What if science breakthroughs weren’t shared with the world?

Great teaching today is equivalent to a scientist discovering DNA and only sharing it with themselves. Not sharing a great teaching method could be just as harmful.

Fred Wilson talks about the atomic unit for many services that have transformed industries.

In Twitter, the atomic unit is the tweet

In SoundCloud, the atomic unit is the sound

In Tumblr, the atomic unit is the post

In Kickstarter, the atomic unit is the project

In Instagram, the atomic unit is the photo

In LinkedIn, the atomic unit is the resume

In Foursquare…


Believe it or not, education has changed in the last decade and the way we think about learning has evolved.

As educators learn more about how to reach students and spark curiosity, we share those ideas within the edu community and scale classroom successes across the nation. I’ve seen this happen as new learning technologies have connected and strengthened classrooms. I’ve seen it in the brilliance of the maker movement.

Today I’m thinking about what’s next. What do we know now about learning that will influence pedagogy in 2017 and beyond?

My money is on social learning.

Social learning isn’t…


Today we announced the latest update to the Chalkup learning platform, so I thought I would take a moment and share why Chalkup exists and why we continue to invest in developing the next generation of learning technology.

I began researching learning management systems over three years ago. I was a student who was frustrated by the LMS my college was using (one of the most widely-used in the world, notorious for being a behemoth of a system).

I felt like there had to be something better out there. So I signed up for free accounts. I did demos. I…


Have you ever seen an older storefront or apartment building in between skyscrapers in the middle of a city block? Something completely unique that somehow survived neighborhood renovations? They’re beautiful and different. Once you notice them, you can’t help but see how they stand apart from the metal and glass that surrounds.

That’s the best way I can describe being an edtech startup working in between the Blackboards and Googles of the world, which have a giant edge in education.

It might not be the perfect analogy — I don’t see my edtech company, a startup, as being antiquated or…


Earlier this year New York Times columnist Frank Bruni expressed his concern for today’s exhausted superkids.

Bruni focused on sleep deprivation of modern students on the “fast track” as academic and extracurricular activities pile up. “In communities where academic expectations run highest, the real culprit is panic: about acing the exam, burnishing the transcript, keeping up with high-achieving peers,” he opined.

I hear him loud and clear. The modern student is busy. Really busy.

This column no doubt caught my eye because I’ve given a lot of thought to student time management and overworked students. A few years back this…


The instant I discovered the potential of class tech.

My first real introduction to learning management systems came when I was a college student. I was using one of the most widely-used LMSes in the country to receive and submit assignments. And it was not awesome.

And while I would have loved to have had a slicker, smarter experience, using unimaginative and clunky tools was one of the best things that could have happened to me. Because it led to my edtech moment.

For all the educators and innovators reading this: I wonder if you’ve had your edtech moment yet - the instant it clicked.

“Wow. So this is…


When your best work doesn’t come during a 42-minute class period.

I recently saw a post on Twitter about quiet classrooms not being the same as learning classrooms. The buzzing of students and teachers isn’t just noise; it signals that connections are being made. It was really eloquent.

Naturally, I had to take that thought and apply it to the digital frontier.

What does a buzzing, connected class look like outside of course time and why is it so important that we push for the same noise level, so to speak, outside of the classroom as we do inside?

This…


Can your students make the same learning gains with paper as they can with your current classroom technology?

If the answer is yes, your digital setup is failing you.

In the last year I’ve learned just how many classrooms have accessed new technology without a plan for implementation. (Answer: too many.) These classrooms are using their shiny new devices, but instruction has been left unchanged.

When we use the same lesson plans as we always have — with electronic assignments dropped in — it’s unlikely that more will be accomplished than when those assignments were scribbled on the blackboard. …


Something hit me recently: we need to let students know that it’s okay to engage.

Then another thing hit me: how do we do this while getting ahead of the tendency to add tech to classrooms without creating an environment for this tech to (truly) serve students?

“Engagement” has been a buzzword in the industry. I can tell you that at Chalkup we push for engagement all the time. I just want to make sure that we’re pushing students to engage in a way that helps them develop opinions, find answers, and sharpen skills. Because when I say “engage,” I…

Justin Chando

Founder and CEO of Chalkup, the class collaboration platform. https://www.chalkup.co

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