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Perils of stealth camping, hiking, or even jogging in the US
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Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Computers in Class on 04/07/2014 06:16:13 MDT Print View

"Do teachers still stand in front of a class, go through the same lesson for the entire class?

That would be enough for bored students to develop bad attitude. At least it was in 1960s. And can't believe that's still what they do today."
__________________________________________________________

I would be in hot water fast if I taught like that. We do a lot more hands on, we make foldables, do projects, watch 5 minute video clips etc. I actually us the technology a fair amount but even I'm still learning.

You can post assignments online, and the computer will grade them. You can do online homework assignments, and I've even seen teachers film a short lesson for their class to watch either as part of their homework or for while they are gone. Kids can work a math problem on a tablet and project it onto the board for everyone to see or send it to the teacher. The teacher can look at a computer and see what all the kids are working on and send them a message if they need help.

There are online programs for math that automatically select what the kid is weak at and provide more practice in that area. The also have "help" buttons that provide mini lessons on how to solve different math problems.

Back in the day the textbook changed teaching because all of a sudden you could teach a large group of kids more efficiently. When you think about it you could argue modern public education was built around the textbook. Now we're trying to figure out what education should look like in the digital age. I'm hoping it will evolve into something much more customized to the individual.

Edited by Cameron on 04/07/2014 08:37:01 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re Re Computers in Class on 04/07/2014 08:04:09 MDT Print View

It seems like this is a more fruitfull line of development than just saying we've doubled spending per pupil in the last 25 years and test scores are down, so we should privatize schools. Or that the problem is we have too many administrators.

It takes time to innovate new solutions. The U.S. should be in a good poisition to do this, even if Vijay and Wang from India and China are doing a lot of the innovation.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re Re School Spending on 04/07/2014 17:31:03 MDT Print View

"It can't be done when people believe that some kids aren't ready, willing, or able to learn and we quietly let them slip through the cracks. You don't back off because a kid is "unwilling to learn", you double down as a team and figure out what's going to work."

As Stephen said, "may your tribe increase". However, to apply this on a large scale in a country of 320 million plus people saddled with a culture that has little respect for education, perhaps even hostile to it, a disturbingly large number of dysfunctional families, and a lack of political will to allocate the resources necessary to train the teachers necessary to implement this approach, I am skeptical that we will be able to compete with cultures where respect for education is such that kids come to school hungry to learn and return to homes after school where the parents are there to make sure the kids stay hungry. It is a huge deficit to make up, one that is fundamentally cultural in nature, and thus likely amenable to resolution only by a focused multi generational effort. People's values don't change overnight, and ours are decidedly not supportive of doing the heavy lifting required to obtain a good education. The values that underlie a high quality education system are simply not part of our culture, and without them the efforts of the countless highly competent, dedicated teachers like Craig will only scratch the surface. Sorry to sound so dark, but that is truly how I see this issue.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re Re School Spending on 04/07/2014 18:55:19 MDT Print View

I hear you Tom.

It's just that from a school standpoint, your mission statement can't be- "School: A place where kids with the requisite economic, cultural, and family background might learn something." The second you go into it assuming some kids won't make it, you've guaranteed that some kids won't make it. Not fair to make that choice for someone, especially a kid.

I'm not much of a moviegoer, but I recently took my children to see the movie Gravity. NASA, space stations, etc. Pretty cool visuals. But on my way out it occurred to me that I haven't heard a kid say they want to be an astronaut in twenty years.

On the one hand, our society seems to be willing to embrace science and technology without a thought if it comes to saving lives through medicine or creating a cool new gadget. But as soon as we get into other areas of science, there seems to be a real distrust, a growing public anti-intellectualism, and a cynicism about scientific validity. The idea that scientists are nothing more than little people with personal agendas seems to be gaining quite a lot of ground. Biostitutes certainly don't make things easier, those that lend their scientific "expertise" to create any story that the highest bidder needs.

I digress. I could go on and on. But I certainly seem to be witnessing a growing anti-intellectual streak out there.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re Re School Spending on 04/07/2014 19:59:55 MDT Print View

"It's just that from a school standpoint, your mission statement can't be- "School: A place where kids with the requisite economic, cultural, and family background might learn something." The second you go into it assuming some kids won't make it, you've guaranteed that some kids won't make it. Not fair to make that choice for someone, especially a kid."

I couldn't agree more, Craig, and, make no mistake, I have nothing but the highest admiration for what you and others like you do. It's just that when you have to go into that mode to reach significant numbers of kids, the country is already playing catch up with nations that do not have the problems we are facing here. In the end, this will not turn out well for us and the kids you are trying so hard to reach. there just has to be a better way, and my opinion is that it involves a cultural makeover that we do not even seem to realize is necessary. Hence my pessimism.

"But on my way out it occurred to me that I haven't heard a kid say they want to be an astronaut in twenty years."

Disheartening. But when you look around it isn't hard to understand why.

"On the one hand, our society seems to be willing to embrace science and technology without a thought if it comes to saving lives through medicine or creating a cool new gadget. But as soon as we get into other areas of science, there seems to be a real distrust, a growing public anti-intellectualism, and a cynicism about scientific validity. The idea that scientists are nothing more than little people with personal agendas seems to be gaining quite a lot of ground."

Most people appreciate the tangible benefits of science, but are uneasy with the social and religious implications of our ever expanding understanding of the universe
in which we live on our tiny little planet. People can only adapt at a certain rate, and through science we have accelerated the rate of change in our environment, both intellectual and physical, far beyond the capacity of most to adapt. This leads to fear leads to suspicion leads to rejection, and so on. Also, there has been an undercurrent of anti intellectualism in the US from the beginning, probably resulting from the fact that science was associated with the ruling classes in countries from which our first immigrants fled. All of this IMO, of course.

