Over the past 40 years in the U.S., our student to teacher ratio has dropped from 22:1 to 17:1. Our teachers are better educated than ever – fully 62% today own a Masters degree, compared with only 23% in 1971. And we continue to spend – our nation’s investment in K-12 places us 4th in the world at $11,000 per student, trailing only Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Norway.
So, what’s happened to our reading and math test scores over these past four decades? Virtually flat.
Why is this?
Roland Fryer, the Robert M. Beren Professor of Economics at Harvard, would argue it’s due in part to the fact we really do not know what the problems are. His view: “it’s time to apply some science to the problem of student achievement in our schools.”
I’ve always worked in creative environments with a lot of interdependent roles and processes – and big, unyielding deadlines. Twenty years ago (did I just type that?!), it was editors, writers, designers, artists, production teams, salespeople, prepress film houses, printers, and all of the rest involved in producing magazines. My role was at the intersection of the creative work and technical production. Sometimes it all happened as a meeting in one room, other aspects involved sneakernet, sending disks and film back and forth via couriers. Missing a print date cost big dollars. You didn’t miss the dates. Ever.
Being a bit of a geek with a logical streak of an engineer’s daughter, I was always looking for ways to add structure and streamline processes. (This is not unlike trying to put a wet cat in a sweater.) I developed a successful, but perhaps unhealthy relationship with spreadsheets that I used to hold information – deadlines, story details, status, page counts, art files, page ratios. I dutifully maintained my trusty grids and could answer any question about any bit or piece along the way. But hand anyone else a printout and their eyes would cross and roll before they simply restated the question. The spreadsheets held data; I was the mechanism for sharing data – the user interface, so to speak.
A while back, we asked what features you think would make up a good video collaboration app for smartphones and mobile devices.
Do you have your list?
If so, you should submit it to this team of primary school students in Sutton Coldfield, England. The youngsters take part in an after school computer club, during which they design apps for smartphones and tablets. They’ve already come up with sound effects and “painting” programs; could video be next? Read More »
We’ve been telling you about Cisco Live UK and the Cisco Industrial Booth for a couple of weeks now. Well, Cisco Live UK 2012 is finally here at the ICC London ExCeL, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London, which is a major relatively new Conference and Exhibition Venue.
Held from January 30th through February 3rd in London, we have have our very own Cisco Industrial Solutions booth especially aimed at helping manufacturers and companies in many industrial sectors with their networking and business challenges. See later on in the blog for a map fo exactly where the booth is in the World of Solutions.
We have plenty of demonstrations planned there covering: Read More »
Recent articles indicate that manufacturing activity in the U.S. continues to expand and global industrial production is positive in spite of softness in a few geographies. This is a great rebound from the trough of 2009. Productivity gains have fueled much of the recent rebound and leading companies are looking for more. Several years ago a leading manufacturing company, GE, asked Cisco to develop a new collaborative environment for distributed teams.
Leaders have implemented new working environments, such as the Cisco Active Collaboration Room. Now there is a movement to bring forward the next environment for team productivity, rapid decision making, and distributed collaboration. The development of new working environments will accelerate, driven by a need to enable distributed teams for innovation, business management, and optimization. As mobility and the benefits of rapid analysis and decision making increase, the work environments will change dramatically as described in the Fortune magazine article, “What will the future workplace look like?” Read More »