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Posts Tagged ‘education’

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…

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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…

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.

New Instructional Technology: Big Brother or Beneficial?

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

An increasing number of professors at universities and colleges around the country are taking advantage of “clickers”–wireless, hand-held devices students use to indicate they are present and on time, paying attention by answering questions the teacher poses on a projector, and whether or not they understand a concept in the lecture.

There are certainly upsides and downsides to the technology. Many schools require students to pay for the devices themselves. Read more…

University of Florida Graduates Thousands: Coordinating One of the Biggest Graduation Events in the US

November 10, 2010 Leave a comment

University of Florida ranks among America’s largest post-secondary institutions. To give you an idea of its size, previous universities I wrote about, such as Southern Methodist University and University of Miami, have student populations around 16,000, while UF’s is over 50,000! Donna Stricker, UF’s Commencement Coordinator, reveals how she has not only overseen the successful completion of various ceremonies, but has also managed to keep them all under ninety minutes long, as she is constantly mindful of the family members and friends who attend.

Read more…

One of the Worst (and Biggest) Schools Becomes One of its State’s Best

September 28, 2010 1 comment

Faculty in Brockton High School in Massachusetts used to be ashamed of their school’s dismal performance on not only state tests, but in graduating its students. Sam Dillon of the New York Times in his article shares statistics that illustrate the school’s disastrous condition: in the year 2000, one in three students would drop out and only a quarter would pass standardized exams. Many would point to a school with a population of over 4,000 was an exemplar of what has become a maxim in the education world: the smaller the better.

But then, a number of Brockton’s teachers decided they’d had enough. They organized comprehensive reform, requiring all teachers to attend training and meetings, to incorporate writing and reading skills in all their curricula (including physical education!

The result? Over the last ten years, Brockton has not only gotten itself out of the academic hole, but its students’ test scores are now exceeding that of 90% of Massachusetts’ schools! For a student population comprised mostly of minorities and students of low economic status, teachers have not only revised their curricula, but they have also changed the way they talked to students, motivating them, and speaking to them about college as a legitimate possibility, not a fanciful dream. What school faculty can learn from this case study is that, no matter what the school size, tenacity, creativity, and handwork on behalf of a dedicated faculty can make all the difference.

Insurance for College: What You Might Not Have Considered

September 18, 2010 Leave a comment

One thing many parents either overlook or fail to talk to their college-bound children about is safety at college. In particular, Paul Sullivan of The New York Times, notes how loathe parents are, as well as college students are, to address this issue of insurance for college life. There’s property and identify theft–and liability cases…Sullvan goes over the things parents and their kids should consider and offers some pointers on taking the proper measures. Talking about insurance can be boring or scary, whether you’re thinking about all the technicalities of insurance or what might happen to you or your child in college, but Sullivan keeps his article practical and easy to follow.