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Old 09-18-2011, 06:34 PM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,637 posts, read 5,266,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
Thanks Slinkygirl,

Right now you can take free online college courses from MIT: http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm
I haven’t tried them; so I do not know how good they are.

I do think that national accreditation is the big hurdle. I know that we believe in national standards on test. But; you never hear of anybody proposing national standards for online courses. I only hear people talking about the state’s responsibility.

I have a casino only about two miles from my house. It was supposed to bring down my property taxes (I never believed that it would). Every year my school taxes go up. They claim that the taxes would be even higher if we did not have the casino. Usually they hit me up for a 10% increase. The problem is that the private sector has not had a raise in about thirty five years (counting a raise as a penny over the cost of living).

This recession, that we are in, is squeezing the whole works. Until our nation gets back on it’s feet; there will be more casualties besides the United States Post Office.

Free? How are they funded (just out of curiosity)? Are they grants from the private sector?

The US Post Office is a casualty because people no longer use snail mail (IMO).
In other words, video killed the radio star.

The technology we all seem to embrace so gloriously has caused a lot of jobs to simply go away.

Bingo on the private sector not having a raise btw.

I'm also curious about the trend to send foreign students to American schools. If they are so bad, then why do students still seem eager to come?

Last edited by cebdark; 09-18-2011 at 06:38 PM.. Reason: added
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:46 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
13,175 posts, read 10,585,610 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reloop View Post
Free? How are they funded (just out of curiosity)? Are they grants from the private sector?

The US Post Office is a casualty because people no longer use snail mail (IMO).
In other words, video killed the radio star.

The technology we all seem to embrace so gloriously has caused a lot of jobs to simply go away.

Bingo on the private sector not having a raise btw.

I'm also curious about the trend to send foreign students to American schools. If they are so bad, then why do students still seem eager to come?
I donít know how MIT funds their courses. I do know that my school taxes are high and get higher every year. For some reason, our school district, loves about a ten percent increase every year - even with the casino close to my house.

Of course I am aware that technology has taken a toll on the private sector - I have never worked for the government (not counting the military). As far as the USP; we all saw that coming.

That is the reason that I started the thread and why I question the status quo. Everything is about balance. When we have a large segment of the private sector out of work; we cannot support the large public sector. Private sector jobs give our money worth. Bureaucracy and top heavy public sector jobs inflate our money.

If it was up to me and it isnít; I would switch us back to an industrial/agricultural based economy. So we would have tangible products to export and give our money true value. That is not happening and there is no way to turn back. Technology is here to stay and all the other modern problems that it brought with it.

I was also curious about the current status of our online educational abilities. So far I am hearing mainly from teachers that do not like the idea of expanding our current programs. I have talked to some parents that love some of their kidís programs. I know that it isnít ďone shoe fits allĒ - we raised a gifted child.
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Old 09-19-2011, 04:17 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
13,175 posts, read 10,585,610 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
You don't need online classes to bump a kid up to 6th grade math in 4th grade. A lot of districts do this now.



No, the key isn't better software. The greatest software in the world won't motivate a student. I agree they might work for some subjects for some older students, but not for most elementary students no matter what the subject.



Yes, and they weed out the kids at age 10 so only the promising kids get into the college prep program. No, thank you!

Katiana,

While you say the key is not better software; I presume that you have watched the concentration and dedication that some of our young have for video games. I want to see education capture that excitement. How many students do you have that go home and throw their books in the room - not to be touched until the next morning? Some of these kids canít wait to get home to play video games. If it isnít video games; it is all the other technology toys that are available to all today. So; how does education compete? I think that we can merge this new technology into our educational programs.

I also am aware that some school districts do move gifted kids - we raised a son that skipped three grades. Of course; that happened years before NCLB. What I am proposing now is a system, where a 64 year old retiree, can take a fifth grade math class - if they so desired. Possibly, an open system, could even be structured into testing potential job applicants?
So how do you propose dealing with an ever shrinking school budget and distracted students?
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,004 posts, read 98,863,560 times
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^^So many questions, not enough time. I could write a PhD thesis on each of these topics.

I will quote a rather successful mathematician here:

For every problem, there exists a simple and elegant solution which is absolutely wrong.

- J. Wagoner, U.C.B. Mathematics


Philosophy Quotes - Literary Quotes About Philosophy and Practically Everything Else (http://quotes.prolix.nu/Philosophy/ - broken link)
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:24 PM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,508,248 times
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A few thoughts about the use of education technology...

I've recently done a bit of reading about management development expert Ned Hermann, who has created a model of human thinking that characterizes our learning/problem solving preferences as a combination of rational, practical, relational, and experimental approaches.* Most people display all four in different quantities, but in simple terms you can think of the analytical rationals as the engineers, the organized practicals as administrators, the expressive rationals as sales people, and the visionary experimentals as entrepreneurs.

