Friday, May 20, 2011

Upcoming LEV Event

The League of Education Voters is hosting an event in their "Voices from the Education Revolution Speaker Series".

This one is called Innovations in Learning: Technology in (and out of) the Classroom

Here's how they describe it:
Technology has revolutionized our lives. But has it changed education in the 21st century? Join us to hear leaders share their experiences using technology to deliver better individualized learning and outcomes for students. Read our blog series on technology in the classroom.
I think you will hear a lot of people advocating for a vision of the future in education that approaches the one I described in a blog post titled "The Future - Education Reform Version".

The speakers will be:
John Danner, CEO of Rocketship Education
Cheryl Vedoe, CEO of Apex Learning
Shantanu Sinha, President of Khan Academy
Moderated by Tom Vander Ark

Thursday, June 9 at 7:00 p.m.
University of Washington
Kane Hall, Room 210
4098 15th Ave NE, Seattle

You can RSVP at the LEV web site.

I'm going to try to make it. I want to hear what they have to say. I will be paying special attention to their idea of the right uses for technology and the right mix of live instruction with a professional teacher and recorded or online instruction without a live teacher.

8 comments:

Greg said...

I'm pretty skeptical that technology is going to be much help in the classroom. From what I see, the core problem is the the lack of a social safety net in the US and that the public schools end up burdened with trying to provide social services for kids. That is why the US spends so much more than European countries with such worse outcomes. And, it is why experiments like the Harlem Children's Zone do so well.

mirmac1 said...

As someone who must take continuing education courses online, I must say they bore the heck out of me. A kid would be zombified.

Skeptical said...

So will the new phrase be "guide on the slide" rather than "guide on the side"?

Anonymous said...

Technology is a great tool. But it is not THE answer.

The sooner we gain the proper perspective, and live down the hype, the sooner we'll put it to its best uses in classrooms, boardrooms, factories and shops. With so much of it already in scrapheaps, polluting the Chinese countryside, should we all still be so wowed and giddy about it?

Or are we that way because of all the instant millionaires hyping technology creates, many who run companies that never earn a dime?

Keep your "big girl" pants on LEV.

WSEADAWG

P.S. To be fair, from what I've read and researched, Khan is one of the few online learning sites that is apparently quite good.

Charlie Mas said...

I've been thinking a lot about the proper role of technology in education and it can provide some benefits, largely through individualized instruction.

I think 21st century peer-to-peer communication technology can also support education.

The danger comes when folks want technological tools to take over the heart of education.

And what is the heart of education? It comes in two primary forms:

1) Motivating students to learn

2) Providing improvised, customized instruction that addresses the immediate need of the student for specific guidance towards acquisition of knowledge, skills, or understanding

Of course there is a role for technology, but I'd like to see less focus on doing things cheaper or faster and more focus on doing things better.

Consider all of the technological changes in our lives - think of how technology has changed agriculture. Ask yourself how much of that change was to make things cheaper, how much to make things faster, how much to make things bigger, and how much was to make things better. You will find precious little focus on better quality and nearly all of the focus on cheaper, faster and bigger. Mostly cheaper.

Let's also acknowledge the role of the profit motive in all of this. There are a lot of jobs that fall to the government to do because there just isn't any profit in it. Improving the quality of free, public education is in that category. It happens rarely unless someone can make a buck on it.

Charlie Mas said...

One more thing.

The new three R's of education as promoted by the Education Reform movement are Relationship, Relevance and Rigor.

How will the technology proposed contribute to those?

dan dempsey said...

Hummm...

Join us to hear leaders share their experiences using technology to deliver better individualized learning and outcomes for students.

I would like to see the data from controlled studies, more anecdotes from pushers is hardly productive to decision-making.

"To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data."

Show us the data.

Anonymous said...

ummm... at my school scores and scores and scores of teenage kids do NOT do any work, or do little work with teachers hounding, pestering, badgering, inspiring, dancing, singing, begging, pleading ...every period every day.

IF someone can get them to learn AND get them to learn such that they'll be able to compete in the world and change the world - I will NEVER argue with being (deservedly) fired.

What is the chance that this is just ANOTHER upper management boondogle which will empower more Kipp-Kopp Legalized doubleplusungood-Crime Syndicates?

Show Me Da Money.