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Introduce student-teacher communication. A social-network-collision website to reshape education together.

So. I'm a student(17). I don't like my education. I know for a fact that a lot of people don't. I asked.

The educational revolution has nearly* no effect on my school and it's probably no rare exception. I think it's a bit slow at reaching deep into the educational habits that have been established over the last few centuries.


I believe a lot of teachers would change something about their teaching style if they had more feedback and encouraging criticism.

So the idea is simply to strengthen or introduce student-teacher communication in order to reshape education together. I imagine it like a social-network connecting these two worlds. That's why it's a collision.

I want it to be rather specialized for a certain facility. Because people will think of it more important that way. Also I want it extremely easy to use because I realize teachers just don't have much time on their hands.

I imagine the feedback very statistical and easy to comprehend. Maybe key aspects of education like the amount of understood material in percent. Or just simply the emotional states of students while being taught in a certain way. That information could be used to translate into usable and helpful feedback for the teachers. Presenting them ideas and motivations to help them make lessons more enjoyable and effective.

It's gotten to the point where I want to make a project out of it. I want to build this website and I want to create a concept that can be applied to any other facility as well.

I cannot do that on my own. So I will be sharing the idea. Like right here. And I will ask for feedback on it. And for ideas concerning it. And even for support creating the concept and/or the website if you are interested in that. (And if it turns out to be a useful idea)

Let me know what you think of it.

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    Jun 6 2013: I'm going to leave some education Talks and sites here for you that you may not have heard of or seen to heelp you form this idea better, or simply use one of them.

    This is probably what you're looking for: Bill Gates, Teacher need real feedback

    Other then that I recommend checking out Khan Academy (if you haven't)

    And also check out TED-ED(ucation) they have tools for making any class more engaging.

    And I'll leave some of the best websites I've found for online (free) courses, both from private tutors and universities.
    • Jun 6 2013: That's really inspiring. Thanks a lot.

      The Bill Gates Talk and his idea of reflection through video is great and does coincide with my idea quite well.

      I'm actually taking a few courses on coursera so that I can confidently say "It's good stuff".
      Tho' It's not realistic for applying those techniques in the real world classroom it's a great inspirational source for the way you could actually explain a concept.

      Same for Khan Academy. I'm not quite familiar with those other resources but I will eventually look into them.

      Even tho' I'm quite happy with those resources I doubt they will have impact on the teachers.
      I think we need to gradually adjust the education methods so they can at some point meet our actual desires.

      I don't think it's a good idea tho' to install cameras in the classroom as a first step. It's quite expensive and a lot of teachers will have problems with that. Also we need to help them evaluate that data.

      Also we have to keep the limited amount of time teachers are willing to put into improvement of their work. Quite sadly that's something to worry about.

      My idea feeds on every kind of feedback so that is something I will keep in mind for later improvements.

      Thanks for the feedback.
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    Jun 4 2013: Would it not be more effective for students in a classroom and teachers in that classroom to communicate with each other eye to eye? There is plenty of research available about pedagogies that do better on average in terms of the learning, motivation, and emotional states of students. But the teacher is not teaching with her eye on the "on average." She needs to do what seems to work best for the students in her classroom this year.

    Could you get some actual face-to-face communication going? I know I built student feedback mechanisms into my classroom and adjusted what I did in response. It is about customizing to the kids right there.
    • Jun 4 2013: Good point. I have some worries tho'.

      It's very time expensive. You have to sit down with your class and talk about that stuff so you need to set a fixed time or you just implement it into the class which is very time expensive. Considering you'd have to do that with 10 different teachers for every subject.

      It's not easy to review, catalog or summarize. You would have to write down a lot of stuff.

      It's hard to prepare. If a student had an idea or something he/she wants to say. He'd have to write it down and wait for an opportunity. And if there is a new point made. There would be little time to think about it. Again. One would have to write that down and come back to it later. Which is an effort the least are willing to make I believe.

      It can easily be offending. One reason for the webpage is to sort of translate students feedback into helpful support. I see a lot of teachers offended by open confrontation and a lot of students too little prepared to hold a discussion with a thick headed teacher. Also one might be a bit frightened to standing up in class.

      It's overcoming a certain fear. Students often have a lot of respect for a teacher as a figure of authority. I can imagine that's gonna keep a lot of them silent. (Also mentioned in the last argument)

      So in the end it would be a lot more work for each one of the participants and I'm afraid few are going to do that.

      You said you implemented certain feedback mechanism? Please tell me more :) Did you have problems with any of this?
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        Jun 4 2013: I think students who respect a teacher will give feedback and that the most useful feedback, which takes the least time to dispense, is timely verbal communication. One can also solicit feedback in writing to preserve anonymity if people are insecure about expressing themselves..

        Here are some examples. When I teach, I maintain a high level of rigor. As I am working at the edge of what kids can do, there will at times be a challenging idea to explain and I want to know in the moment, even before I review written evidence of the day's work, whether students at least believe they understand.

        For this I use what I call a "low show of hands." At the level of the table so others in the class cannot see but I can, I ask them to show me five fingers if they are sure they get it and lower numbers to reflect how confident they are they get it. Or I might ask for a signal as to whether they feel they are 80% there if I know it is an idea that is hard to grasp until you have worked with it some

        I can see all the hands- including how many students feel they are kind of lost. But kids cannot see what any other student has signaled, so they don't need to worry about how they look to their peers.

        It takes essentially no time and I get immediate feedback.

        As another example, my daughter, who is far less experienced as a teacher, teaches basic college physics. I believe it is the practice where she is to distribute index cards periodically so that students can give anonymous feedback.

        I think in-class data gathering is superior to delivering feedback via a web page. It is also more private to the teacher and students, which makes it seem more like a learning community rather than a display for outside eyes.
        • Jun 4 2013: You sure put a lot of effort into it. That I can only be jealous about.
          I get your point. And it might work perfectly fine if anyone is willing to make some effort.
          But that is just not the case. Maybe it's only that odd here in germany^^

          In short. We have simply really bad education. I could run around and tell people why it is and I could tell every single teacher some basics of education. (Which are still often completely overlooked) And I could encourage people to change something by shouting into some microphone but. That would just be to much effort for me^^
          I would have to do it alone but I want to see education being shaped by many.

          So. Basically. It's also a tool to make people more aware of what's going on.
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        Jun 4 2013: As you have no profile, I did not know from which country you come.

        It is true that the culture surrounding education and the roles of teachers, students, parents, and administrators are different in different countries and even in different schools. It is possible that in Germany, teachers are viewed as experts and therefore no one challenges how they do their work.

        Where I live it is more typically assumed that teachers have not the slightest idea what they are doing. Everyone gives them feedback on how they should do their jobs! Teaching may be the only job, in fact, in which people tend to think that absolutely everyone not in the job knows how to do the job better than those who have the job.

        Do you find that in Germany people newer to teaching are more effective than those who are at the end of their careers or is their no such difference? I ask this because one strategy is to approach teachers who are engaging students well in learning to think together about any strategies for spreading those more effective practices more widely..
        • Jun 4 2013: Well, I did not expect there to be such a big difference to be honest. Thank you for showing me. Indeed it is not questioned what teacher do. And sadly no one really cares. I do tho'.

          We have only a few new teachers but besides them being more strict there is hardly any difference. They hold more tightly on what they've learned in their schooling.

          I will not be able to convince teachers with the message. Get more feedback from people.
          And I will not be able to convince students with the message. Give more feedback to the teachers.

          Which is reason enough for me to approach the problem like I do.