More on Technology in the Classroom - NOT

reading on a desk top

A friend sent a link to a New York Times article about technology in the classroom – NOT.

The chief technology officer of eBay sends his children to a nine-classroom school here. So do employees of Silicon Valley giants like Google, Apple, Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard. But the school’s chief teaching tools are anything but high-tech: pens and paper, knitting needles and, occasionally, mud. Not a computer to be found. No screens at all. They are not allowed in the classroom, and the school even frowns on their use at home.

Themes: 
childhood
creativity
education
learning

The Weaver Becomes the Web

digital brain 2

Appropriate Use of Technology in Education

The overarching insight in neuroscience the past decade is:

‘Brain and environment are one, interdependent, reciprocal dynamic process. Change the environment and you change the brain.'

The human brain created Technology that changed the environment that is now changing the brain. In the mid 1800’s Emerson, cautious of the industrial revolution, noted; the weaver becomes the web.

Themes: 
brain
childhood
creativity
education

It Takes Both - More on Patriotism

flag

Given the ‘state of the nation’ our founding fathers, those who authored the constitution and signed the declaration of independence, would be called rebels, unpatriotic, terrorists. The police state, FBI and CIA would have them under surveillance. There is no doubt about that. The men who pined their names to the declaration of independence were hunted down, many hanged, their homes and families ruined.

Some say, don’t’ be negative, don’t be cynical, color between the lines, accept it – this is the way the world is and has always been. Don’t cause trouble. Smell the flowers. Pet the cat.

Themes: 
democracy
education
freedom

The Go To college - Get A Good Job Myth

college debt

A trick question:
When is waking up from a bad dream bad?

Sure, there are many reasons to go to college. Getting a good job is not one of them. 50% of 2010 graduates are unemployed and the prospects for 2011 grads are similar. We have been told/sold that doing ‘good’ in school is the road to the good life. Good education = a good job and secure future. Not true. The costs of a college education continue to rise. Student loans (which use the same predatory Wall Street scams that burst the housing bubble) are greater than credit card debt in the US!

Themes: 
education
homeschooling

Education Reform?

school reform

The costs of so called higher education pimped with false promises of ‘the good job and better life’ keep going up, funded by the same predator banking schemes that caused the housing bubble and well-crafted depression. Student debt is larger than credit card debit. Education is big business. The truth is, many PhD’s are flipping hamburgers. We each have a choice, freedom or trying to reform the system.

The forces that created NCLB (no child left behind) are larger than education. 9/11, as controversial as JFK’s regime change, was a prelude for increasing Fascist policies in the US, (Fascism being corporate-government). Habeas Corpus, the right of every prisoner to challenge the terms of his or her incarceration in court before a judge, has been tossed out. The US engages in routine torture. Police forces throughout the country have been militarized.

The Orwellian-Double-Speak-Patriot-Act allows corporate-government, against, not for the people, search without warrant or probable cause, not just ‘hypothetical’ terrorists but every US citizen. Surveillance, metal detectors, routine searches, police presence are common schools. There has been a systematic dumbing down of curriculum with a pretext of improving education, more Orwellian rap. Articles and essays have been written about our schools becoming more detention camps and prisons than sanctuaries for learning.

Themes: 
creativity
democracy
education
freedom

Patriotism Is An Act Of Violence

memorial day 2011

 

For my sons, Memorial Day 2011

God Bless America blared from the flag waving Harley as boy scouts, soon to be men, marched between white lines. Memorial Day, a national glance inward to mourn the lives mangled and lost ‘serving’ freedom and civic liberty. I almost wept, not out of patriotic duty and honor but for the deep feeling of shame and betrayal that this and past pageants endure.

While I honor the ultimate sacrifice brothers and sisters have made through the ages, some urgent, some heroic and necessary, so many lives, however, have been mangled for reasons – that had they known – they would have wept too.

Themes: 
culture
education
freedom
parenting
violence

The Lifelong Value & Impact of Early Experiences

A long time colleague, Kali Woodward, Director at American Youth Literacy Foundation, sent a link to a New York Times article - The Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers. The article describes a Harvard study following 12,000 kindergartners for twenty five years and confirms, as many other studies do the long-term impact of early experiences, in this case the value of good a Kindergarten teacher.

The first rung on the ladder holds up the rest. The very early stages of human development provide the foundation for all that follow. As is our habit and social conditioning the research paper focused on Kindergarten Teachers and concluded that the impact of a ‘good one’ translated into lifelong learning and earning potential (in children and therefore long term economic impact) valued at $320,000/year.

Themes: 
education
parenting

Thoughts On Post Industrial Education

Prediction and Control VS Creative Human Development
Two mighty forces shape the debate raging around school reform, a social, economic and political issue every much as challenging as healthcare reform. What follows is some of the best thinking on this issue from two respected colleagues. Read both. You won't be disapointed.

-mm-

Themes: 
learning
education

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