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White House Calls On Kids To Film High-Tech Education

samzenpus posted about 8 months ago | from the lights-camera-learn dept.

Education 95

theodp writes "Over at WhiteHouse.gov, Bill Nye has issued a call for entries for the first-ever White House Student Film Festival, a video contest for K-12 students, whose finalists will have their short films shown at the White House. From the website: "The President has an assignment for you: Our schools are more high-tech than ever. There are laptops in nearly every classroom. You can take an online course on Japanese — and then video chat with a kid from Japan. You can learn about geometry through an app on your iPad. So, what does it all mean? We're looking for videos that highlight the power of technology in schools. Your film should address at least one of the following themes: 1. How you currently use technology in your classroom or school. 2. The role technology will play in education in the future."

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I'm torn (2, Funny)

mutube (981006) | about 8 months ago | (#45569537)

Competition is good but if the government is doing it this must be socialism.

Re:I'm torn (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45569599)

Competition is good but if the government is doing it this must be socialism.

Not quite, for this is lacking the manipulative brainwashing element of organized religion.

And since Bill Nye is involved, hopefully it'll stay that way.

Re:I'm torn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45569717)

Competition is good but if the government is doing it this must be socialism.

I find that not deliberately trivializing and selling short the beliefs of others neatly avoids such confusion.

Re: I'm torn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45569797)

Some people's beliefs should be trivialized due to their ignorance and complete misunderstanding of the issue they are speaking. Such as confusing political and economic sysyems; like equating Democracy with Capitalism. The real nuts confuse economic systems with religion. Why i just found out today that Socialism is anti-Christian....or something like that.

Re: I'm torn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45569827)

I find the real nuts have to find a way to interject some bullshit about religion into each comment they make, both for and against.

Re: I'm torn (2)

khallow (566160) | about 8 months ago | (#45570275)

That's such a pastafarian thing to say.

Re: I'm torn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45570545)

Great justification for being a bigot. Burn any crosses lately?

Re: I'm torn (1)

khallow (566160) | about 9 months ago | (#45572489)

Burn any crosses lately?

Steer me to your virtual lawn and I'll see what I can do.

Re: I'm torn (1)

sporting go4 (3445497) | about 9 months ago | (#45581511)

IF that truethat's very greatit can help know go4sporting all the pictures

Re:I'm torn (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 8 months ago | (#45569821)

I'm sort of wondering what the overall purpose in this competition is. Does the white house want to prove how "good" our education system is? Or is the goal to improve it by trying to get more students into filmography?

Neither of those seems terribly effective. Our education system isn't really that great, and I don't know about anybody else, but from where I sit there doesn't seem to be high prospects of growth in the film industry (it's sort of a saturated market, and quite often people spend more money on their career than they ever bring in from it.)

I probably sound like a broken record when I say this, but our education system should focus more on application rather than theory or art.

Re:I'm torn (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about 8 months ago | (#45570283)

I think the goal is to get kids excited about being educated, because kids who are excited about school tend to stay in it longer and get more out of it.

I also think that given them a goal - explaining what they do for a film festival - is a good application to focus their efforts. I'm sure you meant "application" in terms of "job training" but, for those kids doing the filming and editing, it might be job training. For the others, they still have 4-12 years to take care of that.

Re:I'm torn (-1, Flamebait)

AIphaWolf_HK (3439155) | about 8 months ago | (#45570389)

because kids who are excited about school tend to stay in it longer and get more out of it.

I don't think they should be excited about school, but about education. And if they're excited about education, they probably shouldn't stay in our abysmal public schools. Hopefully they have the opportunity to leave and begin their education.

Re:I'm torn (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 8 months ago | (#45570641)

Hmm...I must be a celebrity.

Re:I'm torn (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about 9 months ago | (#45572443)

Your faux semantic argument aside, plenty of people excited about being educated can receive that education in the public school system - even in the same schools that others fail from. (There are most certainly schools where that is not possible, but it is true at the vast majority of schools.)

