Friday Facts: January 25, 2012

What’s with the woobies? National School Choice Week 2013 begins today.

Friday Facts: January 18, 2013

Should Georgia pursue a state-based health exchange or expand Medicaid?

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Jan. 13: Tough times needn’t defer fixes for the future here

“Tough times needn’t defer fixes for the future here”

Why Learning Games Succeed Where Traditional Training Fails

Here is an interested article on the gamification of learning.

What is the Future for Marginal Revolution University?

By Eric Wearne Add another entrant to the growing number of free online education start-ups (see here or here).  Marginal Revolution University comes from Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok, two economics professors at George Mason University (and hosts of the economics blog Marginal Revolution). MRUniversity was announced at the World Bank meeting last week.  According to Tabarrok, “Here are a few of the principles behind MR University: 1. The product is free (like this blog), and we offer more material in less time. 2. Most of our videos are short, so you can view and listen … Continue Reading →

Friday Facts: August 24, 2012

Want to know about charter schools local control and minority students? Click on the links in the Friday Facts!

Task Force Should Focus on Digital Learning Ideas Marketplace

By Eric Wearne Recently Governor Nathan Deal announced a task force to “recommend ways to improve student achievement through the creation of robust digital learning environments, which may include the transition to digital textbooks and the effective use of wireless mobile devices.” In his remarks, the Governor stated that, “Students need to develop technical literacy in order to attain 21st century skills and become competitive in the global marketplace, and our state will invest in that education. We must increase the quality and quantity of our digital learning opportunities to … Continue Reading →

When Reform is not Enough, Change How the Game is Played

By Eric Wearne Eric Wearne, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Harvard University Professor Clayton M. Christensen argues in his book Disrupting Class and elsewhere that the best and most long-lasting changes in any market tend to come from new entrants, rather than established players. Christensen argues that, in any field, new entrants gain a foothold into the market by taking on simple or unwanted tasks, often providing them at lower quality than existing players.  Then, after a time, quality, accessibility, and/or convenience increase, providing the new entrants an advantage and … Continue Reading →

The Final Breath From This Year’s General Assembly

By Mike Klein The final breath has  been drawn by this year’s Georgia General Assembly.  Here is what lawmakers did on seven issues that are closely tracked by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.  This article discusses state charter schools, digital learning, criminal justice and juvenile code reform, pension and tax reform and health care reform.  All of these will require more work going forward and in some cases, much more work starting soon. State Charter Schools This November voters will decide who got it right:  Lawmakers four years ago when … Continue Reading →

TED-Ed – More Ideas Worth Spreading

By Eric Wearne Eric Wearne, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation TED (originally “Technology, Entertainment, Design,” but now just TED) bills itself as “a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.”  Its award-winning TEDTalks site hosts video talks by both well-known (and lesser-known) speakers on topics ranging from “tools that help the physical world interact with the world of data” to ethical questions about bio-engineering to how schools help kill students’ creativity. TED hosts two annual conferences, an award-winning video site (TEDTalks), and several other programs.  TED itself is well worth … Continue Reading →

Taking Shackles off Georgia’s Digital Learning Virtual School

By Mike Klein Georgia legislators have begun to remove shackles that prevented the Georgia Virtual School from achieving its vast potential to help connect students with digital learning.  Two bills would fix a flawed funding model, prohibit schools from blocking students who want to enroll in GAVS courses, and create an expanded clearinghouse of courses available statewide. Legislation (SB 289) to fix the funding formula and significantly expand student access to digital learning has passed the Senate and this week it received unanimous voice vote approval in a House education … Continue Reading →

Taking the Red Pill Takes You to Wonderland

By Eric Wearne In 2011, Sebastian Thrun left his position as a computer science professor at Stanford University. He had offered a course on artificial intelligence, and enrolled 200 Stanford students. But the course was also offered online, for free. One hundred sixty thousand students from 190 countries enrolled in the course that way, and watched professor Thrun and his colleague from Google, Peter Norvig, teach their content through a series of videos and interactive quizzes and homework assignments. The experience proved transformational, for the students as well as Thrun. … Continue Reading →

Steven’s Story: Proof the Time is Now to Put Students First

“Steven,” a young student from a low-income family, wanted to become an engineer. He understood his best chance of success was to enroll in his district’s math- and science-focused charter school. But the charter school could not afford a track team or such facilities, and Steven was an exceptional runner who was expected to earn a college track scholarship. The young man and his family were forced to make a choice: Pursue the option to finance his college education through an athletic scholarship but with an inferior academic education, or … Continue Reading →

Terry Moe: The Online Learning Revolution

Education expert Terry Moe writing in today’s Wall Street Journal: Online learning now allows schools to customize coursework to each child, with all kids working at their own pace, receiving instant remedial help, exploring a vast array of courses, and much more. The advantages are huge. Already some 39 states have set up virtual schools or learning initiatives that enroll students statewide, often providing advanced placement courses, remedial courses, and other offerings that students can’t get in their local schools. The national model is the Florida Virtual School, which offers a … Continue Reading →