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Collaboration

Collaboration

I have often wondered why educators are so darn excited about Google. They get “Google Certified,” attend Google conference sessions, mourn when features change or Google loses interest in a platform they LOVE(d). Google loving teachers attend summits that are a cross between an Amway convention and cult meeting. Districts trust their communications and document storage to a company they know harvests... [Read more]

When You Wake Seymour Papert Up in the Middle of the Night

When You Wake Seymour Papert Up in the Middle of the Night

Back in the late Eighties, there was a Logo Conference held in Los Angeles. After a wild night reminiscent of Martin Scorsese’s 1985 film, “After Hours,” longtime Papert collaborator Brian Silverman and I found ourselves locked out of where we were supposed to sleep. Seymour Papert & Gary Stager in Sydney, 2004 Ever the problem solver, Brian said, “Seymour always has a big room. We can... [Read more]

Seymour Papert – Father of the Maker Movement

Seymour Papert – Father of the Maker Movement

Dr. Gary Stager was invited to write a profile of his friend, colleague, and mentor Dr. Seymour Papert for the premiere issue of Hello World!, an impressive new magazine for educators from The Raspberry Pi Foundation. This new print magazine is also available online under a Creative Commons license. I suggest you explore the entire new magazine for inspiration and practical classroom ideas around... [Read more]

You Can’t Handle the Truth!

You Can’t Handle the Truth!

An old friend and colleague got a new job at an education marketing/communication company where he believed they wanted actual content. He asked me to share some views on educational leadership. So, I took the time to formulate responses for his august publication. Sadly, it appears that the new publication seeks to be a low-rent version of EdSurge, focused on aggregating links and pro-vendor happy... [Read more]

Choice Time

Choice Time

I became a pre-k through 8th grade teacher in the mid-1980s. I was literally in the last teacher education cohort who was expected to learn how to teach science, music, art, physical education, special education, make puppets out of Pop-Tart boxes, create math manipulatives, and fill a classroom with interdisciplinary projects. Teacher preparation was equal parts art and science. Then around 1985,... [Read more]

Note to Educators: Pay Now or Pay Later!

Note to Educators: Pay Now or Pay Later!

May 2016 I spent this morning in the company of extraordinary women. First, I was delighted to attend the National Center for Women in IT keynote address “Intersectionality & Diversity in Computing: Key Dilemmas and What to Do About Them.” by one of my sheroes, Professor Melissa Harris-Perry. Next, I attended a talk by Mimi Ito about how the intersection of youth and digital culture... [Read more]

It Takes Balls

It Takes Balls

I like Sphero and am impressed by their ability to execute as a company. Their customer service is terrific and their ability to attract the Star Wars license, publicity, and this recent New Yorker profile are unprecedented. Sphero makes terrific toys. However, companies and reporters would be well-served by speaking with educators who understand learning and have paid some dues before making... [Read more]

Legislators Finally Admit the Obvious

Legislators Finally Admit the Obvious

My pal Will Richardson asked me to respond to news that the Florida legislature (ground zero for destructive education policies) has passed a bill allowing high school students to substitute “coding” courses for foreign language requirements. (see Florida Senate approves making coding a foreign language) If you are a toddler learning English as a second language between binge watching seasons... [Read more]

Teaching as Art and Magic

Teaching as Art and Magic

The Atlantic featured a really good piece of reflection on the lost art of teaching by the great magician Teller, half of Penn and Teller.   “The first job of a teacher is to make the student fall in love with the subject. That doesn’t have to be done by waving your arms and prancing around the classroom; there’s all sorts of ways to go at it, but no matter what, you are a symbol... [Read more]

Program Your Own Geometry Toolkit

Program Your Own Geometry Toolkit

More than 20 years ago, a graduate student of mine, named Beth, (surname escapes me, but she had triplets and is a very fine high school math teacher) used an early version of MicroWorlds to program her own version of a toolkit similar to Geometer’s Sketchpad. Over time, I ran a similar activity with kids as young as 7th grade. I’ve done my best to piece together various artifacts from... [Read more]

President Obama Discovers Coding – Yippee!

President Obama Discovers Coding – Yippee!

Last year, my friends at Intel invited me to participate in a breakfast summit at the Museum of Contemporary Art overlooking the Sydney Opera House. The other invited guests seated around the table represented captains of industry, distinguished academics, and leaders of assorted acronyms. We each had 2-3 minutes to solve the problems with school, 21st Century skills, S.T.E.M, S.T.E.A.M. girls... [Read more]

Yuck!

Yuck!

The slide below is being passed around the Internet by well-meaning educators. However, such “don’t do this, do that” statements from startup-culture and Silicon Valley education “experts” almost always reveal their profound ignorance of how learning occurs and children develop. Neither question is developmentally appropriate, although the first (bad one) at least includes... [Read more]

The Huffington Post Gets Hoodwinked Again

The Huffington Post Gets Hoodwinked Again

Unlike most media outlets, The Huffington Post actually pretends to take an interest in education. However, I continue to believe that their Education section was created to be an advertising platform for the truly awful film, “Waiting for Superman,” remembered as the Howard the Duck of education documentaries by the three other schmucks and I who paid to see it. Regardless of their motives, The... [Read more]

Why We Need to Reinvent Mathematics Education

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#IProfitOffAhmed.com

#IProfitOffAhmed.com

Two years ago, Dr. Leah Buechley delivered a stunning address at Stanford University’s 2013 FabLearn Conference. In her speech, Dr. Buechley challenged MakerEd.org’s slogan, “Every Child a Maker,” in light of the lack of diversity displayed by a commercial entity often associated with its activities, Maker Media. (Note: The non-profit advocacy group, MakerEd.org and... [Read more]

Criminalizing Show and Tell

Criminalizing Show and Tell

S.T.E.M. is every politician’s favorite acronym. The White House held a Maker Faire. Barnes and Noble stores will soon be hosting Mini-Maker Faires and next week’s World Maker Faire NYC expects over 100,000 attendees sharing and celebrating personal ingenuity, engineering, creativity, and invention. The maker movement is being touted as education reform, a matter of national security,... [Read more]

Resource Created for Intel

Resource Created for Intel

Dr. Gary Stager recently authored Intel’s Guide to Creating and Inventing with Technology in the Classroom. The piece explores the maker movement for educators, policy-makers, and school leaders. Download a copy here. Tweet This Post Read More →

National School Boards Association Interview with Gary Stager

National School Boards Association Interview with Gary Stager

Gary was recently interviewed by the National School Boards Association for the June 2015 American School Boards Journal. Read “The Best Makerspace is Between Your Ears.”     Tweet This Post Read More →

The Secret Key to Girls and Computer Science

The Secret Key to Girls and Computer Science

I’ve been teaching boys and girls to program computers professionally since 1982 when I created one of the world’s first summer camp computing programs. I led professional development at Methodist Ladies’ College in Melbourne, Australia for a few years beginning in 1990. Girls at MLC used their personal laptops to program in LogoWriter across the curriculum. (read about the history... [Read more]

Faculty Summer Reading Recommendations

Faculty Summer Reading Recommendations

This time of year, schools scramble to select a book for their entire faculty to read over the summer. Although it would be nice if everyone read the same book as a basis for common dialogue and for teachers to read more than one book about learning each year, I just assembled a list for the (DK-8) school where I serve as the Special Assistant to the Head of School for Innovation. Based on our overarching... [Read more]

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