"Biostitutes certainly don't make things easier, those that lend their scientific "expertise" to create any story that the highest bidder needs.""

Yup, just another addition to my short list of accountants, statisticians, and lawyers. Stripped of the jargon peculiar to their respective professions, when asked "what is 2 plus 2, they all answer, "what do you want it to be?"



"I digress. I could go on and on. But I certainly seem to be witnessing a growing anti-intellectual streak out there."

+1. It is part of the basic problem. I could go on, but we would probably end up with a thread equal in duration to The Great Carbon Flame War. ;0)

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re Re School Spending on 04/07/2014 20:12:38 MDT Print View

"But I certainly seem to be witnessing a growing anti-intellectual streak out there."

I think I can safely say that folks like Tom and I have been witnessing this for quite a long time. Quite a very long time. Sad doesn't even begin to describe it.

Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re Re School Spending on 04/22/2014 07:49:09 MDT Print View

Home school the kids, put them in social groups that focus on truth such as Christians (original truth not invented truth) and have faith.

My 3 home schooled friends are a all graduate students with 6 figure salaries these days. That was all it took for me to realize "public" education (brain washing) is pointless and simply a business not a service to the people.

Everyone gets mad that their children don't receive a proper education but seldom do they do anything about it. "oh but we both work", so don't both work... oh no your house will be smaller and your cars less numerous and shiny... what a shame.

Instead of spending 8 hours a day goofing off to learn 3 hours of material that just applies to a standardized test, you could offer them the world. The only reason they're even held captive for 8 hours a day is to acclimate them and program them to work a 40 hour work week. IE, work hard not smart. The whole system is a sham IMO.

Once you get them through the standardized testing in only 3 hours a day, enjoy teaching them everything else the world has to offer with the remaining 5. Put them in summer classes to learn all about science/technology, get them reading and writing every day they're alive, developing social skills in community programs that actually contribute, etc etc. Children need TRUTH in their lives.

GET THE FAMILY IN CHURCH. The book is original truth. Without the book you are forever lost in this world. I'm not saying religion is truth, I'm saying the word is. I'm saying the WORLD is.

Edited by tchilds on 04/22/2014 08:03:41 MDT.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re Re School Spending on 04/22/2014 09:18:06 MDT Print View

Interesting notion, Troy, but the U.S. is a pluralistic society.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re Re School Spending on 04/22/2014 09:42:40 MDT Print View

+1 spelt

"To a man whose only tool is a hammer, every problem is a nail".

Edited by millonas on 04/22/2014 09:43:10 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re School Spending on 04/22/2014 11:23:30 MDT Print View

If you home school, your kids will tend to be not socialized

Being around a diversity of other types of people is part of a good education

Being around people just like yourself is inbreeding

But, you can deal with this by intentionally having activities with bigger groups of people

Just being with people of your own religious group seems good in the short term, but they'll eventually encounter other people which will be a shock they may not be as well prepared to deal with

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re Re School Spending on 04/22/2014 17:37:26 MDT Print View

" The book is original truth. Without the book you are forever lost in this world. I'm not saying religion is truth, I'm saying the word is. I'm saying the WORLD is."

Which book? And which word? Torah? Qur'aan? The Vedas? I Ching? Bible? So many books, so many words. But that is the WORLD, as you said. The problem is: How does one choose?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re Re School Spending on 04/22/2014 18:18:07 MDT Print View

"Which book? And which word? ... The problem is: How does one choose?"

That's an easy one Tom. “Batman: Dark Knight: The Dark Knight Falls.” All the truth you'll ever need is in there, my friend.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re School Spending on 04/22/2014 18:40:49 MDT Print View

Home schooling can be a great thing; I have known families that put a great deal of effort not only to have a curriculum, but also to socialize the kids. Our local K-6 school offered a support program for home schoolers and the majority of them were impressive little kids. As with so many other things, there are so many factors involved that it is hard to make a yay or nay call, in my opinion.

Edited for spelling

Edited by Kat_P on 04/22/2014 18:42:19 MDT.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Which book? on 04/22/2014 18:55:14 MDT Print View

On the Origin of Species, naturally.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Schools on 04/22/2014 19:07:14 MDT Print View

I'm very familiar with both homeschooling and public schools. They both work for different types of people.

I've worked with hundreds of homeschool kids and the vast majority of them were amazingly well behaved and socialized. They don't just "socialize" with their own peer group, they learn how to deal with younger kids and adults. I've had many 10 or 11 year old homeschool kids who could engage me in an adult level conversation about topics like politics, military strategy or philosophy. On the other hand I've watched homeschooled teenagers manage younger kids in a group with an incredibly amount of patience and finesse.

Public schools on the other hand really aren't that bad either in spite of all the hand wringing. Most of them do a decent job of teaching kids to read, write, and do basic math. I think the problem is we measure success wrong with a "once size fits all" approach. Then we drive ourselves crazy trying to live up to an arbitrary standard.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re Re School Spending on 04/22/2014 20:40:36 MDT Print View

"That's an easy one Tom. “Batman: Dark Knight: The Dark Knight Falls.” All the truth you'll ever need is in there, my friend."

I knew I could count on you to cut the Gordian Knot. 'Bout sums it up. ;)

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Which book? on 04/22/2014 20:42:13 MDT Print View

"On the Origin of Species, naturally."

ROTFFL.