eSchool News recently polled their readers on what education practice they believed should be replicated nationwide. The top five practices were (Late Night style):
5. Monitoring networks to gauge application usage
Not exactly in the style of Big Brother, but more so to see what applications teachers and students are using most to make future purchasing decisions.
4. An extra day for teachers to plan and collaborate
Students would be on a four day schedule and teachers on a five day, with the fifth day dedicated to planning and collaborating with colleagues. I think there is a district in NJ that has something similar in place. It might be a half day once or twice a month for professional development. I'm wondering out loud if a four day week would be viable. Assuming an 180 day school year, a four day week for students would extend the school year through the summer (10 additional weeks to make up for the one day a week for collaboration). There were be less learning loss due to summer vacation, and the time to get back into learning mode/classroom systems would be decreased as well. Maybe a half day every week would accomplish the same.
3. SEED Math Program (Special Elementary Education for the Disadvantaged)
2. Reading as a high school graduation requirement
I would add effective communication skills to the graduation requirement
and the number one education practice that should be replicated nationwide...
1. Tablet computers and electronic interactive textbooks for students
Technology would certainly help districts go green, and would absolutely engage the students, but would it save money in the long run as proposed in the article? Obsolescence is always an issue when dealing with technology, whether it is purchased or leased. Cost of maintenance another. Would students bring their own technology? Would bringing their own create a digital divide? Can the district's infrastructure handle the number of users that result? Hmmm...