The Kahn Academy

I may be the last person on the planet to discover this, but even so, it’s worth showcasing. The Khan Academy is a website created by Sal Kahn who began it by wanting to tutor his nieces. (Reminds me of Darren K and Ellie.) What started out as a simple way to help them understand difficult math and science concepts is now a storehouse of over 1,000 videos. Listen as Sal explains why he did it and the power of this new form of learning. It’s well worth the 20 minutes.

I’m not convinced the idea of short tutorials works in all disciplines but certainly it does for Math and Science. As much as this body of work is impressive for the content, I’m more impressed by the passion and joy Sal gains from helping others learn. In addition the form factor here is worth exploring.  If you skipped the video go back and watch it and perhaps you can answer the following:

What are the implications here? Could a student learn Algebra with this without attending a high school class? What does it make us rethink when it comes to school and learning?… Read the rest

Understanding Free

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2011 at 11:03 am

cc licensed flickr photo shared by Will Lion


I’ve been listening to Chris Anderson‘s book "The Radical Price of Free" for free. It’s a long listen, over 6 hours and I’ve still got 2 more hours to go but it’s certainly helped clarify not only how free works, but how much money is to be made by free. Sound weird? Read/listen to the book.

My financial or economic knowledge is limited at best but as a consumer and producer I recognize a few things. While I make no money from this blog directly, I’ve been fortunate to indirectly gain financially and I owe much to the work and ideas that I share here and other places. Given that was never the intent of this blog, it’s simply a nice bonus. I recognize others try and utilize their blogs for financial gain either by ads or direct pay from outside interests. But for the most part this type of free seeks no compensation, it’s just free.

As any user of the web knows, there are oodles and oodles of sites and applications that appear free. … Read the rest

Start Spreadin’ the News

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2011 at 11:04 am

If you haven’t already, download this poster and either send it to every teacher you know and/or print it off and place it in every school you visit or work in.  Beginning today, watch for the teasers for upcoming presentations. For those who have participated in this conference, you know its value, for those who have not, buckle up, you’re in for a treat.

Oh, and did I mention is was completely free?

K12 Online Downloadable Flyer

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Have you heard the one about the bloggers who go into a bar?

So these three edubloggers go into a bar with a laptop and camera and begin to broadcast around the world…..

Trust it to Will, Jakes and Dembo to cook up some fun and learning at the same time. The three met in alocal establishment in Chicago tonight and tested out UstreamTV. This free, live streaming site allows anyone to broadcast live to the world. I used it a few weeks ago to watch my daughter’s new puppy when we aren’t home. Easy to set up. The potential of a tool such as this is obviously much more powerful than watching puppies. Remember when people used to (they still do but let’s presume some progress) categorize blogs as cat diaries? I think we’re better at understanding the power of these new tools as learning tools.

I had a conversation today with a principal asking how to make the next steps in using technology. I mentioned Ustream TV as a connecting tool. Her eyes lit up. Mine did too.

As I read a couple of posts today about blocking content I realize I’m blessed to work with an IT department that understands its role very well. They want … Read the rest

What is the Web For? Small Pieces Loosely Joined…for Kids

This post was last updated on December 12th, 2011 at 03:17 pm

As a fan of the work of Dave Weinberger, I had no idea he had done a version of Small Pieces for kids….(discovered via twitter).  He claims he wrote it so his 11 year old could understand but I’d suggest this would work well for kids from about 9-16.

So if you teach this age group, download the book, read it online, whatever. Then ask you kids, “What is the web for?”

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Powered by ScribeFire.… Read the rest