Lucien Vattel SBE series image

This is the third post in a three-part blog series, written by Lucien Vattel, founder and co-director of the PlayMaker School and CEO of nonprofit GameDesk. In this post, we are challenged to consider a new paradigm for education — one that emphasizes social and emotional development as the foundation of learning.

In life and learning, sometimes it isn’t what we know, but knowing that we have it that makes the difference. The self-assurance that within us exists unlimited potential is key to how we frame our learning experiences. In many cases, our ability to learn and our ability to achieve has less to do with our perceived intelligence and much more to do with our ability to believe in ourselves. Our belief system and the matrix of ideas around them form the foundations of who we are and inform the percentages of success for who we become.

As we develop, mistakes happen. (read more…)

Forty-two states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity — DoDEA — have adopted the Common Core State Standards. The standards took the stage in 2010, and since then, the landscape has shifted often, with some states opting for their own standards and assessments.

This month, we’re covering Common Core: Where are we now? Education and executive consultant Naphtali Hoff kicks off the discussion with a reflection about deeper learning under the standards.

Last year I published a post in these pages about a fishing trip that I took last summer with three of my sons. It was a great experience that also offered many lessons that pertain to my true passion: education.

One idea I shared then was that educators need to “cast many lines” in order to effectively “hook” their students. For our trip, the crew cast a sizable number of fishing lines from all sides of the boat. (read more…)


This letter appears in our new publication SmartReport on ISTE2015.


I loved summer camp when I was a kid. Every July, my folks shipped me and my bags off to Camp Cedar Crest in the mountains of San Bernardino, California, for a week of friends, fun, games, activities and classes. I ate a copious amount of S’mores, played volleyball for hours, sang around the campfire and giggled with my friends into the wee hours of the night. It was always a good time. And I always came away from camp with great memories, new friends and fresh energy for the school year.

The annual ISTE show and conference reminds me a bit of camp. For four days each summer, educators from around the globe come together to network, exchange ideas, learn from one another and find new ways to tackle the challenges of education. This year’s show was no exception, and SmartBrief editors were on the ground to catch it all. (read more…)

The profession of education is going through unprecedented change. Many aspects of teaching and school will eventually never be the same again — nor should they. Although wholesale and fundamental change is slow, there are some things that educators will have to accept and embrace, if they plan on being successful and staying in the profession. They are:

  1. Education is more PUBLIC than ever. I am tired of the word “transparency” – and that is really just the beginning of being “public” as an educator in our changing paradigm. We need to showcase our professional work as educators, as well as the work of our students, with larger communities. Venues such as YouTube, Twitter and all social media outlets will be a foundational way for us to continue the idea of being public. Every classroom, school, district and beyond will be daily showcases to the world of what they are doing.
  2. (read more…)

It’s back-to-school time! Educators were busy this month getting back to the business of the classroom. Ed-tech providers were also in full swing, releasing a slew of new solutions for learning and instruction, from a new Web site that offers Open Education Resource materials, to a donor-matching program for teachers wanting to purchase programmable robots, to new 3D-printing curriculum that supports math, science and English language arts.

Take a look at this month’s releases from SmartBrief on EdTech’s Product Showcase:

Free platform lets teachers create, share CCSS-aligned assessments

Edulastic is a free online platform designed to help teachers prepare students for Common Core assessments. Teachers can create and share assessments, aligned with curriculum, and get scores in real time. The device-agnostic platform integrates with student information systems and supports single sign-on through Clever and Google Apps for Education.

Web site offers Open Education Resources, online community for educators

Educators have a new way to access Open Education Resources. (read more…)