Monthly Archives: août 2014

NuVu – PhD projects for middle and high school students

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So, at NuVu middle and high school students achieve PhD level design projects.

How? They can either enroll in the year long program by themselves and come from 9am to 3pm every week day to work in the studio with their peers, a coach and an assistant coach, to work on  “Balloon Mapping”, “Music and the City”, or “Future of Global Warming”. Or their can also participate through their school if this one choses to partner with NuVu on a term or year long basis.

What? This innovative pedagogical model enables students to develop both their analytical and creative skills. They build their own online portfolio and develop all the skills they’ll need for the 21st century. They have access to MIT and Harvard resources as well as to experts in the different fields they work on. Their work is reviewed every three weeks and they receive valuable and concrete feedback from highly experienced practitioners.

NuVu incarnates the new, let’s hope it becomes the norm!

HGSE – finally a practice based doctorate !

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Practice based research, many faculty worldwide would find this concept ridiculous and only worship « pure » research.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education is, once again, ahead of its time and created the first Doctorate of Education Leadership. This unique interdisciplinary model offers a curriculum shared with the Kennedy School of Government and the Harvard Business School to a cohort of talented practitioners and provides them with the opportunity to advance the field of education by doing and reflecting on their actions. In three years, participants will increase their level of expertise and strongly enhance their leadership potential while contributing to academic research. Finally a degree acknowledging expertise and experience.

It is most certain that this program will have the next major change-makers among its alumni.

Teach for America – from Ivy to teachers to policy

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Everybody knows TFA, don’t you?!

There is even an international branch of the famous non-profit working to change the way future leaders think about education by giving them a very close look into it. How? By turning them into teachers right after they graduate and before they move forward to their investment banking or consulting job. After a 5 weeks training they become teachers in quite a difficult school and get to experience the problems of the educational system first hand. This experience will enable them to care about the issue and to advocate for solutions when they will be in positions of power. Graduates from the program are indeed involved in making the new policies about to improve the US education system.

Even though this model is key in the policy battle, there also are some downsides: the TFA teachers only receive a 5 week training and that somehow discredits the 5 years of studies others go through to become teachers; the TFA teachers are not prepare to interact with others and their Ivy experience doesn’t necessarily contributes to improving school cultures or peer to peer exchange of best practices; the TFA teachers only experience very difficult schools and when they eventually get the possibility to change something they advocate policies based on this biased experience.

The TFA model can’t unfortunately work in all countries and should be refined in the US to better match the existing school system. But yet, it is the major improvement and effort made so far for American students and gives a unique experience to many many graduates who will most certainly impact the world for the better.

Obama’s College Scorecard – all about finances

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The White House recently launched a new website to help students and their families to have access to more information about college and finances. How much does this college cost, how much you will make after graduating, how is the college doing financially… All the answers are provided on individual college’s score cards. A good effort to increase transparency about college finances but some problems already come up.

There is no information on the colleges besides their finances and we all know that an educational experience is not only about its price. The website completely avoids the quality of the education and the opportunities after graduation. Also, there is no personalization possible so the families from a low income background do not know how to use the information provided and will not work out how to come up with a right financial plan to fund the students’s education.

Rating colleges on their finances does only a very small part of the job. When we think that other alternative ratings deal with the « greenery » of higher ed institutions, it seems that the score card model could be improved.

Here is an article on the topic:

Kindertown, an app for parents to chose elearning tools

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KinderTown transforms mobile devices into powerful teaching tools by finding and organizing the best educational apps for kids ages 3-8 years old.

They want to improve early childhood education by empowering parents with the tools to be better teachers. They help them find the best educational apps for children. Each app has been tested and reviewed by educators, parents, and most importantly, children. They take many factors into account including educational value, ease of use, engagement value, design features, artwork, cost, and shelf life. Through this process, they help parents use their iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches to teach their children anything.

Find your niche

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The Niche Movement, started by Kevin O’Connell, is helping every young professional avoid employment unhappiness while disrupting career development one tweet & interaction at a time. In 2012, Kevin set out to help college students and recent graduates, who, frankly, may be a little bit lost. There’s a lot of information out there when it comes to landing your first job or internship – lots of listings and lots of profiles, but the Niche Movement is about sifting through all of that and trying to find a new viewpoint for you to take charge of your life.

You can suscribe to the NicheList, a weekly summary of all the jobs 20 something actually would want to get. You can bring the movement to your campus and you can join the « I love my job campaign ».

Find you Digital Voice – meet Kevin

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Have you met Kevin?

Well you should. He made me realize how we all have a digital voice that needs to be taken care off. Should it be to get a new job, to share a message or to launch your company, there is always a point in your life when you are going to need an online you. Yes we almost all have a Facebook or LinkedIn page but is it enough still to really share who you are? Not really. And that’s why Kevin works on helping people find and unleash their digital voice.

Check out his profile.

And an interesting blog on the topic:

Rocketship, a charter school network skyrocketing

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There are many charter schools now available to families in the US but not so many in underprivileged neighborhoods, specially schools offering personalized learning as well as creating a real learning community. That’s what Rocketship is doing.

Innovation is essential to the founding team and clearly visible through the learning labs, the rotational models and the blended learning options they have created. They work hard in order to eliminate the achievement gap in the US within our lifetime. They have strong partners from the Tech world and that reflects their commitment to keep including all the best new digital options in their models.

A real Ed-business, doing well by doing good. Let’s hope they will manage to scale up while maintaining the right balance between their human touch and the use of e-learning tools.

Project Zero, beyond learning – by Harvard Graduate School of Education

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Project Zero was founded by the philosopher Nelson Goodman at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1967 to study and improve education in the arts. Goodman believed that arts learning should be studied as a serious cognitive activity, but that « zero » had yet been firmly established about the field; hence, the project was given its name.

Over the years, Project Zero has maintained a strong research agenda in the arts while gradually expanding to include investigations into the nature of intelligence, understanding, thinking, creativity, cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural thinking, and ethics. The organization has conducted dozens of major research initiatives, published over 90 books and hundreds of articles and reports, and collaborated with countless partners. Project Zero’s work takes place nationally and internationally, in a variety of settings; while much of the research occurs in schools, an increasing amount is focused on businesses, cultural organizations such as museums, and online. In addition, Project Zero offers symposia and workshops, most notably the annual summer institutes.

Panorama – surveys made easy to improve education

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Panorama helps America’s leading schools collect, analyze, and act on feedback using student, teacher, and parent surveys.

The company was founded by 3 Yale young graduates who went straight to Y combinator incubator in California as they clearly were targeting a high potential market. They wanted to enable schools to gather feedback from teachers, students and parents to improve their culture and processes. Consultants are expensive and feedbacks are not personalized. Panorama made it possible to create surveys (online or on paper) and to receive concrete analysis of the responses. More than 5000 schools are now using the software as a device and Mark Zuckerberg is one of their investors.

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