Ed's Ed WeekOften people wonder why we have so little to show in Ed technology--at least as far as content mastery and assessment. Yes, we have the proprietary libraries built by the traditional textbook publishers. There's tons of original source material, and even more HTML-based content of varying pedagogical quality. But the individualized engagement/mastery/assessment factors we've all feel in our guts should be there...usually isn't.
From the beginning, OpenHistoryProject.org was designed to get people working together to change this.
At the time, Flash seemed the mechanism, and much of what we focused on was Flash-based interactives.
Then the world kind of exploded with web technologies. Suddenly podcasts were seemingly available on every topic; Youtube begat TeacherTube which begat who-knows-what. Students' evenings were devoted to MMOGs. Blogger and Ning arrived and teachers and ed experts were infatuated with writing for an audience, and then every other student had a movie-maker software and they could learn while producing. We all had to twitter our every thought.
And all of this fit in with the mantra of "who needs to learn content? they need need to learn how to learn, the Internet will teach them facts sometime later. Memorizing is just so old-school."
Which is how Ed came to spend much of the past couple years researching education policy and going back-and-forth with the likes of Deb Meyer and Diane Ravitch.
Which brings us to the NBC/Universal Education Summit. A dozen panels where Randi Weingarten showed up and was the only person each time to think that the current labor system is mostly working for students.
"It's not about being anti-union" says Geoffrey Canada. "It's about being pro-innovation".
So what is Ed's role to be in the innovation?
By apprenticeship and trade, I'm a system-of-systems engineer. A few of the systems components I looked at in recent days:
- Sprouts project generation tool
- Behaviour-Driven Development
- AS3Spec (A tiny BDD framework)
- Jumpeye Components
- Actionscript 3, once I finally got Sprouts all installed after a month of trying.
- EdReformer where they seem to get that tech has solutions, that it also takes money.
- Interactive Learning Patterns, something you'd think there would be some research on by now.
- 36 Slides that Pass the Squint Test (Extreme Presentation/PowerFrameworks -
- Tasmaninan Geography SVG Testbed
- And, I actually got some code working, some Actionscript3, which I do not know.
- Oh, and I unhosed my Whendidji local repository, somewhat abused by the well-meaning attempts of JSLint.