Wednesday, August 20, 2008

How Can We Improve Education?

For years I have seen money being thrown at problems as if it would make a difference--only to see the same old thing over and over again. We bought a copy machine. Wow! No more blue copies. Whoopee big do. We bought new computers for each classroom--one per class, then maybe two per class. Time on the computers was eeked out in little parcels or given to the favorite students for good behavior or some such nonsense. Now each school has more computers and even some laptops to take home for some schools. But have these changes made a big difference?

As long as we have "benchmark" tests that grade children on certain standards for certain grades, we will not really improve our system of education. Each person learns differently. I could read before I started school and even say the multiplication tables--though I had no idea what they meant. It was just a rhyme in my head. But words meant something to me. Not the spoken word--just the printed word. How strange. I had to see words for them to make sense to me. I think that makes me a visual learner.

Since we already know that there are at least three ways to learn for most people, why not make good use of our resources and try to match computer programs to learning styles. We have super geeks who could design systems just for the kinetic learners--those ADHD kids who can't be still and focus. Computers can be mobile too. A helmet hooked up with goggles and video could teach better than a teacher who is constantly distracted by a young person's excess energy.

I read an article today that says we need to reform our educational expectations--on the same day that I read about one of the Olympic athletes who was/is ADHD. The athletic accomplishment is wonderful, but wouldn't it be fantastic if we could put that much energy into coaching our children to be better educated people?

See the article at the link below:
Our educational system needs an overhaul (and how can Intel help?)

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