It’s estimated that only about 10 percent of K-12 schools teach computer science. Some companies are trying to fill a void in American public education by teaching kids computer programming basics. The push comes amid projections that there will be far more tech sector jobs than computer science graduates to fill them.
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One principal in an affluent Bay Area School is striving to do more than just “enhance” classroom learning with iPads.
Depending on the context in which it is used, and the priorities of the educators (which includes those present in the classroom, lurking at home, or at their drawing boards or computer screens at an educational publisher), one can skew the same application toward app-dependent or app-enabling ends.
As schools and districts prepare for the Common Core State Standards, the pressure to buy new technology overtakes the need to create a vision and a plan for smart long-term use.
One of California’s poorest school districts, the Coachella Valley Unified southeast of Los Angeles, is currently rolling out iPads to every student, pre-K through high school. It’s an ambitious effort that administrators and parents hope will transform how kids learn, boost achievement and narrow the digital divide with wealthier districts.
In the best learning environments, sharing work doesn’t just mean posting on the Internet, it means building connections with a wider community, so that sharing becomes part of a set of relationships and patterns of exchange. Here are some ideas on how to get started.
We don’t want iPads to just become replacements for notebooks and textbooks, we want them to be objects to think with. We want students using them to mess around with the world around them and their courses of study. Here are ideas on how to use iPads to create and document in order to cement what students are learning.
The decline in teaching cursive handwriting, the rise of the keyboard, and the introduction of the Common Core State Standards that do not require children to know cursive all question its relevance. Passionate advocates claim that cursive is a cultural tradition with cognitive and academic benefits that must be preserved, while some teachers and handwriting experts say the decline of cursive is natural, and it should be allowed to morph into a print/cursive hybrid, or bow out altogether.
A recent survey of students shows they aren’t able to access the full range of learning tools available to them due to firewalls that keep them from social networks and a range of websites, as well as school restrictions on their smartphones.
How might efforts to curate benefit from the portability and ubiquity of mobile devices? Tools like Evernote and GoodReads allow for easy and valuable curation. But the harder questions are pedagogical and curricular.