Are American educators finally 'getting it?'

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Daz
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Are American educators finally \'getting it?\'

Postby Daz » Sat Sep 21, 2002 5:40 pm

http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/fun.games/09/21/playstationhomework/index.html

It looks as though SOME teaches and school systems are finally realizing what it takes to get young kids interested in learning. Personally, I think innovations like this have potential to do wonders for our 'lazy' society here in America. I recall games as a kid on a computer, primitive today, but as a child - completely enthralling. That lemonade stand game? Oregon Trail? These experiences taught me early both a love for technology and a realization that some of the things we learn don't have to 'suck.'

If only these systems continue in this light, and perhaps take it to another level. Trivia and education games for middle school, and with more development funds, even a secondary level. You may not be able to get low level high schoolers to pay attention to some basic math functions, but I'll bet my money to yours that you could put a controller in their hands for an hour a day, 3 days a week and get them to pay attention to THAT. I imagine you could do WONDERS by even adding a competitive element to the gaming in a classroom, possibly ps2 lan parties? If you could develop a game that would let everyone compete on an even field. (Often in classes today, smarter kids and kids who need to work harder are in the same classes - this would HAVE to be countered by letting the games focus on what kids learn, and not what they know.)

How about it? Do you think american history would have been more entertaining as oh, lets say a 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' LAN party in the classroom, with winners getting perhaps a free, non-school lunch brought to them on a friday perhaps?

See where I am going with this? If we make education interactive, instead of just forced absortion, I believe it will do much better.

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-Daz "<^> (*¿*) <^>" Proudwolf
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Postby Vandic » Sat Sep 21, 2002 6:08 pm

Didn't read the article yet, but on a tangent, I LOVED Oregon Trail. Nothing like that wonderful green glow of the Apple IIe and the graphics that made the Atari 2600 look state-of-the-art in comparison.

-V


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Postby Corth » Sat Sep 21, 2002 6:30 pm

There have been more than a few studies which have shown that educational computer 'games' actually hinder academic progress. There have also been many studies that show a small improvement, but not great enough to justify the cost of the technology. And of course there have been many studies which shown a significant increase in learning through such technologies. Let me ask you this, Daz. If you were given the choice of smaller classrooms or more 'interactive' educational technology, which would you choose? Its definately debateable, wouldn't you say?

Essentially, my position is that you need to be very careful when messing around with something as important as how you educate a nation's children. There have been much experimentation with new teaching methods, technologies, etc, since the 1960's and yet its universally agreed that the quality of education has been severely diminished. On a gut level I have a hard time believing that a playstation will produce an Einstein.

Corth

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Daz
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Postby Daz » Sat Sep 21, 2002 6:46 pm

Einstein produced an Einstein.

I would take smaller classes over interactive education any day. The reason I graduated from school years early, and never went to college was boredom. I was doing algebra and crap in elementary school. By 7th grade I was fixing my teachers computers and writing their assignments for the day. When I got the opportunity to graduate High School early, I took it. I despised sitting in a class of 50 people, listening to the teacher drone on about crap, that
1) didn't interest me
2) oftentimes was wrong, but the teacher's opinion
3) so remedial that listening to the other kids fumble through it hurt me

And I took nothing but Honors/AP classes.

However, since throwing away over 80 full scholarships, I have learned more in 6 years on my own than I ever learned at school.

1) how to get laid any time. believe it or not, there are things that work reliably on women.
2) how to get drunk, and not have a hangover.
3) how to make money doing the least amount of work.


Things I STILL have not learned.
1) responsible money management.
2) how to hold a job without hating it.
3) how to react to a woman who wants commitment.

--------
back to the topic, however.

If smaller classes was an option, Corth - I would HIGHLY support it. But, since we are losing teachers, and gaining students . . . we need something to reach out to the masses.

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-Daz "<^> (*¿*) <^>" Proudwolf
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Postby Nikelon » Sat Sep 21, 2002 7:07 pm

OMG Oregon Trail!!!

I used to sneak in from recess everyday to play that...almost always a banker...leave in april/march....jeez, I remember it like it was yesterday...I guess its only been 5 years...

What was that other one where you had to buy/plant/harvest/sell crops and buy machinery and build stuff...could take out loans and save money...was very fun too

wow, sorry about my own tangent, but I couldn't resist...

-Nikelon/Dizhes

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Postby Mplor » Sat Sep 21, 2002 8:03 pm

I was lucky to be selected for a special class in Elementary School which included an introduction to computers via games like Lemonade. That, combined with the Atari 2600 I saved a year for, combined to spark an interest in computers which has yet to abate. Now I play with computers for a living. I trace the birth of my career back to that Lemonade stand.

