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Do E-Readers Spell the Demise Of Traditional Schooling? 301

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the bender-teaches-first-grade-english dept.
Attila Dimedici writes "I came across a an article this morning that suggests that the Nook and the Kindle have changed things in such a way that schools are becoming obsolete. His premise is that the ideal way to teach children is by a tutor ..., [and] the Nook and the Kindle have allowed large amounts of written material on many different subjects to become accessible enough that parents can tutor their children at a price that just about everyone can afford." The author is a bit off-base on the nature of the public schooling, but easy access to resources like Project Gutenberg and Wikibooks certainly removes some barriers to self-study and the limitations of the 20+ child classroom.
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Do E-Readers Spell the Demise Of Traditional Schooling?

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  • Sureeeeee (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mustPushCart (1871520) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @06:29AM (#38501224)

    Yea this will replace tutors just like books have replaced tutors since days of yore. EReaders are great, they may replace books someday but when it comes to education, the biggest barrier is getting kids to pickup a book/e-reader not how much space they occupy.

    • Re:Sureeeeee (Score:4, Informative)

      by Galestar (1473827) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @06:37AM (#38501274)

      Yea this will replace tutors

      The article is talking about replacing traditional schooling methods (ie classrooms+lectures etc), not replacing tutors. The article is talking about MORE tutors - in short, you completely missed the point of the article.

      Personally I believe lectures will soon be a thing of the past. Teachers should be spending their efforts actually interacting with students rather than a one-way recitation of material, which can be accomplished through video lectures (ie the guy from Khan Academy is a much better lecturer than 90% of teachers out there).

      Congratulations on first post though

      • Re:Sureeeeee (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mustPushCart (1871520) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @08:22AM (#38501696)

        I feel the points are still valid. The e-reader is verrrrry specific in what it does and it replaces books. If video tutorials were better, traditional schooling methods would have been replaced by the time computers became prolific in the classrooms, or when laptops started getting real cheap but they haven't. Perhaps the e-readers are getting bookworms thinking about the benifits of technology and that is having a trickle down effect? Im not sure. I do agree that the method of schooling you described in your comment is better though, I just dont see how e-readers can enable it any more than the tech that has been available for 15+ years.

        Thanks, i never get fp!

        • by wisty (1335733)

          Schools have had TVs and video players for decades - delivery in not the issue.

          The internet has given more feedback to video producers (especially that Khan guy), and helped identify what is popular, but it's not like no-one ever thought to put classes on TV before.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Galestar (1473827)
          I think the main barrier to having video lectures at the moment is cultural.
          The current system involves in-class lectures, with homework done at home. If you switch that, have the students watch lectures as homework, and solve problems in class, the teacher (and other students) are actually available when the students need them most - while trying to solve the problems. It also allows greater flexibility for the students to "learn at their own pace" - students will have more options as to which lectures
          • by ceoyoyo (59147)

            Most classes are already taught with a lecture component and a seminar or lab part. In elementary and high school they're using in the same time block, with the teacher lecturing for a bit, then students getting a start on their homework.

            The problem with video is that it's not interactive. It makes a great study aid, and taping lectures for later review is a good thing, but it's no substitute for a live lecture where you can ask questions as it goes on.

        • Re:Sureeeeee (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Hognoxious (631665) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @09:25AM (#38502028) Homepage Journal

          There's no such thing as a video tutorial, or at least most things that claim to be such are actually lectures. A tutorial is an interactive discussion between a teacher and a small number of students.

          Yes, it can be done via intermessengers and skypecams, but it requires considerably more manpower (and skilled manpower at that) than The Teaching Company's[1] "shoot & 'bute" model.

          [1] This not an insult to TTC; I've found some of their material to be entertaining and informative. But when I put my hand up to ask a question the prof never picks me.

        • by EdIII (1114411)

          You have some points but it seems that everybody is missing the 800 pound gorilla in the room....

          suggests that the Nook and the Kindle have changed things in such a way that schools are becoming obsolete

          different subjects to become accessible enough that parents can tutor their children at a price that just about everyone can afford.

