Free Software I Can’t Live Without*.


The Ballooning Brain: Defective Genes May Explain Uncontrolled Brain Growth in Autism: Scientific American.

Cool concept:

Action Collabs

Project Start Date:


ISKME’s Action Collabs are dynamic workshops that use the design-thinking framework to innovate new ideas with actionable next steps. Collaboration and ideation happen in four steps: research, design, prototype, and scale and spread. Throughout the experience, participants engage in improv activities (the improvisational method of achieving cooperation) to accelerate meaningful collaboration that results in tangible action plans.

Our Role:

Action Collabs access groups’ collective brainpower by focusing creativity and structuring brainstorming in a unique method that leads to new thinking and solutions. An Action Collab can focus on detailed projects such as lesson and curriculum creation or on larger systems thinking applied to school and districts.

Action Collabs are an innovative way to:

• Tackle a familiar challenge from a new angle.

• Spark strategic thinking around a new initiative.

• Discover partnerships waiting to happen.


To bring a customized Action Collab to your organization, please contact ISKME’s Director of Training & Design, Samantha Wayne.

ISKME Action Collab Clients:


Bay Area Society for Organizational Learning

Big Ideas Fest

Danish Ministry of Education

Lumina Foundation’s College Productivity Initiative

MDC hosts Developmental Education Initiative

National League of Cities hosts Communities Learning in Partnership

The Shuttleworth Foundation

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation hosts OER 2011: The Impact of Open on Teaching and Learning

via Action Collabs | Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education.

Interesting article on a district’s use of competency based learning for educating students. Instead of placing students in a grade based on their age and marching them through year by year, the district started what it then called a standards-based system, with students working on academic material that matched their developmental levels. They move on only when they can demonstrate mastery of a particular academic skill.  Education Week: ‘Competency’ Approach Challenges Colo. District.

While Adams 50 has gotten attention for its efforts, competency-based learning has a foothold in 36 states, according to a 2012 issue briefRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader from the National Governors Association. That means those states “provide school districts and schools with some flexibility for awarding credit to students based on mastery of content and skills as opposed to seat time,” the NGA brief said.

It went on to note, though, that a common challenge for many such efforts is that other education structures within the state may work against that flexibility. For example, student-level data may be housed in systems that prevent teachers from getting all the information they need to evaluate if a student has fully mastered the academic content.

Recently I’ve been experimenting with a number of curation sites that are beneficial for creating and sharing lists. While exploring these tools, I’ve been “fine tuning” my Web 2.0 list for schools. I created a list of 25 Web 2.0 sites for education over a year ago — but a lot has changed since then. More sites have been developed and more tools are available to students and educators than ever before. This list is in alphabetical order.

50 Web 2.0 Sites for Schools

  1. 19 Pencils19Pencils is the easiest way for teachers to discover, share and manage web-based educational content with students. A teacher can create quizzes, websites, track students, and more.
  2. ACMI Generator – This is a great site for older students for digital storytelling and creating a storyboard scene with a script.
  3. Animoto – Create wonderful looking slideshows that includes, video, images, music, and more.
  4. Aviary Education – A safe private environment to use Aviary’s suite of online tools for: audio, video, and image editing.
  5. Boom WriterBoomWriter is a supremely engaging creative writing website that has students reading, writing and assessing content in ways they’ve never done before!
  6. Classtell – A nice site for teachers to create an educational website.
  7. Diigo – Social bookmarking for teachers where they can create free student accounts.
  8. Dropbox – A great way to share and collaborate on documents on a number of different electronic devices.
  9. Edmodo – A wonderful safe/secure learning environment for teachers and students. A nice all-in-one solution for education.
  10. Educaplay – A excellent way to create interactive multimedia educational activities.

See the rest via – 50 Web 2.0 Sites for Schools.

From Quora:

New answer to “How can digital technology really help in learning and education?”

Ronald Kantor:
Technology is the key to leveraging distributed expertise to solve problems and gain access to the perspectives and solutions that supplement one’s own way of looking at things.  It facilitates the creation of digital artifacts, like this one, which can be reviewed and reflected upon after the immediacy of asynchronous communication is no longer a factor.  Moreover, it empowers learners to self-direct and self regulate themselves in ways that is so much more motivating than lecture.  Lastly, it also flattens out the social hierarchies and allows for meritocratic communication in which the best ideas are not based on who said them, but what they actually said.

To see the question page with all answers, visit:

The Quora Team

The number of college students who say they own tablets has more than tripled since a survey taken last year, according to new poll results released today. The Pearson Foundation sponsored the second-annual survey, which asked 1,206 college students and 204 college-bound high-school seniors about their tablet ownership. The results suggest students increasingly prefer to use the devices for reading.

One-fourth of the college students surveyed said they owned a tablet, compared with just 7 percent last year. Sixty-three percent of college students believe tablets will replace textbooks in the next five years—a 15 percent increase over last year’s survey. More than a third said they intended to buy a tablet sometime in the next six months.

Read full article at:

Tablet Ownership Triples Among College Students – Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education.