Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mooresville - one laptop per child

This is an interesting article on the Mooresville School District laptop programme for students.  There's information that will both excite and frighten teachers as we look towards giving our students every chance of academic success.

To excite
The district’s graduation rate was 91 percent in 2011, up from 80 percent in 2008. On state tests in reading, math and science, an average of 88 percent of students across grades and subjects met proficiency standards, compared with 73 percent three years ago. Attendance is up, dropouts are down. Mooresville ranks 100th out of 115 districts in North Carolina in terms of dollars spent per student — $7,415.89 a year — but it is now third in test scores and second in graduation rates.

To frighten
Sixty-five jobs were eliminated, including 37 teachers, which resulted in larger class sizes — in middle schools, it is 30 instead of 18 — but district officials say they can be more efficiently managed because of the technology.

One thing that the articles makes clear to me is the need for teachers to up-skill themselves with the ability to use technology to enhance learning.  Without doing so they may find that, like last year's technology, they become obsolete.

To read the article in full, click here.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Some great feedback on the New Zealand education system

Despite spending a lot less than other developed countries on education, New Zealand remains as one of the world's top performers when it comes to educating students.  The message here to me is clear; if we placed more value on education and spent closer to what other countries do, our children will achieve at even higher levels.

Have a read of this article from the New Zealand Herald titled: 'NZ top school performer despite low funds'.  The article starts:

Despite New Zealand schools receiving lower funding than many other OECD countries, students here are among the world's top achievers, according to a new report.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The digital divide - the new iliteracy

This TED talk discusses how to bridge the education gap that has become the digital divide.  This is done through the innovative Learning and Innovation Network.  To find out what this is all about, take 10 minutes of your time to watch this fascinating and inspiring TED presentation.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

iBooks Keynote

I loved this keynote address.  I can honestly say that I feel that the iBooks app and corresponding tools will change the face of education.  I strongly suggest that anyone with a vested interest in education puts aside 60 minutes of their time to watch this.

I, for one, am looking forward to using iBooks to enhance the education of my students.  I am looking forward even more to publishing my own book!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

National Standards league tables

Fight looms as Parata touts move on school ratings
It must be recognised that student performance is a result of the equation 'home x school = achievement'. I am hopeful that any proposed league table will reflect this.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

iBooks Author for educators

iBooks Author looks like a fantastic tool for educators, both as a means of accessing content, and a way in which to publish your own curriculum material.  Click here to see the demo on the Apple website.