Podcast Series: Innovations in Education
Explore the full series of eSchool News podcasts hosted by Kevin Hogan—created to keep you on the cutting edge of innovations in education.
Does middle school need an image makeover?
Middle school has a terrible reputation, The Atlantic reports. The titles of James Patterson’s middle-school series say it all: From the number-one New York Times bestseller Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, which launched the series in 2011, to last summer’s Middle School: How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli, and Snake Hill, to this spring’s Middle School: Ultimate Showdown!, the titles reflect a dystopian vision of life in middle school. And he’s far from alone in this. When it comes to young adolescents in schools, Americans seem determined to perpetuate a narrative of hormones and horror……Read More
After-school activities make educational inequality even worse
It’s not just what happens inside the classroom that determines a child’s status as an adult, The Atlantic reports. Accomplishments outside the classroom can be just as influential. Yes, a basic public education is in principle free to all (though of course quality correlates with property values). But activities outside of school are not free, so they largely benefit already advantaged kids. While we talk a lot about inequalities between the rich and the poor, and the role school quality plays in perpetuating class divisions, one often overlooked factor is the opportunities middle- and upper-middle-class kids get to strengthen their life skills through organized competitive activities outside of the school system……Read More
The innovators who are transforming U.S. education
The Atlantic reports: The new global economy demands a robust workforce, flush with technical know-how. Unfortunately, education in the United States of America has been failing to meet this need. According to the U.S. Department of Education, American students rank 17th in science and 25th in mathematics among industrialized nations. Despite encouraging signs that lucrative STEM jobs will be greater in number and more accessible than ever in the near future, a national Microsoft survey concluded that only 49 percent of American parents of K–12 students believe STEM education is being treated like a top educational priority. To combat this underachievement, organizational and individual entrepreneurs are changing this status quo with ideas that are shifting the way our country educates its children in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics……Read More
Students are ‘hacking’ their school-issued iPads: Good for them
Almost immediately after receiving their new school-issued iPads this fall, students in Indiana and in California (and probably elsewhere) managed to bypass the security on the devices, “hacking” them for “non-schoolwork” purposes: listening to music, checking Facebook, surfing the web, The Atlantic reports. The news made headlines last week, no surprise, considering the hundreds of millions of dollars that schools all over the country are spending on tablets—with the promise that ed-tech has made for decades now of better student achievement with more modern, more mobile teaching and learning opportunities. The Los Angeles School District alone, where some of this purported “hacking” occurred, has plans to spend $1 billion for an iPad rollout over the next two years that would eventually put a device in every student’s hands……Read More
I will not check my son’s grades online five times a day
The Atlantic reports: Last week I received a letter from my son’s high school that started like this: “Dear Parent/Guardian, PowerSchool, our student information system, allows you to create your own account and use a single password to access information for all of your children who attend school in our district. This account allows you to keep up to date with your students’ academic progress, attendance, historical grades, etc.” I believe the letter goes on to detail procedures for setting up an account that would allow me to track nearly every aspect of my son’s academic life. I say, “I believe,” because I have not read the rest of the letter. Our family had known the letter was coming, and we’d already discussed how we were going to handle it. My husband and I handed the letter over to my 14-year-old son with the promise that we will not be using the system to check on his grades or attendance (or anything else). In return, he promised to use the system himself and keep us appraised of anything we need to know……Read More