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Big Ideas Fest

Ali Partovi: Why Learning to Code Is Imperative In Public Education

Ali Partovi, co-founder of Code.org, has an ambitious goal: To get public high schools to offer computer programming classes -- not just as an elective, but as a science requirement. "It's absolutely relevant for public education to embrace computer science," he says. "I can't think of any other science that would better prepare you for life in the 21st century."

Coding, Making, and the Arts: Essential Tools for Students

Some of the most important subject areas and activities we want students to learn are the very ones that are left out of many schools: the arts, computer programming, and learning to making things by hand. We know that arts integration can open all kinds of opportunities for learning and fostering creativity. We’re learning why … Continue reading Coding, Making, and the Arts: Essential Tools for Students →

How Open Education Can Transform Learning

Flickr: NP_Josh As the open education movement grows, the ripple effects of what it means for teachers to take control of what they teach is being witnessed across all spectrums in education. Customizable content, sharing and becoming part of a community, and deconstructing entrenched ideologies about what constitutes quality learning materials — these are just … Continue reading How Open Education Can Transform Learning →

How Do You Measure Learning?

Getty It’s not a new question, but it’s certainly a divisive one — how to best measure student learning. As the Department of Education works toward finding a way to assess student learning beyond what most agree are sub-par standardized tests, and movement for opting out of assessments grows, educators and those who work in … Continue reading How Do You Measure Learning? →

Big Ideas Fest Brings in Big Thinkers

It takes people with big ideas — and smart ways to implement them — to make any progress. And that’s the point of the Big Ideas Fest, held December 4-7 in Half Moon Bay, Calif., a gathering of leaders and innovators who will share their thoughts and tactics with educators and all those interested in … Continue reading Big Ideas Fest Brings in Big Thinkers →

Trust Children with Information and Watch the World Change

How young is too young to trust a child with “grownup” information? Dr. Sugata Mitra tends to give kids the benefit of the doubt to be able to handle what we perceive to be adult-only information. Dr. Mitra is well known in education circles for his Hole-in-the-Wall experiment, where students in the most challenging life … Continue reading Trust Children with Information and Watch the World Change →

Where Digital and Physical Meet

David Merrill, co-founder of Sifteo, demonstrated what appears to be the future of play at the Big Ideas Fest. They’re Siftables: small, digital tiles that connect to each other to create different types of games. You can flip them over, shake them, tilt them, and pour them onto each other, and they’ll react accordingly. “It’s … Continue reading Where Digital and Physical Meet →

Design Thinking: Identifying the Opportunity

As part of the Big Ideas Fest conference, each participant is asked to be a part of an Action Collab. I’m participating in the one called “How to enable teachers to have the greatest impact on learners.” We’re following a typical design challenge step by step, and the first step is to identify the opportunity … Continue reading Design Thinking: Identifying the Opportunity →

The Big Ideas Fest Pushes for Progress

Creative thinkers and innovators will gather next month in Half Moon Bay to brainstorm and implement progressive ideas in education at the Big Ideas Fest. In groups called Action Collabs, they’ll tackle big-picture questions like how to help teachers influence and have impact on learners, how to create opportunities to learn for students who are … Continue reading The Big Ideas Fest Pushes for Progress →

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