Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best education apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch

This list was published on the 29th of December.  It has the top ranked (in the United States) apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch in terms of paid, free and top grossing.  Check it out by clicking here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sir Paul Callaghan on how to educate New Zealanders for future prosperity

This presentation is fantastic and absolutely inspirational.  It's also a real eye-opener; New Zealanders really do need to get our heads out of the sand if we want our country to be one that we all want to live and prosper in.

The presentation isn't solely about education, in fact it only touches on the topic.  Nevertheless, Sir Paul does highlight these key ideas:

-  Tell the stories of job opportunities for New Zealand kids at home (Get kids and teachers visiting the smart businesses).
-  Significantly boost science and mathematics education in schools.
-  Build school programmes in entrepreneurship.
-  Boost university science and engineering capability.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What is a school decile rating?

In the weekend I spoke to a number of people who were looking to, or had recently done so, choose schools for their children.  All I spoke to were educated and successful in their field, as well as being quite nice and pretty easy to get along with.  However, overwhelmingly, they to suffered from one major misconception about schools, this being; the higher the decile rating, the better the school, the better the standard of education.

To clear up this issue I have gone to the New Zealand Ministry of Education website to find out the facts about decile ratings, which you to can access by clicking here.  To save you time, read the following line that finishes the Ministry's brief explanation on the subject:

'The decile rating does not measure the standard of education delivered by a school'. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

20 life lessons from Steve Jobs

If these life lessons worked for Steve Jobs, surely they're going to be beneficial to those of us in the education sector.  You can find out more about each lesson by clicking here to read Lance Ulanoff's excellent article.

  1. Don’t Wait
  2. Make Your Own Reality
  3. Control Everything You Can
  4. Own Your Mistakes
  5. Know Yourself
  6. Leave the Door Open for the Fantastic
  7. Don’t Hold Back
  8. Surround Yourself with Brilliance
  9. Build a Team of A Players
  10. Be Yourself
  11. Be Persuasive
  12. Show Others the Way
  13. Trust Your Instincts
  14. Take Risks
  15. Follow Great with Great
  16. Make Tough Decisions
  17. Presentation Can Make a World of Difference
  18. Find a Way to Balance Your Intensity
  19. Live for Today
  20. Share Your Wisdom

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Advice on how to get your child ahead

I really love this advice from Howard Gardner for parents who want to get their kids ahead:

'Walks in the woods, visits to museums and building with tinker toys.  "You can't replace the human imagination," he said. "There's no app for that."

So put the iPad away and have some actual real life experiences!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Schools in cyberspace

This article from today's New Zealand Herald looks at using the Internet and computers in general to support children's learning.  Many interesting points are raised.  Here are a couple that caught my attention:

Point 1
Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs also recounts Jobs telling US President Barack Obama that education was hopelessly antiquated and crippled by union work rules. "It was absurd," he added, "that American classrooms were still based on teachers standing at a board and using textbooks. All books, learning materials, and assessments should be digital and interactive, tailored to each student and providing feedback in real time." 

Point 2
Challenging as the idea sounds, it highlights another problem. Generally, greater use of computers hasn't shown significant improvements in science, maths or reading scores - a conundrum calling into question the whole idea of giving schools technological upgrades. 

Thought provoking stuff?  I think so.

To read the article in full, click here.