AI+interview from 60 Minutes (CBS)

Posted 01/20/2019 by gdahlby
Categories: 1 Ed Tech Leadership

Too Strong a Spotlight on STEM May Divide Your School

Posted 06/02/2018 by gdahlby
Categories: 1 Ed Tech Leadership

Summary: For more than a decade, the spotlight has shone squarely on STEM subjects, but contemplative policy should be approached with caution so the balanced approach to K-12 curriculum is not tipped so far that it raises silos and isolates STEM and the humanities.

Written 2/2015 for the Center for Digital Education by Senior Fellow, Dr. Gordon K. Dahlby

Only the most sequestered of U.S. educators have yet to experience the myriad speeches and discussion over the last decade about increasing emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Several projections of skills for the future include a mastery of the sciences and mathematics, the methodologies of engineers, and the technology or skills to apply methods and tools to solve problems and accomplish tasks. Even the White House has weighed in, through its Educate to Innovate campaign and the public White House Science Fair. And, of course, the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and a multitude of powerful, well-heeled private business groups offer support for STEM and 21st Century economy-supporting initiatives. Bursts of support dedicated to STEM have long tails, such as the 1958 National Defense Education Act (NDEA) and the 1984 Eisenhower Mathematics and Science Education State Grants Program. But shining this bright spotlight on the technical, the mathematical and the sciences brings out a reasoned concern — for a drifting from the general liberal arts nature of K-12 education in the United States that’s described as well-rounded.
As a STEM educator who’s taught in five different decades, it might initially be pleasing to see another round of increased focus and, in some cases, resources. Adding more science and mathematics to high school graduation requirements is an approach based on high expectations. Reviewing the allocation of time in an elementary school’s day is another worthy activity. Bringing Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to nearly the same level with Common Core Standards for arithmetic, mathematics, and statistics is good for a wide breadth of science studies. It also goes hand-in-hand with an increased appreciation of engineers’ practical use of mathematics and science theories and models, which may ease students’ transition from theory to application of information to build skills to solve problems. Add to this wave for STEM another facet from industry — for coding.
That is a lot of change for the first two decades on the century and causes concern for the traditional well-rounded K-12 education in the U.S. Speakers talk frequently of an integrated approach to learning while still working to pivot toward the energy and enthusiasm of STEM. Others wish to attach their specialty via hyphenation or adaptation: STEM-C (computer science), STEAM (arts) or AG-STEM (production agriculture). Computer sciences did manage to get its field included in NSF’s new definition of STEM. This allows project and research monies to include their specialty. Yet it feels to some that efforts to not isolate STEM are falling short. Silos around subjects remain; in fact, they may be growing, acting as barriers and unnecessary segmentation of student learning.
A June 2015 CareerBuilder article listed growing professions that pay $50 per hour. Among these were an aerospace engineer, computer and information research scientist, computer hardware engineer, mathematician, a nuclear engineer, physicist and astronomer, and political scientist. The occupations on this select list, while not the highest paying, are notable in that success in any of them does not require a wide range of knowledge in social sciences, humanities or the arts instilled by mastery of language.
Communicating through speaking and writing, and learning through reading and listening, are keys to success in each of the careers on this short list of occupations, on which a sense of influence on the community, social responsibility and workings of government are equally weighted. Additionally, the social sciences, languages and fine arts create a firm foundation for avocations and one’s general welfare. To this, a sense of one’s place in the world gained from history, cultural studies and foreign languages are critical to our global economy, and global empathy and understanding.
Time and money are precious commodities in today’s K-12 environments, and the bright spotlight shining on a select few STEM areas within the broad curriculum may be too much weight on the traditionally balanced breadth of learning opportunities. Too heavy an emphasis on any one subject threatens to encourage even more silos in student learning or shift the fulcrum’s balance point. It’s understandable that some subject matter experts may feel frustrated at the attention given to a particular subset. Education leaders and policymakers must have a critical ear toward the rhetoric and make certain that all members of their learning community are given an equal voice in how a school allocates its time and treasures. While all aspects of the STEM curriculum are important, it should not consume all the oxygen. One only has 13 years with these youngsters; let us try our best to maintain a good balance for this century’s global citizens.

