Sharpening the Edge of Technology Leaders

Keeping Up with Big Ideas:
These ideas provide a larger context for your vision

  • TED - Ideas Worth Sharing
    TED began as an exclusive $6000 per person conference in Monterey, California, to bring the best ideas in the world to its audience. Since their thousands of talks have been put online, there has been a global demand for regional TED conferences. The talks are between four and twenty-four minutes in length on wide range of interesting topics. Text transcripts of each talk are available, but that doesn't capture the rich imagery that is part of many talks.
  • Talks at Google: an hour with culture icons
    Tech Talks at Google: an hour with cutting-edge technologies
    Google brings hundreds of the world's most interesting ideas and technologies to their campus through 1-hr talks by thought leaders and tech pioneers. The Google Talks are in much greater depth than TED Talks and BigThink, especially in technical topics. It's a treat to hear interesting ideas explained to a room full of bright, young Googlers. Google Tech Talks may be uploaded by Google staff to share cutting-edge ideas with their colleagues. Note the separate links above for Google Talks and Tech Talks.
  • BigThink videos and blogs
    BigThink attracts U.S. and global leaders in thought to give talks that are more in-depth than TED, but they are still broken up into bite-sized two-to-seven-minute chunks. There's a stronger text and analysis component to BigThink compared to the TED emphasis on performance.
  • The Aspen Institute: Inspiration and Vision for Leaders
    Corporate leaders, university presidents, and others who need to keep their information and vision up to date know about the Aspen Institute and annual conferences. Mose educators and technologists may not yet have heard of the world-class speakers and panel discussions that available as streamed videos. Visionary reports on current topics are also available for free download from the non-profit institute. You can find videos under the Multimedia tab and highlighted talks and reports on the home page.
  • The Digital-Life-Design Conference
    The DLD Conference is a European newcomer that seems to have taken lessons from the best of TED ideas. Judging by the explosion of interest in TED, BigThink, and DLD, leaders seem to be hungry for the information and vision that can be provided by the best and brightest in each field. For a sample, check out the talk by Juan Enriquez who, as a biotech venture capitalist, is familiar with the developments that will change our lives over the next decade.
  • The EDGE: eavesdrop on conversations of the experts
    The mission of EDGE is To arrive at the edge of the world's knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves. This attracts visionaries such as Sergei Brin, Jeff Bezos, Steward Brand (of the Internet Archive), Kevin Kelly, and lots more. Hear recordings and read transcripts of their talks and conversation. The EDGE tends to deal with more abstract ideas than the sites above.

FUTURISM: 10 Years from now, what do you wish you had known?

  • website and blog
    Get a daily or weekly dose of high tech news from all fields packed with compelling images and a dramatic infographic (sign up mid-page on the site). Material from offers the best up-to-date event images and stories of actual science. This isn't sci-fi imagination, but real plans and real discoveries. Guaranteed to grab attention and spark discussion.
  • Diamandis photoPeter Diamandis' e-mail newsletter sign up bottom of page
    Peter Diamandis is CEO of the X-Prize Foundation, co-founder of Singularity University, author of thought-provoking book, Abundance, (as well a venture capitalist and more). He helps people leverage technology to solve problems no one else has done. His X-Prize has already revolutionized the space industry. He and Ray Kurzweil have teamed up to create an incubator for world-changing entrepreneurs. His newsletter comes to you is a simple text format where he discusses the potential impact of current inventions and discoveries.
  • ray kurzweil photoKurzweil AI: Ray Kurzweil's online newsletter
    Ray Kurzweil is currently Google's Director of Engineering. He's been called the world's most famous futurist, and he's the futurist that Bill Gates trusts most. Kurzweil is also known for his many patents and companies: he invented the document scanner, the book reader, parts of music synthesizers, and many innovations for the blind. Along the way he has overcome personal health problems of diabetes and heart disease by developing some of his own futuristic solutions. Kurzweil provides reports of cutting-edge science, health, and technology research. His tech is true "high tech!"
  • H+ Magazine
    H+ covers technological, scientific, and cultural trends that are changing -- and will change -- human beings in fundamental ways. Keep up with ideas about nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and other trends that heavily impact our future.
  • The Institute for the Future
    The IFTS's motto, Foresight into Insight, has guided their mission for the past 40 years. With one click, you can access their ten-year forecast, technology horizons, or health horizons. IFTS doesn't specialize in eye-opening videos; instead, it applies a systematic, research-based inquiry into current trends to come up with informed predictions for the next ten years.

