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Technology and Education

Department of education should have an equivalent of "Bell labs" developing open source educational tools. The private market may be more efficient, however that includes the science of marking up prices which is a frivolous expense to tax payers and invites corruption of the acquisition process.

An example would be mass produced replacement/retrofit "desk" tops with an LCD screen built in to it under a glass plate.... more »

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Let's Talk about Buses

It's a sunny April morning during my first year of teaching. I'm leading a line of students from the main building of the school to our classroom, which is located in a doublewide just outside the west entrance. It is about 10am, and our group is spotted by the district superintendent, who is heading to his office. The man takes a hard look at the line of students, and says to me, “You know what the three best parts... more »

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A New Approach on How Things Are Taught.

Below is a movie I recorded myself in the past that should reinforce this message to an extent. The end result of it will sound generalized, and lacking supportive material (and I'm also a rather nervous speaker), but I believe that receiving any student input at all is invaluable to providing ideas, and I believe that I am addressing a new problem that I will attempt to elaborate on in this explanation.

Students come... more »

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Education Paradigm Shift

Do we not expect students to learn generally the same things? If so, why do we need expensive school boards for every town in the U.S.? In North Bergen, NJ the ASSISTANT Superintendent of Schools makes 1/4 million dollars and he's got two other government jobs.

Here's my plan: create standardized online courses that will be customized to the type of student (fast learner, college bound, etc.) and taught by the best educational... more »

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Fitness standards

I feel standards of physical fitness and wellness should be publicized for school districts. Identifying some goals for flexibility, endurance, cardiovascular capacity and strength would give districts real targets for children at various stages and ages.

Too often the emphasis is on sports, but a focus on wellness and fitness would benefit a broader group as well as be cheaper overall. Basic calisthenics, bodyweight... more »

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Replace year-long grades (1st-12th) w/ more granular units

I've thought for many years that it's very odd how we make kids advance one year at a time in all subjects regardless of how they're doing on any individual one. And then, if worse comes to worse, we keep them back a whole grade, or move them forward even though they haven't mastered the material. In real life, we don't couple all kinds of tasks and rewards that aren't logically linked. The over-broad nature of year-long... more »

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OpenEducation v2.0: A Next Gen Opensource/OpenSocial Portal

A pilot project to build a next-gen Dept of Education portal for the Federal Community Cloud. The idea is to build a suite of opensocial portals, one at each Federal Agency, based on The Open Stack that will enable communication with all opensocial partners.

 

Useful Links:

http://tinyurl.com/yks78pg

http://bit.ly/cUrTv8

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Research skills based curriculum

Problem:The education system of the USA does little to prepare students for problems and subjects that they have not yet been exposed to through the public school system.

The fast paced nature of the modern economy involves rapidly changing skill sets, as employees change employers relatively frequently.

Solution: Every semester, students will use independent research utilizing any and all available resources to teach... more »

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Student Loan Forgiveness

I think state student loans more than 30 years old should be forgiven. According to New York Higher Education the only way a student loan can be forgiven is if you are disable AND permanently unable to work again. My sister is mentally retarded and tried college 30 years ago but due to her disability unable to finsih. The only way to get her excused from the loan is for her to never work again due to her disability. My... more »

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Public Schools Endowment trending idea

Set up an Endowment or Annuity for public schools, so that education is not tied to the economy. How can we provide a FREE and APPROPRIATE education for all our students when we have to lay-off half the teachers to balance the budget because the economy has tanked. In order for education to truly be free and appropriate it has to not be tied so closely to the economy. Schools should run the same during a boom or a... more »

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Adopt mastery approaches: #1 Scrap letter grades (off topic)

Dgodon suggested we have more comprehensive methods of assessment; I want to suggest something more stark.

Scrap letter grades completely, and replace with pass/fail.

If you want to distinguish the elite from the ordinary, use portfolio samples: there's enough variation in pass-fail work to please everyone. Elite students can also distinguish themselves by simply getting through more work faster.

Pass/fail typically... more »

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Student loan payment information for un- and underemployed

The Department of Education should include a comprehensive and publicly-accessible repository of information aimed at students facing higher education loan payments in its Open Government Plan.

As unprecedented numbers of students are securing federal and private loans to finance university and graduate programs, there is an increasingly present need for reliable, centralized and trusted information and advice regarding... more »

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Early College Initiatives

In 2004 FIPSE funded a program at North Central State College in Mansfield, Ohio to start high school students into an early college program in engineering technology. We have six years of experience in this program and good data gathered on our graduates. The FIPSE money was done in 2007 but we are self-sustaining through Ohio's student funding. Our students are graduating from college and high school in the same week.... more »

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