The Engadget Show 44: Education with Google, OLPC,, LeapFrog, SparkFun, Adafruit and more

It's time to rethink the way our children learn. It's all a bit overwhelming, attempting to restructure the age-old classroom model, particularly in a system as bogged down in bureaucratic red tape as education. This month, however, we packed up our things and toured the country to find out how educational institutions are adopting new models to help reinvent the learning process -- rather than sitting idly by, waiting for the system to change around them. Naturally, technology is playing a huge role in that shift, moving from models of teaching to models of learning, where students can explore, express themselves and learn at their own speed.

We kick things off in Chicago, where Jackie Moore, a former systems programmer, is teaching inner city students how to build robots in a shopping mall basement at LevelUP. Next up, we head Miami and California, to see how technologies like the iPad, Google Chromebook and One Laptop Per Child's XO laptop are being implemented in three schools, including interviews with educators, students, OLPC CEO Rodrigo Halaby and Google director of product management, Rajen Sheth. We'll also talk to component retailers SparkFun and Adafruit about the initiatives those companies have implemented to help kids learn electronics at an early age, and then we sit down with American Museum of Natural History president, Ellen Futter, to discuss the ways the New York City institution is redefining itself for the 21st century.

We've also got an interview with Ali Partovi, a serial entrepreneur, who is working to make computer science an essential part of the elementary-level STEM program, through Richard Culatta, the acting director of the US Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology discusses how devices can help target the learning process for individual students and LeapFrog CEO John Barbour tells us how his company is rethinking the educational toy. All that plus prognostications from John Roderick and some really sweet moose dioramas can be yours to enjoy after the break.

Hosts: Tim Stevens, Brian Heater
Guests: Jackie Moore, Rajen Sheth, Ellen Futter, Rodrigo Halaby, Limor Fried, Becky Stern, Ali Partovi, Lindsay Levkoff, John Barbour, Richard Culatta, Jody Sherman LeVos, John Roderick and more
Producer: Benjamin Ahr Harrison
Executive Producer: Brian Heater

Download the Show: The Engadget Show - 044 (HD) / The Engadget Show - 044 (iPod / iPhone formatted) / The Engadget Show - 044 (Small)

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