Mp

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Postby Thurg » Sat Sep 21, 2002 8:06 pm

I agree with Daz, the only reason I stayed in HS so long is I didn't want to go out and get an actual job. Now time for college which is just as mindless.

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Postby Kallinar » Sat Sep 21, 2002 8:15 pm

Apple IIe baby. Thats what I got to play with at school. Then I was able to go home and play with my nifty Tandy computer with the tape drive that doubled for my audio casette player Image I wonder what ever happened to that piece o junk anyhow......
That was 17 years ago, and now, I am struggling to keep up with technology. Lucky me!

Kallinar was here
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Postby rylan » Sat Sep 21, 2002 9:45 pm

omg I remember that lemonade stand game. We had that in math class or something in middle school.. a friend and I figured out the pattern to when it did sunny/stormy days and got the optimal price to charge.. lol.
Damn, I was a geek back then too, huh Image
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Postby Sarvis » Sat Sep 21, 2002 11:25 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Corth:
<B>There have been more than a few studies which have shown that educational computer 'games' actually hinder academic progress. There have also been many studies that show a small improvement, but not great enough to justify the cost of the technology. And of course there have been many studies which shown a significant increase in learning through such technologies. Let me ask you this, Daz. If you were given the choice of smaller classrooms or more 'interactive' educational technology, which would you choose? Its definately debateable, wouldn't you say?

Essentially, my position is that you need to be very careful when messing around with something as important as how you educate a nation's children. There have been much experimentation with new teaching methods, technologies, etc, since the 1960's and yet its universally agreed that the quality of education has been severely diminished. On a gut level I have a hard time believing that a playstation will produce an Einstein.

Corth

</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's just it Corth. The decline in our educational quality is because we _haven't_ really changed the way we do things since the '60's. Probably even since education was first invented. Students sit there and listen to a teacher drone on and on about subjects they don't care about, then get tested. How much less effective can you get?

Combine the same old method with class sizes that are increasing, and always will, and you get worse and worse results. The learning by rote method depends on teachers being able to know each student well and be able to reinforce what an individual missed. Teachers can't do that in a class of 30 students.

If there is a way to make the students interested, and engaged in the material the personalized attention isn't needed as much. A few students might need some extra help, but not _all_ of them will.

That was my biggest problem in school. None of the material meant anything to me, nor did it seem useful in any possible way. If I had been introduced to even 1 programming class in high school I might have started caring about my education. As it was I barely passed every math class I took, and then when I started trying to learn calculus in college there were so many holes in my mathematical knowedge I couldn't learn the material even though I did care by then.

I know that isn't exactly what we are talking about... but the point is that something engaged me in college in a way that had never happened in high school. I learned to program, and realized I would need all that other knowledge in order to be a better programmer. That's what it took for me. In a similar manner, playing interesting educational games might engage a lot of people into learning if it's done right.

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Postby Zrax » Sun Sep 22, 2002 12:43 am

The educational system isn't the problem, it's the lack of individual initiative. It's far easier to blame a lack of motivation on an establishment than on oneself, but the truth of the matter is the responsabilities to learn and succeed lie with the individual, the education system is merely a means to those who would take advantage of it.

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And shepherds we shall be, for Thee my Lord, for Thee.
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
that our feet may swiftly carry out Thy command.
We will flow a river forth unto Thee,
and teeming with souls shall it ever be.
In nomine Patris, et Fili, et Spiritu Sancti.
Daz
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Postby Daz » Sun Sep 22, 2002 12:51 am

Being personally afflicted with an extreme case of bipolar (sickness,syndrome,whatever), motivation is NOT easy for everyone zrax. Getting me involved, and working with me - that can drive me to want to learn. Putting a book in front of me, listening to a 50 year old gay man with a lisp lecture on Geometry . . . these things WILL NOT get me interested in education.

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Postby Valke » Sun Sep 22, 2002 12:52 am

Oregon trail rocks, I have a copy I still play. The game is incredibly easy now, unlike before, it was impossible!

Oh Number Munchers! haha that one was cool!

Teachers... I feel bad for them.


Grp...Walks alone sometimes.
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Postby Zrax » Sun Sep 22, 2002 1:03 am

There are obviously exceptions, I was speaking more generally. A still hold that a societies responsabilty extends no further than presenting an oppertunity for everyone to educate themselves, but would willingly concede that in certain cases, alternative oppertunities are necessary for people with extreme circumstance.

