News

July 8, 2013
  1. Students want online learning because it makes learning more personal, gives them control over their learning, and allows them to go at their own pace!

The Center for Digital Education posted a short article “Why Education Leaders Can’t Ignore Online Classes”.  Of interest was the point about online learning, based on the 2013 “Trends in Online Learning Report”.

“Forty-three percent of parents with school-aged children have taken online classes.”  Parents who do online classes, “increasingly want an online learning experience for their students, said Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow. That’s why 48 percent of them want more online classes at their high schools.”

“[S]tudents have wanted an online learning experience because it makes learning more personal, Evans said. More than half of students surveyed said that online classes would give them control over their learning and allow them to go at their own pace.”

  1. Good Reasons to Extend the School Day and School Year

The New York Times Sunday Review had readers react to a proposal for a longer school year and day.  The Annenberg Institute for School Reform posted a commentary “Expanded Learning Time As a Strategy for Closing the Opportunity Gap Inside and Outside of School”.

The author noted that there was one reason to extend the school day and school year – “equity for students in low-income communities of color, who are so deplorably under-served by our present public education system.”

This is not a topic I’d thought about, and the author makes some very good points. “Affluent and middle-class families use their own resources to fill their children’s afternoons, summers, and vacations with private academic tutoring, music and art lessons, science camp, and sports activities. Parents know – and research proves – that these activities aren’t ‘extra.’ They are essential to round out their children’s education and prepare them for college and successful careers. But many parents can’t afford these extra classes and care – and they are often the same parents who work longer hours, including those crucial after school and school vacation hours. Also, due to the built-in inequities of America’s public school system, children from these lower-income families are more likely to attend schools that have less-qualified teachers, fewer textbooks, more-limited science, arts, and sports, and unsafe schools and neighborhoods. So, while summer actually leads to learning gains for affluent and middle-class children attending programs that provide rich learning experiences, summer results in learning loss for the children in families without the extra means.”

That’s what I call Thinking About Education

  1. News from ISTE (The International Society for Technology in Education)

[Background: ISTE is the premier membership association for educators and education leaders engaged in advancing excellence in learning and teaching through the innovative and effective uses of technology in PreK–12 and teacher education.  Their annual conference is the premier ed tech event.]  

At the ISTE Annual Conference in San Antonio in June, the closing keynote speech was delivered by Adam Bellow (sporting his new Google Glass),  “You’re Invited to Change the World” (Adam’s talk starts 21 minutes 30 seconds into the video).  It will give you a flavor of a new world of educators using technology to do a better job of educating and change the world we touch and affect every day.

If you don’t have time to watch the whole speech, Lisa Nielsen’s “The Innovative Educator” listed some of his main points and said that “Adam reminds us that despite other distractions, we can and do have that power within us and invites us to go forward and embrace that goal.”  One of her favorite important points from Adam’s talk is “[p]ointing out the hypocrisy in so many schools banning social media tools like Facebook for students, yet they have a school Facebook page.”

More importantly to me, she liked it when Adam said, “[s]upporting all students with an individualized education plan (IEP) or what I call a personal success plan (PSP) that focuses on personalization, rather than standardization.”

I love individualized education plans.  

Posted by marks on Monday July 8, 2013 at 05:33PM

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