CoSN 2014 induction to Volunteer Hall of Fame and CoSN Conference

Posted 04/01/2014 by gdahlby
Categories: 1 Ed Tech Leadership

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In recognition of the his volunteer commitments to CoSN, Dr. Dahlby, Owner/Chief Innovator for Educational Technology Leadership Consulting, was inducted into CoSN’s 2014 Volunteer Hall of Fame. At this special event on, the CoSN Executive staff and Board honored volunteers, new Certified Education Technology Leaders and companies with unique vision and participation among the elite CoSN community.

Dr. Dahlby facilitated one workshop and three wide ranging sessions at the 2014 CoSN Conference in Washington, DC.


The SEND (Smart Education Networks by Design) Guidelines and Checklists were highlighted several times a the conference in addition to the workshop and a dedicated session.  It was the only CoSN initiative to exhibit on in Innovation Central.  Dr. Dahlby lead as project director. #SmartEdNetworks @cosn Image



CoSN Smart Education Networks by Design Guidelines for School CTOs

Posted 03/17/2014 by gdahlby
Categories: 1 Ed Tech Leadership, COSN, education, online learning

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SEND Guidelines and Checklist ready for download and discussions.  March 2014

Wordle: CoSN SEND Guidelines for CTO's March 2014

Without robust infrastructure and resilient MAN/WAN and ISP strategies, your network may not be ready to support your 1:1 and mixed environments such as BYOD.  Down load the checklist to aid in your upgrade review and planning.

Core Recommendations:

☑ Recognize that education networks have become one of the most critical infrastructure components of any school’s operations

☑ Recognize that 1-to-1, or many-to-1 technology programs are quickly becoming mainstream, and plan for bandwidth capacity accordingly

☑ Start every Education Network planning and upgrade process by closely consulting with

teachers and administrators regarding intended uses of technologies in the classroom and ensure that network hardware and services are capable of supporting peak loads

☑ Plan for substantial training and support of teachers and staff as part of any technology rollout

☑ Understand that accessing content and resources while outside of the classroom – from home, class field trips, and in the community – is as critical to effective learning as in-class connectivity

☑ Ensure that rigorous security measures, regardless of the type of connection, are built into your network design – this is both for the purposes of preventing unauthorized access to network content and resources, as well as complying with federal and state student protection laws

☑ Make design choices that lay a foundation for the future, both in terms of scalability and the ease with which new device capabilities and technologies can be supported.

The disruptive power of collaboration-Shirkey

Posted 03/04/2014 by gdahlby
Categories: 1 Ed Tech Leadership

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How we collaborate has profound implications for how we live and work. The author and New York University professor Clay Shirkey explains how social media has upended traditional norms.

March 2014

From the invention of the printing press to the telephone, the radio, and the Internet, the ways people collaborate change frequently, and the effects of those changes often reverberate through generations. In this video interview, Clay Shirky, author, New York University professor, and leading thinker on the impact of social media, explains the disruptive impact of technology on how people live and work—and on the economics of what we make and consume. This interview was conducted by McKinsey Global Institute partner Michael Chui, and an edited transcript of Shirky’s remarks follows.

Interview transcript (extended video available at web site)

Sharing changes everything

The thing I’ve always looked at, because it is long-term disruptive, is changes in the way people collaborate. Because in the history of particularly the Western world, when communications tools come along and they change how people can contact each other, how they can share information, how they can find each other—we’re talking about the printing press, or the telephone, or the radio, or what have you—the changes that are left in the wake of those new technologies often span generations.