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And shepherds we shall be, for Thee my Lord, for Thee.
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
that our feet may swiftly carry out Thy command.
We will flow a river forth unto Thee,
and teeming with souls shall it ever be.
In nomine Patris, et Fili, et Spiritu Sancti.
Daz
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Postby Daz » Sun Sep 22, 2002 1:10 am

Ah, Zrax. Your idea is actually one that has a bit of merit. However, it is quite honestly not in the best interests of our country as a whole. What would america be if we did NOT impose education on our children? Those countries that DID educate their youth would need but a generation or two to wrench our authority away from us. We must strive to excel, not because its good for the kids, but because it is good for the nation. Education is a team sport.

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Postby Fura » Sun Sep 22, 2002 1:10 am

I wonder how much parental involvement has been affecting the kids. I live in a rather rough end of town - most of the kids are allowed to run loose wherever and whenever they want. It's to the point where the school has a full-time social worker on staff. What would a contract to spend time with one's kid do for self esteem and interest? I know it won't fix all the problems, but I bet it'd help some of them.

If offering computer games to kids is the only way parents will actually work with their kids, go for it...
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Postby Corth » Sun Sep 22, 2002 1:21 am

There are unlimited ways you can educate a child. My feeling has always been that the american education system limits itself by only providing one way. I mean, you hear debates about curriculum all the time. In NYC, where I live, there was a huge furor a few years back over a proposed book named "Heather has two mommys". The point of the book was to introduce young children to alternative lifestyles. Some parents were shocked while others thought it was a great idea. I think it would be great if parents had more of a choice in the matter. The debate about putting more computers in the classroom is similar. The answer, of course, is to privatize education and give parents vouchers. Education would still be compulsory but the type of education would be up to the parents of the child.. where it should be.

Corth

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Sarell
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Postby Sarell » Sun Sep 22, 2002 11:02 am

The decline in our educational quality is because we _haven't_ really changed the way we do things since the '60's. Probably even since education was first invented. Students sit there and listen to a teacher drone on and on about subjects they don't care about, then get tested. How much less effective can you get?

At least do a net search for 'education' or something man! :P While it certainly isn't perfect just a 'tad' has changed since 1960!

I suppose it is good that they are actually asking young people if the new educational games are poo or not!


[This message has been edited by Sarell (edited 09-22-2002).]
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Postby Sarvis » Sun Sep 22, 2002 11:33 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Zrax:
<B>The educational system isn't the problem, it's the lack of individual initiative. It's far easier to blame a lack of motivation on an establishment than on oneself, but the truth of the matter is the responsabilities to learn and succeed lie with the individual, the education system is merely a means to those who would take advantage of it.

</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Depending on a child to motivate themselves to learn is just going to mean a lot of kids aren't going to learn. They'll regret it when they are 30 or 40 and working at McDonald's or something, but children just don't have the wisdom to realize how important education can be to their future.

Hell, given the choice I would have stopped going to school after 3rd grade. That was the last year of school I can remember not hating completely...

Corth: Heh. Sounds like a good idea, not sure it's feasible though. Sure seems a turnaround from thinking education w/ computer games is a bad idea though. Image


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Postby Kiros » Sun Sep 22, 2002 11:38 am

diferent days, different times
in the maze of genius minds
holding tight to that you hold so dear
the closer you get, the more you fear.
if in my younger days i knew the truth.
even in the begining a uncotrolable youth.
to grow is to change weather good or bad
the days grow dark and we wish for days we once had.
all problems are solved just give them time.
if you try to control you loose your mind.
expression of self is a worth cause.
in life there is no button for pause.

there is one final destination to the obvious with many paths. You just have to choose how you get there. :P

Work hard! Play Harder!
Death is your only friend in the end! Muhahahaha

Just read the stuff above and figured i would
right a bit of poetry to go along with the idea.
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Postby Adriorn » Sun Sep 22, 2002 3:10 pm

I teach 6 Spanish classes at the 10th grade level. I don't want to spend too much time explaining my opinions, so I'll try to make it short.

Bad parents = bad students
Bad parents = unmotivated students

Today's society, specially through the media, points their finger at EVERYONE before pointing it at the parents.

Adriorn
Daz
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Postby Daz » Sun Sep 22, 2002 3:45 pm

Hey, I will be the first to support that. I was abandoned as a 3 year old, and raised by my grandma alone, cuz grandpa had passed away. It was not my granny's job to educate
me, at 70 years old, she worked a full time
job to just give us a home and food.

I educated myself, and it may be the reason
why I went so wrong. I know people that technically, i should be smarter than: but they have better education because they had support.

I never once did a homework assignment.
I never once studied.
I never spent 30 seconds out of school thinking of school work.

I wonder.

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Sarvis
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Postby Sarvis » Sun Sep 22, 2002 5:15 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Adriorn:
<B>I teach 6 Spanish classes at the 10th grade level. I don't want to spend too much time explaining my opinions, so I'll try to make it short.