          I don't know what economy this author thinks he is in. Any parents that are still making 100k plus a year combined probably have their children in a good private school. Those are not so bad and the quality of education is higher. Especially in the top private schools that are run as hard as a Japanese prep school.

          Public schools are poorly funded with the economic collapse we are suffering, and they were not

      • by g0bshiTe (596213)
        Parents point is still very valid whether they missed the point of the article or not.

        The current problem with education is not having 20+ kids to a class, it's that 19 students have to fall behind for 1 that learns slower than the rest.
      • Lets look at this at the perspective of a young child. The first question most children will ask is Why do I need to know this? In a classroom environment, the child at least knows they are not the only ones that have to learn it. It brings out the competitive nature in a child since they will know that a classmate has learned it. That is why a teacher will ask questions. Even if a child is not asked but knows in their own mind that they could have answered, it will give that child the gratification th
    • Re:Sureeeeee (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bemymonkey (1244086) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @06:47AM (#38501320)

      It'll prevent kids forgetting their $subject book every few days... and cause less back pain. Not much more though.

    • Re:Sureeeeee (Score:5, Insightful)

      by stephanruby (542433) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @06:57AM (#38501356)

      ...the Nook and the Kindle have allowed large amounts of written material on many different subjects to become accessible enough that parents can tutor their children
        at a price that just about everyone can afford."

      I guess this guy thinks that the public library (and inter-library) system, the used book market, or even the internet, was never affordable enough (or convenient enough) for most homeschooling parents.

      • Homeschooling only works if you can afford the loss of income of one of the parents (or the time-equivalent of one of the parents, or the split of work-hours such that neither parent gets to see the other one most days...).

        Which brings to mind another question - productivity is now many times what it was when the country was founded - we're down to less than 2% of the workforce needed for agriculture from something like 80%, and that's not even the industry with the most significant gains.

        So.. why DO so man

        • Do you really not know the answer? Real incomes have steadily declined in the U.S. for around 40 years, with a few brief upticks now and then. Since the 80s, our society has invested less and less in the basic infrastructure of society, especially schools. And also people in the U.S. have spent more and more, as frills became essentials (cable TV, cell phones, satellite TV, game consoles) and other products have become increasingly expensive, like cars. Then throw into that the declining dollar.... It's pre
          • "And also people in the U.S. have spent more and more, as frills became essentials (cable TV, cell phones, satellite TV, game consoles)..."

            This is the real problem. Not one of those things is essential. I, for instance, own not one of those devices. Yet I do fine. Actually, the real answer is modern families *can* exist on one income. I know several that do. Just require less.

            "...and other products have become increasingly expensive, like cars."

            Same answer, buy a low end car. They're comparable
        • by Alex Belits (437) *

          So.. why DO so many families need two full-time incomes just to make ends meet, or even to live in a modest amount of comfort?

          Everyone is busy stuffing themselves into distribution/maintenance overhead (management, import/export, retail, marketing, finance) on production of something everyone needs. Production mostly happens elsewhere, or requires appropriately tiny amount of local resources.

        • Re:Sureeeeee (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Tokolosh (1256448) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @09:47AM (#38502182)

          Because we are spending twice as much per child in real terms as we were 15 years ago, with no discernible improvement in outcome.

        • by jeffmeden (135043)

          Homeschooling only works if you can afford the loss of income of one of the parents (or the time-equivalent of one of the parents, or the split of work-hours such that neither parent gets to see the other one most days...).

          Which brings to mind another question - productivity is now many times what it was when the country was founded - we're down to less than 2% of the workforce needed for agriculture from something like 80%, and that's not even the industry with the most significant gains.

          So.. why DO so many families need two full-time incomes just to make ends meet, or even to live in a modest amount of comfort?

          What exactly is a skyscraper full of tax auditors or derivatives traders doing for the bottom line productivity of the nation? Sure, it takes less people to grow our food but we have found plenty of other ways to dick around since then. Add in the increase in the standard of living, since surely you don't think that there is no resource difference between a family of 8 living in 1500 sq feet to a family of 3 living in 2500 sq feet with 4 flat screen TVs and two cars (oh and interior plumbing AND electrici

        • by timeOday (582209)

          So.. why DO so many families need two full-time incomes just to make ends meet, or even to live in a modest amount of comfort?

