Get ready to see iPads zipping around your office. As a remote worker I’m fascinated by telepresence robots, or a remote robotic avatar which lives at an office and roams the halls under your control, typically interacting through a 2-way video chat tool. Naturally, Double Robotics took the iPad’s advantages and built what looks like a tiny Segway for the iPad to move about on, calling it the Double.
A tool for replacing live teachers? I hope not. One that can put qualified teachers into classrooms regardless of geography? Quite possibly.
The portal’s interactive design is a major evolutionary step for a website that has since been almost entirely based on YouTube lectures (with over 178 million views). I rarely get excited about online education, which often just recycles our antiquated education system into a digital format, but the new Khan Academy Computer Science project is beyond impressive.
Last night I read and posted the clip on ‘21 Things That Became Obsolete in the Last Decade’. Well, just for kicks, I put together my own list of ‘21 Things That Will Become Obsolete in Education by 2020’.
Just re-read this, nearly three years later. Quite prophetic—could have been written yesterday.
Despite the risks…
“Tech is in the process of transforming education,” said Ng, “and there is a change coming—whether we like it or not.” Most professors don’t seem to dislike the reality of that change.
The most impressive technology-rich classrooms don’t look like classrooms. Instead, they look like creative businesses on deadline—like advertising agencies pulling together a big campaign, architectural firms drawing up blueprints, or software companies developing new programs.
I recently visited a middle school science class as students toiled away on science fair projects using a classroom wiki: a widely adopted collaborative Web platform. As I watched, students uploaded graphic displays of their data, commented on each other’s hypotheses, and recorded video journals of their progress. The room buzzed with activity, as each of these young knowledge workers made contributions to their collective endeavor. When students got stuck, other students jumped from their desks to help. The teacher circulated through the classroom like a project manager, answering questions, providing feedback, holding students accountable to deadlines, and providing just-in-time instruction.
How Microsoft’s and Philadelphia’s innovative school became an example of what not to do
This should be required reading for anyone starting up a technology program in education…
One of the things we need to be doing as educators is to critically evaluate the resources and learning experiences that we provide for our students. This is even more important when we are spending vast sums of public money to implement new or innovative hardware devices into our schools. At the moment only short term studies have been released showing the benefits or not of using 1:1 tablet programs. There are few that are easily accessible to teachers or that outline specific strategies for implementing tablet programs.
Launched back in November, KinderTown is one of the first companies to build an app store within an app that’s sold in the app store. (Ha!) That is, the company filters through the 600,000+ iOS apps (iPhone/iPad) to surface just the educational apps that are designed for children. It then further curates the selection by vetting the apps for quality of content. The staff includes former educators, who review the apps prior to having parents test them. Only when both groups agree the app is worthy, does it get accepted into the KinderTown store.