The Education Evolving Blog

August 18, 2010

Instead of asking what technologies work, and how can they be scaled up, ask: What conditions make it most likely that teachers will be motivated (and able) to take up new technologies to make learning more productive?

We came across an article recently about the introduction of new technologies into the work place, to improve the scope and quality of products; to assist workers; and to automate certain tasks. In this article the unions, understandably, are concerned with how changes affect their members. ‘Don’t make these changes willy-nilly,’ they seem to say, arguing for a voice...

August 16, 2010

A senior administrator from a major public university said recently, about technology, “We could say we use technology, that it’s in all our classrooms and labs—we spend enormously on IT—but really it’s not an effective improvement.”

He was alluding to a point that there really are two fundamentally different ways of applying technology. The first is in support of existing practice—animating lectures, facilitating communication, expediting grading. This helps, and can improve processes. Often, however, it adds cost without a discernable increase in performance.

The second way...

August 13, 2010

Editor’s note: Each Friday we feature guest bloggers that are involved in rethinking what is possible with schooling and the education system.

The schooling system of the United States needs to live within its means—now more than ever. To contain growing costs and to be effective with less money, schools need new, more insightful ways to allocate resources. One way is to withdraw the exclusive on who controls the resource allocations.

In this post Jim Wartman, an advisor (teacher) at Minnesota New Country School, describes how teacher-control...

August 11, 2010

In this budget climate the four-day school week is hot. California’s trying it. Some districts in Georgia and Hawaii have gone to four-day weeks. And as...

August 9, 2010

Languages and math are two areas where technology is evolving to enable effective learning without a teacher, such as Rosetta Stone and School of One. And, to connect students directly with expert teachers or peers of the language they are trying to learn, such as with Live Mocha. There is enormous potential for personalization, particularly...

August 6, 2010

Editor’s note: Each Friday we feature guest bloggers that are involved in rethinking what is possible with schooling and the education system.

During this Great Recession a system that was already being squeezed is seeing a bleak financial future. The instinct of centrally-managed systems in times of financial distress is to harden, and centralize further.

This may in fact be the precise wrong thing to do. Instead...

August 5, 2010

The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) recently received a grant from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to develop a 501c3 to serve as an authorizer of chartered schools in Minnesota. AFT made the investment as part of its innovation fund. Some of the initial news reports stated the MFT itself will apply to become an...

August 4, 2010

One effect of the recent stimulus-bill funding for K-12 has been to create an impression that schools are suffering today because of the economic down turn. This is true. But the downturn is not the sole reason for their financial pains…nor is it the principal reason.

Like most states Minnesota has been experiencing substantial budget shortfalls dating back to before the credit crunch began. In this video Education|Evolving partner...

August 2, 2010

Paul Hill and Marguerite Roza just released Curing Baumol’s Disease: In Search of Productivity Gains in K–12 Schooling published by the Center on Reinventing Public Education. The paper is premised on the dilemma that while some labor-intensive industries—education included—fail to keep...

July 30, 2010

Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest, posting-a-post. Winners receive a copy of Disrupting Class signed by co-author and E|E managing partner Curtis Johnson. Of those that posted a comment in the past weeks, three winners were selected using Random.org.

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