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An Ed-Tech Guide

A Hack Education Project

What Should Technologists and Entrepreneurs Know about Education?

What should education technology entrepreneurs know about education? Well, here's a start. Below is a collection of resources to help technologists learn more about education -- about teaching, learning, policies, and the history of the field and its institutions.

Learning Theories:

Why is this important? How do people learn? How do people learn best? These are old questions, ones that shouldn't be answered simply on the way in which you might have learned (or the way in which you thought you learned). There are many different theories – based on psychology or philosophy, for example – about learning, and these theories often inform classroom practices.

The Theories

Learning Theories, Mapped

The Myth of Learning Styles

How People Learn


Why is this important? There are a lot of terms and an ungodly number of acronyms that educators and administrators use regularly: LMS, IEP, SIF, SCORM, API. The latter, in tech-speak, is an application programming interface; but for schools, it can also mean academic performance index. You should know what folks are talking about, right?

Technology Enhanced Learning Thesaurus & Dictionary

The Glossary of Education Reform for Journalists


Why is this important? Oh hey, guess what? Sal Khan did not invent online learning. Sebastian Thrun did not invent the MOOC. And we did not only just recently discover that "education is broken."

History of Virtual Learning Environments

Don't Know Much About History (of Education)

Teaching Machines


Why is this important? If you are building technologies for kids and/or for schools, you need to understand the legalities around what data you can and cannot collect and share. These three are the major laws in the US pertaining to children and schools/libraries:

COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act)

CIPA (Children's Internet Protection Act)

FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)

Education Datasets:

Why is this important? There's certainly a huge push for more data -- more data collection, more data mining, more data analysis -- in education right now. The push for open data in education is challenging, however, not simply because of proprietary algorithms behind many so-called adaptive learning tools, but because education data is at once public and private.

National Center for Education Statistics

Who Owns Education Data?

Recommended Reading:

Seymour Papert, Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas

Larry Cuban, Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom

Stephen Downes, OLDaily

The 31 Most Influential Books in Education: A Crowdsourced List

Wikispaces, How to Succeed in Ed-Tech

George Siemens, The Race to Platform Education

Chris Lehmann, The Seductive Allure of Ed-Tech Reform

Dana Goldstein, The Teacher Wars: A History of America's Most Embattled Profession

Audrey Watters, What Every Techie Should Know About Education

Dan Meyer, What Silicon Valley Gets Wrong About Math Education Again and Again

Other Guides:

US Department of Education Ed-Tech Developer Guide

Edtech Handbook: Launch an Education Startup

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