As this applies to the classroom, it strikes me that the current crop of educational software does a good job of working for the rational and practical thinkers, a decent job for the experimentals, but a terrible job for the relationals. When I think about the technology that teachers frequently complain distracts students from their classroom work (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, texting), I notice that these are all technologies that appeal to relational thinkers, which amounts to a very significant portion of students. Androids and iPhones simply allow our kids to be much more effective at meeting their relational needs and avoiding the inherent weaknesses of a traditional lecture-style classroom.

As an example, my preferred thinking style is heavily-weighted toward the relational approach. When I use computer technology, I am drawn to that which allows me to connect with other people in a personal way. I cannot stand the MIT lectures or Kahn Academy, but I will spend hours in discussion on a forum like C-D where I am an equal participant in a learning experience not just a consumer of information. I think that our students are trying to tell us something when they spend their class time surreptitiously texting under the tabletop. They're saying loud and clear, in a way they haven't been able to in previous generations, that we need to do a better job of addressing their relational needs in the classroom, with or without computers.

BTW, I do not think that moving away from the school paradigm will work for the population at large, because I believe we are made to live and learn in community. I think most kids -- not all, but most -- benefit greatly from the social (relational) attributes of group learning. It frustrates me to no end when I see school districts, in an effort to appease influential rationals who demand rising test scores as "proof" of quality, remove recess, art, physical education, foreign language, and music from the curriculum, all programs that appeal to the relational needs of students.

*Hermann's work is not without detractors, who criticize it as overly-simplistic pseudo-science, but I think it has merit, and it is certainly thought-provoking.

Last edited by formercalifornian; 09-19-2011 at 01:51 PM..
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
13,175 posts, read 10,585,610 times
Reputation: 9340
Quote:
Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
A few thoughts about the use of education technology...

I've recently done a bit of reading about management development expert Ned Hermann, who has created a model of human thinking that characterizes our learning/problem solving preferences as a combination of rational, practical, relational, and experimental approaches.* Most people display all four in different quantities, but in simple terms you can think of the analytical rationals as the engineers, the organized practicals as administrators, the expressive rationals as sales people, and the visionary experimentals as entrepreneurs.

As this applies to the classroom, it strikes me that the current crop of educational software does a good job of working for the rational and practical thinkers, a decent job for the experimentals, but a terrible job for the relationals. When I think about the technology that teachers frequently complain distracts students from their classroom work (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, texting), I notice that these are all technologies that appeal to relational thinkers, which amounts to a very significant portion of students. Androids and iPhones simply allow our kids to be much more effective at meeting their relational needs and avoiding the inherent weaknesses of a traditional lecture-style classroom.

As an example, my preferred thinking style is heavily-weighted toward the relational approach. When I use computer technology, I am drawn to that which allows me to connect with other people in a personal way. I cannot stand the MIT lectures or Kahn Academy, but I will spend hours in discussion on a forum like C-D where I am an equal participant in a learning experience not just a consumer of information. I think that our students are trying to tell us something when they spend their class time surreptitiously texting under the tabletop. They're saying loud and clear, in a way they haven't been able to in previous generations, that we need to do a better job of addressing their relational needs in the classroom, with or without computers.

BTW, I do not think that moving away from the school paradigm will work for the population at large, because I believe we are made to live and learn in community. I think most kids -- not all, but most -- benefit greatly from the social (relational) attributes of group learning. It frustrates me to no end when I see school districts, in an effort to appease influential rationals who demand rising test scores as "proof" of quality, remove recess, art, physical education, foreign language, and music from the curriculum, all programs that appeal to the relational needs of students.

*Hermann's work is not without detractors, who criticize it as overly-simplistic pseudo-science, but I think it has merit, and it is certainly thought-provoking.
Our young, with Androids and iPhones, drive me nuts. They will social network with people on the other side of the globe - but; they cannot talk to the people sitting along side of them. Then there are always the comment when one is caught for a criminal act: ďBut he/she had four hundred friendsĒ.

What I see are many of our young that are superficial. They have a hard time bonding to living things. I am not saying that all are bad - we are still producing some great kids.

However; I still think that we can do better. I also think that we must do better if we are to survive. I look at the recent riots in London and at the State Fair in Wisconsin and ask how we can do it better? How can we get the attention of our young and put them on the right track?

As far as technology not working for all; I agree. Any students that it does work for will free up chairs for those that need further assistance. I just think that the whole system can be tweaked to make it work. I havenít given up on technology.
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,722,259 times
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Technology only works if education is about knowing stuff...I don't think it can teach critical thinking...then again, we're on the verge of building a computer with the capacity of a human brain....