Bad parents = bad students
Bad parents = unmotivated students

Today's society, specially through the media, points their finger at EVERYONE before pointing it at the parents.

Adriorn</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Good parents forcing you to do homework doesn't make you motivated. It just makes you do your homework and learn the material... which is nearly as good. But some of us can be unusually creative: I convinced my mother that my first grade teacher didn't assign homework for the entire first half of the school year.

Though I do agree with you in general that parent's aren't getting enough of the blame when kids go astray these days.

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Postby Corth » Sun Sep 22, 2002 5:59 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Sarvis:
<B>

Corth: Heh. Sounds like a good idea, not sure it's feasible though. Sure seems a turnaround from thinking education w/ computer games is a bad idea though. Image

</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Its more feasible in urban areas I think. Oh and I don't know if computers in education is a good or bad idea. I just said that people should be cautious when experimenting with how to educate...

Corth



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Zrax
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Postby Zrax » Sun Sep 22, 2002 6:07 pm

I didn't mean to imply that school should not be required, just saying that perhaps a lot of the problems that are blamed on the education system are in reality the fault of the individuals who fail in it.

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And shepherds we shall be, for Thee my Lord, for Thee.
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
that our feet may swiftly carry out Thy command.
We will flow a river forth unto Thee,
and teeming with souls shall it ever be.
In nomine Patris, et Fili, et Spiritu Sancti.
Daz
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Postby Daz » Sun Sep 22, 2002 6:50 pm

<B> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Good parents forcing you to do homework doesn't make you motivated. It just makes you do your homework and learn the material... which is nearly as good. But some of us can be unusually creative: I convinced my mother that my first grade teacher didn't assign homework for the entire first half of the school year.

Though I do agree with you in general that parent's aren't getting enough of the blame when kids go astray these days.

</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ok, first off:
Having parents involved in education does NOT mean forcing you to do homework. I used to imagine about kids who would have
their parents work with them on assignments. Never in my life did I hear
anyone tell me "You did great." although I did get my ass beat hard for failing. (Yes corth, and the rest of you psychoanalyzing me, that is probably the root of my 'need for attention' problem.)

Second, I don't think blame is what will help anything. We all know that when you 'blame' someone for anything they fail to do, or do wrong, they recoil and will not listen to you with as much objectivity.

Instead of blame, lets encourage parents to work with their kids. Oh, and the increase in numbers of stupid ass parents who shouldn't be allowed to have kids or ever procreate in America is another tangent.



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Abue
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Postby Abue » Mon Sep 23, 2002 1:41 pm

I have two points to make.

1st Point
Oregon Trail rocked. Back when I went to elementry school they had just put 2 apple II computers in the library. The part I remember was being able to shoot the Indians right off the horse. Try and put one of those games in a school in the USA today and see what happens. ha!

2nd Point (applies to curren topic)

The biggest problems with the current education system in the US is not totally the techniques used by the schools but partially. The biggest two problems I see is the government putting its dirty stupid paws into it to the point that there are so many hoops the schools have to jump through. These hoops cost a ton of money. Some are silly, but not all. Government involvement is helping to bring down the education system and making it very inefficent. The other big problem is the actual parents. My Tommy this , My tommy that. I just want to tell Tommys parents... FUCK YOU! If Tommy shits in the sink at school he deserves to be pulled out of the sink and pulled from his class to be yelled at. Also the arguement that "it isn't Tommys fault that he is failing retard math class, the teacher doesn't like him" doesn't fly. 2 responces to that. 1st. Teach the kid some respect for elders. spitting spit balls at the teacher isn't getting him anywhere. 2nd. Get involved with your kid and help him with school. The comment might be half corrent. It might not be Tommys fault he is failing, it is DEFINATELY YOUR FAULT!!! Don't send him there like day care so you can go smoke your fucking CRACK. Get involved, be a parent, be accountable!

To sum what I said up. Two main problems.

A) Stupid Government Involvment. They should be involved with funding but not so much involved with how and what to teach. Mandates by name calling morons are bad.

B) Parents. They need to get a clue and get control of there children. Maybe be a parent.

P.S. Good topic Daz.

EDIT: Formatting. Screwed up the first time.


[This message has been edited by Abue (edited 09-23-2002).]
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Postby Gort » Mon Sep 23, 2002 8:48 pm

See Charter vs. Choice school debate.

See also the average teacher's salary in the US compared to what they could earn in the private sector.

See the numbers on 2 parent working households.

See the level of apathy in the US.

See the desensitization the media forces on us.

See the total lack of accountability for our actions encouraged by today's litigous society.

This is why the level of and quality of education in America is where it is today.


IMHO from a former teacher's perspective.


Toplack


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