Links to Help You Keep Your Edge


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

  • - 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 700+ 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.
  • 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?

  • Kurzweil AI: Ray Kurzweil's online newsletter
    Ray Kurzweil is 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 motts, 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

  • LearnCentral: Connect, Share, Inspire
    LearnCentral is sponsored by Elluminate, and a host of free Webinars are made available each week over the highly-interactive Elluminate Web conference system. 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? MAKE SURE TO CREATE AN ACCOUNT on LearnCentral so you can search for past Webinars that may interest you (in you are not logged in, you search may come up empty). If you have something to share with others, LearnCentral can provide you with a public forum Webinar at no cost. You can also use the free 3-seat Elluminate virtual room they provide to each member. This project is the creation of Steve Hargadon.
  • Classroom 2.0: Interactive forum for education and Web 2.0
    Join the 50,000 members who make Classroom 2.0 a place for lively discussions on up-to-date issues in education and interactive technology. Also created by Steve Hargadon, LearnCentral offers over 2000 videos as well as blogs and special-interest groups. Use Web 2.0 tools to interact and learn from informed peers across the globe.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Edutopia: 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.
  • 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 Linux, 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
    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!
  • 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: 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.
  • 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.


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

About this resource

Description:Many educational technology leaders have earned recognition and position because of the up-to-date knowledge and skills. This expertise has often been developed through an interest, continuing education, and daily application with students. When the educational technologist achieves an administrative or formal leadership position, it becomes harder to stay current because the days are filled with meetings, reports, purchasing, and supervision. Leadership positions also take both educators and technologists out of their comfort zone, demanding expertise with a broader spectrum of current issues.

Dr. Garrigan followed this career path and needed to find reliable sources of current technology information, educational technology pedagogy, promising research, and inspirational vision. The resources on this page are some of the best sources he has found to keep the edge for leaders in educational technology and administrators responsible for educational technology. And the resources include videos, lectures, analysis, and news in a variety of formats, often in bite-sized-but-meaty chunks.

Ray Kurzweil photo
Futurist Ray Kurzeil ~photo by null0

Juan Enriquez ~photo by Pop!Tech

Sir Ken Robinson speaks at TED