The printing press was a sustaining technology for the scientific revolution, the spread of newspapers, the spread of democracy, just on down the list. So the thing I always watch out for, when any source of disruption comes along, when anything that’s going to upset the old order comes along, is I look for what the collaborative penumbra is.

For instance, around MakerBot, which I was on the board of back when it was an independent company, most of the company, for the obvious reason, was focused on the possibilities of 3-D printing and the output of 3-D printers. But the thing I was most interested in was Thingiverse, which is the website where people were sharing and talking about their objects.

And you could see these things happening where somebody uploaded a little model for a radio-controlled, 3-D printed shell for a little radio-controlled car. And they said, “Here’s this thing. It looks great. There’s only one problem: It doesn’t work, because it’s too heavy. But I’m uploading it anyway.” And then other people who were good at figuring out, “Well, you can take the weight out here and there,” turned it into something workable. No one person made that radio-controlled shell.

So the collaborative penumbra around 3-D printing is a place where you don’t have to have someone who can do everything—from having the idea to making the mesh to printing it. You can start having division of labor. So you’ve got all of these small groups that are just working together like studios and still able to play on a world stage.

And all the way at the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got these collaborative environments where almost no one has to coordinate with anybody else. When I upload something to Thingiverse, or I make an edit on Wikipedia, it’s not like I need anybody else’s help or permission. So the collaborative range is expanding. The tight groups have more resources, and the loose groups can be much more loosely coordinated and operate at a much larger scale. And I think the people who think about collaboration want to know what’s happening to it, and the answer is everything.

Read more…

Heading for 2014, will innovation change?

Posted 12/14/2013 by gdahlby
Categories: 1 Ed Tech Leadership

“Innovation is within all our grasps, if we really want to grab hold of it.” Yes, even in public K12 and post-secondary. gkd

Paul4innovating's Innovation Views

2014 visualSo we are heading into 2014.We are in the final month’s countdown before it arrives and it is that time to think about what 2014 is going to do and be, for us working within the innovation space.

Is Innovation finally moving beyond the previous constraints and boundaries we have been recently applying? As organizations really start to ‘ramp up’ their efforts for growth what will this mean?

Today and in the future we certainly know that innovation is about open, inclusive, full of exploration and harmonization to extract the best results across all that are engaged within their organizations. Getting engagement up in organizations is going to be top of the agenda and innovation can be a significant contributor.

We seem to have really grasped and recognized the combination-effect that comes from the myriad of different linkages that is propelling innovation activity and bringing increasing confidence within the boardroom…

View original post 1,268 more words

Comments on: Considering the Complexities of Learning to Code

Posted 12/10/2013 by gdahlby
Categories: 1 Ed Tech Leadership, education, ISTE

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Observation: trial and error as a form of ‘tinkering’

Learning to code via Dr. Resnick’s thinking of type/run/debug via tinkering is an interesting new(er) development as computing ‘time’ is viewed as an infinitely small part of the costs of development… that said, the computational thinking around and thorough planning and design (a 20th C idea) is not without merit, even for novices.  Perhaps tinkering styles come with less skilled facilitators/teachers vested with exposure to formal training and exposure to alternate modalities and approaches to computational thinking.

That said, writing is a form of tinkering, per Dr. Resnick’s line or reasoning, for most writers.

Second observation: Hour of Code

The initiative, while getting a lot of traction, seems to miss the unconnected/less connected communities it would most help; inner-city and rural due to lack of connectivity.  A recent observation from friends and writers:  college or post high school ambitions are often constricted by an internal and community paradigm.  Rural and inner-city students who are ‘schooled’ about their place and that leading colleges and universities, those that seed the power and wealthy institutions of business and government, also likely lack role models in computer sciences and computational thinking, though their lives are impacted by the same daily.