I have no tolerance for anarchists who see a problem and can only solve it by blowing it up.

Re:I'm torn (1)

AIphaWolf_HK (3439155) | about 9 months ago | (#45573997)

plenty of people excited about being educated can receive that education in the public school system - even in the same schools that others fail from.

And they could just as easily get one elsewhere. The difference is, there wouldn't be a focus on rote memorization over understanding, awful tests, and pointless busywork, which would give them more time to actually try to understand meaningful concepts. Basically, if they really are excited about education, they'll get as far away from our public schools as possible.

I have no tolerance for anarchists who see a problem and can only solve it by blowing it up.

I don't see any anarchists here. I just acknowledge that our (and the public school systems of most other countries) public school system is absolutely abysmal at the moment. Hopefully this will change in the future, but that's the reality of the situation at present.

Re:I'm torn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45575061)

So, people who have reached the point where they have zero tolerance for a plethora of societal ills are the exact people you have zero tolerance for? Hrm, got it.

Kids As Educators (4, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 8 months ago | (#45570413)

I'm sort of wondering what the overall purpose in this competition is.

The government has no idea what to do with technology in schools. They are hoping kids can figure out some use for it and show them.

Re:Kids As Educators (1)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | about 9 months ago | (#45572681)

Considering the average kid is more comfortable using new technology, this isn't a bad idea.

Re:I'm torn (1)

anegg (1390659) | about 9 months ago | (#45574655)

I share your wonderment about what the overall purpose of the competition might be. The results will be anecdotal at best, which is not something to base policy upon.

The cynical side of me thinks that these submissions will be used to justify spending on "technology" for education. It seems to be a long-standing yet not necessarily proven meme that using technology in education will make education "better" (cheaper, more effective, etc.). I haven't seen much in the way of a cost/benefit analysis that would identify what kinds of technology brings the best results at a reasonable cost, however.

Spending money on technology for education appears to me to mostly benefit the technology companies. Schools that used to have problems buying enough textbooks now find that they are expected to have electronic whiteboards in every classroom, with PCs to drive them that need to be replaced every 3 years or so. The ones that also include PCs for every student up the ante even further. I *like* technology, but I don't think its the answer to every problem. When it is an answer, it should be shown how its benefit exceeds its cost.

Correction (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 8 months ago | (#45570405)

if the government is doing it this must be socialism.

You misspelled "propaganda".

Re:I'm torn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45575025)

No. The gubberment (local, state, federal) just spent millions on iPads for each student in select schools. The program is far from the hands down success they've hoped for. The kids are finding out the same thing adults knew, that it's hard to use a device for references. Traditional books can be flipped through back and forth, book marked, and sometimes highlighted. That's cumbersome at best to do on the iPad. Lazy teachers, which there are no shortage of, are letting iPads babysit kids in class. Teachers use their laptops to shop online and browse the web. YouTube is becoming the premier lecture tools.

Kids are perplexed. Teachers are abusing the system. Parents are angry. The idea was partly sold to save costs over books, but the software and subscriptions are surpassing the cost of reusable books.

The whole thing is a sham.

Re:I'm torn (1)

lsatenstein (949458) | about 9 months ago | (#45591621)

Competition is good but if the government is doing it this must be socialism.

Since the private sector only looks to monetize every possible event, profiting from the kids, it is about time that a "foss" approach to challenging youngsters is given. The stimulus will actually help to raise the average level of education, which from the last statistics was quite far down from the top.

Socialist Canada's kids on the same tests, did better and the statistics say that on the average, Canadian kids are better educated than Americans. In regards to smartness (IQ), one group has exclusivity on above average intelligence, and they are not in North America.

Tongue in Cheek (4, Funny)

areusche (1297613) | about 8 months ago | (#45569547)

Some group of kids should get together and do a film on biometrics and RFID tracking. Call it, "getting ready for the future of safety!"

Re:Tongue in Cheek (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45570513)

Filming the state of surveillance and control in schools from the perspective of students might be an eye opener for the White House.

