Posts by Marie Bjerede
Yesterday I tackled the debate of student performance as a measure of teacher effectiveness. Here’s why performance-based pay for teachers as an approach to teacher effectiveness runs counter to every meaningful definition of personalized education.
The irony is hardly lost on anyone when at education-related professional conferences educators sit in the audience as experts lecture them about how to teach as a guide-on-the-side rather than a sage-on-the stage. A “do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do” moment that often has even the lecturer chuckling.
When I worked in the high-tech industry, our products sometimes included what we called “check-box features.” These were features that would never, in reality, be used by the end customer but which purchasing agents would look at when they compared our product against our competitors. In many ways I think of classroom management software as falling into this category – with the fears about technology use that absolutely do exist among parents and educators, having a checkbox that says, “Don’t worry – we can control student technology use,” feels like a must-have.
There are no really good math apps out there. I’ve been convinced of this for some time based on nearly a decade of trying everything from online courses to video-game-like drills to the more recent iPad apps and flash cards. Available offerings tend to be inauthentic, in that they encourage rote procedures over real problem solving.
Recently, EdSurge published a fabulous post highlighting the escalating rhetoric that the Khan Academy has inspired among math educators and edupreneurs. Sal Khan’s success has brought to the forefront a discussion that has been ongoing in academic and education circles for some time. This debate parallels the one about Common Core Math Standards exemplified by the Wurman and Wilson article referenced in a recent Getting Smart post.
Well into the 21st century, we are still trying to get a handle on what a 21st century education really is – both the question of what young adults really need to know and be able to do and the question of the best way to help them get there. I first encountered this issue as a high-tech executive when coaching talented engineers through a series of workplace myths.