The ROI of college: Is going to an expensive school worth it?

Good question. Is Education changing? Let’s look at this as an opportunity to create an education system or better yet an approach to education. I believe education is more of a human rights issue. It should not be looked at as a privilege for those who can afford it. I am not saying that education should be FREE. Just saying costs are out of control and we are forcing our children to start out live with huge debt. This is where I see the value of smaller community collages, tech schools and of course self directed learning.

~mojo

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Is Khan Academy the next model for learning?

I have been following the Khan Academy since first saw the 2011 TED talk by Salman Khan. I think about the possibilities that it offers to education. How can we leverage this model to enhance the the way our education system works today. I love the theory of flipping the classroom. The student having access to video content to work through and explore at their own pace. Then the teacher can work closely with the student while they practice and apply what they learned.

At the end of his talk Bill Gates joins Salman and asks some really great questions about the Gamification and the role of mentors and tutors on the site. Bills closing statement really put a bow on the talk when he says “I think you got a gimps of the future of education”.

Salman Khan talk at TED 2011

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Effective Technology Infusion Promotes Lifelong Productivity

My goal as an educator is a classroom engaged in challenging, authentic, and intellectual work, using technology in ways that powerfully advance learning.  My students are learning how technology works, what purposes it serves, and how it can be used to achieve goals.  While basic academics are vital, today’s student must also be able to use a range of media. In this age, all people are faced with a barrage of information available technologically that they must be able to locate, synthesize, and use.  Browsing, searching, navigating, and creating products online are essential skills.  Because it is so easily accessible, every child should be reaching out to the world beyond their own neighborhood/school.  Teachers should support today’s students’ needs and curiosity using current technological advances, establishing connections with the real-world to facilitate life-long learning/growth.  Because of technological advances, we can gather perspectives from innumerable sources.  Outdated textbooks and single-minded teaching fail to address learners’ needs in today’s wired, networked society.

Effective technology infusion promotes lifelong learning, collaboration, personal pursuits, and productivity.  By using technology effectively, ours has become a classroom with 29 experts; compared to the model of one teacher: 28 learners. In our class, we use technology to gather, organize, and share information that supports our standards far better than one teacher/book!  No question is taboo and everyone is responsible for finding answers using the technology we have available.  We research, write, and produce real world projects that make these 8-, 9-, and 10-year-olds proud to present their knowledge – a feeling that reaches beyond the standardized tests I have used in the past to measure their progress.