Douglas Crets


Giving Credibility to the Shadow Education System

Innovation Money Went to Allegiances, not to Innovation in Education

This article in GOOD about the poorly managed good intentions behind the i3 grants is spot on: money went to allegiances, and to the estabilshment that was already set up to “guide” education innovation. The money did not go to real and ingenious startups, among them the smaller entities headed up by hard-working and risk-taking entrepreneurs.

Here’s a quotation from the article, but go and read it for yourself. It is written by Philissa Cramer of Gotham Schools, and quotes a former public relations staffer from NewSchools Venture Fund, Julie Landry Petersen.

But a funny thing happened on the way to innovation. When the first multimillion-dollar grants were awarded last year, they went to some of the country’s most established education nonprofits—to allow them to keep doing pretty much what they had been doing. For example, the two largest prizes, $50 million each, went to the KIPP Foundation (one of the most established charter school networks) and Teach for America to expand their famously well-oiled human capital machines. Smaller “development” grants of $3 million to $5 million each helped school districts bulk up their arts programming or data analysis.


Filed under: Influence, Work, , , , , , , ,

Best #Education Apps of 2011

What I enjoyed about this list of best education applications in 2011 is that there are so many apps in this list that are not directly marketed as education apps. It speaks to my belief that many of the solutions that create better manageability and efficiency for teachers and students are not coming from straight up education vendors.

Ed tech is going to surprise so many people with how it already exists on the social web, churning massive amounts of data and helping us pinpoint the best ways to teach kids. Here’s a small slice from the list, but you should visit Larry Ferlazzo’s blog for the full scoop.

As usual, in order to make this list, a site had to be:

* accessible to English Language Learners and non-tech savvy users.

* free-of-charge.

* appropriate for classroom use.

* completely browser-based with no download required.

It’s possible that a few of these sites began in 2010, but, if so, I’m including them in this list because they were “new to me” in 2011.

Filed under: Digital Learning, Influence, Tech, , , , ,

Media Literacy is the New Diploma and What You Can Do About It

Here’s a broad wash of the brush: The future will be constructed by people who can demonstrate their ideas to a wide audience and find their peers for projects in that wide audience. The future is about building a community around an idea, and the best tools for that are online technology and media, and smartphones that allow many people to connect to each other’s content and personas.

media literacy social media revolutions learning curriculum digital

Getty Image: A teacher shows a student the future

We’ve seen the power of youth yielding social media tools. Look at the massive shifts in hierarchy and decisionmaking, and the overpowering of autocratic state leaders –what the Chinese call the Jasmine Revolution — occurring in North Africa and the Middle East. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Influence, , , , , ,

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