Technology -> Schools -> Our kids

So when I ran across the article below, it made me think back to the 2012-2013 school year, when a school district in the city I live spent the better part of $200,000 for iPads for an elementary grade level that was under-performing with their reading skills.

If I was a member of that school district, I would have some serious questions for the school board. I know that no amount of technology is going to teach a child the way a hands on approach can. I see that with the reading teacher for my children. The only technology she uses is a smart board that allows her to go through the photocopied, phonics worksheets she has created from scratch. It helps keep all the class on the same page and it allows for a succinct delivery of the decoding of the English language.

As Schools Jump to Tablets, Questions Linger Over Impact on Writing and Reading Skills.

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Reading Exercise Spawned Book by Anchorage Third-Grader

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20130313/ZONE05/303130004/Reading-exercise-spawned-book-by-Anchorage-third-grader?nclick_check=1

When Astrid Mayer began to struggle with reading comprehension at school, a specialist recommended she start reading with her parents every night and visualizing what she read. Astrid, 9, and her father, Trace Mayer, took the advice one step further and began crafting a story of their own. For 10 minutes every night the father and daughter, who live in Anchorage, would piece together a story line and draw pictures. “It really helped me with reading,” said Astrid, who is in the third grade at Anchorage School.

The Curse of Non-Cursive Writing

http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2013/03/14/essay-why-professors-should-object-failure-teaching-cursive

A recent news item cut me to the nib. Many public schools no longer teach cursive writing; 46 states no longer mandate that districts must teach cursive in their language arts core curriculum. This comes from the mistaken logic that our keyboard-happy society has made cursive a relic of the past that students no longer need. Numerous public schools now teach only printing, and some don’t even bother with lower and upper case – just block letters. Roman Catholic schools still demand cursive, and good for them. For the foreseeable future, kids who don’t have cursive will be at a competitive disadvantage. I’m surprised parents aren’t on the pitchfork-and-torch brigade over this, but I’d like to suggest that college professors should be (especially if they have kids).

States adopting laws requiring third graders to pass reading test or face retention

http://legalclips.nsba.org/?p=18686

The Washington Post reports that a growing number of states are drawing a hard line in elementary school, requiring children to pass a reading test in third grade or be held back from fourth grade. Thirteen states last year adopted laws that require schools to identify, intervene and, in many cases, retain students who fail a reading proficiency test by the end of third grade. Lawmakers in several other states and the District of Columbia are debating similar measures. Not every state requires retention; some allow schools to promote struggling readers to fourth grade as long as they are given intensive help.