Priorities from US Dept of Ed OET’s Richard Culatta

Posted 09/19/2013 by gdahlby
Categories: 1 Ed Tech Leadership

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In an eschoolnews interview posted 9/19,  Dr. Culatta outlined three key priorities on which OET is focusing:

Ensuring that each classroom in every school across the country has broadband access. “All of the other great ideas about redesigning aren’t possible if we don’t have connectivity,” Culatta said, adding that if U.S. students are to compete with students from other countries that have made classroom broadband a priority and reality, U.S. students need that same connectivity.

Personalized learning has incredible potential, if only it can become a common practice. Personalizing learning for a classroom of 30 students, all with different strengths, needs, and challenges, is “really hard to do, maybe impossible to do, without technology,” Culatta said. OET hopes to help school and IT leaders and classroom teachers redesign the learning experience for students.

Using data to support teachers, students, and parents as they make better decisions about learning. “Data totally changes their outlook because they have real-time learning,” Culatta said. Parents can become more involved in their children’s school assignments and learning if they have access to relevant data, such as if their child needs additional work on certain math concepts.

What do you think?  Right emphasis coming into 2014 and looking forward?

Hybrid PD supported by online ‘communities of practice’

Posted 08/21/2013 by gdahlby
Categories: 1 Ed Tech Leadership

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

With the many professional educational technology resources available to the K12 community today, it’s imperative that we transition from episodic and ineffective models to an interactive environment that is digitally-based and connected 24/7.

This “learning powered by technology” is the approach outlined in the DOE’s National Education Technology Plan (NETP), which calls for applying the advanced technologies used in our daily personal and professional lives to our entire education system to improve student learning; accelerate and scale the adoption of effective practices; and use data and information for continuous improvement.

Online professional development environments are the key to helping teachers everywhere achieve this goal. Online programs provide a forward-looking model for professional learning that blends effective in-person events, courses, and workshops with expanded opportunities, immediacy, and convenience. They offer a holistic approach to professional development, with innovative resources and opportunities for continuous collaboration that are essential to advancing the tech skills of K12 educators and leaders.

Online communities of practice.
The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) is involved in the DOE’s Connected Educators project. Together, partner organizations are discovering how professional learning builds through a well-constructed and supported online community of practice (OCOP). Designed as a blended model, the OCOP for ed tech leaders allows participants to interact both face-to-face and virtually, encouraging a combination of lead questions, resource sharing, participant postings, and conversations. The model aligns with the NETP’s standards.

CoSN’s activities, and those of other educational technology partners, have already shown school technology leaders the benefits of the growing role and impact of online communities. Seamlessly connecting them across distance and time has helped them capture best practices to take back to their districts.

According to the DOE Office of Educational Technology report, “Connect and Inspire—Online Communities of Practice in Education,” OCOPs in a blended design model empower educators by:

  • Accessing knowledge. They can provide educators with opportunities to “gain equitable access to human and information resources not available locally,” with a quality of dialogue “equivalent or in some cases greater than face-to-face” interactions.
  • Sharing knowledge. They expand and enrich opportunities for educators to learn from one another “by employing alternative processes not available in face-to-face instruction.”
  • Creating knowledge. They can provide a fertile, sustainable environment for new knowledge by supplying collaborative tools that allow educators with common interests to convene virtually.
  • Building professional identity, connectedness, and collaboration. And finally, they strengthen professional identity, which helps people feel more invested in their profession.

In combination with online efforts, traditional professional development and networking activities—such as self-directed learning and professional development classes—will continue to have a place in educators’ personal and professional growth.

CoSN also has been working with its partners on the Connected Educator Month project, an online “event.” Throughout October, CEM brings K12 professionals together using online resources, tools, colleagues, experts, and learning activities. A common theme in Connected Educator Month content and discussions is the need to make online social learning and collaboration such as this one count as legitimate professional development.