          I'm not saying this is the whole answer, but remember, both parents always worked. Women at home weren't contributing to the GDP since no money was exchanged, but they were still doing stuff that needed done. So the economic benefit of stopping that, paying other people to do it, and getting some outside job to do instead isn't as much as we might assume, particularly if that out

        • "So.. why DO so many families need two full-time incomes just to make ends meet, or even to live in a modest amount of comfort?"

          Its really very simple. When women entered the workplace it resulted in higher incomes in many or most families overnight. The short term result is everyone has lots of income. But when everyone has lots of income it means they can afford to pay more for the same goods. The result is that industry equalizes the buying power of the double worker home to what was previously the equiv

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Oh, but the fun they had! [wikipedia.org]

  • Yes (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @06:31AM (#38501240)

    or maybe No.

    I Love How Complex Problems Always Have Simple Yes/No Answers.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Looks like slashdot has got the banhammer out again. Fuck you and your lazy tabloid-style editorializing, slashdot.

      What would have been wrong with "How will traditional schooling be affected by e-readers?". Nope, the yes/no crap comes out of the cupboard.

      No wonder Taco called it a day.

  • That depends! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrEricSir (398214) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @06:32AM (#38501244) Homepage

    Is free day care included with an E-Reader?

  • by IAmR007 (2539972) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @06:32AM (#38501248)
    A lot of parents just want to dump their kids off at school and let them do the parenting. Unless there's some type of supervision, I don't see how this could work well.
    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      I don't like the sentiment of your post. The way you use the word "parenting" would seem to imply that they don't give a rats about their kids. I think quite the opposite. Sure parents who employ a full time live in nanny may be trying to palm off "parenting" but sending kids to school on the other hand is using a system we have in place to get more done.

      I think my kids would benefit from being taught by several different people.
      I think my kids would benefit from the stimulus provided by their peers.
      I think

      • My kids are taught by several different people (various classes, working out a deal with a local vet clinic for a kind of 'job shadow' every week, etc) My kids gets lots of stimulus from their peers - they have friends inside and outside the classes they take, and other activities they do throughout the week with other kids. They sure could turn out different - good thing the alternative isn't locking them in a basement all day or homeschoolers would sure be in trouble! I'm not on the fence - I can do a bet
        • Yes, hear hear! We homeschool as well! Also, I repair my own car - especially the brakes and the steering, which I'm especially good at. I provide doctoring and medical advice for my family as well - why go to some outside 'specialist' who may or may not be qualified in the subject. My daughter's appendectomy turned out especially well. Getting a surgeon for that is the path of least resistance and it's 'what's done'. We do our own prescription glasses also - bake them in the oven! It works grea

  • by Xugumad (39311) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @06:32AM (#38501252)

    Of course, you couldn't do this previously using the Internet, only e-readers make this feasible. Before that, the distance to the library clearly made this entirely impossible.

    No, new shiny technology of the day has not changed everything. Parents who may have struggled to build a teaching plan yesterday will still struggle even if you give them a Kindle. Most families will still need both parents to work these days, anyway.

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @09:53AM (#38502216)
      Mom, I could have sworn that I had 1984 on my Kindle! How am I supposed to do my homework now?

      Back when I was in school, if you had a book in your house when you went to sleep, it was still there when you woke up.
  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spad (470073) <slashdot.spad@co@uk> on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @06:35AM (#38501268) Homepage

    Who exactly is going to be doing this tutoring? Parents with nothing better to do all day, perhaps? Maybe one of the private tutors currently working, of which I'm sure there are plenty to meet demand. What about letting the kids just teach themselves? It's not as if they'll just spend their time screwing around instead of working.

