Holt Think: Ed, Creativity, Tech, Administration


Would you trust education to Silicon Valley?

I actually do not have a problem with this. We have been trusting “Silicon Valley” with computers and equipment for years. I guess the problems comes when the shift happens from just supplying equipment to supplying the actual teaching.
Who is vetting?
Who says this or that meets the standards?

I kinda am ok with this as long as there are monitors and safeguards in place.

From the article:

Venture capitalists are pouring funding into new technologies for a trillion-dollar industry in the US that could be ripe for disruption: education.

Education technology startups attracted $1.25 billion in funding in 2013, according to analysis by CB Insights, and the boom has grown in 2014, with ed tech companies attracting nearly half that amount ($559 million) during the first quarter alone.

It’s not just new startups that want a piece of the education pie. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has signaled a major push into education. Its Amplify division, run by the former New York City schools chancellor, Joel Klein, earlier this year launched an interactive digital curriculum aimed at middle school students, after releasing an education tablet last year. Pearson, which publishes the Financial Times, makes most of its money (pdf) in its education businesses. Yet the shift from print to digital (painful as it has already been for the news media) is only just beginning in education. States are in the process of shifting the billions in dollars they spend on textbooks into digital alternatives. It’s a similar story at the university level.

Click on the title to go to the article.

- Presently Perfect! 10 Powerful Presentation Tools for Educators

Tired of Powerpoint? Think your kids can do more than make slides? Try these tools for presenting.

Click on the title to go to the link.

FREE -- Teaching Resources and Lesson Plans from the Federal Government

Really nice collection of free government resources for use in all types of subject area.

Click on the title to go to the link.

Cheat Sheet for Ed Tech Terms

This is a good infographic for newbies to ed tech. Maybe there are terms even the vets are not familiar with. Of course, there are tons more of these terms that are not on this graphic.


For many years, educators and policymakers looking for strategies to close the achievement gap and improve student learning have sought solutions involving new uses of technology, especially for students placed at-risk. Unfortunately, the results of technology initiatives have been mixed. Often, the introduction of technology into classrooms has failed to meet the grand expectations proponents anticipated. The educational landscape is replete with stories and studies about how at-risk students were unable to benefit from particular innovations seeking to use computers for teaching.

There are, however, successes among these efforts, and they reveal some common approaches to technology use. Based on a review of more than 70 recent studies, this brief describes these approaches, particularly as they apply to high school students who have been at risk of failing courses and exit examinations or dropping out because of a range of personal factors (such as pregnancy, necessary employment, mobility, and homelessness) and academic factors (special education needs, credit deficiencies, and lack of supports for learning English). The brief then outlines policy strategies that could expand the uses of technology for at-risk high school youth.

Download the full report

RTI for teachers

Interesting idea:
Use the ideas of RTI for teacher professional development

Tier I: Training everyone gets
Tier II: More specific , small group
Tier III : Specific IEP for each teacher

How would that work?

Sep 9

Here’s to those that see things differently

Why do people love a tech company?
Because they make awesomeness like this:

New Study: Engage Kids With 7x the Effect

(Source: gjmueller)

Sep 7

Parent Engagement Rises as Schools Communicate with Tech Tools

Kind of makes sense doesn’t it? The more you communicate with parents, the more parental engagement you will get in return.
In these days of social media, there really should not be a single campus administrator out there that is not using these tools for expanded conversations with their communities.

Of course, any administrator has to be cognizant of the rules, who they can put picture of on the net, what they can say and cannot. But in these days of open almost everything, transparency almost always trumps silence. I keep thinking of the Dembo / Shareski tag team presentation on Social Capital I posted a few years ago.

Here is a quote from the article:

"Principals and teachers have their smartphones out all the time so they can tweet pictures of student projects, record podcasts with them and share what’s happening with the hashtag "teamkid." Now the students ask Welcome to tweet out pictures of their projects, and he frequently tells them, "I’m going to make you famous!" as he captures their work.

At Parent Teacher Association meetings, he goes through what Twitter is and how to get the school’s feed, which is embedded on the school website. After using these tools over the last three years, PTA membership has gone through the roof because people feel connected to the school, Welcome said. They typically have more volunteers than they have positions to fill.

"I’d rather have parents be informed and know what’s going on than feel out of the loop," Welcome said. "Bringing them into their child’s education is important, especially because of Common Core. We need parent support, and they need to be on board and speak this new language of Common Core."