Re:Tongue in Cheek (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45571803)

Don't be silly. They know about it. The idea is to get people used to big brother's protection while young, so that they won't mind being protected 24/7 as adults.

High-school computer classes already in the 1980s (2)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about 8 months ago | (#45569589)

There were high-school computer classes already in the 1982. I know, I attended them. Now, more than thirty years later, with the advent of the internet on top it, schools and politicians still speak of computers as high-tech? In my world they're commodities.

Re:High-school computer classes already in the 198 (1)

kdawson (3715) (1344097) | about 8 months ago | (#45569815)

Lol, you lose. In everyoneses else's world they are still hi tech because of the learning curve involved to use them. Technology means progress which means education. With the three (technology, progress, education) you end up with a smart society that is ready to tackle problems that didnt even exist in 1928,

-KD

Re:High-school computer classes already in the 198 (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 8 months ago | (#45569837)

No kidding. Video chat? That's been available to the average PC user for over 10 years. What kids should be doing right now is interfacing their PCs and microcontrollers with the real world: Making robots, drones, 3D printers, automated beer brewing systems, fabricating their own parts, etc. The information on how to do these things is all over the internet. It's easier now than it ever was.

Re:High-school computer classes already in the 198 (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about 8 months ago | (#45570291)

That assumes they can spend any time at school doing anything besides preparing for their next standardized test, and have access to resources at home to accomplish these things. And that they like tinkering with stuff, too, which probably means that we need to get their parents to like it so they'll instill it in their kids.

Re:High-school computer classes already in the 198 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45572531)

No kidding. Video chat? That's been available to the average PC user for over 10 years. What kids should be doing right now is interfacing their PCs and microcontrollers with the real world: Making robots, drones, 3D printers, automated beer brewing systems, fabricating their own parts, etc. The information on how to do these things is all over the internet. It's easier now than it ever was.

Are you kidding me? Shit, you can't even do your chemistry homework these days without the fucking DEA showing up to ask about why you're purchasing lab equipment, the ATF showing up to ask why you're purchasing chemicals, and the FBI showing up with an NSA tip-off that you just used the word "school" in conjunction with words for potential terrorist materials.
Solution? Ah, we'll just make that an elective.
A lot like how kids in Texas are doing so shitty in math that they've decided the brilliant solution is to just not require Algebra II for graduation at all.

Re:High-school computer classes already in the 198 (1)

sir-gold (949031) | about 8 months ago | (#45569929)

In some schools, it's still 1982....

When I graduated HS in 1997, they were still using Apple II computers to teach typing class. That would have made a great video, a bunch of students using computers that are almost as old as they are.

We also had a "modern" IBM PC network lab, using diskless IBM PS/2 model 30s (8088 cpu) with IBM classroom-lan on a 386-based server.

Re:High-school computer classes already in the 198 (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 9 months ago | (#45573177)

We also had a "modern" IBM PC network lab, using diskless IBM PS/2 model 30s (8088 cpu) with IBM classroom-lan on a 386-based server.

Ay and we were grateful. In my school, they cut us in two wit' a bread knife...

Re:High-school computer classes already in the 198 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45573325)

Yes, the old computers got passed down, so that's not surprising. In the 80s, those Apple IIe computers were expensive investments, and they were passed from the computer science class to the math classes to the English classes (I used AppleWriter on an Apple IIe in 1989, to learn word processing, when the industry standard then was WordPerfect 5), to the typing class. A 10-15 year lifespan for an expensive investment isn't out of line, although by 1997 the Apple II series was well beyond its lifecycle.

Re:High-school computer classes already in the 198 (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 8 months ago | (#45570039)

when I was in high school the place was loaded with computers, you were not allowed to do anything with them but they were there collecting dust and acting as jewelry

that was in the 90's

Re:High-school computer classes already in the 198 (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 8 months ago | (#45570119)

More importantly, why are we wasting time and resources asking children to propagandize implementations of technology in education for the sake of it rather than worrying about the quality of education, itself? If technology itself somehow inherently improved education, you wouldn't need to promote it. Steve Jobs understood this ages ago.

