Friday, January 30, 2009

Failing Economy and Education

Our economy is a disaster. Education has been a problem for a long time in many areas due to budget problems. Physical plants are deteriorating. Class sizes have increased. Teacher salaries have stalled making recruiting difficult, and that's really unfortunate because the one factor that has been proven to make a difference in learning is the teacher.

Good teachers create learning. However, you can overwhelm even the best teachers if you allow class sizes to expand and the environment to fall apart. Budget shortfalls continue to cause these effects.

We can do one thing to help. We can find innovative ways to support our great teachers.

The Smart Science® system helps in many ways. It allows teachers to provide great science experiences at low cost, without safety problems, without set up and clean up, and in larger groups than would be otherwise possible.

Others will argue that you can do that with any simulation. Not so! Simulations do not provide great science experiences — ever. Check out America's Lab Report for the truth about simulations.

The continuing education problems and the current economic crisis provide a great opportunity to move education into the 21st century. We must harness our wonderful American inventiveness and entrepreneurship to change education now.

© 2009 by Paracomp, Inc., U.S.A. www.smartscience.netFollow this author on ETC Journal.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama and Education Innovation

The following quotes are from Obama's site.

"We are a people of boundless industry and ingenuity. We are innovators and entrepreneurs and have the most dedicated and productive workers in the world."
"To make America, and our children, a success in this new global economy, we will build 21st century classrooms, labs, and libraries."
The problem with these two quotes is that they are from unrelated portions of the site. The Obama team has yet to combine these sentiments into one strategy for education. Also, nowhere is the concept of 21st century classrooms, labs, and libraries to be found. A brand-new science lab looks much like those of the 19th century except for cosmetics. Similarly, new libraries are bookshelves with some computer terminals added. Neither will be the norm by middle of this century.

Let us send forth the call now for "boundless industry and ingenuity" to be applied to education. Smart Boards aren't enough. We must have real changes if we're to educate the current generation of students and have a great citizenry. The government should take a lead in supporting education entrepreneurship because no one else will.

© 2009 by Paracomp, Inc., U.S.A. www.smartscience.netFollow this author on ETC Journal.