Entries by admin

Rinse and Repeat: How to Start a Business

Think about an app or gadget you love to use. Is it Instagram? Is it Snapchat? Your smart phone? Whatever it is, at some point it did not exist. At some point someone out there decided that there was something missing in the world or they wanted to make the world a better place. An […]

What are badges, and how will education use them?

Badges are soon to be, if not already, a hot topic in education.  Yet unlike many other hot topics, it’s a little unclear what badges are and why they might be useful. Badges have baggage, meaning badges are entering education with a complex history of varied uses in non-educational settings. Before we can effectively implement […]

High School Explainers Do Research on Olympics

Our high school Explainers became citizen scientists this summer, helping Professor Jill McNitt-Gray of the University of Southern California with her biomechanics research. This spring, we toured Professor McNitt-Gray’s lab and experimented with force plates in the floor (used to analyze an athlete’s force when jumping) and EMG machines that allowed the students to see […]

The Khan Academy Controversy

The Khan Academy is arguably one of those products that can revolutionize education.  And in fact, this is being argued quite extensively lately. All this controversy has got me thinking about a simple question: is the Khan academy a revolutionary take on education?  To answer this, I’m first going to summarize some of the controversy that […]

The Curiosity Machine and Iridescent at NSLA

I wanted to share two exciting announcements.  First, earlier this summer, the Curiosity Machine was launched!  The Curiosity Machine is our new online learning platform that connects kids to cutting-edge scientists and their research. The website has several elements. We have partnered with scientists to create videos about their research.  We then develop do-at-home, inquiry-based […]

Intrinsic Reward Structures in games and learning

This is a quick follow-up to the last post on games and education, I’d suggest reading that first, or at least the section on “Reward Structures,” before jumping here.   After writing my last post, my girlfriend Hannah posed a question that has constantly bothered me over the past few weeks. Are there any intrinsic […]

The Role of Games in Education

Games are highly addictive learning tools, that are for the most part not directed at educational topics. Yet I would argue that there is nothing preventing games from hosting addictive, engaging, educational content. These ideas were formed primarily from James Gee’s writing, my experience playing games, and my experience making games. How can we make […]

Questioning the hypothesis

This is cross-posted on Sciencefare. In my recent NSTA talk, I advocated a view of the scientific method that did not include the hypothesis. What blasphemy! I felt like Galileo speaking out against the Church or something. But let’s face it, hypotheses are stupid and irrelevant for science in our modern age. At best, they […]