Educational CyberPlayGround ®


Ask the Technology Ring Leaders




Is Fintech merely a contemporary technology that is used to enable a financial service?

Or, is it a financial services company offering a technology-enabled financial service? A retail bank with a pretty mobile app stuck in front of a 1970's back end?

Or, is it a technology companyoffering a financial service? A contactless card, or phone app stuck in front of a 1970's back end?

Are successful fintech firms: technology companies (Murex, Misys, OpenLink, SunGard, Google, Apple) offering financial services, or financial services firms (HSBC, Lloyds, DTCC, SWIFT, LSE) offering technology-enabled services? I would argue they are neither.
A better question is… What is a fintech firm?
A fintech firm solves for a desired customer outcome with a solution that involves (moving, borrowing, lending, saving or investing) money, through a remarkable customer experience, and with an innovative business model.

1) The Open Innovation Portal is a Web 2.0 innovation ecosystem combining features of both a community and a marketplace. As a community, the portal creates a social network that strengthens relationships, facilitates connections, and promotes collaborations. As a marketplace, the portal creates an innovation process that taps the wisdom of the community to identify and resource the most promising ideas in education. All registered users, be it teachers, administrators, or members of the public, are invited to be innovators and post their solutions on the portal. All solutions are posted to categories of challenges of interest to the community, the Department, and potential funders. (Note: The latest issue of The Education Innovator, at, describes the portal in greater detail.)

2) National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies The Department of Education funded the National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies
1/25/2010 Lawrence K. Grossman, former president of both NBC News and PBS, and Newton N. Minow, the former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, were asked by several foundations to explore how nonprofits like schools, libraries and museums could tap into emerging digital technologies.

"If there be anything in a remark often to be met with--namely that there is, in the genius of the people of this country, a peculiar aptitude for mechanic improvements, it would operate as a forcible reason for giving opportunities to the exercise of that species of talent, by the propagation of manufactures." ~ Alexander Hamilton, 1791

Their recommendation in 2001 was to set up a multibillion dollar trust that would act as a "venture capital fund" to research learning technology and was authorized in 2008, BUT only funded with $500,000 from the Department of Education. Authorized in 2008 by amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965. The National Center will have a governing board of nine members, which will include outstanding representatives from the public and private sectors and from varied professions and disciplines.

FYI: [... Minow did foster two significant initiatives that altered the landscape of American television. The first was the All Channels Act (1961), which mandated UHF reception capability for all television sets sold in the U.S. This legislation sparked an increase in the number of television stations and helped launch non-profit educational television stations (now PBS) throughout the country. Minow said his greatest contribution was persuading Congress to pass legislation clearing the way for communications satellites. Minow recounts "When I toured the space program with Kennedy, he was surprised to see me". Minow told Kennedy that "communications satellites will be much more important than sending man into space because they will send ideas into space. Ideas last longer than men."]
fyi: Minow recruited Obama in 1988 to work for his law firm Sidley Austin LLP as a summer associate, where Obama met his future wife Michelle Robinson. - Complete text and audio of the "Vast Wasteland" speech.

"It's time that education had the equivalent of what the National Science Foundation does for science, Darpa does for the national defense and what N.I.H. does for health," Mr. Grossman said in an interview. The National Science Foundation, Mr. Grossman said, started in 1950 with a six-figure appropriation; its fiscal year 2009 appropriation was nearly $6.5 billion.
He and Mr. Minow, senior counsel at the law firm Sidley Austin, will be the co-chairmen of the nonprofit organization, along with Anne G. Murphy, former director of the American Arts Alliance.
Lawrence K. Grossman - Anne G. Murphy - Newton N. Minow
Original sponsors of the Digital Promise Project included the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Century, Knight, and MacArthur Foundations.
James H. Shelton III, the assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement at the Education Department, has been shepherding the new center. "We're really excited about exploring the opportunities for advanced technology in education," he said. "The vision that started Digital Promise was well before its time. Its time has finally come."
To build support for the project, the group created three prototypes: an educational video game for biology students called Immune Attack; a game for museums, called Discovering Babylon; and a computer simulation to train firefighters in high-rise fires. They typify the projects the center will be looking to finance.

