Here are some recent articles I published in District Administration Magazine…

Enjoy!

Keep the Wish List Short

Giving parents a laundry list of supplies to buy is lousy public relations and exacerbates economic hardships.

Published in the July 2008 issue of District Administration

What’s a Computer For? Part II
Computer science is the new basic skill.
Published in the July 2008 issue of District Administration

What’s a Computer For? Part 1
It all depends on your educational philosophy.
Published in the June 2008 issue of District Administration

Online Videoconferencing
Web tools such as uStream make video broadcasting accessible.
Published in the June 2008 issue of District Administration

Keeping Up with the Future
Consider these suggestions for staying informed and inspired.
Published in the May 2008 issue of District Administration

The Games Teachers Play
We are cheating our students by turning reading into a game of dodgeball.
Published in the April 2008 issue of District Administration

Public Schools?
Be wary of a gift that might squash the benefits of public education.

Published in the April 2008 issue of District Administration

Click here for an important announcement.

Vote early and often!

Just landing in San Antonio where I'll speak at my 22nd NECC and host
the 2nd Annual Constructivist Celebration.

I imagine that I've made approximately 60 presentations at NECC since
the mid-80s.

Hope to see you around the conference!

Sent from my iPhone

OK, even I never thought I’d utter those words aloud, but check out this interview with Tom Brokaw.

Gates displays a sense of humor when asked if he has an iPod and he provides a reasoned mature answer to the question about concerns over children being harmed by computers.

This stands in stark contrast to the fear and loathing displayed by popular edubloggers who regale us with the virtues of their technology-free cleansing retreats and the micromanagement of their children.

Hooray for Bill Gates! Who would have thunk it?

PS: This news report about Gates’ last day at Microsoft reminiscences is quite charming and well worth a read.

Free wireless Internet in downtown Beijing

…and while I’m thinking about it, why does Panera block access to Howardstern.com and why does Wikipedia block editing to computers using the Wifi at Panera? Are those yummy cinnamon crunch bagels made by the Chinese government?


I’ve been writing for magazines for about a decade and on occasion the publisher or Editor-in-Chief objected to the content of a column and refused to publish it. On other occasions I would not make changes I felt would dilute my argument or insult the intelligence of the reader.

My 2008 column, The Children’s Machine – It’s time to turn the network upside down was inspired by thinking about the potential of the XO, aka: the “$100 Laptop.”

Emerging technology, universal wireless Internet access and best educational practices will cause increasing conflict with the job security of many I.T. employees. How will your district respond?


I’ve been writing for magazines for about a decade and on occasion the publisher or Editor-in-Chief objected to the content of a column and refused to publish it. On other occasions I would not make changes I felt would dilute my argument or insult the intelligence of the reader.

Education’s Most Dangerous Idea: Curriculum (from 2006) takes the controversial view that the notion of curriculum is at the root of many education problems.

A friend called a few months back and asked me to tell him my most dangerous idea. What a great question I thought! My answer, “Curriculum is bad.”

Allow me to make the case.

I can turn to almost any page in a textbook, article or website and find an outlandish, inaccurate or confusing idea some curriculum writer thought was brilliant. Even the most well-intentioned efforts at relevance or context stretch credulity, often in a hilarious fashion.


I’ve been writing for magazines for about a decade and on occasion the publisher or Editor-in-Chief objected to the content of a column and refused to punish it. On other occasions I would not make changes I felt would dilute my argument or insult the intelligence of the reader.

It seems like the blogosphere is a good place to share these “controversial” articles.

Think Different – Lose the Cart was an open letter I wrote to Apple CEO Steve Jobs in 2002 imploring the company to stop selling laptop carts.

The magazine thought that Apple might be offended. I stand behind the article six years later at at time when schools are inexplicably tethering laptops to desks.

This recent newspaper article, Top students show little gain from ‘No Child’ efforts, is among the funniest education coverage I’ve read in a long time. It also points out the absolute insanity of standardized testing and the higher tougher meaner standards crowd.

Students who scored in the 90th percentile and above are making the least progress on national standardized tests.

I seem to run a foul of secret blogger rules of conduct with regularity. An experience six weeks ago has stayed with me and I’d love to read your thoughts on the matter.

On May 6, I wrote, Isn’t It Ironic?, in this blog. I asked why edubloggers, particularly edtech edubloggers, don’t discuss fundamental educational issues, like the fraud and miseducative practice associated with the US Federal Government’s national reading policy.

Many of the most popular, hired and prolific members of the EduBlogosphere (particularly the edtech bloggers) spend a great deal of time, word count and airplane mileage talking about the importance of literacy – old literacy, new literacy, media literacy, superdooper 21st Century Web 2.0 literacy and “literacies” yet to be invented.

Literacy dominates my esteemed colleague’s thoughts about education. Therefore, I find it shocking that there is so little [read: none] discussion of the news that the federal Department of Education has concluded that Reading First, the $6 billion shock and awe approach to literacy education at the core of No Child Left Behind, has FAILED to improve the reading comprehension of American students.

Why the silence among EduBloggers? Is this issue unimportant? Should we ignore the calamity created by Reading First just because it doesn’t mention Twitter, Apture, Ning or other made-up words?

I was criticizing the absence of outrage among the edubloggers I read and wound up incurring the wrath of the blogosphere instead. Non-Americans were defensive in their comments when I was clearly not talking about them. Independent school teachers and educators from affluent school districts protested that they are not affected by Reading First – unless of course you count them as citizens who pay taxes or care for their neighbors.

In the spirit of civility, I did not name the specific bloggers and pundits
who were curiously silent on important matters of policy and pedagogy.

I’m wondering if that was a mistake?

My attempt at discretion apparently led to widespread confusion. For that I apologize.

Should I have called out the specific educators with a gap between rhetoric and action?