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Posts by David Havens

Defining Impact in Education Technology

“I have trouble understanding double, triple bottom line funds – there can only be one bottom line for impact funds. That’s why they call it the bottom.”  – a paraphrase of Kevin StarrI am thrilled by the attention the education market has been getting lately, from double bottom line, impact, and profit-maximizing funds alike. What “success” looks like is different to each stakeholder, and I consider myself lucky to work at a well financed fund […] Read more

Technology and Student Engagement

In the age of mobile computing, attention and engagement have become commodities. Advertisers are willing to spend millions for mere seconds of viewers’ attention. With all the ads and apps buzzing in students’ pockets in the 21st century classroom, we had to ask ourselves: how are learning technologies (books, desktops, tablets, and otherwise) keeping up with the rising bar of grabbing attention? What are the best practices for engaging students today? Specifically […] Read more

Live from Summit 2014: CCSS and Designing Digital Learning

In a series of discussions moderated by Betsy Corcoran of Edsurge, entrepreneurs and other education stakeholders tackled both the problems and opportunities in K12 learning. Their discussion centered around two central questions and were asked to share out initial answers, partially listed below. What excites you about the potential for learning technology? Differentiated learning, immediate feedback, less expensive education, increased access, greater scale, more productivity, learning outside of class What concerns or worries […] Read more

Live From Summit 2014: Reading Reconsidered

When it comes to teaching literacy, content and skills (like decoding specific words and citing their definitions) are inseparable. In a live session at NewSchools Summit, Doug Lemov (Uncommon Schools), Kyla Johnson Trammell (Oakland Unified School District), and Roberto Pondiscio (Democracy Prep) surfaced the above example and discussed the key approaches to elevating the rigor of reading instruction. Read more

ReimaginED: The Future of K12 Education

(link) From TED talk playlists to government speeches, everyone agrees: education is changing. Exactly how, why, or what it all means is still up for debate. Are the low United States PISA scores a sign of stagnation or creativity? Does technology replace or enhance face to face interaction? Are we trying to teach skills, concepts, or learning mindsets? At NewSchools Venture Fund, we’d like to set the stage differently, in the context of the ground up innovation already happening. While some see the systemic challenges […] Read more

The NewSchools Notebook: tech, teaching, and inspiration

At NewSchools, we are constantly being exposed to new ideas in education from a variety of sources. Given that we invest in technologies that spread knowledge and education to all, I wanted to start a blog series passing on some of the quotes and intellectual nuggets I encounter to the world. Big Ideas from the week: Education technology is not a zero sum game. When movies came out, live theater attendance did […] Read more

“Read, Write, Code” say CodeHS founders and winners of NBC Innovation challenge

In my last year at Stanford I took a class that made me wish I could start all over called CS 106a, Programming Methodology. I learned to code by guiding a robot icon through a grid, and eventually I programmed basic games like hangman and breakout (we even made a rudimentary social network!). I have two main takeaways from the course:  1. I gained a new understanding of the logic behind machines, […] Read more

Please Touch the Technology

Some innovations just don’t make sense until you actually get your hands on them: Fun dip. Silly putty. Education technology. For this reason, Summit 2013 features 21 different education technology companies and their tools in one room on tablets, phones, laptops, and desktops. Participants can walk around the interactive exhibit, which we designed to mimic an expository museum aesthetic rather than a trade show, and play with digital content, tools, and platforms. The […] Read more