Education and Educational Technology

  • Classroom 2.0: Interactive forum for education and Web 2.0
    Join the 80,000 members who make Classroom 2.0 a place for lively discussions on up-to-date issues in education and interactive technology. Created by Steve Hargadon in 2007, LearnCentral offers over 2000 videos as well as blogs and special-interest groups. There are weekly free live webinars with education and technology leaders. Where else can you participate in a conversation with Sir Ken Robinson, Alan Kay, or Linda Darling-Hammond from the convenience of your living room or study? Explore the wealth of archived webinars to hear your favorite authors and experts speak on timely topics.
  • The Horizon Reports from the New Media Consortium
    NMC releases annual reports on the strongest education trends driven by emerging technologies that are expected to impact us within the next five years. Identified by a panel of experts, the trends are classified according to how soon they are expected to impact our institutions: within the next 12 months, in 2-to-3 years, or in 4-to-5 years. The main annual report is released in January or February, and a special K-12 report is issued in June. These reports may be your best help in planning for the near future.
  • Edutopia logoEdutopia: What Works in Education
    Edutopia is the outreach arm of the George Lucas Educational Foundation (fyi, Milton Chen was its former director). Edutopia brings a technology and media perspective to ways to build engaging learning environments. Hundreds of sample videos illustrate their ideas along with reports and their free Edutopia journal. It may take a while to learn how the large site is organized, but you'll find successful educational ideas both with and without technology.
  • The Concord Consortium: Realizing the promise of educational technology
    With research funding from the National Science Foundation, the Concord Consortium has been building and testing ways to learn science (and math) using technology. Their activities and software are available at no cost, and they focus on using probeware for deep inquiry using data as well as modeling systems to "observe the unobservable." This is another large site, and their activities may take additional expertise to implement, but you won't find anything better! A fantastic STEM resource. Check out their Learning Portal and take advantage of the hundreds of STEM activities including Molecular Workbench and the Geniverse game. Sign up for their @Concord newsletter (a very timely journal).
  • PhET logoPhET Interactive Science & Math Simulations
    Every science teacher knows the amazing PhET simulations, but elementary, middle school, and math teachers may be unaware that some of the hundreds of "sims" are perfect for their students. Funded by NSF and several foundations, the PhET team is converting their single-topic learning activities to work on tablets and Chromebooks as well as full computers. They also have reformulated several simulations into learning games. Teachers, students, and parents love PhET, developed at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
  • Khan Academy: massive free online learning
    Sal Khan's original one-man operation of 2000 videos has exploded into one of the educationally richest sites on the web. Khan Academy pioneered the short single-topic simple video that is now ubiquitous in K-12 and higher ed. Khan Academy has full curricula and interactive exercises across mathematics and is growing rapidly in science, computer science, finance, social studies, and the humanities. They now employ dozens of talented, young staff who are making possibly the biggest single difference in education today. THE classroom flipper's best resource. Their simple homepage hides a wealth of material.
  • Code.Hour of Code logoorg: learn programming through interactive lessons and games may be best known as a hub of the "Hour of Code" project. As computer science and programming become a larger part of school at all levels, stands out as developing kid-friendly approaches to learn coding. Check it out. It's fun and you may grow to like coding! Multiple popular languages are available.
  • open education resources like textbooks
    Encouraged by some state departments of education, some school districts have replaced expensive commercial textbooks with high-quality online texts from From its 2007 beginning, CK-12 has expanded from flexible online textbooks to simulations, PLIX (playful learning interactive experiences), learning groups, and much more. Explore their site past the too-simple home page to find entire curricula primarily in mathematics and the sciences. 
  • Academic Earth: Online learning from the world's top scholars
    Academic Earth provides learning experiences from memorable lectures to full courses from some of the best educators around. This a great place to update your subject knowledge if your college days were more than ten years ago. You'll also see some model teaching techniques from great educators.

Emerging Technology & Issues: ideas and toys we can't resist

  • Slashdot: News for nerds
    A highly-respected, high-tech blog with an immense readership of technically-knowledgeable (and often irreverent) contributors. The replies are as informative as the original posts. This is full of experts in hardware, networking, programming, project management, and server administration.
  • Gizmodo: a technology blog focused on gadgets
    A sample of popular articles at this writing include, "How long it takes hackers to crack your password," "Pigeons in zero gravity," and "The first good android tablet." It's a candy store for geeks with that goes beyond simple reviews of new products.
  • engadget logoEngadget
    You see the latest cell phone as well as many other commercial products and reviews. Considering purchasing table computers or iPads? They will be reviewed here. More geek heaven!
  • MakerEd: a center for educational Makers
    The Maker movement has seized on dramatic technologies like 3D printers and microelectronics like Arduinos and Raspberry Pis. There's a need to connect these ideas with powerful teaching and learning, and that's a role that sites like MakerEd may play. This is a rapidly-changing field!
  • Technology Review: published by MIT
    Read about the scientific developments that will lead to tomorrow's products. Read about the people and projects that are inventing our future today. Nerd paradise.

Politically-Correct Sites

  • ISTE logoISTE: The International Society for Technology in Education
    Join this organization. ISTE organizes the annual ISTE Conference (formerly NECC), the largest educational technology conference in the world. It publishes books focused on the educational technology needs of schools. ISTE is also politically active to formally advocate regarding educational technology funding and related issues. While it has higher education members, it's focus in on K-12. ISTE developed and updates their National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for teachers, students, administrators, and others. Their many communities of practice (formerly Special Interest Groups) have an active, engaged membership.
  • iNACOL: International Association for K-12 Online Learning
    A respected source of reports and data K-12 online education, iNACOL runs a major annual conference on K-12 online education. iNACOL has developed standards for quality online courses and is a clearinghouse for related resources. Susan Patrick, online learning pioneer and former Director of the U.S. Office of Educational Technology has led iNACOL for more than a decade.
  • CoSN: The Coalition for School Networking
    CoSN has also been a national advocate for educational technology funding. Their annual conference addresses issues for educational and technology administrators and school board members.
  • Education Week: the New York Times of K-12 education
    All education news is reported including major research studies, new kinds of schools, education legislation, and lots of general, background information for K-12 teachers, administrators, and technologists. By registering, you can read several articles free each month. Sign up for the e-mail news and job postings.


We're confronted by insurmountable opportunity!
-- Pogo (Walt Kelly)