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Bror Saxberg
Chief Learning Officer of Kaplan Inc.
Recent Activity
The higher education consulting firm Ithaka has done a whole series of case studies on innovative practices in higher education, providing food for thought for folks in the sector as they think about how to change. I've had several conversations with Martin Kurzweil there about the kind of "learning engineering"... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2016 at Bror's Blog
I wasn't able to attend this terrific meeting of minds last week about learning science, education R&D, and the interconnections with new technologies in education and big data learning analytics, unfortunately. However, Katrina Stevens, one of the organizers, still suggested I contribute a piece about learning engineering, so (with her... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2016 at Bror's Blog
Folks who look at my blog know how much I focus on applying evidence-based approaches to mastering well-defined learning outcomes - a key component of what I think learning environments need to become good at, as technology enhances and expands the types of learning experiences available, and the kind of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2016 at Bror's Blog
On the heels of a recent blog I did on evidence-based thinking in education worldwide, I thought it worth saying a bit more about another article in EdSurge that appeared recently. This article makes some great points about folks in education looking more carefully at claims about evidence to support... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2016 at Bror's Blog
I recently (re)stumbled across an interesting article in EdSurge about using educational impact to evaluate ed-tech companies and services. It seems an obvious thing, but as the article points out, it's not so simple to do. It reminded me of a range of efforts that are now popping up to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2016 at Bror's Blog
I came across a couple of items talking about adaptivity, technology, and learning recently, and it got me thinking about this latest buzzword for learning improvement. It seems odd to question the idea that it is beneficial to adapt a learning environment to learners, yet a lot of things have... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2016 at Bror's Blog
A recent Op-Ed piece in the New York Times by Molly Worthen talks about her view that long-form lectures are of real value to students, at least in the humanities. What to make of this? “It’s complicated.” I agree (especially in the middle of the political “silly season”) that we... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2015 at Bror's Blog
Stacey Childress, Aylon Samouha, Diane Tavenner, and Jeff Wetzler have just released a call to action for innovative school design that is worth a look. Among other compelling points, they make the case that we just aren't investing deeply enough or long enough in the up-front R&D process to build... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2015 at Bror's Blog
I recently came across a very nice posting from Bob Slavin titled “Who Opposes Evidence-Based Reform?” Although he's addressing the K-12 arena, his wise words are applicable across the entire spectrum of teaching, learning, and training. Dr. Slavin has been a proponent of intelligent and systematic use of learning science... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2015 at Bror's Blog
A few months ago, I was talking with several people at a conference about my usual obsession with evidence-based work in learning. Part of my point was that there seemed to be a missing profession across education that is present elsewhere: an engineering complement to the science already available. An... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2015 at Bror's Blog
There was a terrific article in the New York Times recently by Anna North. It starts out describing persistent myths about “learning styles” in instruction, and it picks up steam when it generalizes to explore why learning research is not having an impact on students. Although she never uses the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2015 at Bror's Blog
Sarina Simon, founder and President of NorthSouth Studios, conducted a virtual interview of me recently. I thought you all might find it interesting as well! Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2014 at Bror's Blog
Just a quick note following up on the earlier announcement about our April 2014 AERA panel session. We had some terrific participants - Dick Clark, Carl Dweck, Ryan Baker, Richard Culatta, Ken Koedinger, Rebecca Peterson, all talking about what the new on-line platforms can contribute to research, and also talking... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2014 at Bror's Blog
Paul Tough is publishing an inspiring article, Who gets to graduate?, in the New York Times Magazine this weekend. It describes work at the University of Texas at Austin to combat failure-to-graduate by lower income students with few natural external support structures for success. It showcases the use of cognitive... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2014 at Bror's Blog
Tom Friedman recently interviewed the head of HR for Google, Lazlow Bock, about hiring approaches at Google. What Tom reports (and the very good cognitive scientist Daniel Cunningham comments on) gives a good example of how our instincts about expertise and learning can be both right and wrong. Just as... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2014 at Bror's Blog
Just a quick note - we'll be doing a panel session at AERA again this year. It's in Philadelphia, and our session will be at 10:30 AM on Sunday, April 6th: We've got great researchers, practitioners, policy folks - if you can come, please do, and bring your questions and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2014 at Bror's Blog
I attended the Datapalooza event in Washington DC last month, celebrating a variety of quick-hit data deployment efforts by various companies, large and small, using data from the federal government to create innovative information for learners. I was asked to do a quick intro to the section on learning, technology,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2014 at Bror's Blog
You know the cocktail party cliché, “Hey, doc, I've got this nagging pain in my hip. . .” I did have a nagging pain in my hip, and finally went to see somebody about it. It gave me a front-row seat to what you might call “post-science professionalism” - how... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2013 at Bror's Blog
A quick note - Rick Hess and I over the last week ended up doing two launch events for the book we just published, Breakthrough Leadership in the Digital Age: Using Learning Science to Reboot Schooling. Here are links to the videos: iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium, Oct 30,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2013 at Bror's Blog
Two recent articles, one in EdSurge by Harold Levy and one in The Wall Street Journal by Stephanie Banchero and Erica Philips, illustrate yet again the problem of putting technology ahead of learning for students and schools. Someone oughta write a book about how to get this right. . .... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2013 at Bror's Blog
A recent article in the New York Times talks about new ways to rank colleges based on salary potential after graduation, giving very different rankings and results for colleges than, e.g., US News and World Report. It's worth thinking for a moment about all of this – how would any... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2013 at Bror's Blog
Last month there were two events in fairly close proximity that are worth reviewing together. During AERA and at the ASU Education Innovation Summit (EIS) there were sessions talking about why evidence-based approaches continue to get short shrift in education technology and education at scale. It’s clear (at least to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2013 at Bror's Blog
The 2013 AERA meeting was a huge (13000 plus attendees), complicated (2400+ sessions), long (five full days in San Francisco for 2013) education research conference, with some unusual sessions. Yet, if you dig a little, you can find real gems, including research from David Feldon, Briana Timmerman, and colleagues, showing... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2013 at Bror's Blog
An interesting article in EdWeek last month about new methods for teacher preparation caught my eye. It described an approach focused on giving teachers a specific repertoire of competencies through structured training and practice before they’re let loose on classrooms. What’s reassuring (and maybe puzzling this didn’t happen earlier) is... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2013 at Bror's Blog
In the next few weeks there will be two different sessions (full disclosure: I’m a panelist on both) talking about how education can benefit from more learning science, one at the ASU GSV meeting in Scottsdale Arizona, and the other at the huge education research conference, AERA. The audiences are... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2013 at Bror's Blog