Digital Textbooks: Key to a Brighter Future?

February 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Things are changing quickly in the digital age. Young people are accessing content from many different sources using an increasing number of devices, from smartphones to ebooks. As a result, the way content is created and accessed is changing how young people learn in school. Several years ago, a shocking study, indicated that a decreasing number of college graduates can read at a proficient level–a number that has been on the decline for over a decade. But one possible cause, according to Mark S. Schneider, education statistic commissioner, might be the old educational methods aren’t equipped to teach a generation raised on TV and computers, who learn about the world on a daily basis through images, and, increasingly, interactive content. Read more…

Public Universities Up Fund-raising in an Economic Downturn

January 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Despite the Council for Aid to Education’s prediction in 2009 that the economic downturn would cause private donations to universities to decline, public institutions like Rutgers University raised more money in 2010 than ever before. In fact, Donald M. Fellows, the president of Marts & Lundy, an advising firm for nonprofits, stated, in The New York Times article on the subject, that post secondary education is the only nonprofit sector in which he hasn’t lost business. Facing mounting state budget cuts and an infertile economic climate, public schools are pulling all the stops to survive. Read more…

Your Guide to Education in the 21st Century

January 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Say I am a new teacher at a high school with a growing student population, and I’m teaching a class with over thirty students for the first time. I could go join schoolnet.com, which will help me target students who need help as I use the site to manage assignments and grades. Or perhaps I am a college student studying for the next test in my Microbiology course, so I go on quizlet.com, enter in my notes, and play games in which I match up terms and definitions for the class. Or maybe I’m a single mother who doesn’t have the money or time to attend a university or even a community college, so I participate in an online certification program to broaden employment opportunities. In his article, “100+ Resources that are Transforming Education,” Yury Lifshits, former professor and current Yahoo tech guy and blogger, makes sense of the massive jungle of the new, innovative startups and resources cropping up throughout the buzzing field of education technology. Read more…

Are America’s Students ‘Racing to Nowhere’ or ‘Waiting For Superman?’

December 29, 2010 2 comments

This year’s ACT college readiness test results revealed that many graduating high school students are unprepared for college. In fact, as pressure on schools increases to improve their graduation rates, more and more are passing students who don’t even meet graduation requirements. The documentary Waiting for Superman investigates how schools are failing to intellectually stimulate, challenge, and adequately prepare students for the real world. Meanwhile, the documentary Race to Nowhere tells a different story in which students grapple with curricula so vigorous, schedules so tightly packed, and pressure from parents so intense that their creativity, physical and mental health, and, in some cases, their very lives, are at stake. Should parents and faculty be pushing students harder or easing up? Read more…

Steve Jobs’ Commencement Speech to Stanford Graduates

December 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Many of us know Steve Jobs as the co-founder of Apple and Pixar, but did you know Jobs encountered many hardships, failures, and unexpected turns throughout his life, including dropping out of college?

In his commencement address to Stanford’s graduating class of 2005, Jobs is very generous, personal, and honest. Unlike many speakers who focus on their successes and impart advice to students to emulate that kind of success, Jobs’ speech is composed of three surprising stories from his life that have made him the person he is today. Jobs offers no easy answers, but delivers an incredibly inspirational speech that may feature some of the most valuable words of wisdom for any graduate.

Choosing a College: What Advice Should You Follow?

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment

As college students have attested, choosing which institution of higher learning to attend can be a baffling experience, particularly when even the experts can’t agree. The New York Times has enlisted a variety of experts (such as a law professor, the director of the nonprofit Colleges Change Lives, and an economist) to each give their own take on the myths associated with the college application process, cite what they think are the most important factors to consider when choosing a college, and provide resources and strategies for students who are looking for a quality education. The featured discussion offers students a spectrum of ideas and perspectives on a very difficult and often times nerve-wracking process.

Willamette’s Future Burns Brighter: The School that Launched a Thousand Candles

November 26, 2010 Leave a comment

The first university founded in the west, Willamette University, established in Salem, Oregon in 1842, has its own particular vibe. A stream runs through campus amongst lush trees and other plant-life that adorn its green fields, and due to its small size and rich history, the school takes pride in offering a unique commencement experience. Michelle Maynard, Willamette’s Director of Special Events, who is in charge of scheduling all logistics and venues for commencement and all the events associated with it, shared with me the how Willamette celebrates graduates, their mothers, and the unique educational journeys (past and present) each of its students take. Read more…

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