|Posted by camascourier on May 3, 2013 at 11:05 AM|
An experiment was recently conducted in Africa by the One Laptop Per Child program (OLPC). A closed box of solar powered Android tablets with no instructions was dropped off in the middle of a small Ethiopian village. There were no teachers in the village and none of the children could read, nor (as far as it is known) had any of the children seen a computer of any kind.
Within only a few minutes, the box was opened and on-off switches were found. Within five days, the children were using an average of over 45 applications per child, per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs in the village, and within five months, one of the children hacked into a special program that had been put in place to disabled the camera and prevent changes to the Android desktop.
While the OLPC is not suggesting that education is only as simple as handing a computer to a child and letting them explore its contents, this experiment (which was repeated in other villages) did show that children are far more capable of learning on their own than we give them credit for.
Earlier this year at a conference called “Reason Weekend 2013” a presentation was made that asked the question: what is the best way to educate the next generation? The editor of Reason Magazine, Katherine Mangu-Ward, was far more pointed in expressing her hope that computers will replace teachers.
One reason for this opinion is that our current school system spends far too much time trying to make school “fair” for everyone, instead of letting kids learn what they need to learn. Instead of educating children, we have built a industrial school system that produces $1000 students that cost $10,000 to build. And if that is not bad enough, this standardized school system has killed every spark of imagination and ingenuity.
Her comments, however, were not all negative. She believes that children have an innate desire to learn and if we (the so-called adults of society) will just get out of their way, children will learn and do amazing things with computers - things that most of us have never imagined.
For a lot of students, this idea is a big “NO DUH” as many of them have gone through their school years bored to death. Yet, it’s not just boredom - many minority and disadvantaged youth are angry with a school system that judges them purely on standardized test results. This past week, I watched a video of a young black man in England talking about this very thing. His main point was this:
STOP judging me on things that don’t matter!
You see, standardized test scores tell us nothing about the ultimate success or failure of an individual, and for young people (like the black man in the video) those test scores only serve to stigmatize and discourage them from trying to succeed. Does that mean we should do away with testing? No, but we need to put testing in its proper place - on the wall with the wooden paddle to be used only when absolutely necessary.
|Posted by camascourier on April 28, 2012 at 11:20 AM|
As the election comes closer, I will be adding other candidates to the link on the front page.
Check it out, and remember to get out and vote.
|Posted by camascourier on April 27, 2012 at 12:30 AM|
On Wednesday morning, the electricity went out right in the middle of the newspaper folding. Needless to say (...if it really is needless, then why say it), that event caused problems.
I'm still working out bug on the web site. If you have suggestions, send me a message.
|Posted by camascourier on April 18, 2012 at 10:00 AM|
This week, Tony Evans at the Idaho Mountain Express, wrote a great article on Camas County's process towards changing their Hilltop/Hillside development ordinance. The link is on our "This Week" page.
|Posted by camascourier on March 23, 2012 at 7:10 PM|
I added links to the Chamber of Commerce organizations in our area.
My main goal is not to duplicate (any more than I have to) the information that is out on the internet.
Have a great day.:)
|Posted by camascourier on March 21, 2012 at 5:25 PM|
I've been resisting the whole web site thing for a long time, but I guess all good things must come to an end.
It's very simple. No time for anything else.