3) Digital Opportunity Investment Trust (DOIT) - Management Plan PDF
DO IT's mission is unique and therefore no existing mechanism can be applied without considerable modification. The innovations developed by DOIT will, for example, provide an array of developments that private firms will convert into marketable products and tools. It's likely, for example, that a majority of the ultimate consumers of the goods and services will in fact be schools and training institutions that are operated by public agencies of local, state, and federal agencies. DOIT will support research, but unlike an ordinary research operation, it will also produce key products and services based on this research. Just as PBS was established to fill an educational niche in broadcast television not served by commercial broadcast firms, DOIT will provide key learning software and other materials to fill needs not served by commercial software companies.
A Proposal to Transform Learning and Training for the 21st Century Research and Development Roadmap PDF

SPIN (Sponsored Programs Information Network) funding opportunity database. Program information is presented in a standard format that allows investigators to readily compare opportunities.

Erate E-rate money and Fraud Whistle Blower Hotline

K-12 Technology Standards


One of the first ones on the web listed in the Educational CyberPlayGround School Directory

Arbor Heights School web site
It's still sitting on the same little spot of cyberspace it's had since 1994: Still an active school site, it was one of the first on the web, it spawned the Earth Day Groceries Project, and it is home to the Random Thoughts of Louis Schmier. Stop by for a visit, or take a little historical tour: dedicated to the many teachers who keep their school web sites going on their own time. - Teacher Mark Ahlness

Submit your school WebSite URL online to the School Directory


Protecting Kid's Online

Application Tutorials
How do I learn to do (xxxxx) ??
Contractual "Technology "


FUN - All the Pretty Lights - Visualization and Modeling

What's In Your Computer And How it Works

Old Computer Museum - What did they used to look like?

WEBSITES - teaching and learning

Geek Holiday Destinations


Computer Problem Repair Form

How Young Is Too Young to start using computers in school?

Gap Between Rich and Poor What are the problems?

Where the money for education programs come from, who votes for it, and where it gets spent.


Security Assured Information System Education Degree - information education track certification granted by NSA make students more marketable.

Pitt receives Research Designation 2008
(NSA) and (DHS) have announced that the University of Pittsburgh is designated as a “National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research” for the years 2008 - 2013. This designation was bestowed at a ceremony on June 4, 2008 at the annual conference of the Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education at the University of Texas at Dallas. Pitt is one of 23 such National Centers; this honor recognizes the quality of the School of Information Sciences' Information Assurance and Security curriculum and research program. Ronald L. Larsen (Dean) and James Joshi (lead faculty for the Security Assured Information Systems Track of Study) were present at the designation ceremony.
University of Pittsburgh offers courses in cyber security By MALLORY WOMER August 30, 2005
Being one of only 65 institutions in the country that has been declared a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Education by the National Security Agency.
After achieving this status in 2004, Pitt kept working to join the elite league of institutions that meet five Committee on National Security Systems standards. This allows the University to grant five certifications to its students. When Pitt recently achieved this status, it became one of 12 universities in the country - and the only one in Pennsylvania - that offers all five certifications. Now students seeking a master's degree in either information science or telecommunications through Pitt's School of Information Sciences have the opportunity to take classes in an area known as Security Assured Information System education.
Courses in this field satisfy the requirements needed to receive anywhere from one to all five of the certifications, depending on the combination in which they are taken.
James Joshi helped to develop a proposal for a track in security courses that he sent both to the National Science Foundation and later to the NSA for certifications. By following the CNSS standards."
By participating in the NSA-sponsored educational standards, students have access to Information Assurance Scholarship opportunities, which include special scholarships through the Department of Defense as well as equipment grants. Courses in infrastructure protection, which, if completed, can lead to certification in one of the five standards.

The Partnership to Rebuild America's Schools Act of 1997

Would provide $5 billion over the next 4 years to help upgrade old schools & build new schools. It would spur $20 billion in investments for school modernization by states, localities, and the private sector.

America's Schools Act of 1997 (, Tanya Oubre, Tom Corwin, Peter Kickbush, Kirk Winters U.S. Department of Education

  • a summary & fact sheet
  • the methodology for allocating funds
  • estimated allocations for 100 of the nation's high-poverty school districts & for states
  • case studies of the construction needs & the potential
  • benefits (in a sample of school districts & states)
  • questions & answers.