New Directions in Education

As we move into the 21st century, Weston is committed to exploring new ideas and technologies in education, from online learning and collaboration to literacy in new media.




For an expanded version of this page, see


New Learning Institute: A 21st Century Education

Edutopia: What Works in Education

Pearson Foundation

T.E.D. Talks on Education




How do we create environments that encourage innovation?

Exceling at Things that Matter

  • Dean Kamen: A Culture of Distraction

    "...I think our culture is not gonna produce innovators if we lose respect for how difficult it is, and the willingness to work at it, and fail at it, and fail at it, and fail at it, and keep working at it. "

Why engineers love what they do...

Engineering education as social action in the developing world

Using Technology to Improve Instruction

There are critical skills that kids need to have in the 21st century- the ability to research, to reflect as a learner,to collaborate, and to become self-directed....This will require a new culture of teaching and learning that engages students as contributors.


Gates Foundation-21st Century Learning Tools (2011)

National Educational Technology Plan (2011)

School of One - Using Technology to Create Personalized Learning

Wireless Generation.Com

Encouraging Curiosity: Looking to See How Things Work

Today's math curriculum is teaching students to expect -- and excel at -- paint-by-numbers classwork, robbing kids of a skill more important than solving problems: formulating them. At TEDxNYED, Dan Meyer shows classroom-tested math exercises that prompt students to stop and think.

How do we nurture professional learning communities?


How do we motivate students?

Building a Better Teacher

Standards Initiatives- What Should Students Learn?

Learning Styles: Reality or Myth?


Storytelling in the Classroom- Words with the Power to Move Us

" Narrative transport...describes our capacity to be taken out of our mundane lives, immersed in another world and our feelings irresistibly tied to those of the story’s characters.

Whether this capacity is hardwired by evolution, designed by God, or both, it appears there is part of us that can only be accessed by stories. Storytelling is as ubiquitous in human society as religion is, whether that culture is past, present, or future. We tell stories because we have to. We are made that way..." -Simon Morden

Learning as Play: Video Games in the Classroom

"...With video games, kids will go back and do it a hundred times. They'll fail until they win...Failure in an academic environment is depressing. Failure in a video game is completely aspirational..."

-New York Times 9/19/10


Edheads Medical Simulation Games -and more!


                                                  -The New Yorker, Master of Play Dec 18th 2010
 Larry Greco

How can we teach the skills of political participation in the 21st century?

Virtual Learning: K-12 Goes Online-

An Architecture of Participation

Contributing to the common good by making educational resources available to the world- the education that you want, when you need it...


"..Don't Measure the Success of your courses by how many people download or view your courses; measure rather by how many people contribute to them...small pieces loosely joined is magic..."

The Online University:

Neccessary Failure and 'Hard Fun'

".... As students face challenges, failure is not only an ongoing event, it is neccessary. When you start from scratch, never having experienced working with robots, you learn by doing. There is no one 'Right Way'- there is only finding your way to a solution that hopefully works. If not- can you describe the specific problem and suggest some kind of possible solution? This is the working model of how we teach. Playing with ideas without dread of failure opens up the way. And so, when failure is necessary, and not to be taken personally, something wonderful happens. Kids start to have fun.

As described in the Times article, one student said that to be good, the fun had to be "hard fun". In other words, not too easy, not too hard.

At times, our classes may seem somewhat disorderly. Students are seen running about, building different versions of projects, customizing their creations in different ways, arguing over their designs. Yet this very disorder, within limits, is essential if students are to take ownership of their work.

As Daniel Pink, in his book Drive, on human motivation ,writes, "...the secret to high performance and satisfaction—at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world...."

This is our job as teachers: to support your children's natural sense of curiosity and the basic human drive for competency..."

- Margaret Burns, Back-to-School-Night Reflection



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