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View Diary: Teachers: the new enemy of the states? (174 comments)

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  •  And guess where Joel Klein (7+ / 0-)

    the former NYC schools chancellor is - at NewsCorp heading up there educational software department.

    One of Joel Klein's initiatives was software in education and more and more schools are opening up using this.  There the iZone (I am not sure what this is) among others.  Some high schools use Rosetta Stone to teach languages.  

    •  Software can be a terrific adjunct (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bekosiluvu, happymisanthropy, dkosdan

      creating access to expertise that no one school can have.

      It's not a substitute for a good, enthusiastic teacher to guide the kids in problem solving in real time. Indeed, with each of the kids on a different curriculum, there's an argument to be made that these kinds of classrooms would need a smaller than typical class size to be effective.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 02:56:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yah, but the decisions about the hw and sw used (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        And the types of information streams that are accessed has to be in the hands of the teachers themselves, not manipulated by corporations.

        Furthermore, there is a tendency to make computers simply tools for regurgitation and making collages of the most accessible information, rather than, for example, having the computer itself be a topic of investigation.  

        A lot of the high-level tools even programmers use today shield them from actually having any clue as to how computers actually work.  

        The biggest objection I have to, for example, M$'s push to get M$ tools into the classroom (and the same goes for Google and Apple tools, by the way) is the justification that "this is what they will need in the workplace."  

        Training them like widgets to be churned out of the factory, for use (and discard) by corporations -- rather than teaching them how to make their own widgets -- by for example, programming or dabbling in the machine shop, taking computers apart and putting them back together, getting a full-blown operating system to arise from a cold, dead chip by the work of their own two hands: that sense of satisfaction, workmanship, initiative and mastered know-how is not being transmitted when you stand over some poor girl and contemptuously shout at her "click on 'submit'!"

        What they need in the corporate workplace is not the same thing as what they will need in the entrepreneurial workplace, where they will need creativity and higher-order reasoning skills and some real technical know-how, not just  "knowing which buttons to press."  

        And yet, teachers and administrators tend to treat the kids who do go there as "dangerous hackers" rather than harnessing and encouraging that potential.  

        I don't see introducing corporate-introduced software in ever more invasive and manipulated/manipulative forms as moving us towards the solution -- rather it moves us away from it.  

        The tinkerer-teachers just plain wind up finding more highly paid work, unfortunately.    

        "We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers salaries and take away their right to strike.” -Adolf Hitler, May 2, 1933

        by bekosiluvu on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 03:33:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  i agree that education software (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bekosiluvu, dkosdan

        can be a useful supplementary tool.  However, there are schools that are part of Joel Klein's "small schools initiative" that are using softer almost as a substitution for teachers by design.  I think that at least one of these schools is able to execute technology based learning well BUT they have a very experienced and highly regarded principal and recognize that software is no substitute for a teacher.  

        I just read about a new high school that is also technology based.  The principal told parents not to bother with buying pencils and paper.  Then she discovered that students need to write down their calculation and also that the algebra software was flawed.  

    •  oh yeah, he's coming down to Austin next month (1+ / 0-)
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      and one of the things they're specifically interested in is running NoSQL databases on their servers.

      These are the jobbies that are used for full text search and IR.  Which makes sense if they're going to be setting up their own search engines on various educational materials.  To, for example, present a particular world-view that accepts their NewsCorp Overlords.  

      Or if they're going to profile different kids political and behavioral leanings by running full-text indexing on what the kids write.  For example, to weed out the ones that might not fit in so well in the corporate workplace.  Justify ever more tracking -- like who gets on the 'headed for juvi' track: anyone who questions authority or criticizes the status quo.  

      It's "Brave New World" and "1984" combined.  Gee, wonder whether those will continue to be required reading...

      "We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers salaries and take away their right to strike.” -Adolf Hitler, May 2, 1933

      by bekosiluvu on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 03:41:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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