    Schools aren't just there because we want to give kids a sub-standard education, they're there because they're the only practical way to provide education to large numbers of children.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      Schools are there to help keep the country working. The schools have not changed much since they were designed to produce obedient factory workers. I have some of my paperwork from third grade where I was getting in trouble for looking at other children, I should scan it and post it on my website as a badge of honor I guess. The school functions as day care so that parents can go to work for the good of the nation. It also provides indoctrination through history classes with approved texts, the manipulation

    • "Who exactly is going to be doing this tutoring?"

      Millions of Socrateses teaching for free in the internet agora: on irc, khan academy, wikipedia, stanford ai classes, quantum physics courses (http://michaelnielsen.org/blog/quantum-computing-for-the-determined/) ...

    • by Colin Smith (2679) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @08:46AM (#38501808)

      Games and A.Is which teach kids best according to their abilities using the most effective teaching strategies, backed up by human teachers.

      Motivation is a problem, but it's a problem with kids sitting at desks in schools.

      http://homepages.gold.ac.uk/polovina/learnpyramid/about.htm [gold.ac.uk]

      I'm not sure I'd call what we have just now as "providing education".

    • Each parent has two days off each week. If employers were more willing to move those around, two parents have four days off work each week. Most grandparents would love to participate in their grandchildren's education, so that's four more people with eight free days a week, for a total of twelve days a week. If only one person is needed to watch all the kids, then each only needs to move Saturday, with Sunday being off for everybody. This way you have enough time to school your kids six days a week and the

      • Grandparents always live in the same town as their grandchildren? My family must have missed the memo. More like 4 and 6 hours by air - and that's each way.

  • by Lumpio- (986581) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @06:40AM (#38501288)
    If "traditional schooling" means burying your desk/shelf/whatever in a lot of physical, printed books, yes. Otherwise, no. Physical books are the only thing e-book readers might replace, and while they may do that, that alone is not going to change education as we know it.
  • TFA is flamebait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rohan972 (880586) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @06:42AM (#38501296)
    It's having to live on one income that stops most families home educating, not the cost of educational materials. I've never heard anyone say they would home school but don't because they can't access educational material.

    That and the fact that most people don't want to home school. I predict that the nook and kindle will have negligible impact on home schooling numbers. My kids are home schooled without a nook or kindle.

    TFA is flamebait, an anti-school piece, not a technology piece. Not really news for nerds.
    • Re:TFA is flamebait (Score:4, Interesting)

      by swb (14022) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @07:44AM (#38501542)

      I think your child also learns better with someone who is not his parent. I see the kinds of things my son is capable of learning from third parties when I can't get him to tie his shoes without an argument and it only reinforces this.

      I wish I could afford a personal tutor but then again their are social aspects of school, even the negative ones, that teach lessons at least as valuable as some of the academic ones.

      • by rohan972 (880586)

        I think your child also learns better with someone who is not his parent. I see the kinds of things my son is capable of learning from third parties when I can't get him to tie his shoes without an argument and it only reinforces this.

        If that is how it is for you I can see why home schooling is not for you. School is definitely designed to make kids easily manageable.

        I wish I could afford a personal tutor but then again their are social aspects of school, even the negative ones, that teach lessons at least as valuable as some of the academic ones.

        As for socialization, here's a summary of Australian research on home education. [vic.edu.au]
        Socialisation
        Studies which have looked at the social experiences of home educated students indicate that the students have broad, healthy social interactions although a few students would have appreciated more interaction with peers, particularly in home education network groups. Studies hav

        • by kenh (9056)

          When I was a child I remember reading about Australian students that were taught school subjects at home via Amateur Radio broadcasts. The kids would sit at a HF transciever and listen to the instructor and pose questions over the radio link [wikipedia.org].

          There is no one single answer - if there was, public schools would adopt that one model and everyone would benefit. That reading a tower of books helped a disadvantaged foster child is fantastic, but that child's experience is far from typical, so mapping his success on

    • He should swap places with GMGruman [slashdot.org]. They could hardly be worse informed about each other's pet subject than their own.

      P.S. the linked site wants to do a free scan on my PC because it's at risk. How kind!

