edu

Confound

Con·found
/kənˈfound/
To mix up (something) with something else so that the individual elements become difficult to distinguish.
That's the word I thought of when I read this article about college readiness in the NYTimes this morning.
The argument is that there are more diplomas but the students who obtain them are not ready for college academics.  The issue is that the article implies that the increase in undeserving diplomas is attributable to unprepared minority students. Their evidence? These minority students not doing well on ACTs.
Let's set aside for a minute the great disservice to these students that articles like this do. Where was the reference to the number of studies that demonstrate that performance on these tests is directly correlated to economic class? Put a different way, if you're rich enough to take a test prep course, you do better on these tests.  Which means they don't adequately measure preparedness.  In fact, more evidence shows that grade attainment is a better predictor of success in college than entrance exam scores.
Instead we get an article set in South Carolina that depicts minority students as unsuitable.  How does this help?

A New Education Model

"Manage learning environments by teams of teachers. Since various separate classrooms have been combined in this model, teachers too can combine and help one another in a physical classroom and via the web around the world. This takes advantage of various strengths to address this multifaceted job. Further, they would act more like coaches helping them win (rather than a gatekeeper)."

 

A New Education Model

Who Benefits?

I wasn't surprised to hear that Udacity pivoted. I am one of those folks who signed up for the first artificial intelligence class taught by Professor Thrun. I didn't finish. But I knew as soon as I logged in what the fate of that course and offerings like it would be - not good. Why? Because there is no true innovation. A video is just a lecture. And I know from first-hand experience that Ivy league university professors are usually NOT good teachers. They are gifted intellects with impressive research backgrounds, but they often don't have the first clue how to formulate a lesson so that everyone in the room gets it.

Which brings me to the hubris of Silicon Valley technologists - of which I am one. To think we as technologists know how to educate is highly arrogant and frankly, plain ignorant.

But what's worse is that properly smacked in the face with this realization that we don't know what we're doing, what do we do? We create something for those who don't need it. We fail to help the people that could truly benefit from innovation.

Grrr.

 

EDU and Mobile

New education approaches and concepts are emerging with the advent of more mobile technology. Or should I say some very old approaches are being recycled using new technology: to wit, “mobile-enhanced inquiry-based learning.” It's using the phone to forge communication and learning in the classroom or put another way, the Socratic method meets text messaging. You can learn more about this technique and more at Mashable.