“It bothers me that we bring math from the real world into the classroom by way of textbooks on paper, where the problems…look lifeless on the page.” – Dan Meyer, USA

“It bothers me that we bring math from the real world into the classroom by way of textbooks on paper, where the problems…look lifeless on the page.” – Dan Meyer, USA

“We always look at the educational outcomes we want, then we back-track to the device, and ask what device and software combination will allow us to do that.” – Peter West, Australia

“We always look at the educational outcomes we want, then we back-track to the device, and ask what device and software combination will allow us to do that.” – Peter West, Australia

“The problem is that school is incredibly boring for students, and as it turns out, it’s pretty boring for teachers as well, because neither group is learning in the traditional school model.”  – Michael Fullan, Canada

“The problem is that school is incredibly boring for students, and as it turns out, it’s pretty boring for teachers as well, because neither group is learning in the traditional school model.” – Michael Fullan, Canada

“Although Japan seems to have a blessed educational environment, there is a gap due to various factors. Education of physically and mentally handicapped children is behind compared to Europe or the U.S.” – Michio Inaba, Japan

“Although Japan seems to have a blessed educational environment, there is a gap due to various factors. Education of physically and mentally handicapped children is behind compared to Europe or the U.S.” – Michio Inaba, Japan

“…Everyone has a story. Everyone has a struggle. And everyone needs help along the way.” – Pearl Arredondo, USA

“…Everyone has a story. Everyone has a struggle. And everyone needs help along the way.” – Pearl Arredondo, USA

“Technology provides us with new tools from which to explore and communicate our ideas, but the heart of education will always be personal relationships – with or without technology.” – Katie Brown, USA

“Technology provides us with new tools from which to explore and communicate our ideas, but the heart of education will always be personal relationships – with or without technology.” – Katie Brown, USA

“I don’t get a huge Christmas bonus, but when I get a handwritten letter from a student explaining to me how I made a difference in their lives, that’s priceless.” – Sean McComb, USA

“I don’t get a huge Christmas bonus, but when I get a handwritten letter from a student explaining to me how I made a difference in their lives, that’s priceless.” – Sean McComb, USA

“As best practices are being developed for connected, mobile, personal learning, we need to have the political will to change our historic systems. Seat time, age cohorts, drill and kill – these all have to go.” – Joel Heinrichs, USA

“As best practices are being developed for connected, mobile, personal learning, we need to have the political will to change our historic systems. Seat time, age cohorts, drill and kill – these all have to go.” – Joel Heinrichs, USA

“There are not enough tools for teachers. We are trying to give them, in one place, very powerful visual tools that get kids excited.” – Ondrej Homola, Czech Republic

“There are not enough tools for teachers. We are trying to give them, in one place, very powerful visual tools that get kids excited.” – Ondrej Homola, Czech Republic

“Respecting people’s learning styles puts the student at the center of the learning experience, which is where he or she should be.”  – Lauren Aguirre, USA

“Respecting people’s learning styles puts the student at the center of the learning experience, which is where he or she should be.” – Lauren Aguirre, USA


Interview

“It bothers me that we bring math from the real world into the classroom by way of textbooks on paper, where the problems…look lifeless on the page.” – Dan Meyer, USA


We all know that STEM subjects are essential in the 21st century workplace. We also know that these subjects – particularly math – are often overlooked or even avoided by students. Let’s face it: math class doesn’t have the greatest reputation. But Dan Meyer is on a mission to change that.  

By reimagining the way we think about and practice teaching math, Meyer is making math the engaging subject it should be – and his work is getting noticed. From his very popular TED Talk, Math class needs a makeover, to national awards received for integrating multimedia with mathematics and media appearances, Meyer is having an impact. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to talk to him recently. 

Meyer was a math teacher for six years, so he’s experienced first-hand the challenges of getting kids excited about what has typically been a dry subject. He’s a firm believer in teachers practicing – and being enthusiasts for – their subjects, and he’s now doing just that by pursuing his PhD in math education at Stanford University. He’s also sharing his perspective as a consultant to educational publishers.

“It bothers me that we bring math from the real world into the classroom by way of textbooks on paper, where the problems…look lifeless on the page,” Meyer says. “So a lot of my work is in how to make math – as it’s done in the world – more meaningful to kids.”

This quest for relevance plagues many a math teacher, and Meyer believes that kids don’t ask, “When will I ever use this?” because they actually want to know the answer. Rather, Meyer says, they’re expressing dissatisfaction with the way the material is being presented. And, as he notes, “Kids are not so easily fooled into enjoying algebra.”

From his work as a curriculum consultant, Meyer is convinced that this is an exciting time for education – if a bit of a “wild west” for innovation. “As we go to 1:1, curriculum has stayed the same,” he notes, referring to the limited ways technology has been used in many classes (PDFs vs. paper). “I’m excited about the different ways we can make our curriculum, our textbooks, mimic what kids love about the social web…it’s connections, it’s bringing people together…within a mathematical text book. The sky’s the limit.”

After talking to Meyer, and the many other creative math teachers around the world who are working to revolutionize math instruction, I’m excited, too. Enjoy today’s Daily Edventure with Dan Meyer, one of Tech & Learning’s 30 Leaders of the Future.

Interview

“We always look at the educational outcomes we want, then we back-track to the device, and ask what device and software combination will allow us to do that.” – Peter West, Australia


On my recent visit to Brisbane, Australia for an amazing Edutech Conference, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Peter West, an education technology specialist who is helping to transform learning at his school. Just as important, he’s helping others think differently about making the digital shift at their schools.  