    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      TFA is stupid in all sorts of ways. The fact that every household (and schoolroom) in the country already has desktop computers, laptops, netbooks and tablets galore, all with internet connectivity and proper full screens and keyboards seems to have passed them by. Why would a low power e-ink reader be a paradigm shifter if proper computers weren't?

      And then there's the fact that teachers are highly trained professionals (in most countries) who can't just be replaced by a gadget or idle parent (especially th

  • by jprupp (697660) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @06:47AM (#38501322)

    It's the Internet that changed the way we access information for our own betterment. In most companies no one cares anymore about your credentials as long as you're capable of performing the required tasks. The school - college - university system that was the means to get started in a career in the 20th century has been eroded from the top: It's universities and colleges that are losing relevance. School is still somewhat relevant, but I wonder how long will that last. More unconventional ways of learning that leverage technological advances like the Internet, ereaders, tablets, and possible future advances as well, will surely come to erode more of the current practices in education.

    Intellectual property must be rendered obsolete for the Internet can reach its full potential, and for these advances in learning and education to materialize.

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @06:55AM (#38501350)

    While at university, in the Discrete Mathematics course, I had this professor who made this strange type of maths easy and fun to learn.

    It is what introduced me to what computer science is all about, and how to analyze problems. This type of course cannot be properly delivered via 10" screens. Nothing can replace that face to face human touch.

    • by vlm (69642) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @08:41AM (#38501778)

      This type of course cannot be properly delivered via 10" screens. Nothing can replace that face to face human touch.

      Could you expand upon this, like maybe a "why"? People who already agree with you will see it as preaching to the choir, people who don't, like myself, are mystified.

      Is it a resolution thing like you cannot read the blackboard for video lectures? Language barrier?

      Note I took discrete math a decade or so ago from a genuine professor (not a TA) and I also enjoyed it greatly, but I can't understand what mysterious force would intercede were a camera and TV placed in my line of sight.

      It sounds like the biological concept of vitalism, or perhaps the catholic concept of bishops laying on hands down thru the ages when a new priest is made. I don't subscribe to magickal thought that merely placing silicon and glass in my line of sight would have ruined my experience.

      • by bickerdyke (670000) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @10:50AM (#38502606)

        I can name two of those mysterious forces: "feedback" and "immersion"

        Examples:

        Students fall asleep en masse --> a good teacher tries to be less boring
        Student doesn't pay attention -> student is reminded by the teacher to concentrate on the subject
          and likewise, beeing physically at a place helps to focus on what's going on there, espescially if that place is dedicated to a task. (Like schools, offices, churches..)

      • by Patch86 (1465427)

        A good teacher is like a good performer- they can read the room and adjust accordingly. If they say something and it's clear that people didn't get it, they can return to that point and try again from a different angle. If people are whizzing through it, they can pick up the pace and spend less time on the easy stuff. If people are looking bored, they can make the material more engaging; if people are looking unfocused, they can get stern and serious. And at its simplest- if you raise your hand during a liv

    • by dbIII (701233)

      Nothing can replace that face to face human touch.

      Yes, truly an example of the KISS principle.

    • by ErikZ (55491) *

      Nothing can replace that face to face human touch.

      We will be building Cylons to do that.

  • No! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by trydk (930014) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @07:10AM (#38501406)
    This assumption goes wrong in a number of places, of which some obvious are:

    1. Parents have the time to school their children
    2. Parents have the inclination to do it
    3. Parents have the capability to do it. (How many know parents whose maths is non-existent or whose spelling is beyond comprehension?)
    4. The parent/child relationship works towards learning and not against it. (Think obstinate teenager here.)


    I am sure there would be many other problems too, like very few parents have learned the tips and tricks a teacher has.

    So in my humble opinion, it will not work!
  • Tools like the Kindle are great to assist learning; but let's face it: the weakness/strength to learning is always the teacher. These are great as a substitute for the books/paper in the classroom, but not as a substitute for human instruction. Yes, there are a few who are able to learn from Khan Academy or from e-books alone. The vast majority, however, need that human to get them through the rough patches. Most home-schooling relies on mom and dad for that, and they tend to not be the greatest of instr

    • The vast majority, however, need that human to get them through the rough patches.

