K-12 Education

Focus on Curriculum not Who’s in the Code.org Video

Code.org produced a video with a message to kids. The message can be distilled to a few basic ideas. Coding is cool. Programming isn’t hard. Programming leads to awesome jobs. More K-12 schools should teach programming. And, everyone should learn how to code. However, instead of talking about the lack of programming in K-12 curriculum, Twitter and blogs are abuzz with news about the people in the video. Mark Zuckerburg. Bill Gates. Jack Dorsey. Will.i.am. Chris Bosh.

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The Quantified Self in Education


Fitbit, a tiny sensor to measure steps taken, calories burned, and sleep. Photo used under CC, attributed to Pete Markham http://www.flickr.com/photos/pmarkham/6702638251/

A unique trend has begun to emerge in wearable technology. Most are referring to this as the “quantified self.” In short, it is the idea that daily, mundane activities, which we have previously paid no attention to have become interesting as technology has found a way to quantify them. Thus, I use a fitbit to count my daily steps. This information can then be catalogued and preserved for future reference. In and of itself, this is only minimally interesting (traditional pedometers have been around for years but have never seen the media or social buzz that products like Nike Fuelband, Fitbit, or the Jawbone Up have). The fascinating part of the data emerges when you can connect that information with other large data and see personal connections. I can look at how many steps I walked in a given week, see how many calories I consumed, how many miles I ran, even how well I slept! This creates an overall picture of me as a person…and it’s fascinating.

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A World Without School?

If you have any interest in technology and its impact on humanity, you have undoubtedly come across the idea of the singularity (if not, see here). I find the idea fascinating. As an educator, the singularity scares the hell out of me. As a science lover, I’m incredibly excited about the possibilities. The idea that at some point, in the not too distant future, we will have the capacity to mesh technology with humanity at a molecular level completely changes the way that we should think about learning and knowledge. Experiences and information can suddenly be processed and accessed in unique and unimaginable ways. If the singularity is to occur, I have no frame of reference to understand what impact it will have on me as a human. We cannot afford, though, to wait for that possibility before redefining our understanding of knowledge and learning; we have to have the conversation right now.
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Pre-K – 12 Teaching Tech Infographic

PBS Learning Media put together this infographic from their recent survey on how teachers use technology in the classroom. Teachers from pre-kindergarten through high school were surveyed. Source: www-tc.pbs.org via PBS on Pinterest