Author Archives: wrenchinthegears

Trade you a backpack of badges for a caring teacher & well-resourced school.

This is the third in a series intended to describe the process by which education reformers are transitioning us from neighborhood schools to learning eco-systems. For additional background you can read “From Neighborhood Schools to Learning Eco-Systems, A Dangerous Trade” and “Questions We Should Be Asking About Future Ready Schools.” Since the passage of the […]

Dell, the NSA & Future Ready Schools

Dell’s ties to NSA surveillance programs should give parents, educators, and students pause as they assess the idealistic portrayal of personalized online learning promoted in the company’s peppy video for “Future Ready” schools. Snowden downloaded NSA secrets while working for Dell, sources say (Reuters, August 12, 2013) “Former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden began downloading documents describing the U.S. government’s […]

Questions we should be asking about “Future Ready” schools.

This is a follow up to my prior post regarding the danger of “learning eco-systems.” How far are we from the day we’ll be forced to rely on online education modules to inspire and excite the minds of young people; where badge collections replace diplomas; and virtual reality games substitute for Friday night dances, track meets, […]

From Neighborhood Schools to Learning Eco-Systems, A Dangerous Trade

If we hope to preserve neighborhood schools for future generations we must recognize how reformers are reframing the idea of public education in dangerous new ways. A coordinated campaign of ALEC legislation, philanthropic investments, and slick re-branding is underway with the ultimate goal of replacing school buildings and certified, human teachers with decentralized, unregulated learning eco-systems […]

Stop! Don’t opt out. Read this first.

Schools in every state are buzzing this year with talk of “personalized” learning and 21st century assessments for kids as young as kindergarten. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and its innovative pilot programs are already changing the ways schools instruct and assess, in ways that are clearly harmful to our kids. Ed-tech companies, chambers […]

Digital Curriculum: Questions Parents Should be Asking

As we enter this new era of blended/hybrid classrooms, the clamor of ed-tech entrepreneurs pitching their digital curricula is getting to be truly overwhelming for parents. Rather than critiquing individual programs, I have laid out a set of ten questions that parents should be asking their child’s teachers and school administrators. Feel free to share […]

Digital Learning Goes Back to School

So I had a back and forth online with someone recently who didn’t understand the significance of education/workforce badging programs and asked me to write something up. So my thoughts are below. Ultimately I think this is all going to be linked to the TiSA (Trade in Services Agreement) as they create a global market […]