You probably saw the headlines about the devastating tornadoes that swept through the Dallas, Texas metropolitan area a few weeks ago. Our hearts go out to those who suffered damage.
As the Lancaster area of the storm-hit region undergoes its recovery, I recently read that at least its public school students have much to look forward to in the months ahead. Lancaster schools recently announced a plan to create a “STEM District”—a union of schools committed to systematically changing teaching practices to promote state-of-the-art education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. It’s an exciting opportunity for the historically economically disadvantaged district to become a national model for teaching these critical topics. Read More »
Ah, the fieldtrip! Brings back memories, doesn’t it? Well, actually, the memory I always recall is not entirely a happy one. Sure the zoo was fun, but what I remember most was the bus breaking down, the monkey hitting my friend in the eye with a butterscotch candy and a dark-haired boy promptly throwing up when we walked into the hippo area. It was still fun, though, to get out of school for the day and explore what we were learning hands on. An opportunity for real-life engagement in the learning process. Unfortunately, with budget struggles, time constraints and often just a school’s rural location, fieldtrips are few and far between for many schools.
More and more schools, however, as I’ve written before, are finding ways to take virtual fieldtrips (or VFTs) allowing students to participate in the same live, interactive experience without bus rides, transportation costs and loss of instructional time. Read More »
Classes just got a little more interesting at Harvard Law School, Columbia University and Sciences Po, an elite university in Paris.
A 65-student class dedicated to making students think critically about reimagining society, “Progressive Alternatives: Institutional Reconstruction Today,” is using telepresence to create a discussion that transcends three campuses located in different parts of the world.
According to an article in The Harvard Crimson, the class is taught by Harvard Law School professor Roberto M. Unger and includes commentary from Columbia University professor Jeffrey D. Sachs and Laurence Tubiana, a professor from Sciences Po.
With its telepresence system, the instructors and class are able to interact in realtime. The first hour of the class is a lecture and comment from each professor and the remaining one hour allows times for questions and a lively discussion. Read More »
What will our educational system look like in a decade? Will there even be physical classrooms? Will school have evolved into some sort of theme park full of interactive technologies and fun learning gadgets?
Technology will certainly play a part in creating the exciting atmospheres that educators seek to provide for their students. Educators and administrators have even taken the conversation about educating our youth to the next level by utilizing social media tools such as Twitter and Edmodo.com to communicate with each other for fresh ways to inspire youth to find their own education intriguing.