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My Thoughts on K-12 Computer Science

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I penned this commentary recently, which lays out my perspective as a professor and parent on computer science in schools.

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NCTE 2015 Presentation

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I had the pleasure of spending this afternoon with dozens of English teachers from around the country working on ways to integrate technology in the classroom.  Here’s the presentation slides.  Thanks Minneapolis! [Image credit: Pexels]

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AERA Cautions against Value-Added Models (VAM)

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This morning, the American Educational Research Association (AERA) issued a public statement cautioning states and districts in their reliance on VAM models to evaluate teachers.  In their own words: The statement concludes by stressing the importance of any educator evaluation system meeting the highest standards of practice in statistics and measurement. It calls for substantial investment in research on VAM …

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Coders Need Writing Chops

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A brief but telling piece from LifeHacker in which an ex-Microsoft engineer extols the importance of writing for programmers.  Pair with Vikram Chandra’s Geek Sublime or, for a more theoretical take, Federica Frabetti’s Software Theory. Image credit: NegativeSpace

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A Short History of Students as Data

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We once measured intelligence with mustard seeds; today we use data feeds.  Not sure how far we’ve come.  Check out this essay from my Soft(a)ware column in NCTE’s English Journal. [Image from Pixabey]

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Reading Something You Wish You’d Written

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I’ve had the pleasure of reading Connected Reading: Teaching Adolescent Readers in a Digital World by Kristen Hawley Turner and Troy Hicks.  It is a book that realizes the ever-elusive quest to address policy, theory, and practice in a single volume. As both a professor of education technology and an advisor to schools and districts, I say with confidence that this …

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Coding/Learning Seminar in Bristol, UK

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I had the absolute pleasure of learning from colleagues in the UK this past week as part of the Code/Learning Seminar Series hosted by the University of Bristol.  All from a variety of topical, theoretical, and methodological perspectives, the organizers and participants taught me a great deal about how others are researching the role of software in education.   They’re collegiality and …

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The Circuit Monster

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We knew what we wanted to do: take apart an iPhone.  It was a Saturday and my son Declan and I had hours all to ourselves. As many families today, we have old computer gear and smartphones hanging around the apartment.  Though my wife and I value the importance recycling or donating them, we continue to stack old devices up in …

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Presentation: Global Capacities Summer Institute at Teachers College

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What a pleasure to present today to a group of Chinese teacher educators, visiting the Center for the Professional Development of Teachers (CPET) at Teachers College, Columbia University as part of a cross-cultural exchange.  I am grateful for their presence and energy.  谢谢 Below is the presentation I shared and strayed from with the best of intentions: Photo credit: Danh …

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3X3s: Students Respond to Readings with Screencasts

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In an online course I’m teaching, I wanted to create a way for students to engage with collections of readings and respond in a manner that allowed me to assess their understanding while not drowning in constant discussion posts.  My solution is called a 3X3. Here is how I described the assignment (which recur throughout the course) to students: After …

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Great Ed Tech Flops: A Timeline

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Here’s a great timeline created by the creative folks at Medium–a perfect visual to complement my recent post on the history and future of ed tech investments. Image from Medium/Bright

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On History Repeating Itself in Ed Tech [link to Medium]

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Read my analysis about recent investments in educational technology, and whether it is worth it at all.

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What do you do with English Education researchers visiting NYC? Take them on a literary pub crawl.

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What a pleasure to see fellow educational researchers on my home turf.  We visited four literary pubs: Old Town (Billy Collins), Pete’s Tavern (O. Henry), White Horse (Dylan Thomas), and Kettle of Fish (Jack Kerouac). Good times had by all!

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CEE 2015 Presentation Materials

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Always an honor and pleasure to share one’s work and thinking with colleagues.  Below are links to some of the materials from the Conference on English Education at Fordham University this summer. Using Data Visualization to Teach (the Teaching of) Content Area Literacy [handout link] Befriending the Machine: The historical and future impact of technology on large-scale writing assessment [presentation …

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Four Words in Frederick Douglass’s Fourth of July Speech

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This past weekend, a friend of mine insisted that we watch a reading of Frederick Douglass’s Fourth of July speech.  I’m so glad he did.  What a powerful reminder of how far we have to go as a nation.  As a response, I created this data visualization of the frequency of the four most frequently used words in the speech: …

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