Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Educational Sites: Citizen Journalists, Civics' Lessons for kids

There is little doubt about the power of Internet in the field of education. I came across two useful educational sites today, each useful in its own way.

The first is a site promoted by retired Supreme Court Justice Day O'Connor, aimed at teaching kids about the Government, the Courts and Civics, in general. It a simple and informative site targeted and tuned for kids. To develop greater civic engagement there is no better place to start than with kids. Teachers can make use of this site as well to teach, develop lesson plans etc.

The second is a site aimed at educating the "citizen journalist" to be a better reporter. (I first read about this site here). In this day and age where pretty much anyone with Internet access and PC (or cell phone) can be a reporter (of some sort), a site of this nature can be of great help in learning from the experts.

As someone in the education business, it is always great to see new sites emerge to serve specific targeted educational needs.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Online Learning Gets a Boost

The WSJ had a news article about Jack Welch lending his name to an Online University program.
A couple of interesting data points from the article:

Boston research firm EduVentures Inc. estimates that 11% of the roughly 18.5 million U.S. college students took most of their classes online in the fall of 2008, up from 1% a decade ago.

Online higher education will generate revenue of $11.5 billion this year, EduVentures says.

Here is another interesting article describing the threat to traditional universities from the growth of new technologies.

One thing for sure. The smartest students want to get an "A" without having ever gone to the lectures. They understand that there are better ways of learning than being the passive recipient of a one-way, one size fits all, teacher-focused model where the student is isolated in the learning process. When the cream of the crop of an entire generation is boycotting the formal model of pedagogy, the writing is in the wall.

The same author has another article on the same issue with links to related articles.

I argued that is a widening gap between the model of learning offered by many big universities and the natural way that young people who have grown up digital best learn. The reaction on Twitter, mainly from students has been enormously positive.