Archive for the ‘education’ Category
Cars were moving too fast through an intersection in the town of Poynton in England, so they took out the stoplights & walk signals and replaced the intersection with an unusual double roundel design. The result is a mixed-use space with slower moving car traffic and safer pedestrian traffic.
[Been talking about this for years. Once pointed out, this seemingly counter intuitive move works every time. I apply the same thinking to many situations. Rules that run counter to desire fail. In this case, they did a brilliant job.]
More bear than tiger, Finland scorns almost all standardized testing before age 16 and discourages homework, and it is seen as a violation of children’s right to be children for them to start school any sooner than 7, Dr. Sahlberg said during his day at Dwight. He spoke to seniors taking a “Theory of Knowledge” class, then met with administrators and faculty members.
“The first six years of education are not about academic success,” he said. “We don’t measure children at all. It’s about being ready to learn and finding your passion.”
He emphasized that Finland’s success is one of basic education, from age 7 until 16, at which point 95 percent of the country goes on to vocational or academic high schools. “The primary aim of education is to serve as an equalizing instrument for society,” he said.
Dr. Sahlberg said another reason the system had succeeded was that “only dead fish follow the stream” — a Finnish expression.
Finland is going against the tide of the “global education reform movement,” which is based on core subjects, competition, standardization, test-based accountability, control.
[Sounds right to me.]
Essentially, the eBook problem comes down to: you, the publisher, want me to buy everyone a brand new copy of the book. I’m happy to do that, but you want £9.99 per copy. We’re more used to paying £9.99 and giving it to 10 children over the course of years. Make your eBook £1 per copy and we can talk.
On the other hand, I’ll buy 30 copies at £9.99 but I need to be able to reallocate those books next year.
Is there a way to square this circle? Maybe.
Whispercast, like the iTunes Store, requires that each Kindle have a separate Amazon account associated with it. Unlike the iTunes Store, Whispercast can bulk-create these accounts for you, which is handy.
Perhaps the model is this: create 20 generic “First Grade” accounts (e.g. email@example.com through firstname.lastname@example.org) and buy 20 copies of the First Grade reading list. Have the students use that account for a year. When they move on, give the account and password to the next set of pupils coming in.
This is harder to do in the Apple world because the use of AppleID/iCloud is so pervasive across the system. With the Kindle system (at least on the e-Ink Kindles, if not the Fire), it would potentially be easier as there’s less actual data being stored in the user’s account. The pupil logging into the account the next year would – I presume – find the last owner’s book locations, highlights and notes in there but that’s hardly different to the common experience of getting someone else’s used textbook.
Such a deployment model might work in primary education – where everyone is in the same class, likely reading the same class novel at the same time. It doesn’t really work for secondary education unless you buy all the books for every account because the pupil using the account next year is unlikely to be taking the same mix of classes as the last pupil.
I don’t know whether Apple or Amazon is going to get this right first but the company who finally cracks it stands to win a lot of business the education market.
[Yet another mess to fix.]
Source: Fraser Speirs
Anyway, at first glance it seems that you absolutely need individual Apple IDs to enrol students in a course now. I’ve always been keen on handing over as much IT autonomy to the student as possible, and that’s where I think we should all be aiming, but changing your AppleID structures is a once-a-year thing to do and no small matter. Is there a workaround in the meantime?
It turns out that there is: to create a course that students can subscribe to without entering AppleID credentials, you have to:
Create the course in Course Manager – this creates a private course with an enrolment roster.
Submit the course to the person who controls your institution’s iTunes U Public Site Manager
Have them ‘hide’ the course in PSM.
This creates a course which has a direct URL for subscription (it’s referred to as the ‘Audit URL’ in iTunes U) but which does not require Apple ID credentials to subscribe to.
This isn’t an ideal solution as it requires coordination between all the course authors at an institution and the person running the Public Site Manager. Still, it works for now and the future is ever more clearly heading towards individual Apple IDs for individual students. That’s where I’m recommending all new 1:1s start their thinking but, still, always the two stumbling blocks of no Volume Purchase and COPPA’s lower limit of 13-years-old for an iTunes account. I hope we can get these things ironed out soon.
