Gary’s Blog

  • On Standardized Curriculum
    Curriculum (what teachers are supposed to teach) is an interesting part of school design. Ostensibly, there are things that each seventh-grade student (for example) should know, but it is very difficult to define “what students should know” outside of the context of school. The statement, “the book is written at and eight grade reading level” Read More
  • On Intelligence
    Education is based on a simple idea: We want to make people smart. “Smart” is the general term that we use to describe an individual who has greater than usual cognitive skill and knowledge; public education is intended to ensure a minimal level of “smart” for each individual in our society. As we understand it, Read More
  • #edtech for #IT: On Instructional Technology
    Of the digital information technology available in schools a part is used by teachers and learners for their interactions; this is the technology I define as instructional technology. The technology that falls into this category must be affordable, usable, and operational and used to engage learners. Affordable. Traditionally, schools have small budgets for technology, and Read More
  • Teaching by Technology 
    When using test-preparation software, skills-building websites, typing tutors, and similar tools, students are experiencing teaching by technology. For previous generations of technology-using teachers, “edutainment” software was a popular method for teaching by technology. This software found students (for example) playing games in which they earned points by quickly answering math problems.   One of the more popular uses Read More
  • On Information
    Another observation from ca. 2008: For educators, the penetration of computer networks into the classroom has been simultaneously a great advantage and a great distraction.  Using media in previous generations, teachers could be sure an editor working within some system of accountability had approved the information, and one could be reasonably sure that media selected Read More
  • On Internet Publishing
    I recently discovered this prargraph that I wrote about 15 years ago. I was prescient: The milieu of information sources is further complicated by the fact that the hardware and software necessary to publish to the Internet is available on even the most modest computer systems in use today, and that connections to the Internet Read More