Education

Students in Los Altos delight in using Inkscape drawing program

One of the fun parts of blogging for PCWorld.com is getting reader response e-mails from all over the world. You never know who is going to read what you write. Sometimes they'll spot the blog post on the PCWorld Web page, or as a link in a tweet or even as a Google search result several months after the blog post was published.

I've blogged previously about Inkscape, the free vector drawing program for Linux, Macintosh, and Windows, so I was thrilled to receive an e-mail from Sheena Vaidyanathan, who teaches Inkscape to elementary school students in Los Altos, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley. Here is how Sheena explained her teaching to me: » Read more

0 Comments

Advancing student achievement through labor-management collaboration

The U.S. Department of Education just wrapped up a two-day conference, touted as a first-of-its-kind summit among teachers and their bosses—school board members and administrators—in an effort to get these historically opposing groups to work together to improve the nation's schools.

About 150 school districts from 40 states sent teachers and administrators to the summit so that school labor and management could talk about student achievement and learn from the successes and challenges of others, rather than to rehash the nuts and bolts of labor contracts. » Read more

0 Comments

Looking forward to a sweet new year selling open source

Two years ago, I blundered into open source because I wanted my students to build educational games for the One Laptop Per Child community. Much of that history has already been told by opensource.com. I didn't expect this effort to be so sticky--for myself or my students--when we started. » Read more

5 Comments

sprout: Reclaiming science as a creative craft

In a house not far from Davis Square in Somerville, MA, just outside of Boston, there's a garage full of equipment, a library full of books, and a group of people full of passion. They're called sprout. » Read more

3 Comments

Open source software gains ground in higher education

Open source software is becoming a dominant force in the software world and the world in general. Unfortunately, many universities still teach computer science without any mention of this recent advance. In the fall of 2007, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) set out to change this.

» Read more

6 Comments

Critical thinking: Why our students need it and resources for teaching it

If you believe in conspiracy theories, enjoy posting political links, or are an apologist for alternative medicine, you probably don’t want to be my Facebook friend. You see, I have a rather outspoken inner skeptic that feels compelled to fact-check anything that sounds outlandish or unlikely. I try to squelch it from time to time, for the sake of politeness and decorum, but it’s a relentless voice with nagging questions.

“Is that right? That doesn’t sound right.”

“There has to be a detail missing.”

“That’s not possible… is it?” » Read more

11 Comments

People's Choice Award winner: Máirín Duffy

Congratulations to our first People's Choice Award winner, Máirín Duffy.

Máirín is a senior interaction designer at Red Hat. She's highly creative and a great artist, who is also is also passionate about open source. For her the two intersect in Inkscape, an open source SVG graphics program. Read how she used it to introduce middle school students to open source. » Read more

3 Comments

VIDEO: Education without limits: Why open textbooks are the way forward

There are 400 million openly licensed materials that can empower teachers to be better instructors through that openness. But there's a big barrier: adoption. In this video, David Wiley talks about the opportunity and the challenges. » Read more

1 Comment

Obama bets big on open ed -- with one little catch

For those who haven't heard, the Obama administration recently announced $2 billion in funding for 2-year colleges, much of which will be used to produce open educational resources. The details are complicated and still being hashed out in discussions all over the internet, but it's clearly the largest single investment in OER since, well, ever. It's an event of seismic proportions in the world of open education. With silver linings, though, come clouds -- and the SCORM cloud looks like it could be a big one. » Read more

3 Comments

Matt Jadud: Moderators' Choice Award winner

We're pleased to announce the inaugural winner of the award, Matt Jadud. Matt is an assistant professor of computer science at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA. He's been an integral part of the Education channel throughout our first year, as author, active member of the authors' list, and advisor. » Read more

3 Comments