“Empowering educators by connecting them to a network of others who share ideas, strategies & encouragement is a supremely benevolent act.” -Kevin Honeycutt

“Empowering educators by connecting them to a network of others who share ideas, strategies & encouragement is a supremely benevolent act.” -Kevin Honeycutt

(Source: tumblr.com)

Scientific American: Learning in the Digital Age

Not sure if this got past me or not, but I don’t recall posting about it. From 2013: An entire issue of Scientific American dedicated to digital learning. A lot of it is MOOC based, bt there are some interesting articles within the special edition.

Here are the articles in the special edition:

Big Data Makes Big Inroads into Schools

Introduction to a special report on the ways technology is remaking every aspect of education—bringing top-notch courses to the world’s poorest citizens and reshaping the way all students learn

Free Online Courses Bring “Magic” to Rwanda

An inside look at a daring global experiment: using freely available online courses to bring top-tier instruction to the neediest parts of the planet

How to Make Online Courses Massively Personal

How thousands of online students can get the effect of one-on-one tutoring

Take a Data-Driven Geography Lesson

Part exam, part tutorial, LearnSmart’s state-capitals quiz continuously adjusts to your performance.

How Big Data Is Taking Teachers Out of the Lecturing Business

Schools and universities are embracing technology that tailors content to students’ abilities and takes teachers out of the lecturing business. But is it an improvement?

The Founder of Khan Academy on How to Blend the Virtual with the Physical

Technology can humanize the classroom

Diane Ravitch: 3 Dubious Uses of Technology in Schools

Technology can inspire creativity or dehumanize learning

How MOOCs Can Help India

Online courses may help alleviate faculty shortages and improve education

Online Courses Can Improve Life on Campus

The future of on-campus learning lies in the right combination of digital and traditional tools

Arne Duncan: How Technology Will Revolutionize Testing and Learning

Greater broadband access will bring the latest digital tools to more teachers and students

Students Say Online Courses Enrich On-Campus Learning

One in five science students surveyed by Nature and Scientific American has participated in a MOOC—and most would do so again

Click on the title above to go the article.

To Kill a Textbook

Okay, so it is close to an ad, but the points it makes are pretty good. Etexts are the future. Period.

Apple Was Right: TECH CEOs Want Employees with Liberal Arts Degrees

I remember Steve Jobs once stating that Apple could not do what it does without the marriage of the technical with the beautiful. It was, I recall the “intersection of Technology and the Liberal Arts.”

In 2005, Fortune Magazine writer Peter Lewis had a profile about the late Apple CEO: “As his company moves deeper into music, video, consumer electronics, telephony, software, and services, Jobs is asked, How does he describe Apple Computer Inc. these days? He responds by picking up the new Apple remote control device and placing it against a giant, peanut-shaped remote that comes with a computer running Microsoft’s Windows XP Media Center Edition PC operating system. The Apple remote, sleek and white and smaller than an iPod, has six buttons. The Media Center PC remote is a handful, with more than 40 buttons. ‘Apple is a company that takes complex technology and makes it easier and simpler to use,’ he says, and seems satisfied with his answer. But moments later he smiles, and refines his definition: ‘Our goal is to stand at the intersection of technology and the humanities.’

As usual, Apple, even way back in 2005, was using their very clear crystal ball to see what is needed to make a successful company. It cannot always be about the circuits and the

I wonder sometimes, with the current emphasis on STEM, are we forgetting the importance of Liberal Arts?
Apparently, some CEOs are concerned as well.

Click on the title to go to the article.

Use Visuals in Teaching: The Must Use Learning Tool

Are you using visuals when you teach? Are you using them correctly? This is a nice graphic and article that explains why you need to incorporate more visuals in your teaching: From the article: HOW VISUALS HELP US LEARN

  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual
  • The brain can process 36,000 visual cues in an hour
  • The brain takes about 1/10th of a second to get the idea of a visual scene
  • Almost 50% of your brain is involved in visual processing
  • Black and white images garner your attention for about 2/3 of a second
  • Color images garner your attention for 2+ seconds
  • The average consumer’s attention span is only about 8 seconds
  • The brain processes visual cues 60,000 times faster than text
  • 40% of nerve fibers are linked to the retina
  • The use of visuals improves learning outcomes by about 400%
Click on the title to go to the article.

Tips for Creating Wow-Worthy Learning Spaces

If you have read this blog for any amount of time, you have realized that I am a big fan of the work of Prakash Nair and Peter C. Lippman. This article interests me because it shows how a teacher can make their classrooms more interesting work spaces for students. You don’t have to have the architects remake your building. All you have to do is remake your space.

Here is an example cited in the article, which you can get by clicking on the title above.