Insights (blog)

Put Us to the Test: Testing in the Time of Technology

The new assessments have been surrounded by controversy on several fronts. One has been the support and funding of the Gates foundation. Critics have pointed out that Microsoft stands to gain from the tests' reliance on technology, a view that has angered Bill Gates. In the June 7th Washington Post, Gates has defended his support of the Common Core by saying, "Education can get better. Some people may not believe that. Education can change . . . I believe in the Common Core because of its substance and what it will do to improve education. And that’s the only reason I believe in the Common Core. . . . This is philanthropy. This is trying to make sure students have the kind of opportunity I had."

STEMtastic! The wonderful, weird, and wild world of science/technology/engineering/math

Celebrities in STEM: Some of the biggest stars of the past few decades have surprising backgrounds in science, math, and engineering! Check out the fascinating STEM credentials of these celebrities.

Trends in Mobile e-Learning Market

The rapid growth in Internet, mobile, and cloud technologies in the past decade has touched every aspect of human life. Learning and education, thus, cannot be left behind; in fact, the global e-learning market is estimated to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 23% over 2012–2017 according to GSV (Global Silicon Valley) advisors.

Illustrations: An Integral Part of a Story

Weren’t we always told not to judge a book by its cover? Well, apparently that’s exactly what children do. At least I did. When I was growing up, illustrations played a vital role in my life and—who would’ve thought?—my career! Illustrations pushed many of us to become readers.

Learning as Pushing Boundaries

I watched anxiously as a young boy and girl demonstrated how to make blueberry pancakes from scratch. My anxiety morphed into a mix of incredulity and terror as the boy stuck his hand into the blender’s glass jar to dislodge some bit of batter that was gumming up the works around the blade. I slunk down in my seat, cringed, and waited for the worst to happen.

Put Us to the Test (February Edition)

Core Values: The Pushback on Accountability

A little boy was getting poor grades in school. One day he surprised the teacher and tapped her on the shoulder. "I don't want to scare you, but my daddy says if I don't get better grades, somebody is going to get a spanking.”

Hi! I’m a Graphic Designer!

Graphic designers . . . what do we really do? Well, we draw, color, paint, sketch, and design for a living. So, is that how we would like to define our work? What do YOU think? Well, here is my answer about this profession that sounds either too complicated or too easy.

From the Copy Desk (February Edition)

According to the wonderful Purdue Online Writing Labs, “Parallel structure means using the same pattern of words to show that two or more ideas have the same level of importance. This can happen at the word, phrase, or clause level.” If this is a new concept to you, it’s worth reading the page on parallel structure, which is short and full of good examples.

The Power of Play

“The power of play.” We hear a lot in educational circles about how play embodies risk-taking, experimentation, and exploration. It is a very powerful way to learn. Plus, it’s fun! Who doesn’t like play, right? But play can be tough to implement in the typical classroom tasked to raise test scores, adhere to a vetted teaching scope and sequence, and prepare learners for productive livelihoods in the context of an uncertain economy.

This is the story of two colleagues who saw a playful friendship turn into a fruitful professional collaboration.

Put Us to the Test (January Edition)

Nothing Common About the Common Core

Father: How were the exam questions?
Son: Easy.
Father: Then why do you look so unhappy?
Son: The questions didn’t give me any trouble, but the answers did!

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