The Virtues of the Open Web

Dale Dougherty, founder of Maker Media (which organizes the annual Maker Faire), O’Reilly Media (publisher of all those great “Missing Manuals”) heralds the virtues of the open web and the history of open-source information in this talk at Open Educational Resources 2011 talk last month. “The most important educational resource is the student,” he says.

Five Ways Silicon Valley is Changing Education

There’s no argument that Silicon Valley startups have influenced how businesses operate. The fact that most companies now count social media strategy as a crucial part of their operation is a testament to the Internet culture infiltrating far beyond the Internet-only based businesses. The same phenomenon is happening in education. Here are five ways tech-based … Continue reading Five Ways Silicon Valley is Changing Education →

Weekly News Roundup

The VOIP service Skype officially launched “Skype in the Classroom,” a directory to help connect educators with others who are using the service. Skype has recognized that teachers are already using the service to connect their classrooms, and so it wanted to make it easier for teachers to find others and to share Skype lessons … Continue reading Weekly News Roundup →

Three Trends That Define the Future of Teaching and Learning

In today’s dynamic classrooms, the teaching and learning process is becoming more nuanced, more seamless, and it flows back and forth from students to teachers. Here’s a look at current trends in teaching and learning, their implications, and changes to watch for. The Three Key Trends 1. Collaborative. If Web 2.0 has taught us anything, … Continue reading Three Trends That Define the Future of Teaching and Learning →

Three Trends That Will Shape the Future of Curriculum

What we as adults experienced in school, as educators and students, will bear little resemblance to what lies ahead. Here’s a look at current trends, their implications, and changes to watch for. The Three Key Trends 1. Digital delivery No longer shackled to books as their only source of content, educators and students are going … Continue reading Three Trends That Will Shape the Future of Curriculum →

Algebra, Meet the iPad: Part II

The iPad’s impact on the role of the teacher, paid content versus free online and open-source content, and the learning process. Will eighth-graders who use the iPad to learn algebra do better than their textbook-using counterparts? That’s what publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Fuse pilot program will determine at the end of the school year. In … Continue reading Algebra, Meet the iPad: Part II →

How Free is “Free”?

The article about CK12’s open-source digital FlexBooks compelled a reader to respond with some  questions. He writes: I have developed a strong interest in open or free text ever since I purchased a brand new grey-market, European textbook for 60 dollars, a full third of what Americans pay for the same biology book. I also … Continue reading How Free is “Free”? →

The “Living Book” Movement: Free Education For All

By Sara Bernard They’re free, they’re customizable, and they meet state standards. Those are the three biggest selling points of CK12 Flexbooks, digital educational content for K-12 schools. FlexBooks are developed through a combination of author donations, licensing partnerships, university collaborations, and incentives for community-based authorship, and teachers can customize them to their hearts’ content. … Continue reading The “Living Book” Movement: Free Education For All →

Will College Textbooks Be Obsolete?

By Sara Bernard These days, college students have many more options for buying less expensive versions of their required texts. With sites like Amazon, Half.com, and Craigslist, as well as textbook rental programs, they no longer have to rely on those heavy, expensive texts. Online textbooks that use open source software — which are becoming … Continue reading Will College Textbooks Be Obsolete? →

Teachers and Students Create Their Own Curriculum in Alaska

By Sara Bernard The Bering Strait School District (BSSD) in Alaska —  which spans a swathe of land and sea the size of Great Britain — is one of the few districts in the nation that has replaced textbooks with online content that can be modified by any of its teachers, students, parents and anyone … Continue reading Teachers and Students Create Their Own Curriculum in Alaska →

5 Fun Play-and-Learn Websites for Grade School Kids

Your kids’ online experience doesn’t have to be dominated by the commercial worlds of Disney and Webkinz. Kids can get busy learning with engaging and informative sites that educate them about a wide range of fun and interesting topics. I’ll be covering this subject regularly, but for starters, here’s a roundup of  5 of my … Continue reading 5 Fun Play-and-Learn Websites for Grade School Kids →

Teachers Customize Textbooks Online

Flickr: Arvindgrover By Sara Bernard Once upon a time, textbook writers would write textbooks and teachers would teach what was in them. Teachers would make up their own lesson plans, and if they were willing, shared them with their colleagues. But technology is changing the scenario. Now, not only are educators combing the Internet for … Continue reading Teachers Customize Textbooks Online →

Why Today’s College Kids Prefer Print – And Tomorrow’s Won’t

For all this talk of iPads and Kindles and e-readers and digital textbooks, apparently college students aren’t ready to give up their back-breaking tomes just yet. At least that’s what yesterday’s New York Times article indicates. Despite the fact that in most cases, print books are more expensive, college kids surveyed in two studies said … Continue reading Why Today’s College Kids Prefer Print – And Tomorrow’s Won’t →