West recently launched “Bring Your Own Laptop” (BYOL) at Saint Stephen’s College, a co-ed, P-12 school on Australia’s Gold Coast. What’s different about this program is that it was introduced only after extensive preparation – years of research and experimentation. And unlike many classroom technology implementations, BYOL started not with the purchase of devices, but with careful and thoughtful planning.  

West and his peers spent two years building content for the school’s learning management system. They rebuilt the school’s network to support an influx of new devices. And they experimented with a number of different devices from different suppliers – both tablets and laptops – to better understand how students would use the tools and how the tools would influence outcomes. “We always look at the educational outcomes we want,” West says, “then we back-track to the device, and ask what device and software combination will allow us to do that.” 

Ultimately, the school determined that laptops were the best solution – providing the right set of tools and form factor for their students’ needs. “We want to go well beyond the Web 2.0 stuff and cruising the Internet and e-mail,” West told me. “We want to go to the whole learning and technology experience.” 

With the Microsoft Student Advantage program, West and his team were able to provide students with Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus at no additional cost, since staff and faculty were already Office users. Standardizing on what West calls a “best-of-breed” solution worked particularly well for the school, as they have minimal technical support resources. 

West generously shares what he’s learned at national and international conferences, and regularly publishes articles – often touting the benefits of integrated online learning environments that allow a large range of systems to integrate transparently. But what makes him an extraordinary educator, in my view, is his holistic and well thought-out approach to applying technology in the classroom. West has demonstrated that starting with the desired learning outcomes – rather than the device – helps to ensure a successful implementation and more engaged teachers and students. 

Enjoy today’s Daily Edventure with Peter West.

Infographics

Infographic: Words Not To Live By


Interview

“The problem is that school is incredibly boring for students, and as it turns out, it’s pretty boring for teachers as well, because neither group is learning in the traditional school model.” – Michael Fullan, Canada


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Interview

“Although Japan seems to have a blessed educational environment, there is a gap due to various factors. Education of physically and mentally handicapped children is behind compared to Europe or the U.S.” – Michio Inaba, Japan


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Interview

“…Everyone has a story. Everyone has a struggle. And everyone needs help along the way.” – Pearl Arredondo, USA


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Interview

“Technology provides us with new tools from which to explore and communicate our ideas, but the heart of education will always be personal relationships – with or without technology.” – Katie Brown, USA


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Infographics

8 Things You Didn’t Know About Microsoft in Education Infographic


Interview

“I don’t get a huge Christmas bonus, but when I get a handwritten letter from a student explaining to me how I made a difference in their lives, that’s priceless.” – Sean McComb, USA


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Interview

“As best practices are being developed for connected, mobile, personal learning, we need to have the political will to change our historic systems. Seat time, age cohorts, drill and kill – these all have to go.” – Joel Heinrichs, USA


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Video

Managing the Classroom with ClassPolicy


A while back, I had the privilege to sit down and talk with Bob ChungClass Policy’s creator and CEO of AssistX Education. Now I am excited to share this video of how Louis, a teacher at James Madison Middle School, gets his classroom focused with ClassPolicy, and improves testing productivity with TestPolicy.

Infographics

What is a Flipped Classroom Infographic


The concept of a Flipped Classroom has been discussed quite a bit here at Daily Edventures.  At its core, the Flipped Classroom is about changing the dynamics of the classroom. The lecture becomes homework, and time in class is spent problem solving – or, as some call it, practicing.

Video

Leon County Schools 1:1 Digital Initiative: Empowering Teachers and Engaging Students


Leon County Schools in Tallahassee, FL launched the initial phase of their 1:1 digital initiative during the 2013-2014 school year. Watch this video to learn about the district’s objectives for the initiative, hear initial student reactions and learn why the decision was made to standardize on the Microsoft Windows 8 platform and Office 365.

Video

Project-Based Learning: Success Start to Finish


In a small town, about 12 miles east of Austin, Texas, Manor New Technology High School is a devoted to teaching every subject to every student through project-based learning. Go inside Manor New Technology High School, where an unwavering commitment to an effective schoolwide PBL model keeps both students and teachers motivated and achieving their best.

Infographics

Education First Infographic


This infographic accurately depicts the pressing need to make sure all primary aged children are able to attend school. Not only do children need to attend school, we need to improve the quality of learning. Too many students finish school without basic literacy and numeracy skills. We need more well-trained educators, improved traditional and digital learning materials, and an increase in early-childhood education programs to prepare children for primary schools.

 

Interview

“There are not enough tools for teachers. We are trying to give them, in one place, very powerful visual tools that get kids excited.” – Ondrej Homola, Czech Republic


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Video

NYC Department of Education Announces Three New Early College and Career Technical Education High Schools Coming Soon


New York City Department of Education selected Microsoft as an industry partner to support three new Early College and Career Technical Education (CTE) high schools, aimed at delivering a six-year, career-focused program to NYC students.

Interview

“Respecting people’s learning styles puts the student at the center of the learning experience, which is where he or she should be.” – Lauren Aguirre, USA


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Guest Blog

“We want to shape young minds to learn computer science – now when they are at their most creative point in their life. We want students to fuel their curiosity and creativity by developing apps and games relevant to their lives.” – Michael Braun, USA


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Infographics

Exploring Tomorrow’s Education, Today