The False Promise of Title II Certainty

Rob Atkinson testified before the House Energy & Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, arguing that net neutrality advocates would better advance the cause of an open Internet by supporting Congressional legislation, rather than placing a high stakes bet on the FCC’s Title II reclassification surviving a court challenge or a change in Administrations in 2017.

Innovation Needs to be a Central Focus of the Federal Budget

As American manufacturing continues its slow recovery from the Great Recession, improved competitiveness and innovation need to remain strong federal priorities. It’s therefore heartening to note that the President’s FY 2016 budget request illustrates the administration’s belief in the power of public/private research partnerships to restore American industry’s competitive edge in advanced industries.

Why Smartphone Use Helps Develop 21st Century Skills in Higher Education

In an era where we are continuously exposed to novel technologies, we are being pushed to incorporate these advanced tools into our learning processes, which as a whole is taking education in an exciting new direction. This begs the question -- what exactly are these tools bringing to our learning outcomes?

How I Got Into STEM

Lots of people are good at math, science, or some combination of the two. But does that mean a career in STEM is the right thing for you? If it is, how do you get into the field? A sit-down interview with someone already in the field should give a better idea to those who are contemplating a career in STEM.

The 11 Barriers to Technology Adoption

Based on our more than 30 years in working with schools in the U.S. and more than seven recent years working in schools in Singapore, we have come up with a list of barriers that need to be addressed if technology is going to have an impact beyond the isolated classroom. (We're talking about personalized learning, and that’s not a cheap shot!)

Will Professors Teach Differently in 10 Years?

Of particular concern is the impact of this inertia on the so-called STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), considered fundamental for the sustainable development of any nation. There are extensive data demonstrating a troubling lack of interest in STEM undergraduate study, and only a small fraction of the students enrolled finish a STEM degree.

Why Innovation Must Go Beyond Disruption

Henry Ford famously quipped that if he’d asked what people wanted, they’d have said, “faster horses.” There are countless numbers of ideas being funded every day that are aimed at essentially building faster horses. The result is that we have available an enormous embarrassment of riches in technology, information and economy – but how many of them are truly groundbreaking or innovative?

Technology in the classroom

Chalk and slate tablets, books and pictures expanded to include films, radio, tape recorders and television, which have in turn made room for computers, mobile devices and other “smart” technology in the classroom. In each case, the end goal is not the tool itself: The goal is more accessible, efficient education.

Net neutrality neuters innovation

Today the Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote on whether to regulate the Internet under Title II, or “common carrier,” regulations as a public utility, and all indications are that the Commission will do so.

Why FCC Meeting Matters for Ed Tech

Each month the FCC’s five commissioners convene, and tomorrow’s meeting will cover a lot of ground. The Commission will be voting on two significant issues—net neutrality and community broadband—both of which have considerable implications for schools and libraries.

Mentor girls for STEM

For many years, business leaders, politicians, and feminists have lamented the dearth of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). There is undoubtedly much more work to do in addressing the imbalance, but recent trends, as well as initiatives like this Thursday's Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, represent exciting progress in bringing more women into these high-demand fields.

Why Innovation Almost Always Fails

The innovation lessons I took away from DARPA are nearly impossible for private and especially public corporations to implement: just too many things have to be true for corporate innovation to work – and they seldom are. Before we begin, let’s exclude companies like Apple, Google and Samsung where innovation is a well-funded core competency. Aspects of their innovation processes and culture are DARPA-like. But when most companies try to innovate, they fail miserably and almost always tend to eventually be disrupted by start-ups, like LegalZoom, Amazon or Uber (which themselves eventually face innovation challenges).

Why It's So Hard For Americans To Talk About Science

This is leading to real problems. When we don’t understand the point of scientific experiments, we don’t tell our legislators to keep funding those projects. When we don’t understand the science behind a vaccine, we wind up with a dangerous measles outbreak because too many people decided not to get their kids immunized. When we don’t understand the science behind genetically modified food, we push to ban it—even when it may be the most promising path to feeding millions of hungry people around the world.

Inspiring Women to Become Technology Designers

Companies need a diverse workforce to strengthen collaboration, problem solving, and innovation. The serious gender gap in technology poses an urgent problem: how do we inspire more women to pursue careers in Computer Science? I believe STEM exposure at all educational levels is key to raising the number of girls and women in Computer Science.

Is inequality responsible for America's innovation gap?

If trial-and-error experimentation is what we’re after, then we want to maximize the number and diversity of people who can engage in it. The more heads the better. We want to maximize the number of people with economic security, so they feel they can afford the risks of entrepreneurship and innovation. We want to maximize the distribution of leisure time, so people have the freedom to tinker. And we want to maximize access to the knowledge and resources that make that tinkering possible.


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