As one knows there are many things that can be said about the education system. In many areas there is a distinct advantage if the school is private or public. In the area of public another distinction is social status of the educational establishment. There are teachers who under perform and those that excel. That can be said of the students too. To date, it has been very difficult to find a school system where every student can hit the A grade status. Is this possible or just something out of Sci-Fi. Well pay careful attention to an area that is accessible to all – The internet – a area that should be used to unite that I personally believe is undermined.
Lets explore the areas of how the current approach is to the internet and why this is a flawed approach ( well we really do not have to look to why it is flawed with so many educational establishments failing against the world stage to create top flight students).
In a debate by Barak Obama and John McCain, Barak mentions that Americans spend the most per child then any other nation in the world but get incredibly low results. First people go to blame the government, then the teachers, then the students, then the resources -STOP already!
In all fairness, many of the above are instrumental in the failure, but how do they constitute themselves to success in the rapid phenomenon known as the internet? Well :
1. Understand its worth
2. Understand its user
3. Control the environment to your terms.
Simple and you have success. Under the simplicity are specific notions of complexity. For example the net has a billion uses, so you have to understand what it is worth to you.
Also the user is unique so the number of uses can become staggering.
Being able to control your environment can create the a clear path through this all.
Here I will begin to explain how you can achieve that A grade success and retain all teachers ( remember many teachers are only resourceful to the resources they are given and trained to observe- an old saying “a bad workman blames his tools” – the teacher being the tool and the educational system being the workman!).
Well many of us know that virtually all schools have computer access now and those that do also have internet access. Currently schools use a specific scoring system like FCAT or TASK (depending on state). They often also include weekly tests. Many see them as critical in record keeping on student progress which is reciprocated on school achievement. Yes to some degree but then with all these high tech net related systems, why do so many students continue to fail or get low grades?
It lies again in the understanding the core – the student. Teach the student right and they will achieve the goals. Many people look into issues such as limited teachers, resources, socioeconomic issues etc to try to explain the faults. This is the wrong way to analyze.
There is a study that suggests how to understand human interaction. It is commonly used in buyer behavior and is called “association”. What this means is that if someone associates with you then they respond more effectively. For example, you are currently looking to go on vacation to Barbados and are watching the TV. An ad comes up for Barbados – you instantly associate compared to someone who is not looking for a vacation.
The schools have it right to a certain extent with the record keeping system but what should be noted is that these are designed on stringent generic setups that allow uniformity to the programming style of the organization. However are students uniform? Ask yourself that question and you will come to the same conclusion as me – NO!
This is why these products alone are not getting the results in.
What is needed is a system that can easily integrate with these current multibillion dollar spends while not tapping out the resources we already have – ourselves!
In an average class there are the bright students and not so bright students. We determine due to time and resources, some will get the grades and others will fall behind. Although no teacher wants to look at it this way, under the current system this is what happens. Unfortunately in areas where there are too few teachers and too many students ( predominantly in the poorer areas of society) this disparity gets larger, to an extent that crippling society’s and America’s future success in the world.
In a typical class lesson, the teacher conducts the lesson, then has a Q&A session with their students. Some kids put their hands up while others do not. Then the next lesson comes and the same happens again. Now with students often not answering questions, it relates to their lack of knowledge and as lessons go by the failure of previous lessons leads to the problems of associating to the lessons of now ! We all know that disheartened students are not engaged students where other disruptive manners could offer a different corridor of inopportunity!
Now as I mentioned there are correctional techniques such as premade weekly tests and seasonal tests. However this misses two core points:
1. First they are usually made by someone not actually in the classroom so the teaching style of the teacher is lost ( a very important part of interpretation by the student).
2. Secondly, if you lack knowledge of the fundamentals, you are already behind and the school is often pressed to move on due to limited teacher and resource time.
Well certain products which are primarily online testing tools offer a really good solution, if they address the “Teachers and Students need”. The technology should empowers them from day one to use the tool under their terms. How?
Now with such technologies, from day one, the teacher can do the lesson, go online and create a test in a few minutes which is saved to a databank for future tests etc. This does not just include the standard generic tests to meet structure standards but also the teachers personal questions which allows for their teaching style(very important). Add to this the fact that the teacher for the first time can add video from common devices such as a cell phones ( say for a physics experiment), or vocal sound (for a language lesson) as well as the normal pictures and text within a few clicks of a mouse, makes this product clearly more user friendly to the teacher then any generic tool given out by the large state institutions ( I am sure many will disagree because they have huge vested interest but realty check with people who use the products will tell you the truth about why a product with so much flexibility for micro level use can actually heavily improve the macro environment of such structures). Remember pictures paint a thousand words so video description can trigger the mind as never able to on text, the same can be said about vocals with respect to text and real language skills.
With this in mind let us move to the student. Each student is told to do the lesson’s test at school or at home after the lesson. The teacher gets the results within seconds ( as does the school or anyone else who needs oversight). It is like as if the teacher asks a question and every student raises their hand.
Here the teacher can “INSTANTLY” see where their teaching style is failing and needs a change or exactly what each student is failing in so he can direct that student in the following lesson in a manner that will help them understand.
Now under conditions prior to such tools, an expectation like this would be impractical. However here the teacher and student waste less time ( due to more accurate methods of spotting errors based on the content on that particular lesson, by way of teaching style( as the teacher’s own style is used) and by way of student perception(as the teacher is seeing directly how the student has understood the teacher’s method of teaching).
By reducing the learning curve time by using such efficient methods everybody wins. First of all lesson by lesson the accuracy of the learning is very controlled using less resources and time. Secondly when it comes to the standardized tests, the concepts are grasped well by the students so they can interpret the questions regardless of layout by the standard. Thirdly the educational establishment saves money, time and resources and can keep the teachers they once were looking to cast out.
Remember the key to all of this is that everyone is bright if you use the right method to get their attention. You should not overlook technologies which offer a user-friendly approach with the power of the latest video, sound etc, which empowers the student and teacher as never seen before.