Education in the United States right now is quickly becoming a joke. Some would say it already has been, considering that the U.S. lags far behind in math, science, and other benchmark scores compared to other developed (and even less developed) countries. Yet, the controversial Common Core standards have ushered in a new era of unprecedented dumbfounding educational "standards" that are doing little but ensuring that future generations of kids will be dumber than the ones that came before.
If this seems jarring, consider the evidence at hand. Perhaps the biggest dumber of Common Core has been the emphasis on "21st century learning", a movement that is not, as it turns out, academically rooted, but strongly pushed by tech giants like Microsoft, Google, and Apple. After all, they' — Read full post
Although we don't cater at all specially to high school students (or youth in general), we wanted to take the time to review a few key opportunites of which you can take advantage during your high school years in order to maximize your present and future success.
First is Academic Decathlon. A rigorous, intellectual, but fun series of competitions, Academic Decathlon is "the premier academic competition in America". With essentially limitless room for improvement, the competitive nature of the activity can really bring out the best in students, forcing them to tap into potential they may not even have known they had. Though the competition is largely objective, all competitors will also need to present a prepared speech — as well as an impromptu speech — and participate in a — Read full post
The digital divide has taken on a new meaning. Previously, it referred to the areas of the country that relies beyond the reach of high-speed broadband Internet. We referred to them as being unfortunate enough to be "on the wrong side" of the digital divide. All of America still does not have high-speed broadband Internet, one reason why millions of Americans continue to use dial-up Internet today. But now the digital divide has taken on a new meaning, as technology becomes so heavily integrated into schools that the whole idea of the digital divide has gotten flipped on its head.
Article as it ran in The Waukesha Freeman (page 5A)
West High School administration announced this year that the district's cellphone policy, No. 5136, had been relaxed to allow students to use cellphones during lunch and in between classes. While the district says it aims to provide "safe and secure" Internet access and Policy 7540 promises safeguards inhibiting negative side effects, its IT department has been fiercely deploying wireless technology in all K-12 learning environments, despite studies confirming too much technology leads to drops in test scores and retention. Two classes unanimously said they didn't like using tablets for education, although some admitted they enticed gaming.
Policy 7434 says "the negative health effects of tobacco are we — Read full post
Scientific American released an article about a month ago that reported students are supposedly better off without technology in the classroom.
Wait, what? Isn't technology the whole point of "21st Century Learning"?
Yes, and that's the point.
21st Century Learning is a movement being pushed by the technology and wireless industries in order to increase bulk purchases from schools and educational institutes. While they usually floor superintendents when they boast of "increased workforce preparation" and "real-world applications", these phrases are just buzzwords thrown around to make them look like they know what they're talking about. The reality is that technology is drastically overused in the classroom and has little, if any, role in it.
Are there SMART-Boards or other interactive whiteboards at your school? If so, let me ask you a question? Do you use them? Does anyone use them? How often are they used? Do teachers actually use the SMART-Board in their room, or do they just use it as a white canvas for their projector? These are some of the questions that I have been forced to ask myself as changing practices at many schools in the district have started to render these little marvels fruitless. Once the center of attention and the focal point of the room, many don't even realize that these SMART-Boards are more than just a blank canvas and an interactive whiteboard — if they're not being used, they're a extremely large wasted asset.
Now our district is not known for its ability to allocate a budget properly. S — Read full post