What Does the Future of Education Look Like?

Most of you don’t know that I contribute news round-ups for the Knowledge Alliance. Some of these issues have certainly grabbed my attention about the future of education from a reform  and technology standpoint, and I wanted to highlight some of my faves.

Spring has Sprung for More Reform – When every student has access to a computer, “educational use for technology will be transformed.” Some are still struggling to identify evidence supporting successful school integration, offering family vouchers, overhauling how teachers are paid, and eliminating tenure. There is a surge to produce evidence-based reforms in education, but some think, “insisting on evidence for educational programs slows down the process of innovation.” Education Northwest’s Steve Fleischman suggests asking three questions before moving forward with reform. In the meantime, StudentsFirst is stepping up on education reform legislation, producing a newly released video that encourages legislators to continue their progress.

In other ed reform news, read predictions from the Council on Foreign Relations’ Independent Task Force on U.S. Education Reform and National Security, chaired by Joel Klein and Condoleezza Rice, and the state of the public education system in terms of national security.

Rising Tide of Data – Using data to make informed decisions only works if there is proper forethought, otherwise this “thinking may do as much harm as good.”

Value-Added Evaluation Impact – Teachers are starting to feel the impact of the value-added evaluation factors. Teachers once praised for their impact in the classroom have since been fired. The Carnegie Foundation highlights what good evaluation looks like, but we continue to see reports that value-added evaluations are hurting more than motivating good teaching practices – is fear ever a good motivator to be better?

Economic Impact Survey – The American Association of School Administrators released findings on the impact of the “economic downturn on schools,” and includes questions on the implications of federal education policies.

You all know how I feel about digital learning in the 21st century, HUGE FAN! Not only do I follow what Edutopia is all about, and keep up with what the DoEd is trying to do in their technology areas, but I follow TED religiously. I am super excited about this stuff that is happening. Education….for FREE! From fantastic, knowledgeable people. I am super psyched about this movement.

TED-Ed: Learning about neuroscience from world-renowned head neuroscientists on TED was sparked by a new campaign to offer free video lessons for high school and college students. TED’s online presence “sparks curiosity.” Is this the wave of the future? Keep reading.

Education of the Future: Khan Academy, which offers roughly 3,000 online classes, launches lessons on the iPad for FREE. 60 minutes reports that Khan Academy has the propensity to reach students from all over the world, transforming how students learn at every level.