I used to think that technology could help education. I’ve probably spearheaded giving away more computer equipment to schools than anybody else on the planet. But I’ve had to come to the inevitable conclusion that the problem is not one that technology can hope to solve. What’s wrong with education cannot be fixed with technology. No amount of technology will make a dent.

It’s a political problem. The problems are sociopolitical. The problems are unions. You plot the growth of the NEA [National Education Association] and the dropping of SAT scores, and they’re inversely proportional. The problems are unions in the schools. The problem is bureaucracy. I’m one of these people who believes the best thing we could ever do is go to the full voucher system.

I have a 17-year-old daughter who went to a private school for a few years before high school. This private school is the best school I’ve seen in my life. It was judged one of the 100 best schools in America. It was phenomenal. The tuition was $5,500 a year, which is a lot of money for most parents. But the teachers were paid less than public school teachers – so it’s not about money at the teacher level. I asked the state treasurer that year what California pays on average to send kids to school, and I believe it was $4,400. While there are not many parents who could come up with $5,500 a year, there are many who could come up with $1,000 a year.

If we gave vouchers to parents for $4,400 a year, schools would be starting right and left. People would get out of college and say, “Let’s start a school.” You could have a track at Stanford within the MBA program on how to be the businessperson of a school. And that MBA would get together with somebody else, and they’d start schools. And you’d have these young, idealistic people starting schools, working for pennies.

They’d do it because they’d be able to set the curriculum. When you have kids you think, What exactly do I want them to learn? Most of the stuff they study in school is completely useless. But some incredibly valuable things you don’t learn until you’re older – yet you could learn them when you’re younger. And you start to think, What would I do if I set a curriculum for a school?

God, how exciting that could be! But you can’t do it today. You’d be crazy to work in a school today. You don’t get to do what you want. You don’t get to pick your books, your curriculum. You get to teach one narrow specialization. Who would ever want to do that?

These are the solutions to our problems in education. Unfortunately, technology isn’t it. You’re not going to solve the problems by putting all knowledge onto CD-ROMs. We can put a Web site in every school – none of this is bad. It’s bad only if it lulls us into thinking we’re doing something to solve the problem with education.

Lincoln did not have a Web site at the log cabin where his parents home-schooled him, and he turned out pretty interesting. Historical precedent shows that we can turn out amazing human beings without technology. Precedent also shows that we can turn out very uninteresting human beings with technology.

It’s not as simple as you think when you’re in your 20s – that technology’s going to change the world. In some ways it will, in some ways it won’t

-- Steve Jobs

source: http://larrycuban.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/steve-jobs-on-technology-and-school-reform/ [wordpress.com]

Re:High-school computer classes already in the 198 (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about 8 months ago | (#45570305)

More importantly, why are we wasting time and resources asking children to propagandize implementations of technology in education for the sake of it rather than worrying about the quality of education, itself?

Because kids who are excited about their own education can get more out of it, regardless of school condition, than those who are just passing time until 4 PM. Hands-on applications like these with a deadline and goal help build that excitement.

But if you think getting kids excited about learning is a waste of time and resources, there's little point in trying to improve the quality of an education that the kids won't care to learn.

Re:High-school computer classes already in the 198 (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 8 months ago | (#45570451)

This is about getting kids excited about making a video.

Re:High-school computer classes already in the 198 (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about 9 months ago | (#45572451)

....a video about ways they learn at school. Though, honestly, getting kids excited about anything intellectually challenging is a success.

Ya, More Magic Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45569591)

Also: The wonders of technology have fixed HealthCare.gov! More jobs repairing all the student-broken laptops in schools! More people following GPS blindly into death zones!

Re:Ya, More Magic Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45569745)

The wonders of technology have fixed HealthCare.gov!

