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LEE DURY
Posted over 2 years ago
The Future of School Schedules
Interesting view, Fritz. I would agree that there is a rather strict adherence to bell schedules at the vast majority of traditional public schools. And that's one reason for my post, new technologies should really support altered schedules, flexible grouping, etc. But I don't see that happening - the new instructional tools & administrative tools are just shoehorned into the current framework. Being over scheduled outside of school is certainly another symptom (characteristic?) of life that many kids and families deal with. I suggest that if we can make the learning time more fluid and flexible than the other activities and events can adapt also
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LEE DURY
Posted over 2 years ago
Department of Education hires experts to produce and maintain public domain textbooks - potentially saving billions in education per year
I read your main points as reducing (eliminating?) the cost of purchasing texts from private publishers; providing a distribution method for texts that can be edited/updated locally; and use of tablets for students. Reducing cost is admirable and right now a necessity for schools and school districts. All I was saying - leaping forward a bit - was that much of what you suggest is already happening. Material is available to download, edit, etc. Some of this is coming from traditional companies, some from new companies, and some from schools/districts/State DOEs. Students do have increasing access to laptops and tablets, and the result will be a less burdensome drain on finances.
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LEE DURY
Posted over 2 years ago
Department of Education hires experts to produce and maintain public domain textbooks - potentially saving billions in education per year
Interesting debate. The transition from standard/expensive paper texts is already underway and a not-so-quick search of the USDOE site (as well as the 50 State DoE sites) will yield much in the way of the conversation: how to save money, how to ensure updated content, how to provide more engaging lessons, how to reach/teach 21st century students, etc. Textbook publishers will learn to adapt to the newer technology environment or they will go out of business (think about how many Blockbuster Video Stores are still in your neighborhoods). MIT has content online for free. AcademicEarth has free content. iTunesUniversity has content. Using a tablet students can access hundreds of periodicals and newspapers for free. SAT and ACT test prep is available as a free app. State-run and privately run virtual classes and virtual schools exist offering all subjects/grade level with access to onjline books. The list is endless. It is not the same as 20 or even 10 yrs ago. And in 10 yrs it will be exponentially more of a change. I do believe that the USDOE has issued various publications about identifying and incorporating high quality technology tools and virtual content, several States have followed suit, but I would stop short of suggesting that the USDOE create and distribute the primary resources to the local school districts
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LEE DURY
Posted over 2 years ago
Would reforming the core curriculum to include a Metacognition class and a Critical Thinking class be effective in education?
Courses dedicated to Critical Thinking and Metacognition are readily available at many (most?) colleges & universities. What may be needed is the inclusion of these classes/skills within Colleges of Education/teacher training programs so that elementary and secondary education teachers are well-versed in how to incorporate these skills within k-12 content areas (project based learning opportunities, performance/authentic assessment , etc). Of course, it needs to be balanced with best practices in terms of child development/cognitive development, and it can look different in k-3, 4-8, 9-12 grades and in differnt disciplines. Also, think about debate clubs, essay competitions and other outlets where students need to either individually or in small groups tackle a substantive issue.