actually quite small. In this week’s blog post, we argue that fixing the student loan problem would unleash innovation that would boggle the imagination.

A Fundamental Flaw in Competency Learning

The “competency learning" movement is gaining serious momentum. But, drawing on decades of research in the psychology of learning, we will argue in this week’s blog post that competency learning appears to be based on a fundamentally flawed model of how learning takes place and how learning needs to be assessed.

Teaching Beyond Our Fears and Finding Balance Within

In this commentary, an instructional technologist compares teacher's fear of allowing students to use mobile devices in class with a parent's fear of giving teenagers the keys to a car.