Are You Technology Rich, But Innovation Poor?

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Reposted from eSchool News:

At the start of a webinar Alan November recently conducted for school leaders, he asked attendees if they felt they were leading an innovative school as a result of the implementation of technology. More than 90 percent responded that they were. At the end of the webinar, when polled again, only one leader claimed to be leading an innovative school.

The complete reversal was due to a presentation on the six questions that you will read about in this article – a list of questions that were developed to help clarify for educators the unique added value of a digital learning environment, and whether their assignments were making the best use of this environment.

Want to test your own level of innovation? If you answer no to all six questions when evaluating the design of assignments and student work, then chances are that technology is not really being applied in the most innovative ways. The questions we ask to evaluate implementation and define innovation are critical.

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The Opportunity Escalator is Broken

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Reposted from the New York Times:

The best escalator to opportunity in America is education. But a new study underscores that the escalator is broken. We expect each generation to do better, but, currently, more young American men have less education (29 percent) than their parents than have more education (20 percent). Among young Americans whose parents didn’t graduate from high school, only 5 percent make it through college themselves. In other rich countries, the figure is 23 percent.

The United States is devoting billions of dollars to compete with Russia militarily, but maybe we should try to compete educationally. Russia now has the largest percentage of adults with a university education of any industrialized country — a position once held by the United States, although we’re plunging in that roster. These figures come from the annual survey of education from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or O.E.C.D., and it should be a shock to Americans.

A new Pew survey finds that Americans consider the greatest threat to our country to be the growing gap between the rich and poor. Yet we have constructed an education system, dependent on local property taxes, that provides great schools for the rich kids in the suburbs who need the least help, and broken, dangerous schools for inner-city children who desperately need a helping hand. Too often, America’s education system amplifies not opportunity but inequality.

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