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brookseven 1/30/2014 | 10:04:25 AM
Re: There's no data, no metrics, nothing... So here is my big problem....there is no control and experimentation of the use of BB Internet.

Let me return to CA and its cancelation of lots of college classes due to shortages in professors (they fired lots of them).  Let me ask a question.  Should we replace the 4x a week English Lit 1 lecture with an online course with 1x a week "English Lit Lab"?  That would cut the number of professor hour per student by 75% in a base lecture class.

But having/not having internet is not the issue (remember libraries have it as well).  Its what you do with it.  What are the programs/tools deployed?  How do students use the tools?  What is the value of the tool delivered?

This is why I brought up the loss of $$ in CA leading to higher test scores.  I think we need to think about how we might change education NOT I gots me some Interwebs.


mendyk 1/30/2014 | 10:03:45 AM
Re: There's no data, no metrics, nothing... Understood -- but this a problem that's been a generation or more in the making and predates the broadband issue. And it's certainly not the only bureaucratic metric that has subverted and distorted the way we live and, um, measure ourselves.
KBode 1/30/2014 | 9:58:47 AM
Re: There's no data, no metrics, nothing... Did those conversations involve any details on the actual program? Because I just can't find any, whether it's the ConnectED pdf they released last June, to the fact sheet tha accompanied the SOTU. That's a problem. I'd be happy to support a good idea, but there's just nothing there that's substantive so far.
Carol Wilson 1/30/2014 | 9:54:40 AM
Re: There's no data, no metrics, nothing... But testing has become much more than a measurement of progress, it has become the driving force in American education - ask any teacher, but only if you have time for a lengthy diatribe.
mendyk 1/30/2014 | 9:51:12 AM
Re: There's no data, no metrics, nothing... Re standardized testing -- it's the only consistent and available big data we have, which is why bureaucrats have defaulted to it as the key performance indicator for school systems.
mendyk 1/30/2014 | 9:26:18 AM
Mind the gap There's a gap between rich and poor? Not to be too dismissive, but in theory US programs for technology in education have been targeted to address income disparities (part of the whole "digital divide" argument that has been around almost as long as the commercial Internet). I don't know if there's any empirical evidence on whether or not these programs actually work.
Carol Wilson 1/30/2014 | 9:20:18 AM
Re: There's no data, no metrics, nothing... Karl,

That was my first impression as well, that this was sound and fury, signifying nothing but money wasted. But after a couple of conversations with those involved, none of whom would speak on the record, I've decided to give them a brief reprieve from judgment. 

As for surveys that show correlation between broadband availability and standardized testing results, I personally think our obsession with standardized testing is, by itself, killing education. It has created a whole industry  around teaching kids to take tests and determining what should be on those tests, as well as how to evaluate teachers based on how their kids perform on those tests. 

The testing obsession is obliterating good teaching and creative thought. And the only purpose of testing is to convince politicians that our schools are doing better. 

I happen to be among those who think we should take politics and politicians out of education altogether. 

KBode 1/30/2014 | 8:23:00 AM
There's no data, no metrics, nothing... This program (ConnectED) was technically announced back in June, and back then there were no metrics, no data, no hard information of any kind on how the idea would be funded, how it would be tracked, how precisely the 100 Mbps would magically appear.

Fast forward to the State of the Union and the same program gets trotted out again with absolutely no hard data about it, not to mention no data on any progress made since its launch 7+ months ago.

It seems to me like it's yet another show pony initiative, while they still haven't really fully fixed the USF and E-Rate to ensure money goes where it actually should. I'm all for spending tapayer money on education technology, but how about some reform first? Some data metrics? Something?
PaulERainford 1/30/2014 | 4:36:32 AM
School funding home broadband in the UK In the UK the authorities are waking up to the fact that in certain deprived areas there are many kids who don't have broadband access at home, not so much because of the monthly cost but because the initial set-up costs -- PC, router etc -- prove prohibitive to their families. This puts those kids at an obvious disadvantage to the other kids who have access to school-sanctioned Internet learning stuff at home and have tablets to flash in the classroom. There's now talk of 'Pupil Premium' money, which is money from government given to schools corresponding to the number of disadvantaged kids they have on the roll, to fund home broadband for the kids that don't have it. It's gonna be tricky to administer, but to me it makes a lot of sense. The UK schools system is so divisive already, the last thing it needs is a tech hierarchy among the kids.
brookseven 1/30/2014 | 1:12:24 AM
Re: Digital division I think these things are all poppycock....let me use an example.   During the recession, California cut Education Spending and Test scores rose through the whole thing.


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