      Is that just your opinion, or can you back that up? Have "the vast majority" actually used something like Khan Academy?

      • If they associate, it's with others who are home schooled.

        Oh? So it's impossible to find friends without being locked in a building with a bunch of people your age? You don't need to associate solely with people who are home schooled. You can do it with just about anyone.

        They will never be required to deal with social interactions of differing social groups until they go to college

        Required? No. I wouldn't force someone to, either. Some people are introverts. It might be difficult to believe, but not everyone cares deeply about socializing.

        unless they happen to be lucky enough to have a parent that forces them into these situations.

        Personally, I wouldn't call that "lucky." There is no reason that I see that you need to force them to hang out with other people. Either

        • If they associate, it's with others who are home schooled.

          Oh? So it's impossible to find friends without being locked in a building with a bunch of people your age? You don't need to associate solely with people who are home schooled. You can do it with just about anyone.

          But you need to MEET them first.

          That may happen at choir, sports team, whatever, but most likely at school, because you simply spend your time there with others of your age for quite a bit of time.

  • by shoehornjob (1632387) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @07:33AM (#38501498)
    How many parents do you know that can afford to stay home and tutor their children in place of going to school? The author of TFA also fails to understand that children learn in different ways and book learning alone is not the best way for everyone. E-readers might be a good way to supplement learning but I can't see how it could replace a teacher in a classroom setting.
  • The Kindle and Nook may make for not only the most important advance in reading since Gutenberg, but also, quite likely, a major lesson in unintended consequences.

    Can anyone work out what language this was automatically translated from?

  • Give them those digital books from that new cyber textbook company, Finkle-McGraw Hill.
  • Really? Journalism is going downhill with the standards hitting all-time lows, I fear.

    No, schooling will not be replaced by Kindles. There is a lot more to education than making the kids read stuff, or reading it to them. There's a reason we have a whole field of science dedicated to teaching - educational science.

    • Really? Journalism is going downhill with the standards hitting all-time lows, I fear.

      No, schooling will not be replaced by Kindles. There is a lot more to education than making the kids read stuff, or reading it to them. There's a reason we have a whole field of science dedicated to teaching - educational science.

      Well, that's mostly getting the kids to WANT TO KNOW stuff.

  • by water-and-sewer (612923) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @08:13AM (#38501660) Homepage

    I am bored to tears with all the "Does XXX mean the death of YYY" articles these technologist wankers drool out. It's always the same: "do computers mean the end of TV?" "Does the internet mean the end to commuting to work in your car?" "Does the Wii mean the end of Computer gaming?" and so on.

    In EVERY case, the new technology has had an impact, sometimes even a limited one, but failed to do away with the previous. And anyone that thinks a technology for displaying information (and that's all an ebook is) will do away with a fundamental societal need like formal education is a fool, a wanker, or both.

  • by jimbrooking (1909170) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @08:30AM (#38501726)
    I have tried to read a couple of science-type books on my Kindle. I find when you have to back-reference a previous page containing an equation or diagram that's important to what follows in the book, you often need to refer back to a previous page. On a Kindle this process is complex, irksome, disruptive and slow. There is nothing (yet?) on a Kindle that will replace little slips of paper (or - horrors - dog-ears) used as bookmarks for important predecessor material.
  • by Lumpy (12016)

    E readers cant replace "traditional schooling" it can replace "traditional textbooks" though. Tablets Could with interactivity and specialized software certainly can.

    But unfortunately e-reader cant play video, cant display color, etc... only a small subset like the ipad and the high end android tablets can do this, and those are not e-readers but tablets.

    I'm thinking the author does not know what he is talking about, or is confused, his comment about libraries is also incredibly misinformed. His po

    • what needs to happen is a few very simple things

      1 the actual "information" in a text book needs to be separated from the "test/example" portion of the book (maybe in a second volume??)

