Reading about the Bus funding crisis in California has ignited a number of discussions around how collaboration technologies could be used to soften some of the impact of losing the busing funds. We’ve talked here numerous times about how telepresence is being used to take students on field trips and connect them to new learning experiences, without the necessity of travel.
Field trips are often times students’ favorite memories from school. Who doesn’t love getting to leave the classroom for the day and explore what they’re learning hands-on? Unfortunately, there are a number of things that can prevent a good field trip experience in today’s educational environment – whether it’s the school’s rural location or the ever-decreasing school budgets. Read More »
Ever hear about an interesting location, historical site or tourist attraction and thought “wow, I only live five miles from there, I should check it out”? Well, it just happens that there are numerous groups of students who are engaging with the uniqueness of their communities and sharing their knowledge with the world.
The Internet. Believe it or not, in Cisco’s 2011 Connected World Technology Report, 49% of college students and 47% of recently employed college students (many working in their first full-time jobs) said the Internet is “pretty close” to the level of importance of air, food, water and shelter.
A few other fascinating stats from the Connected World Technology Report:
As we’ve talked about before, Hillcrest High School in Riverside, California has state-of-the art facilities. But, it has no students. Financed with $105 million of bond money allocated in 2007, the school now lacks the $3 million it needs from the state to operate for one year. California state budget cuts of $18 billion, one-third of the state’s education funding, keep Hillcrest’s halls and classrooms empty.
In similar dire straits as California, Minnesota’s state government this summer borrowed $2.2 billion from its public schools to end a government shutdown. The state has not set a date by which to pay the schools back.
In school, you’re learning all about fish. Would you rather look at, hold, and examine an actual fish to determine its species or would you prefer to read a textbook about a bunch of different fish?
Sliminess factor aside, I’d vote for seeing the actual fish.
The students in science teacher Michelle Underwood’s class feel the same way: They love the hands-on projects — fish study included — that Underwood has worked into her classroom, they said in a video. A self-described convert from “death-by-Powerpoint” lecture style teaching, Underwood now embraces collaborative project-based learning to increase the depth of her students’ understanding and ensure their sustained interest. She brings everything from animals, to computers, to video equipment into her classroom to facilitate engaging lessons.
According to the educators at Edutopia, George Lucas’s educational foundation, Underwood has the right idea. Project-based learning, as opposed to textbook-based work, helps students retain more material and better develop the ability to self-direct, said an article by the Edutopia staff. Hands-on activities provide students opportunities to experiment with technology and witness real-world connections to the information they encounter in the classroom, the article said. Read More »