Articles Tagged with new york times

NFImageImportLast week the New York Times published a piece titled $200 Textbook vs. Free. You Do the Math by Ashlee Vance.

Today we take up the challenge posed in the title and demonstrate that Open Source Textbooks are twice as expensive as books in the K12 market.

Let me state right up front that I’m all for using economic and technology forces to drive costs down while improving services. I agree that Open Source instructional materials have a place and will play a role in coming years in doing exactly this. But they are not the panacea painted by their advocates in the article.

NFImageImportOn-line bullying has been a concern as long as the web has been around. Yet only now, with the proliferation of social networks, is it really getting its due. Today’s New York Times has an outstanding article on cyberbullying and the confusing and inconsistent ways that schools are being asked to respond. I highly recommend this well written piece.

The central conundrum is that cyberbullying almost never takes place on school sponsored networks and equipment. Yet the bullying clearly has a direct impact on students, their interactions in the building, and their academic performance.

In old fashioned bullying physical presence was required. Because kids spent most of their day at school a great deal of it happened in the building. That gave schools a clear and well defined role in intervening and managing bullying – even if many didn’t do a great job of it. At least the law and the expectations were clear.

Serendipitously the New York Times published a front page article yesterday about “The Story of Stuff”, a short movie about man’s impact on the environment. It makes the point I was after in Sunday’s post about the power of story-line in instructional materials. The movie has gone viral globally (7 million views) because it encapsulates the lesson in a broader narrative that kids (and grown ups) can connect to their own lives.

Some quotes from the article that support the contention that we can use stories more effectively in instruction and that we can trust kids to make up their own minds when given a chance to.

“…many educators say the video is a boon to teachers as they struggle to address the gap in what textbooks say about the environment and what science has revealed in recent years.”