Branch Ideas

Business, Product, and Marketing Support for Education Innovators

Tag: education

What the Six-Day War Has to Teach Us About Education

By Denise Wydra

Water in the desert is a precious resource. As with any such resource, it makes sense to guard it carefully and spend it frugally, using as little as possible.

But that’s the kind of thinking that gets people killed.

Continue reading

The Problem with EdTech Entrepreneurs

superbike-930715_1920

by Denise Wydra

What’s the Achilles’ heel of many edtech entrepreneurs? They’re brilliant and successful.

It’s not their fault, of course. Through a combination of natural ability, hard work, and outstanding support, they’ve come to excel in their chosen areas. But this means they may be unaware of what it’s like to be an average college student in the U.S.—and even less knowledgeable about the students who stand to gain the most from educational technology.

Continue reading

We Need New Paradigms–Now

Philo_medievBy Denise Wydra

Our public conversations about education are mired in the past. I’m not talking about the 19th century–I’m talking about the 5th century B.C.E.

Ancient Athens is perhaps an arbitrary starting point, but it fostered an early incarnation of the Western educational system, complete with professional teachers, formal schools, and familiar disciplines. A full education was reserved for free males, the obvious reason being that they were the only ones whose voices mattered. But don’t overlook the other assumptions: in this world, education was a limited resource (only so many tutors to go around) and a costly investment (every hour reading was an hour not working). And only some people could–or should–benefit from it.

Continue reading

How Competency Based Education Will Drive Changes in Assessment

By Denise Wydra

With a simple change of routine, my third-grade teacher transformed my understanding of school. Each day, Miss Meloche listed the required work on the blackboard. The pace, sequence, and method for getting through these activities was up to us. And when we were done: free time! (Well, not completely free. But burrowing into a book of my choice was heaven for a bookworm like me.) My teacher was a constant presence, helping the kids who needed it and making sure we were all staying on track. I remember her talking with each of us individually, just about every day.

Words cannot convey my disappointment upon starting fourth grade. Once more, seat time and lockstep progression became the norm, serving to frustrate and disengage 75% of the students at any one time.

My third-grade class was a limited experiment in Competency Based Education (CBE), but some basic dynamics were there.

Continue reading

© 2018 Branch Ideas

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