There has been plenty of buzz of late about the need to teach computer programming in the classroom, and rightfully so. Where our schools are lagging, however, start-ups are picking up the slack.
November 2012 Archives
Words are the weapons we use to combat the forces of communication. Ed-tech can be a weapon to combat the forces of learning styles.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life--shouldn't the same hold true for the learning process?
What I see in America is a psychology that is simply different from the viewpoint of much of the rest of the developed (and developing) world, an assumption that the classroom is enough, when there is much evidence to the contrary. It is difficult to get a population of 300 million to collectively shift from this psychology given the investment generally has a very long tail on return. It is difficult to see the direct result of something like two hours of extra tutoring a week, or of beginning to educate a child a few months earlier in their lives, ...
The most recent example of putting this mission into practice is "Vote for Somebody," a song by the fourth grade class at Harlem Prep Elementary. Built from the melody of Carly Rae Jepsen's hit song "Call Me Maybe" the song is a reminder to the country that our democratic process matters. "Vote for Somebody" has become a viral sensation gathering 300,000 hits on You Tube. What you see on the video is joy on the scholars' faces, that asking people to take the issues of tomorrow's election seriously can also be fun.
Traditionally, professional development is heavily linked to teacher raises and/or benefits. Unfortunately, these online tools are not particularly traditional, and thusly do not as a free product yield the fruits of an established, in person (expensive) professional development provider. There is less incentive for the average teacher to test these interesting waters, and while they may not be the ultimate solution, they are undoubtedly shaping the path to true customizable, anytime PD solutions for our teachers. Doesn't it make perfect sense to give our teachers as much access to improvement as they could possibly want?
Two very different stories about capitalism and education.
As far as I can tell, people are not fed up with teachers individually, but instead with the system in which they operate. I'm not saying this is necessarily a just view, but simply the reality of perception. I see a parallel to this in Congress. Political pundits love to reference the fact that the approval rating for Congress in the United States is fluctuating somewhere around 10%. What they often leave out is that reelection rates in Congress have never fallen below 80%. In other words, American voters do not dislike the work of individuals in Congress (or at ...