Category Archives: education

Shameless plug for our SxSW panel: Vote! Attend!

Want to learn more about how to set up and manage a user research program within your organization? If so, you are humbly encouraged to vote for our panel for inclusion in next year’s SxSW: Developing Super Senses: Tools to Know Your Users. My partners in crime are Mark Trammell (Digg), Carla Borsoi (, Andy Budd (Clearleft), and Nate Bolt (Bolt | Peters).

Vote early! Vote often! And if we make it, come prepared with good questions!

Vision from 1962 of what educational technology would be in 1975

Educational technology of the future – unfortunately, this is pretty close to where we are with most online learning tools in 2008. (From

Scans from 1962 book that tries to predict life in 1975 - Boing Boing

Film Based Teaching Machine. Student pushes one of four buttons to give answers and his score appears on paper slip at upper right. Teaching machines, expected to boom in the next decade, usually operate on the principal of repetition until the pupil understands. They aim to speed up the learning process and relieve teacher of much paper work in the classroom.

Textbooks as a service rather than a product

There have been lots of good ideas being floated around at the
O’Reilly Tools of Change Conference for Publishing but I just heard one of the best.

At the conclusion of one of today’s sessions, an audience member asked the panel about the danger of releasing textbooks into academic environments without DRM. Ben Vershbow turned the question around. He responded that the entire notion of textbooks should be rethought, and that textbooks should be thought of as extensions of the classroom learning environment rather than as products — and as such, educational publishers should think of providing text books as a service rather than a product.

view from the 38th floor

View of NYC from the conference site