Friday, September 3, 2010

Is It Possible to Have Too Many Laptops?

"No surprise, then, that the truth of what happens in laptop-rich schools is far more shades of gray than black or white." ~ Larry Cuban
Questions: Can 1-to-1 sometimes get in the way of collaborative, hands-on learning?  Are there times that it is better to focus students' efforts on a single screen?  When is face-to-face collaboration and social interaction more powerful than independent digital access and production?

Jamie McKenzie: Over-Equipped? Is it possible to have too many laptops?

Larry Cuban: Laptops in Schools
The Journal: Left to Their Own Devices
Gary Stager: Selling the Dream of 1:1 Computing 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Courage in the Classroom comes to King Middle School, Portland

by Olga LaPlante

Some common sense observations were noted during the round table discussion. Common sense doesn't discount the value of the observations, though, because common sense is not all that common.

There may be hope after all for the DOE, if they stick with their valuable observations. Read more here.

One simple trick to better school culture is looping. Why is it so rare? I find it the best strategy. Kids know the teacher, the teacher knows the kids, they have lots of shared experiences by the second year, it doesn't cost any money, as Duncan pointed out; teachers are accountable by default, students are accountable and more aware of their behavior, parents are no strangers; trust is established. Why would you not do it?

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Death of Truth

by Dissonant Hermit

Today there is much talk, especially in schools, about how can we trust the tons of information that exists in society today. Hours upon hours are spent discussing validity and reliability of information. Pages of text are being published every day on the topic of trusting information sources and evaluating right from wrong. In schools, the debates rage on about what sources schools can or should use and which should not be allowed. Interestingly enough, there are schools that block sites strictly because individuals locally have deemed the site “too untrustworthy for students to use” (Wikipedia anyone?)  Many fret over a perceived dilemma that with increased access to information, our children need even more skills to determine the worth and validity of that information. This anxiety is completely misplaced. Instead of concentrating on increased access, too many resources or any perceived need for more accurate information, we should be in uproar about the almost complete collapse of inquiry, discovery and discussion in our institutions and lack of family structures that support learning!...

The rest of this article is posted at the following blog. Please read it all before adding your thoughts to this post.