Education Blog Roundup

458233_buns_and_other_festive_treatsPiping hot education related blog topics served here! The debate over formative assessment, the top 10 sites for educational games, crowd-sourcing the next great novel, controversy around Microsoft’s new ads, the relationship between quality and advertising, and a hilarious spoof of Politicians all get the nod this week.

Education Week has a very interesting article about Formative Assessment. Given the burgeoning mantra that formative assessment makes the biggest difference in outcomes it is revealing to see how little consensus there is on what it really is. Is it a practice or is it a product?

John Rice has a list of the top 10 sites for free EduGames. It is worth a peek and linking through to get a sense of what kids are actually playing. This should dispel the myth that EduGames need to rival commercial games in graphics and sound. What matters most is fun game play.

HarperCollins launches Authonomy. The site uses crowd-sourcing to allow readers to vote on the next best seller. Springwise has a quick overview – Publisher Hopes Crowds Will Spot Next Bestseller. I’m working on a similar project for a client in education – should be interesting.

Microsoft’s new ads – love ’em or hate ’em? Seth Godin thinks they are rot that won’t fix what is wrong – What Ads Can’t Fix. His thesis is that the company has a solid business serving the stolid core of the market, and ads are not going to turn it into Apple. Ben McConnel believes they are a great opening salvo in redefining who Microsoft is by reclaiming the definition from Apple. As a bonus all the ads are in his post if you want to see them. In this debate you could substitute mainline textbook publishers and come up with largely the same analysis – both posts are worth a 2 minute read and some reflection.

As always Indexed nails her topic. This graphic about quality vs. advertising is amusing and revealing. We know this is how the education market works – one teacher tells another when they like something. I think of her wry charts as Mad Magazine for grownups. There is no connection to the link above about Microsoft. Really.


The Front Fell Off. Perhaps because we are dealing with a financial disaster this comedy skit resurfaced recently. It is a drop-dead funny take on a Politician evading the truth and trying to sound like they have a clue when they really don’t. It is non-partisan so enjoy.