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More Calls for 21st Century U.S. Schools

In case you missed it elsewhere, Intel sponsored the fourth annual Education Visionary Conference held May 18 in Washington, D.C., about advanced technology and education.

Robert Brumfield, Assistant Editor, eSchool News covered it in the May 24, 2005, issue of eSchoolNews. It’s a must read for anyone preparing a case statement for use of Tablet PCs in schools.

Susan Patrick, the director of educational technology for the U.S. Department of Education, began the talks with a now-familiar stump speech cataloging some alarming statistics…

(Then she asked and answered,) “Is our educational system geared toward innovation? Do we want an 18th-century model or a 21st-century model for our schools? The 18th-century model is the one we have now.”

She continued: “The ed-tech community loves the term ‘integration.’ But our schools need transformation (bold added), not integration.”

… We need to build instruction for personalized, customized learning for every student’s needs (bold added).

“With technology,” she said, “I see that happening every day.”

I agree with her emphasis on learning. Keep it simple, straight line, and available promptly following each learner’s lead. That’s a familiar point accepted by too few educators and education product suppliers for too long.

Another interpretation: Education Visionaries with Eyes Wide Shut.

The worst visionaries are most of the public school administrators and educators themselves who are more preoccupied with bloated administrative salaries, pensions and “being on par with surrounding communities” rather than rebuilding the framework and concepts that define what public education should be in a global economy.

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