Beyond the Textbook

My brain is tired.

That's what you get for spending a day and a half talking about really big issues with really smart people. 

The Background:

Discovery Education, for whom I'm now employed has been involved with digital spaces and for lack of a better word, a textbook, although we call it a techbook. We all agree, the term fails to recognize that we're trying to offer something different but it's the term for now and I suppose it has a recognizable feel that invites a larger group of educators to consider what it might do for learning. They've launched it in several states and wrapped it in loads of quality professional learning designed to help all teachers, no matter their configuration and access to use technology combined with excellent pedagogy to transform learning. That's the goal. We've had some success and feel good about what's been accomplished but recognize we need to get even better and with that invited 18 folks from across North America who are known leaders and thinkers and are willing to be critical for the purposes of making education better.  We spent the evening and a day exploring the future of learning and the … Read the rest

My first DE podcast

I have a heart for podcasting. Steve Dembo and Bud Hunt captured by attention way back when as they casually recorded themselves as they drove home from work. I loved the raw, authentic, casual nature of those recordings. 

​So Steve and I have talked about doing stuff with Discovery and we both share the philosophy of "just do it". So here's how this podcast was born:

​As you'll tell from the podcast, this was not rehearsed and it was pretty much uncensored. I hope it can be something where I learn more about the awesomeness of Discovery and you can too. Can you tell I've been drinking the kool-aid? If you want a prize, leave a comment on the DEN blog

[podcast]http://ideasandthoughts.org/podcasts/DEpodcast1.mp3[/podcast]… Read the rest

Understanding the Digital Divide

I need to be careful. A new job and new learning gives me plenty of excuses not to write. My mind is occupied with all sorts of things that make it challenging to be be reflective sometimes. Writing and blogging has been a critical part of my own growth as an educator and I have no intentions of that changing but I need to force myself to write. This might be one of those occasions. 

Last week I visited two dramatically different conferences. FETC is one of the larger educational conferences you'll ever attend. While numbers have decreased significantly from the first time I attended over 11 years ago, there are still thousands that make their way to the Orange County Convention Center to drink in all things related to technology and learning. My first time there in 2001 I recall attending a pre-conference workshop on streaming video. I believe it was Miami-Dade County sharing how they were able to stream events such as football games and graduations to their community using a truck with TV studio equipment and servers coming out the wazoo. It took me about 15 minutes to realize that someone from Moose Jaw, SK with a Read the rest