Mining The Comments Section

1. In the comments section of my blog, Jen linked to an excellent blog on Kitchen Table Math.

There is no just-in-time learning, and you can't catch-up.

For the sake of argument, say it takes two years to consolidate the skill of adding and subtracting double-digit numbers. (I'm guessing it takes more than two, but I don't know.) If a child learns to add and subtract double-digit numbers in second grade, he or she will be proficient in fourth grade.

Delay teaching the algorithms until fourth grade and now you have a cohort of students who won't be proficient in addition and subtraction until 6th grade.

That's the way it works. Two years is two years.

2. In the comments section of Kitchen Table Math, Allan wrote:

If folks don't mind a little mercenary self-promotion, a friend and I grew disgusted enough with what passed for educational software that we decided to start our own company to make some for tablets. Our first app allows children to practice longhand arithmetic; yes, including division.

I finished the web page for it just this weekend:

3. So I followed the link. It does look interesting!

4. Makes me wish there was an EdTech Test Kitchen that would review this stuff.

5. The closest thing we've found is EdSurge. Very zippy writing about ed-tech marketplace news, and the product review section seems to be growing.

A friend at Gates Foundation says EdSurge will be adding, at some point, some punchy "This is good, this is bad" type reviews. For now it's mostly descriptive. I.e., you can read about the differences between TenMarks, Khan, and ST Math. But you won't find either a Roger Ebert "thumbs up or thumbs down," nor a RottenTomatoes 1 to 10 scaled score, that would allow you to easily compare and choose.

EdSurge itself is a young organization and it's very promising as a go-to resource.

6. Many of you read this blog in email form. So you miss the comments, which get added after you've received your daily email.

I have been thinking about a way to relaunch my blog, one that better uses my sharpest commenters, including Jen, Ed, Tom, and Paul.

My idea is to

A) Send certain folks some blogs in advance, have them comment by email, and then fold their comments into the post itself.

B) Cultivate some guest bloggers.

But since this takes time and thought, I haven't moved on it.