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Students Today November 4, 2008

Posted by stacey27 in high school, students, technology.
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Evolve or stay the same? May 9, 2007

Posted by stacey27 in high school, instructional design.
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Does it not make sense that as the world changes, education has to evolve with it? Shouldn’t education prepare a student for the world in which they live? Wouldn’t it make sense to educate high school students with the skills they require to survive in today’s workplace?

Two recent articles/posts that I have read both relate to the same issue but focus on different aspects.

In Karl Kapp’s blog post “Hire that Kid!,” Karl highlights the void of technology in the classroom and the need to update the schooling system. Stemming from an article that discusses the banning of iPods from classrooms to deter cheating, he makes very valid points that the use of iPods and other technological gadgets by students displays an ingenuity that is valuable in today’s workplace.

I know personally, friends come to me with all of their technology issues and questions. I never claim to be an expert on selecting the best hard drive or networking the computers in a household. But what I do know is how to “google.” I often joke that I should open a company where people can contact me with a search request or a question and I will google it and get back to them with the answer.

In a somewhat related issue, The Story-Centered Curriculumaddresses the defunct high school system. His suggestion to enhance the learning and better prepare students for the real world is to teach students through a series of realistic projects that mesh together different subjects and facilitate group learning. Each project then builds upon the previous one.

I see this being highly effective. With the student in the center of their learning experience, and the teacher filling more of a facilitator role. I would be very eager to see how this curriculum is received by students and learn more about actual story-centered projects.

The Great Homework Debate March 28, 2007

Posted by stacey27 in high school, instructional design, other.
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I was watching tv last night and a commercial came on for what was upcoming in the news at 11:00 pm. One of the stories had to do with homework. Someone was on tv talking about how homework is hurting our children. Although I did not see the actual news program, it got me thinking about homework.

For someone to go and say that all homework is bad seems very irresponsible to me. I think back to when I was in grade school, and although I do not believe that all homework helped me all that much, I could not have imagined making it through some subjects, such as math, without doing homework. It gave me a chance to practice what was just covered that day and reinforce the learning.

In a website I just found, Nancy Kalish writes about how homework is extremely harmful to a child’s desire to learn or read or such. She believes that there is no evidence that homework helps studenst. I just cannot believe that. I distinctly remember my experience with homework and know that for me its not true.

My papers and projects I worked on in school gave me the skills to produce papers and write documents in college and even now in my job. It was the foundation for future learning.

However, that does not mean that I dont think that in the schools today some teachers overdo it with homework. I definitely believe they do. Just as you must do things in moderation, homework is no different. Teachers must separate “busy work” from truly necessary reinforcing homework.

I also believe that for the most part, homework should be a reinforcement for learning. It cannot replace the teacher. Guidance by a teacher is still necessary. However, you cannot wipe homework out.

So I think that the people who argue to get rid of homework need to rethink their approach. Homework is not all bad. It depends on how homework is used in the scheme of learning. And I think the teachers need to rethink their approach to assigning homework. They must have an instructionally sound reason for doing so.