April 2014 Archives

When it comes to textbooks, every school district in the nation has its own system for ordering. What a district chooses impacts what the students in those boundaries learn. When it comes to subjects like math, science and even English there are some absolute truths that must be followed. When it comes to history or social sciences though, there is some wiggle room. These subjects have their own facts, of course, but the perspective can make all the difference. Of all topics, these have the ability to be biased or slanted towards a particular group.

Recently I viewed the documentary, Waiting for Superman, for the umpteenth time, and I noted that almost 4 years after the film's September 24, 2010 U. S. première, the American educational system is still not living up to its potential. Sure, education reform was the phrase on the tip of everyone's tongue, but after a year, most of the fervor and commitment to educational change that was initially exhibited has all but subsided.

The technology adaptation, particularly when it comes to the gamification of K-12 classrooms, is particularly slow-moving though. When it comes to the less-glamorous topics, like science and math, it seems that technology lags even more. But why? Isn't the technology to make these topics fun, and easily comprehended by students, available?

Online learning has revolutionized the way K-12 and college students are able to accomplish academic feats, despite circumstances that may have stood in the way of their success. Access to learning materi-als and even instructors via webcams provides flexibility to students who need options outside the tradi-tional classroom setting.

Education, corporate and philanthropic leaders from around the world who met in Essex, NY at a two-day Summit believe that many colleges will be unrecognizable in another decade and that unless millions more low-income students attain college degrees we face a global economic crisis.

It's clear that finding the right classroom seating assignment benefits students and educators, but how can it be accomplished without asking too much of the teacher's time? How can the guesswork be removed?

Indiana's Republican Governor Mike Pence made headlines when he announced in late March that his state would soon abandon the Common Core standards. His announcement was fueled by fervor about state's rights and the role of the federal government in what he, and many, believe should be a state's responsibility: creating and enforcing K-12 education standards.

There is a lot of money tied up in educational technology. In 2012, $600 million was invested by venture firms into ed-tech startups. To put that in perspective, that is 400 percent more than what was invested in the same industry in 2002. It seems that a lot of faith is being placed in the technology that will soon arrive in K-12 and college classrooms and on campuses - but what is actually being created?


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