Thursday, April 15, 2010

an educational conversation

Today, Glenn Beck had a conversation with Stephen Dubner (author of Freakonomics) regarding the idea of getting rid of the U.S. Department of Education. Below is a portion of the conversation:

BECK: How do you mean? What needs to change?

DUBNER: Well, you could argue a lot of things need to change. There's a program in New York City right now. So same school system that brings you the rubber rooms, New York City, public school system — where I live, in New York City — also brings a pilot program called the School of One, which I think we'll be hearing a lot more about in future. It's a very small pilot program right now.

What it does is it takes all the students in a classroom and instead of having one teacher up there individually trying to teach 30 kids
— now, kids learn differently at different paces in different ways.

What this does is it uses technology to figure out what each kid is learning every day. They take a test at the end of every day. It goes in the computer. There is an algorithm that essentially determines a playlist for each kid.

Instead of the iPod playlist, you have a workstation playlist. Every kid is being taught every day in a variety of modalities — meaning, sometimes it's a teacher with a large group. Sometimes, it's a small group of kids. Sometimes it's one kid with the computer.

We're in the 21st Century. We're surrounded by wonderful technology. And it's time that teaching and the art of teaching and the science of teaching are kind of brought up to that.

We really need to rethink who that person is in the classroom.

View the whole article HERE:
I thought this was VERY interesting in light of the recent conversations I've been having at the Iowa 1:1 conference and also working with teachers.
Leave your reactions in the comments. I'd be interested to see what people think regarding the 21st Century learner!

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