State of the Art

Though not specifically geared toward the educational community, I find David Pogue’s blog (in addition to his NYT column and podcast) to be quite relevant to my efforts at school.  His focus is on the latest and greatest offerings of consumer electronics products and services.  He offers candid first impressions and real-world reflections on what works and what’s junk.  I feel as though I provide a similar service within my school community… I’m regularly called upon to evaluate the merits of new tools (often the same tools that Pogue takes note of).  Like Pogue, I strive to look at things from the perspective of a “typical” user, which, in my context, is a teacher on the front lines of day to day instruction.  In addition, my creativity is routinely fed by his clever video segments.  His wacky sense of humor and seemingly limitless reserve of fresh ideas is inspiring… I anxiously anticipate the posting of a new episode each Thursday.

A more strictly educational blog that I’ve only recently become aware of is the one written by Dan Meyer.  The blog was suggested in the course of a listserv discussion about effective use of technology in the math classroom.   The posts I’ve read have been extraordinarily useful… his ideas for a math lesson based on a photo of a door lock, for instance, are fantastic.

His initial remarks were thought-provoking, but he pushed much deeper in developing a killer lesson about probability and factorials.  An intrinsic benefit of a well-written blog is its popularity.  The readers’ responses to Meyer’s postings seem to provide just as much value as the posting itself.  There are great follow-up ideas (about ethical issues, among other things) from readers of the door lock posting.  The vitality of this blog is tangible.

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