Archive for the ‘educational’ Tag

Kahn Acadamy

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Great Video to generate some conversations about the ever changing approach to education.

Advertisements

Politics in Education

Monday, October 11th, 2010

The following is an excerpt from a discussion about the role of politics in educational research. If allowed I hope to post my fellow classmates responses as they further this conversation.
In the political system “what counts as worthwhile knowledge is determined by the social and positional power of the advocates of that knowledge. The link here between objects of study and communities of scholars echoes Kuhn’s (1962) notions of paradigms and paradigm shifts” (Cohen, 2000). Governments place a lot of focus on the education system however, it seems the political swings of new pedagogy that govern our educational system tend to fluctuate to extremes as a means of distracting those attempting to draw attention to greater issues in education like a lack of authentic funding for public school programs. Many of the misguided reformations in education stem from third party research findings whose data is used for guidance in policy reform. Perhaps the style of research taking place in education is more of an ongoing evaluation of the system rather than the diagnosis that lager systemic changes are needed. Morrison provides one definition of evaluation as: “the provision of information about specified issues upon which judgments are based and from which decisions for action are taken”(Cohen, 2000). There is currently a large movement to connect educational research to policy making, which also brings into play the funding connected to educational research. Policy makers believe if research is kept separate from politics it loses much of its intended purpose and becomes a frivolous evaluation of a new set of programs.
On both a macro and micro level education is tied into the political system. On a micro-political level Usher and Scott argue that micro-politics, influence the commissioning of research, the kind of field-work and field relations that are possible, funding issues, and the control of dissemination of the research findings. Morrison suggests that this is particularly the case in evaluative research, where an evaluation might influence prestige, status, promotion, credibility, or funding (Cohen, 2000). In a profession where community opinions weigh heavily one must give the utmost consideration to the politics of the system. All decisions in education can and will have longer lasting, further reaching consequences than we can currently predict with any accurate measure. A continual evaluation of the system and the persistent reinvention of the system can only work to provide thoughtful feedback and hopefully some guidance in assessing academically sound teaching practices.

Source

Cohen, Louis, Manion, Lawrence & Morrison, Keith. Research methods in education.
London; New York: Routledge/Falmer, 2000

Value in Gaming

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

The day my infantry soldiers and I landed on the beaches of Normandy is a day I shall never forget. My hands were shaking and my ears ringing with the sounds of angered pain. I nearly drowned as I climbed over the side of our death trap beach lander and plummeted into the murky crimson waters of taken land. The weight of my gun and field pack held me solid on the shifting floor beneath me and I fought with every shifting bend of my frame to release the hold the weight had on me. I do remember it was quiet under the surface, much quieter than the howling of war that raged above. With the last gasp of air in my lungs I pulled myself onto the beach and found whatever I could to hastily construct protection from those who brandished ill will.

The story above is an excerpt of my time as a OS officer during my tour while playing Medal of Honor Rising Sun. It is a retelling of my experience playing the game. I know it is just a game however, much like reading a good book its message had an impact on my actual life experience.  I would never have been able to have had the experience of the beach landing just watching it via propaganda videos. While playing the game the controller shook and vibrated while the digital surround sound added to the auditory experience captivating my senses. I even felt connected to my fellow virtual soldiers and made sure to keep them safe.

As my years of life have progressed I no longer seem to have time to save the world but I will never forget the time I spent trying. Gaming has value for me in every sense of the meaning and authenticity to actual events both positive and negative is required for true impact within the experience. There are definite concerns as to age appropriateness of games but this can be alleviated by matching games to curriculum standards. If a high school student can watch Schindler List they should also have the opportunity to play a WWII first person game.

Educations Purpose?

Monday, February 1st, 2010

I thought this short clip from Noam Chomsky speech is quite prophetic. Sometimes what is lost in educational assessments and the push to apply a business model to education has resulted in a loss of creativity and in some instances the loss of intellectual debate. Along with the furthering of standardized measurement of student growth and allocated monies connected to their achievement we have either become lost or have been mislead in preparing students to be viable members of an intellectually aware society. How then do we combat this trend? Can it be achieved through an educational overhaul? Is technology a key factor in achieving educational restructuring?