November 2011

Virtual Classroom Khan Academy Gets Brick and Mortar Location

A new "flipped classroom" summer school follows The Khan Academy's on demand learning method.

T

he Khan Academy has received national acclaim as a virtual learning classroom, free to use, and instrumental in helping students without access to tutors or supplemental practice to master STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). It seems that the Khan Academy may actually move to a physical, brick and mortar location for the summer of 2012. The rationale behind this move? To create a “summer camp” style space for kids to do hands-on, project-based learning in the STEM areas over the period when kids are usually slipping in academic ability.

Study Abroad

You should try it in college.

I studied abroad in Vienna for a semester during my junior year of college. I chose the program because I was interested in the culture and language of the region and because it combined opportunities in all my areas of interest. Ever since visiting Germany for two weeks after my senior year of high school, I was intrigued by the region’s language and culture, which incorporates more historic and artistic elements in everyday life than American culture does. I wanted to be able to immerse myself in the people, the buildings, the arts, the food and the education systems of Austria so I could be a part of the culture, rather than just an observer of it.

Alternative Schools – Not Just for Pregnant Girls Anymore

Just say the words “alternative school” and people automatically think of pregnant sixteen year olds or boys with mohawks and cigarettes. While it's true that alternative schools may be populated by these types of students, there are schools that cater to certain diverse populations or for students with learning differences. Alternative schools should be viewed as a place for students that have difficulties in typical high schools, whatever the reason. All kids deserve an education, including boys with mohawks, pregnant teen girls, and anyone in between.

Career Expectations in High School

They may not turn out the way you'd hoped.

I had a lot of trouble thinking of myself as anything but a singer when I came to college. In high school, I told anyone who would listen that I wanted to be an opera singer, that I loved music, that we should talk about Maria Callas and Maria Callas only for the next three hours. Freshman year, my musical focus made my non-music classes more special to me in their rarity. I loved leaving my conservatory studies behind and venturing to the basement of the humanities building for my English classes—I felt like I was leaving myself behind to cross the street for a Humanities Vacation. It was only supposed to be something to do on the side.

Maybe Americans Just Don't Want To All Be Scientists And Engineers

STEM education may be a "national priority" according to our leaders, but it ultimately depends on the students choosing their degree.

A push by the Obama administration, and in many states across the U.S., is to place a greater emphasis on STEM related curriculum, courses, and technologies. STEM stands for: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. These core curricular areas are so important, and schools attempting to implement them are so cash-strapped, that in many high schools and community colleges they have replaced more traditional liberal arts emphases such as writing, art, music, and other “soft” skills. According to a recent blog in GOOD, a Google software engineer (under 30 years old) earns roughly $250,000 a year, the kind of money that most kids, even in high school, know is an incredible amount of money to earn.

Sports Dreams

Are they the only way out of poverty?

I had never seen the famous basketball documentary movie Hoop Dreams until I watched it on Netflix tonight. Made in 1994, the documentary follows two young African-American NBA hopefuls, Arthur Agee and William Gates, as they mature from fourteen-year-old high school freshmen into the young men at the beginnings of their college careers.

Why Americans Hate School

Zakaria Points To A Glut Of Poor Teachers, But I Say It Goes Deeper Than Even That.

If education is truly the engine of social mobility, as Fareed Zakaria claims in a recent TIME essay, why does it receive such widespread disdain from so many people? Even when American education was at its height in the 1970’s, school teachers were still plagued by the, “Those who can’t, teach,” axiom. For the last three decades politicians and experts have been concerned by our degrading education system in this country. With nearly one in four children dropping out before graduation, and with a education workforce where half the teachers come from the bottom third of their class, Zakaria points to the erosion of American education as the erosion of the American Dream itself.

Children and Music

 

There have been many studies done regarding the importance of music in the development of children.  Studies have proven that music does have a positive influence on children in different stages of development.

Parents are known to play classical music while the mother is still pregnant.  It is a well known fact that children do react positively to music even while in the fetal stages.  Classical music is soothing to the fetus, especially when it is very active and causing the mother discomfort. 

The Latest Conservative "Research" On Why Public School Teachers Are Overpaid

The American Enterprise Institute and The Heritage Foundation put their heads together on this one...for all the good it did them.

Conservative think-tanks The American Enterprise Institute and The Heritage Foundation released a paper on Tuesday that claimed that public school teachers are overpaid in the U.S. This has been a growing sentiment among conservative thinkers that see a work force that is over 60% unionized, need a scapegoat for municipal budget shortfalls, and want to continue to push privatization as the answer to our economic and educational dysfunction. Public school teachers are a natural target for conservative hawks. In fact, the paper concludes that when teachers’ health insurance, pension, and other benefits are factored in, teachers are actually overpaid by 52% of non-teacher employees. However, this study, an attempt by AEI and HF at legitimizing these claims, ignores some glaring inconsistencies.