Education Predictions for 2008

REPOSTED FROM MY THOUGHTS (hshawjr@blogspot.com/haroldshawjr.com) 10/25/10

I was wandering around on Google Reader and this blog sitehttp://learningcircuits.blogspot.com/2007/11/december-big-question-what-did-you.html
came up as recommended and I started reading the overview page of “The Big Question” which asked for Predictions for Learning in 2008.
I hadn’t really thought about what my predictions for education in 2008 would be, but as a “newbie” to the Web2.0 scene here goes.
I purposely didn’t read any of the other predictions, and on some things I am rather vague.
1. That there will be partial study results “showing” that technology doesn’t positively affect classroom performance and this will be picked up by those who choose to minimize student progress that isn’t measured by test scores. You noticed that I said partial study results, if the complete study was put into correct context, it would have given a completely different result, but the “spin” doctors get out the information to support their point of view.
2. That the gap between “techno twinky” teachers and “mainstream” teachers gets a little bit wider. “The old refrain, I have taught this way for “x” number of years and “all” of my students meet standard, so I won’t re-invent their whole curriculum just to put some “toys” in place. See studies from prediction number 1.
3. That Education becomes a forgotten issue during the campaign as the economy and the Middle East become more critical issues.
3.a. That the next President forgets their campaign promises around education, because their plan was too expensive and in the midst of a recession/depression the country couldn’t afford it. Shouldn’t  it be the other way around, how could you not afford to educate the future or present work force.
4. That blogs, wikis and websites like Classroom2.0,http://classroom20.ning.com/ that allow teachers to talk to each other, get new ideas, actually collaborate, break down more walls and make it seem as though we are not alone in our own little fiefdom anymore. (I know – this is a bit vague, but so hugely important to me.) In other words more teachers will talk to each other and pass around all those great ideas, we have from time to time. Or perhaps we can just vent to each other and retain what little sanity we have left.
5. That the Bush administration will attempt to sneak in/push through a bill keeping most of the provisions of NCLB as law through 2012. Hope this one doesn’t come true.
6. That there will become a larger push to make schools less of public institution and more pay as you go. Here comes the two class society, if it isn’t here already.
7. That there will be tremendous pressure to de-emphasize special education programs, as they are too costly, those students are the blame for many failing schools and the programs are not making a difference anyway. As a special educator I don’t agree, but I see this line of thinking more and more, even if not very many come right out and say it, it’s not very politically correct.
8. My pie in the sky predictions.
a. That the Federal Government decides that 1:1 learning is indispensable to achieving parity with other countries in the world and “mandates” that all students have a laptop computer.
b. Makes students and parents responsible for their actions – not schools or teachers.
c. Get rid of NCLB and allow local control of schools – No national curriculum.
d. Pay teachers a professional wage versus the minimum wage many now receive.
e. Allow teachers to teach, not just regurgitate information and how to fill-in dots.
9. Studies show that students when taught with a variety of methods, using a project based curriculum are better prepared to participate in “business” or (life after schooling) than their “successful” high scoring bubble-based counterparts.

10. That students are allowed to fail at least once before graduating high school. In the “real world” you learn more from your failures than successes. How many “golden children” experience their first failure after leaving for college and never recover from it?

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