Grading the Digital School: Lessons to Be Learned. TRP-CSA Grand Rounds February 20, 2012 Professor Rod Harter. Overview of Today’s “Grand Rounds”.
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TRP-CSA Grand Rounds
February 20, 2012
Professor Rod Harter
Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Salman Khan in the offices of his company, the Khan
Academy, in Mountain View, California. His math
lessons are popular on YouTube.
Above left: Jesse Roe, a teacher in the Summit school in San Jose, CA, can use the teaching
software to monitor the math progress of students like Cheyenne Grant, 14, right.
Top, a lesson on the parts of a cell from a Khan Academy video on YouTube.
(BA, Wilton, CT, 12/7/11)
“The lecture format is very dull. The learn-to-mastery approach is right on, however. Imagine if you coupled real interactive learning with learn to mastery. The KA lectures on science leave completely out of the equation the lab component. This part is critical, crucial, and required to learn science. Just mastering lots of words and equations does not make for understanding science. Science is a mode of thought, not a bunch of memorization. Imagine if you could couple learning-to-mastery (and differentiated instruction) with interactive lessons and REAL online experiments, not those passive simulations that some attempt to pass of as science labs. If all you did was to add real online experiments with interactive data collection to KA, you'd be making a huge step forward…”“Perhaps, Salman Khan does not really understand science. After all, he's not a scientist. So, you can't blame him for this blind spot. He is helping student conquer difficult concepts just as simulations do….You can take all of his science courses, do very well, and still not understand science. He's left out the heart of science. That's OK for remediation but not for real learning. The solution is to add in real online science lab investigations using prerecorded real experiments and interactive, individual data collection….” (Harry, Los Angeles, 12/6/11)
“Schools nationwide have rushed to supply their classrooms with computers, and many policy makers say it is foolish to do otherwise.”
“But the contrarian point of view can be found at the epicenter of the tech economy, where some parents and educators have a message: computers and schools don’t mix…”
Jim Wilson/The New York Times
The Waldorf School in Los Altos, California,
eschews technology. Here, Bryn Perry reads on a desktop.
(Yogen Kushi, NYC, 10/23/11)
“This article makes it sounds like you have to be some kind of genius to come up with interactive ways to teach. As a public school teacher, this is frustrating to me. All of the public school teachers I know work incredibly hard to find ways of teaching that will work. Sometimes this involves (fetch the smelling salts!) technology, if we're lucky enough to have it. Sometimes it involves modeling clay, if we're lucky enough to have it (Just kidding. We buy that ourselves, of course).”
“Trying to come up with ways to engage kids physically, socially and emotionally is not some new discovery they only have at special schools. Everyone is already doing it. The reason teaching is hard is not because no one has figured out the magic potion yet. The reason teaching is hard is because there is no magic potion. Or, rather, because you have to make the potion from scratch, every time, for every kid. It will never be fast or easy…”
(KS, Wilmington, DE 10/23/11)
(Kevin Mackay, NZ, 2/14/12)
“Education that heavily relies on technologies such as laptops is producing a generation of students incapable of prolonged, sustained intellectual thought. This is evident in my college students’ performance as:
Having my performance critiqued by my demanding, entitled, poorly prepared students is part of my job assessment. There is subtle and very strong pressure to lower academic standards to get better student reviews… The classroom is one of the last vestiges of sustained, prolonged, intellectual dialogue. Using laptops may produce higher scores on standardized tests, but it destroys this last vestige and produces graduates unprepared for the rigors and standards of traditional colleges.” (Jack, New Hampshire, 2/14/12)
“A final effort by the United Federation of Teachers to block the city's release of thousands of teacher rating reports failed on Feb.14 when the state Court of Appeals refused to hear an appeal of a lower court decision to make the reports public.”
“The union had sued the city to stop the release of the reports to the news media, as well as the general public, arguing that by releasing the ratings, the city would violate teachers' privacy rights. They also said the reports were exempt from disclosure rules because they were subjective and often inaccurate.”