      2 it should be a FELONY to twiddle things around in a textbook just to justify a "New" edition (new edition means more actual content/updated content ect)

      3 Text books for Standard Core Content should be by law given to students (at nominal cost at most) so that they can refer back to them later (if its an E-Version then there

  • "the ideal way to teach children is by a tutor" Every child learns somewhat differently from others. Some learn best in a large group lecture/suck-in-the-information model, some learn best by experimentation, and yes, some learn best with one-on-one tutor-style interaction. There is no such thing as the ideal way to teach children, there is only an ideal way to teach this singular child and that will never be exactly the same between two different children.
  • It's true that e-readers are coming down in price. However, homeschooling a child incurs another considerable expense that the lower price of e-readers cannot defray: namely, requiring a parent to stay home. Far fewer people can afford that than can afford a Kindle or others of its ilk.

  • Yeah, right!? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kenh (9056) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @09:28AM (#38502056) Homepage Journal

    Asinine.

    The author has a serious problem with public school teachers that borders on the obsessive, and clouds all reasonable discussion with him on this subject, it would seem.

    The problem in schooling isn't teacher salaries, administrative overhead, the cost of school construction, etc. it really has to do with the basics (and while I'm no fan of public school teachers, they are but one piece of a much bigger puzzle).

    We've had free lending libraries since the time of Franklin, and to imagine that by somehow taking books off a shelf and injecting them into a shiny electronic device will somehow get kids to read and read and read for 5-10 years is just silly.

    Homeschooling is not a new phenomenon, it's how people used to learn things. People homeschool their children for many reasons, teacher salaries isn't typically the main reason - either because the parents want a faith-based education for their children, or they feel the public schools wouldn't benefit their child, OR the parents simply think they "know better", which may or may not be true.

    There are many, many subjects that require more than simply "reading a book, writing an essay" to impart mastery. I'm reminded of the scene in Good Will Hunting where Robin William's character dresses down Matt Damon's character and explains "living a life" as opposed to reading about other people's lives in books.

  • by imakemusic (1164993) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @09:52AM (#38502212)
    If the title of the article is a question, the answer is probably "no".
  • The present rules of teaching, learning, pedagogy ... have proven to be restrictive, hierarchical, religious/cultural biased ... a failure.

    School systems and universities in the USA are hierarchical and oppressive. Fitting the student in to the curriculum is a waste of time. Mentoring and allowing a student to evolve a curriculum, their learning pedagogy, and share/collaborate with others nationally/globally is best. Yes, some common math and language requirements are essential. I suspect, my 160+ SemHr

  • There's not even a need for fancy technology to get a solid non-traditional education.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudbury_school [wikipedia.org]
    http://www.sudval.org/07_othe_01.html [sudval.org]

  • 1. Teaching is not easy. Otherwise schools would have a lot bet reputation.

    2. Teaching takes a lot of time.

    3. Teaching takes intelligence. The smarter you are, the better you do. There is a reason why colleges try to get the smartest, most published people to teach.

    4. The more you teach, the better you get. You learn things from your students, so you get better at your job.

    5. Some of those things students teach you? THey have been written down. You can go to school and learn them.

    So,

  • Unless you live in a small city or elite suburb, the quality of public schools is so bad that you're better off homeschooling.

    The obstacle here is not the cost of the books, but the cost of the time. You need to have one spouse stay at home to do that. It doesn't matter which spouse, but the most stable kids seem to come from homes like this.

    At our local public school, kids receive more political/social education than actual knowledge.

  • College for all does not work under the Traditional system in more ways then just cost.

    General Education and filler classes are getting out of hand in some cases it takes 5 years to do what used to take 4 years.

    Some classes like Tech ones are all over the place in terms of how much theory they have while other have more hands on.

    Also the naming is a mess as you can look at 2 schools both with a track called CS and have each one be very different.

    There is also a mix MIS, IT, System Integration, system design

  • What's up with iThis, eThat and whatnot? Nothing beats the way we are taught (or, better, it's not iThis and eCrap that will significantly change it), at least here where I live. No need for fancy technology. If someone wants to learn, they do, and we've spun our share of geniuses. It's ridiculous to think that 50 to 70 year old teachers will actually learn to use this technology to teach. it's equally as pathetic to think that it will substantially change the way the pupils learn. This is strong and pathet

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

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