Source: Fraser Speirs
To me that was like playing video games. It was something else to get a degree in playing. I think for everyone who discovers something they love it’s like that.
[Yes! It is like that for me too, when I'm interested in what I'm learning about. The biggest problem I see, is that some crafts, trades, or skills are valued over others. It's crazy. We need them all, and we need people who are good at them, who love them, who advance them to practice them. Don't send your kids to liberal arts college just because, make sure there's something there that they care about. If your little girl loves building cars, or welding, or swinging a hammer, if your boy loves to sew and design clothing, if your kid loves to build robots, or plant gardens. Make sure that there is time to indulge that desire. I assure you it'll pay off for them in a happy life, and for all of us in that they'll do what they love for living.]
Source: Scripting News
[I haven't watched this yet. Noted for later.]
“Too many innovative programs don’t prioritize their own research, and even if they collect observations and stories later, they don’t make the effort to do a randomized control trial, like we did,” said Muir. “We wanted to make sure we could objectively examine the contribution of the iPads.”
According to the literacy test results classes using the iPads outperformed the non-iPad students in every literacy measure they were test on.
It’s not just about the test scores, but about the way the kids interact with the iPad and apps that make this program unique.
“We are seeing high levels of student motivation, engagement and learning in the iPad classrooms,” said Sue Dorris, principal at East Auburn Community School. “The apps, which teach and reinforce fundamental literacy concepts and skills, are engaging, interactive and provide children with immediate feedback. What’s more, teachers can customize apps to match the instructional needs of each child, so students are able to learn successfully at their own level and pace.”
[I will keep banging this drum.]
A yearlong pilot program with digital textbooks on Apple’s iPad found that students’ algebra scores increased by 20 percent when compared to a curriculum with traditional books.
In its test run, the “HMH Fuse” application helped more than 78 percent of students score “Proficient” or “Advanced” on the spring 2011 California Standards Test. That was significantly higher than the 59 percent of peers who used traditional textbooks.
“By engineering a comprehensive platform that combines the best learning material with technology that embraces students’ strengths and addresses their weaknesses, we’ve gone far beyond the capabilities of an e-book to turn a one-way math lesson into an engaging, interactive, supportive learning experience,” said Bethlam Forsa, executive vice president of Global Content and Product Development at HMH. “With HMH Fuse, teachers can assess student progress in real time and tailor instruction as needed.”
[It being new probably has something with the score rise. OTOH, there was a test done years ago with Mathematica that showed improved scores as well. What if these sorts of tools really do a better job, or allow teachers to do a better job?]
Commercial iBooks textbooks are a marketing head fake. They’re the equivalent of carbon fibre buggy whips. iTunes U is the game changer. Put iBooks Author and iTunes U into the hands of great teachers, put iPads in their students hands, put them all in a room together then step back and see what happens. That’s the ballgame.
Source: Fraser Speirs
Also, this from the Macworld piece:
Apple already revolutionized education when it invented the iPad. While iBooks textbooks are a bridge from the past to the future—and we do need a way to get to the future—they are not that future. If Henry Ford had been an educational publisher, his customers would have asked for electronic textbooks instead of faster horses.
I understand why Apple is pushing on this: the textbook is culturally and politically embedded in the American education system. It’s also an obvious and easily understood way to sell the benefits of the iPad to the people who control educational spending. Such people are often not ready to hear a pitch about teachers and pupils creating their own materials, using the Internet for learning, and communicating with peers and experts around the world.
It’s not a frequent topic of discussion, but doctors die, too. And they don’t die like the rest of us. What’s unusual about them is not how much treatment they get compared to most Americans, but how little. For all the time they spend fending off the deaths of others, they tend to be fairly serene when faced with death themselves. They know exactly what is going to happen, they know the choices, and they generally have access to any sort of medical care they could want. But they go gently.
Then the nightmare begins. Sometimes, a family really means “do everything,” but often they just mean “do everything that’s reasonable.” The problem is that they may not know what’s reasonable, nor, in their confusion and sorrow, will they ask about it or hear what a physician may be telling them. For their part, doctors told to do “everything” will do it, whether it is reasonable or not.
[It is unsurprising. And sad.]