Monday, July 6, 2009

There's Brains for You

More Verbal Diarrhea from Arne Duncan:
"Kids are on their cell phones the 14 hours a day they are not in school," Duncan said in a recent interview with eCampus News at Education Department (ED) headquarters in Washington, D.C. With teenagers and young adults using cell phones constantly, Duncan said, technology officials should find ways to send homework, video lectures, and other classroom material so students can study wherever they are.
Does it really make sense that the kids will study during those 14 hours of the day that they're not in school if they couldn't be bothered to study during the 6.5 hours they were in it?

I always come back to this question: If students were so good at studying outside of school such as during the summer, why don't they come back to school better? Why is there such a drop-off during the 10 weeks of summer? The Internet and Wikipedia and all those free online courses and thousands of free websites (like my real one, not this one) that articulate pretty much everything that happens in class, are all available during the summer. Judging from the logs, though, it's not used all that much.

Could it be that students don't learn very much outside of the classroom, that the cellphones are used for chatting and sexting rather than for education?

I wonder, too, if you make everything available outside of the classroom, what incentive is there to be in class and paying attention? "I don't need to write this down, I can get it from the website." "I don't need notes because you'll write them for me." which then leads to "I don't understand this question on the test because I didn't understand your notes." Not surprising, since you didn't actually read them, you just skimmed them and made some very broad assumptions about your understanding.

1 comment:

  1. So you have a "real" website - not this one? Do you mind sharing a link to that one? I have a boy who could use some additional practice. Thanks!

    (PS: Thank you for the "Problem of the Day" feature.)