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1 month ago

Higher education goes Hollywood | TechCrunch - TechCrunch

As I began my career in higher education in the late 1990s, technology seemed poised to upend the entire academic enterprise. The New York Times, in an article titled Boola Boola, E-Commerce Comes to The Quad, speculated that just by doing what he does every day, a teacher potentially could grow rich instructing a class consisting of a million students. Kim Clark, dean of the Harvard Business School, seemed to agree: Faculty are dreaming of returns that are probably multiples of their lifetime net worth.

The zeitgeist was that a star system was about to be born, with million-dolla

4 months ago

Chris Christie Thinks Schools in Poor Black Neighborhoods Have Too Much Money - Slate Magazine

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie fields questions at a wide-ranging news conference, March 3, 2016 at the Statehouse in Trenton, New Jersey.  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie fields questions at a wide-ranging news conference on March 3 at the Statehouse in Trenton, New Jersey.Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

On Tuesday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made a speech that sounded commonsensical. No child in this state is worth more state aid than another, he said. He suggested equaliz

6 months ago

Minecraft Education Edition, aimed at teachers, arrives in May - TechCrunch

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that it was expanding its investment in Minecraft, the popular game it acquired for $2.5 billion in 2014, by building out a new version that would allow teachers to use Minecraft in the classroom. Today, Microsoft announced that Minecraft Education Edition, as this version is called, will become available in beta format starting in May.

According to Microsoft, the company plans on running a beta program with over 100 schools from 30 countries worldwide, who will be able to test to the software in theirclassrooms. The schools will help Microsoft work out the kinks by offering detailed feedback, allowing the company to make improvements ahead of a broader rollout.

In June, Microsoft will then debut an early access program, which will allow educators to download Minecraft Education Edition for free, again, in exchange for offering Microsoft their feedback. At this time, the software will be available in 11 languages and 41 countries. This program will continue throughout the summer, while Microsoft also teams with these early adoptersto build out lesson plans, share learning activity ideas, and create re-usable projects.

When the early access program wraps (an exact date was not provided),Minecraft: Education Edition user licenses will be made available for purchase through direct and volume licensing channels, says Microsoft.

Those schools or districts with an existing Microsoft agreement, will be able toadd Minecraft: Education Edition to theircurrent license agreements laterthis year, the Minecraft: Education Edition FAQ states. Meanwhile, educators will also be able to purchase the licenses online. Volume licenses for large-scale institutions will also be available.

Further details regarding these plans and price points to come later this year, says Microsoft.

The company also noted that the first release of Minecraft: Education Edition will run on the latest versions of Windows 10 and Mac OS X El Capitan. Teachers and studentswill need to signup for a free Office 365 Education account using theirschool or district emails, as well.

As you may recall, Microsofts plans for a classroom version of the game followed its acquisition of a learning game maker calledTeacher Gaming LLC, who made a game calledMinecraftEdu, aimed at teachers. That game included a library of lesson plans that helped educators use Minecraft to teach STEM, history, language and art, all through gaming. Microsoft bought the game for an undisclosed sum earlier this year.

The move to invest in Minecrafts expansion into the classroom comes at a time when many schools are already using the game as part of their curriculum. As Microsoft noted in January, teachers inover7,000 classrooms in more than 40 countries worldwide use Minecraft with their students today.

9 months ago

WALTER WILLIAMS: Take those sabotaging education out of equation -

Some credit Albert Einstein, others credit Benjamin Franklin, with the observation that "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing year after year and expecting different results." Whomever we credit, he was absolutely right. A perfect example of that insanity is education in general and particularly black education.

Education Next has recently published a series commemorating the 50th anniversary of James S. Coleman's groundbreaking 1965 report, Equality of Educational Opportunity, popularly referred to as the "Coleman Report." In 1965, the average black 12th-grader placed at the 13th percentile of the score distribution for whites in math and reading.

That means 87 percent of white 12th-graders scored higher than the average black 12th-graders.

Fifty years later, there has been a slight narrowing of the math gap, leaving the average black 12th-grade student at the 19th percentile of the white distribution; 81 percent of white 12th-grade students score higher.

The black-white reading gap has narrowed such that the average black 12th-grader scores at the 22nd percentile of the white distribution, meaning 78 percent of white 12th-graders score higher.

Eric A. Hanushek is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His Education Next contribution is "What Matters for Student Achievement: Updating Coleman on the Influence of Families and Schools." Hanushek concludes, "After nearly a half century of supposed progress in race relations within the United States, the modest improvements in achievement gaps since 1965 can only be called a national embarrassment."

I would like to know what American, particularly a black American, can be pleased with that kind of progress and the future it holds for black people.

Many see smaller class sizes and more money as part of the general solution to our nation's educational problems. It turns out that since 1955, the average number of students per teacher has fallen from 27 to 16. During the same period, real per-pupil expenditures have increased more than fourfold.

Today, expenditures per pupil in the United States exceed those of nearly every other country in the world. The Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, ranks 15-year-old student academic performance in 34 OECD countries. In 2012, the U.S. students performed below average in mathematics and ranked 27th. In reading, U.S. students ranked 17th, and in science, they ranked 20th. Such a performance gap suggests that smaller class sizes and bigger budgets, in and of themselves, are not a cure to our nation's educational malaise, particularly that of black students.

The most crucial input for a child's education cannot be provided by schools, politicians and government. As such, continued calls for more school resources will produce disappointing results as they have in the past.

There are certain minimum requirements that must be met for any child to do well in school. If these minimum requirements are not met, and by the way they can be met even if a family is poor, all else is for naught.

What the education establishment can do is prevent youngsters who are alien and hostile to the educational process from making education impossible for those who are equipped to learn. That is accomplished by removing students who pose disciplinary problems.

You might ask what we're to do with the removed students.

I do not know, but black people cannot afford to allow them to sabotage the education chances of everyone else.

11 months ago

Advice On College You Ought To Know About

You want to know what it takes to be ready for the college experience, and there are many things you should be doing in preparation. College is the beginning of the real world, as many responsibilities will now fall on you. Continue reading to find out more information about getting ready for college.

College is filled with a lot of stress as the best thing that you can do in regards to school is to prepare in advance. Avoid procrastination at all times, as this will only add to the stresses that you already face. You can feel prepared and organized as college goes on, by doing your work ahead of time.

Get yourself a good water bottle to bring to school. Staying properly hydr