Saturday, June 26, 2010

The half life of innovation

The half-life of innovation --- This NY Times editorial about the short life cycles of iphones got us to thinking about the larger issues re: the sustainability of innovation. Indeed there is a built-in obsolescence in some innovations in order to capture and expand market share. Is this true for education innovations? Chat with the Knowledge-able Sourcerer.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Cloud computing for education?

Cloud computing business trends for education? --- Over the past year we have moved to the "cloud" and use it as an anywhere/anytime way of getting our work done. So when we saw this short review we thought about how cloud computing might work for schools and kids. Any thoughts to tell the Knowledge-able Sourcerer?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Education's Inconvenient Truth

Waiting for Superman and Education's Inconvenient Truth --- Several years ago we wrote a couple of articles (see here and here) on how Al Gore's ideas about climate change have analogies in education. Well, the Oscar-winning producer of Inconvenient Truth, Davis Guggenheim, went about making a documentary on that theme called "Waiting for Superman". It is causing a big buzz through its early screenings (it will be nationally released in the fall). Next week Davis will be in town for another screening which we will be attending. See the provocative stuff in these trailers.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Education's oil spill

Did you notice some of the phrases that POTUS used in his Oval Office speech (link) on the oil spill last night?

"Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash America’s innovation and seize control of our own destiny."

"we can’t afford not to change"

"The one answer I will not settle for is the idea that this challenge is somehow too big and too difficult to meet".

"what has defined us as a nation since our founding is the capacity to shape our destiny -– our determination to fight for the America we want for our children."

"And for decades, we have failed to act with the sense of urgency that this challenge requires."

"Others wonder why the industry only spends a fraction of what the high-tech industry does on research and development -– and want to rapidly boost our investments in such research and development."

So change the reference to energy to a reference to education and you have what the country needs to advance the R&D-innovation-improvement reform agenda for education. Indeed education needs an Oval Office speech.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Race to sanity

Must-read Brooks on RttT --- Yep, there continues to be lots of chatter about RttT as a policy vechile for incentivizing reform. See this terrific David Brooks commentary on race to sanity. We think Brooks makes huge sense and so do a number of our friends at the White House.

Kalamazoo to you too

From all accounts last Monday was an amazingly inspiring day for the students and teachers of Kalamazoo when the Prez came to town to deliver his promised commencement speech for the winners of his national competition. Here is what an eye witness wrote to us "President's speech was a thing of inspiration and beauty. Everyone in this town is walking taller for it. My friends the teachers are inspired and glowing. And a generation of teens here are going out in the world to 'make a difference.' good stuff. ".

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Racing to the right top

On this the Sourcerer fourth birthday we wish to share with you this enlightened article by David Brookes in this Sunday's New York Times about the right kind of federal role in education. He thinks the most practical and effective approach is to incite reform rather than command it. He applauds this strategy in the Race to the Top "contest" and thinks Obama is on the right track here. We agree with Brookes that "Over the past decades, federal education policy has veered between the incredibly intrusive to the appallingly supine". RttT is the Goldilocks of federal ed policy: just right.