Sunday, August 26, 2012

"Is the Cell Phone the New Pencil?" and More

Is the cell Phone the New Pencil?
Creative Commons photo by emdot
It is commonplace to bemoan the poor writing skills of students today. Yes, there is no question that writing effectively is difficult. Yes, it is true that we don't provide enough high quality writing instruction (writing is known as the "forgotten R"). And yes, the demands of a knowledge economy require excellent writing abilities. But the students we teach today write more than any generation in human history

Where Microsoft Has More Taste than AppleApple’s most recent skeuomorph is one of the worst. The company’s Podcasts app, released in June, actually shows a reel-to-reel tape playing while the podcast is running. Do people under the age of 30 even know what a reel-to-reel tape player is?The Calendar app for the iPad has torn paper, suggesting that previous months have been ripped from a physical calendar. Gimme a break.

Top Universities Test the Online Appeal of FreeIn a major development on Tuesday, a dozen highly ranked universities said they had signed on with Coursera, a new venture offering free classes online. They still must overcome some skepticism about the quality of online education and the prospects for having the courses cover the costs of producing them, but their enthusiasm is undimmed.

Is the Khan Academy a Real 'Education Solution'
Dan Meyer and Ed Week opinion blogger Justin Reich, noting that there are errors in some of the Khan Academy videos, have started a contest inviting readers to critique the academy lessons.

Education Takes a Dramatic New Course [in Australia]

FOR the first time, all Australian students will study dance, drama, media arts, music and the visual arts until year 10, under a draft new national curriculum released yesterday.
10 Things in School that Should be Obsolete
So much about how and where kids learn has changed over the years, but the physical structure of schools has not. Looking around most school facilities — even those that aren’t old and crumbling – it’s obvious that so much of it is obsolete today, and yet still in wide use.

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