An effective moderator is critical to successfully leveraging everything this comprehensive professional learning model has to offer. In the online community, the moderator’s key responsibilities are outlined, and include planning and promotion, implementation, and evaluation. A full report on Connected Educators Month is available at A more complete look at research on the role of online communities of practice can be found at the Connected Educators website,

As digital tools and systems become an essential fabric of K12 curricula nationwide, we encourage administrators to follow the model of hybrid professional development supported by an online community-of-practice environment—one built on continuous collaboration to ensure a district’s vision is aligned with the finest and most robust learning powered by technology.

Gordon K. Dahlby is chief innovator/CEO, Educational Technology Leadership Consulting, and project manager, CoSN Online Communities of Practice.

follow me on twitter: @gdahlby

Published at
Submitted by Lynn Russo Whylly 7/30/2013 for District CIO publication

Response to: Discovery Education Part Duex: Beyond the Textbook Continues.

Posted 04/07/2013 by gdahlby
Categories: 1 Ed Tech Leadership

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Response to .The Principal’s Page, Supt. Mike Smith

It was a pleasure to meet and learn from you, Mike. I am still processing the event. One path of thinking is to focus on “Beyond” and think of it as the call to supplement and not supplant the textbook. I don’t think I took that angle of consideration during the event.

A larger question of the purpose of a “textbook” considering the current, or more likely next, generation of connected mobile devices is yet to form. I challenged Iowans on my return to think of an always connected “Living” book that is perpetually updated, social in construct, and presents multiple paths to learning about and expanding on a topic. Caught in a not 100% connected truth, my guests had a hard time visioning about what they want by the time our 2014 Kindergarten class is likely to graduate using by middle grades in 2021 or even by high school. I am not imagining the status quo for another generation. I cannot imaging a “textbook” without some ability to “intelligently” help students learn and explore; to experiment and contemplate; to hear multiple voices and explanations; to learn of generations past in all parts of the globe represented equally in their resources without prejudice. These connected-textbooks assist the learner and the teacher reducing the curation burden and perpetual testing of cloud resources for validity and stamina. Why not integrate Siri-style natural language questioning into a living-book, for example?

Still tumbling through the past, present and possible futures. An exciting time for education, indeed


i11i: Iowa 1 to 1 Institute April 4 2013

Posted 04/02/2013 by gdahlby
Categories: 1 Ed Tech Leadership



Happy to contribute several topics to this gathering.
Fantastic panel of practitioners:
Connected Educators…Connected Schools with @shfarnsworth @nmovall @B_Berns @eolsonteacher

Also discussion sessions:
Beyond the Textbook
Beyond 1080 {Hours}
Coincidentally: The Des Moines Register editorial of 4/2 danced around the topic

and an informative session on national initiatives
National Educational Technology Plan and other national initiatives and how they might help inform and benchmark progress for schools.


Volunteer opportunity: Board of Reviewing Editors for Journal of Mobile Teaching

Posted 11/27/2012 by gdahlby
Categories: 1 Ed Tech Leadership, education, online learning

Tags: ,

The Journal of Mobile Teaching ( seeks scholars, practitioners and educators interested in joining the Board of Reviewing Editors in an effort to expand the diversity of voices, pedagogies and technologies that comprise the rapidly growing field of mobile teaching.

JMT (ISSN 2164-6724) is an integrated media resource accessible via a PC or mobile device. It is the core knowledgebase and professional network for teaching and digital learning with mobile devices. Our program of research papers, open source mobile lesson plans, and strategic presentations for mobile learning provides a point of first contact for teaching mobile.
Reviewing Editor Responsibilities include:
*   Providing leadership and expertise in a field related to mobile teaching; and
*   Reviewing manuscript submissions (up to six manuscripts per academic year)

Submit your nomination or statement of interest to

Nominees will be ask to provide a brief statement of expertise and to identify current interest in/contributions to the field of mobile teaching, as well as a two-page CV or resume. Nominations/Statements of Interest deadline: December 31, 2012

Richard L. Austin
Emeritus Professor of Horticulture
University of Nebraska – Lincoln

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