School of One – a new digital maths

In today’s Sunday Times, Tina Rosenberg writes about School of One in Brooklyn: The New New Math.  This article is worth a read to understand how new experiments in digital on-line math tutorship are trying to tweak the models of the recent path. In Parenting for Technology Futures I talk about cognitive tutors as tools hoping to customize learning for each and every individual student- but that these solutions can have system-level side effects that negatively impact every student.  School of One also customizes future lessons student-by-student based on past performance. That’s a hallmark of nearly every successful system now. But it also provides teachers with access and  visibility, to customize the decisions and trajectories with a human touch. I applaud that level of transparency; it is likely a step in the right direction.

Air Pollution Sensors as Tech Empowerment Vehicles

Here is a heartbreaking article about Beijing air pollution that nonetheless shows how air pollution sensors can be devices for technological empowerment- helping citizens understand their exposure and make decisions about just how to behave to minimize risk to their children. These problems are only getting worse, worldwide, and we need technology that helps us make better decisions, locally and strategically.

Announcing a new book

I am very happy to announce publication of my new book. Parenting for Technology Futures [Part 1] is a response to the question I receive most commonly: how do we prepare our children for an ever-accelerating technology landscape that contains the spectre of even greater inequality and technological underemployment? The book focuses on technology fluency, and on backgrounds to issues including STEM, accountability, school reform and digital learning– all of which have unintended consequences on our childrens’ technology education.  I have chosen to publish Parenting using Amazon’s on-demand printing service to absolutely minimize the retail price ($6). You can purchase this new book in paperback form or as a Kindle e-book.  Let me know what you think!

Hear Me – technology for student empowerment

The final chapter of Robot Futures is about imagining how technology could, even today, be devoted to empowering our communities rather than empowering corporations. Hear Me is a project at the CREATE Lab dedicated to boosting student voice and advocacy, and they have just released their very first podcast that does an outstanding job of sharing their formative story for Hear Me itself. Have a listen, it is profound and moving.

Air Quality & HRI

Two notes in one. I just published a HuffPost article, The Right to Breathe Easy, about the global crisis in air quality. Technology has a very real potential to help; however, as we talk about in Robot Futures, the real challenge is, what will be the power relationship between air sensor technology, the information gathered, corporations and the public? Will the public be empowered by new technology to make the invisible visible, to close the loop and improve their circumstance with power, or will corporations tell us what to do, sell our behavioral analytics with respect to air also, and take away even more personal control authority from citizens?

Second note- I will be giving a talk on Human-Robot Interaction at HRI 2015 in Portland, Oregon on Monday. I hope to see some of you there!