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Lisa C. Hurst

Inside the School Silicon Valley Thinks Will Save Education | WIRED - 9 views

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    "AUTHOR: ISSIE LAPOWSKY. ISSIE LAPOWSKY DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05.04.15. 05.04.15 TIME OF PUBLICATION: 7:00 AM. 7:00 AM INSIDE THE SCHOOL SILICON VALLEY THINKS WILL SAVE EDUCATION Click to Open Overlay Gallery Students in the youngest class at the Fort Mason AltSchool help their teacher, Jennifer Aguilar, compile a list of what they know and what they want to know about butterflies. CHRISTIE HEMM KLOK/WIRED SO YOU'RE A parent, thinking about sending your 7-year-old to this rogue startup of a school you heard about from your friend's neighbor's sister. It's prospective parent information day, and you make the trek to San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood. You walk up to the second floor of the school, file into a glass-walled conference class overlooking a classclass, and take a seat alongside dozens of other parents who, like you, feel that public schools-with their endless bubble-filled tests, 38-kid classclasss, and antiquated approach to learning-just aren't cutting it. At the same time, you're thinking: this school is kind of weird. On one side of the glass is a cheery little scene, with two teachers leading two different middle school lessons on opposite ends of the class. But on the other side is something altogether unusual: an airy and open office with vaulted ceilings, sunlight streaming onto low-slung couches, and rows of hoodie-wearing employees typing away on their computers while munching on free snacks from the kitchen. And while you can't quite be sure, you think that might be a robot on wheels roaming about. Then there's the guy who's standing at the front of the conference class, the school's founder. Dressed in the San Francisco standard issue t-shirt and jeans, he's unlike any school administrator you've ever met. But the more he talks about how this school uses technology to enhance and individualize education, the more you start to like what he has to say. And so, if you are truly fed up with the school stat
Marcia Jeans

Bouncy Balls - Bounce balls with your mouse or microphone - 5 views

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    Essentially, Bouncy Balls is a website that activates your microphone and detects noise level. The more noise in the room, the more the balls bounce. The quieter the room is, the more still the balls remain. Although this tool has a number of applications outside of roomroom room, I thought it was a fun, engaging way to monitor noise levels. Ask students to try to keep the balls as still as possible during room, and maybe reward them by allowing them to sing and be noisy on their way out of room 
Kate Pok

Idaho Teachers Fight a Reliance on Computers - NYTimes.com - 32 views

  • Last year, the state legislature overwhelmingly passed a law that requires all high school students to take some online classes to graduate, and that the students and their teachers be given laptops or tablets. The idea was to establish Idaho’s schools as a high-tech vanguard. To help pay for these programs, the state may have to shift tens of millions of dollars away from salaries for teachers and administrators. And the plan envisions a fundamental change in the role of teachers, making them less a lecturer at the front of the class and more of a guide helping students through lessons delivered on computers.
  • “Teachers don’t object to the use of technology,” said Sabrina Laine, vice president of the American Institutes for Research, which has studied the views of the nation’s teachers using grants from organizations like the Gates and Ford Foundations. “They object to being given a resource with strings attached, and without the needed support to use it effectively to improve student learning.”
    • Kate Pok
       
      What a pity, a sign of how little respect people actually give to the profession of teaching; the only profession where people don't take the comments of practitioners seriously.  Can you imagine saying to your doctor, "I know this is your diagnosis, but I'm going to go with my Great Aunt's diagnosis."
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  • They complain that lawmakers listened less to them than to heavy lobbying by technology companies, including Intel and Apple.
  • under the state’s plan, that teacher will not always be in the room. The plan requires high school students to take online courses for two of their 47 graduation credits.
    • Kate Pok
       
      I actually find this somewhat troubling...so little research exists as to how students are actually learning online.  Are they using Facebook or are they going through MIT's Open Courseware?  I'm inclined to think the former.  I'm slowly adding more and more technology to my classes and frankly, I'm surprised that students are not more technologically savvy... the first and second digital divides are increasingly evident...
    • Carol Pearsall
       
      Interesting article, however, you can't ignore that students today will be doing a significant amount of learning on a computer. If our high school students can't master managing an online class in high school, how will they fare later on? It's another learning tool. 2 classes out of 47 credits? How is that detrimental to the development of lifelong learners? We can research until the cows come home, but at some point if we don't dive in, we miss the boat. While we can all wish for all our students to graduate high school and then go on to college, the reality is that most of them won't. That's reality... Preparing our kids for future learning and building those skills necessary to be successful to master online courses is a skill they will need to succeed in their digital world.
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