Welcome Scrutiny

Recently, Amy McKeever, tweeted an article “How Opening Up Classroom Doors Can Push Education Forward” by Katrina Schwartz. She says that opening our classrooms to the public allows for the best possible education for our students. It’s impossible to be perfect and opening our classrooms brings in other perspectives and opinions on the best course of action. Parents, students, other teachers, and administration can all be of help in tweaking practices to meet the ever changing needs of students. Schwartz says “by welcoming a variety of voices into a discussion about what drives powerful learning experiences, and why certain teaching practices work and others don’t, the process becomes participatory. Everyone shares the responsibility for changing a system that matters to the future of the country.”

Check out this video on opening our classroom’s doors

Allowing the public to be part of our classrooms brings a sense of community from the classroom outwards. Instead of being a learning community solely within the doors of our classrooms we can extend the community to parents, other teachers, and even the administration. To produce the most effective classroom, using tips and advice from outside the classroom is a must.



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Libraries Aren’t Extinct Yet, So What Does That Mean For Education?

It been increasingly evident that the interest in the internet has gone up and the interest in printed books has been struggling. However, Anna Clark would beg to differ in her article, Who Says Libraries are Going Extinct? She states that 2013 was one of the best years for libraries in the past decade. Libraries serve 96.4% of the population. She also stated that “Attendance at library-hosted programs for kids hit 60.5 million in 2013.” This is important for our children.

Libraries play an important part in education. Libraries give children something schools cannot: a seemingly endless supply of books and other media. Libraries are not just for knowledge, but also for pleasure. Children can pick up Harry Potter just as easily as they can pick up an encyclopedia. Here’s the great part though: no matter what they pick up, they’re still learning something. When kids are at an age where they are still expanding their skill of reading, something like Harry Potter could offer just as much as an encyclopedia. It expands their vocabulary, their imagination, their enjoyment of reading, etc. Libraries offer the service of being there whenever children want to create an interest in reading. That interest could be one of the most valuable things to an upcoming student.

In a world where kids would rather sit back and watch TV or play video games, it’s good to know that libraries are still kicking. Although the internet offers endless knowledge to kids, it can often be distracting or lacking motivation. Libraries aim to educate while also entertaining and encouraging kids to use their minds and their imagination. That is something the educational system will always need.

If you want to check out Clark’s article here then I suggest you do so.

Can Technology Fix Education?

Monica Bulger states that we are “expecting too much of technology if we believe it will single-handedly fix problems with education,” in her article, Why Technology Alone Can’t Fix the Education Problem. She points out that we’ve been thinking that technology will revolutionize the way we learn and the education systems around the world. There have been organizations that strive to donate laptops to schools and the amount of computers and other devices found in schools today has skyrocketed. Is this a worthy cause?

It depends.

While I agree that there is promise in technology, I agree that it won’t solve our problems. We solve our problems. We made our problems. We made technology. If humans are at the center of the problem and the solution then how could we expect anything or anyone else to fix it for us? We can’t. We often forget that technology is not something that should take our place. It shouldn’t be something that teaches our children. We need to teach our children, but we can use technology in the process. Technology is nothing more than a tool: a very complex, advanced, addictive, distracting, expensive, beneficial tool.

If technology could solve our educational needs, it would need to teach our children more efficiently. If technology is teaching our children, we’d have no need for teachers. The fact is technology is only as good as the person using it. Even if we put laptops in every school in the U.S.A, if we had no staff that could teach the students and teachers how to use them it would be useless.

Technology cannot single-handedly teach our children or fix our learning crisis. We made this, and we have to remain in control of it. We are more than a machine and although it is useful, we can become too dependent on it. Technology can serve as an educational tool or any tool we want, as long as we are in control of it and know how to use it. That is when technology will help our education system.

You can check out her article here.