I think technolgy has it's place in education. Kids should be using it, for sure, as they will be using it in industry. Every now and again, it's a nice break for the students. I think a steady dose of it would grow old. Heck, even farmville grows old after a while...

Actually, I'm thinking of my two "lower level" chemistry classes and the great questions they ask. I WISH my "upper level" kids would be that engaged (and we were just discussing the burning of a candle). These kids engage when you show them things and let them do things. Sitting them in front of a computer would be a crime.

I can see online learning working for kids who just want to get the facts down and move on but there is something lost in hearing your classmates questions answered. I find it kind of funny that we have people complaining that education is too much rote learning and now we have a push towards online education. That will be even more rote because you can't ask questions of a computer that aren't programmed in....well, at least not yet but when we reach that level of technology, we will no longer need to think becasue the computers will be able to do it for us....Did anyone here watch The Matrix??
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,722,259 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
Our young, with Androids and iPhones, drive me nuts. They will social network with people on the other side of the globe - but; they cannot talk to the people sitting along side of them. Then there are always the comment when one is caught for a criminal act: ďBut he/she had four hundred friendsĒ.

What I see are many of our young that are superficial. They have a hard time bonding to living things. I am not saying that all are bad - we are still producing some great kids.

However; I still think that we can do better. I also think that we must do better if we are to survive. I look at the recent riots in London and at the State Fair in Wisconsin and ask how we can do it better? How can we get the attention of our young and put them on the right track?

As far as technology not working for all; I agree. Any students that it does work for will free up chairs for those that need further assistance. I just think that the whole system can be tweaked to make it work. I havenít given up on technology.
Interesting observation.
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Old 09-19-2011, 04:28 PM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,508,248 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Technology only works if education is about knowing stuff...I don't think it can teach critical thinking...then again, we're on the verge of building a computer with the capacity of a human brain....

I think technolgy has it's place in education. Kids should be using it, for sure, as they will be using it in industry. Every now and again, it's a nice break for the students. I think a steady dose of it would grow old. Heck, even farmville grows old after a while...

Actually, I'm thinking of my two "lower level" chemistry classes and the great questions they ask. I WISH my "upper level" kids would be that engaged (and we were just discussing the burning of a candle). These kids engage when you show them things and let them do things. Sitting them in front of a computer would be a crime.

I can see online learning working for kids who just want to get the facts down and move on but there is something lost in hearing your classmates questions answered. I find it kind of funny that we have people complaining that education is too much rote learning and now we have a push towards online education. That will be even more rote because you can't ask questions of a computer that aren't programmed in....well, at least not yet but when we reach that level of technology, we will no longer need to think becasue the computers will be able to do it for us....Did anyone here watch The Matrix??
Have you ever heard of Carol Dweck? She wrote a book called Mindset in which she made the observation that high-intelligence children may be more inclined to avoid taking academic risks, like asking questions during a class discussion, for fear of looking dumb. Her research came to my mind when you described your upper-level chemistry students as less engaged than your lower-level students.

As to the next point, I find that intriguing too.
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Old 09-19-2011, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,722,259 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
Have you ever heard of Carol Dweck? She wrote a book called Mindset in which she made the observation that high-intelligence children may be more inclined to avoid taking academic risks, like asking questions during a class discussion, for fear of looking dumb. Her research came to my mind when you described your upper-level chemistry students as less engaged than your lower-level students.

As to the next point, I find that intriguing too.
I'll have to put that one on my reading list for next summer. So far, the only "upper level" kids I've had who asked questions were either trying to find a question I couldn't answer, which makes them think they're smarter than me , or just trying to see if they could get the class off track. I can't quite figure out the former variety. Finding a question I can't answer doesn't make you smarter than me. Ansewring the question I can't answer does. I'm going to have to start giving them the assignment to find the answer.

I love teacing the lower level class. It is so worth it to set up demos because they really get into them. I'm doing the Whoosh bottle to demostrate volitility this week. They're going to love it. When I do demos for my higher level class they find some reason to be non-plussed. Put aluminum in copper II chloride?? Oh that's just like a Works bomb...There is no way I could have talked for most of a class period on the chemistry of a candle in my upper level class...They would not be impressed. My "lower level" kids walked away today amazed at how much chemistry is involved in burning a candle. My upper level kids act like they dread labs (they're just never impressive). My lower level kids ask, every day, when is our next lab?

I think there may be a mindset issue. The lower level kids don't care what their peers think. They're not that into learning but they don't like to be bored and demos and labs are way less boring than listening to me talk. They know what side their bread is buttered on. What they don't realize is all their questions lead to learning. This is where being a subject matter expert lets me shine. They can go completely off topic and I can still answer their questions, on their level, and steer back into the topic of the day.
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