I think Obamacare is intended to be a disaster so they can say "well guess we gotta go single payer now!" like they wanted to do all along. Just like the way 9/11 was an inside job and without it there would have never been a Patriot Act and secret Fisa courts. We knew about Pearl Harbor because we broke the Axis codes and it was allowed because before it, Americans didn't want to enter WWII. This is how politics is done folks. No sense in being naive just because you really don't want it to be true.

More people following GPS blindly into death zones!

That's called Natural Selection. It might seem bad but it is ultimately a good thing.

Re:Ya, More Magic Bullshit (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 9 months ago | (#45572963)

I was with you until the 9/11 and secrete FISA courts. The Secrete FISA courts were instituted during the 70's with the creation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that came about because the cops were using the government's ability to spy on foreigners to get taps on citizens without warrants that the supreme court finally said was needed in the late 1960's. The idea of keeping them secrete was that spies couldn't use public records to piece together who and what was being looked at and the data processing capabilities wasn't capable at the time of finding patterns in every single court in the US to determine this without exposing someone actually trying to do so. In short, the secrete courts was a way to get warrants without tipping off the spies trying to find out how much we know and where we were getting our information from.

You're addressing the wrong problem. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45569597)

The people that think technology is the problem with our schools aren't addressing the real problem: The fact that our culture is anti-learning, anti-education, pro-sky-fairies and anti-critical thinking. You need to get kids to enjoy learning, get them reading and writing, then get them to learn to think rationally and analyze things critically. Without learning the scientific method and a disciplined approach to problem solving, at best our schools will be producing burger-flippers and some astonishingly terrible low to mid level managers.We also need to get kids to ENJOY learning. The problem is, our education system isn't built for learning, it is built for indoctrination. The only rule consistently enforced throughout a child's formative years is "listen to authority and obey and accept what they say without question." Everything else is subservient to the goal of drilling that into their heads. Critical thinking and the joy of learning come into serious conflict with that. Until there is a big cultural change in the US, most schools will continue to be that way.

That said, technology can be a good supplemental learning tool for certain things, especially if they get the kids excited about the topic. I just believe this fixation on technology is a distraction from the real problems in our schools and society.

Re:You're addressing the wrong problem. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45569637)

As a follow-up, children need to keep an open mind, but not so open that their brains fall out. Society appears to be more tolerant of differing belief systems than it was in the past, which is good. The bad part about it is when people come to believe that every viewpoint, every side of a discussion is equally valid. Sometimes it isn't, sometimes it isn't. One needs to apply those critical thinking skills, do some research, and perhaps perform some experiments on their own before agreeing to accept someone else's opinion as valid ("truthful"). Many people believe things that are provably wrong or engage in magical thinking. While respecting the rights of others to have their own beliefs is very important, accepting those beliefs as valid is NOT acceptable without engaging your brain first! I'm not saying you need to convince people of the wrongness of their beliefs, either, but magical thinking is not okay. Feynman said it better than I ever could:

http://neurotheory.columbia.edu/~ken/cargo_cult.html

Re:You're addressing the wrong problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45569769)

You can use <a href="http://neurotheory.columbia.edu/~ken/cargo_cult.html">http://neurotheory.columbia.edu/~ken/cargo_cult.html</a> instead of being lazy or ignorant. Did you know that?

Re:You're addressing the wrong problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45569803)

I'm used to forums that do that for me, but yes, I do know how to do that. Thanks for your help, you arrogant prick. Slashdot doesn't have an edit button. There's nothing wrong with ignorance, that can be corrected - there was no need to be a jerk about it.

Re:You're addressing the wrong problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45570243)

In a modern Web browser, you can highlight the text of the URL and either right-click and select "Open..." or drag it to the tab bar instead of being lazy or ignorant. Did you know that?

Re: You're addressing the wrong problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45570445)

Do you know how much of a bitch that is on my phone?

Re:You're addressing the wrong problem. (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 8 months ago | (#45570131)

The people that think technology is the problem with our schools aren't addressing the real problem: The fact that our culture is anti-learning, anti-education, pro-sky-fairies and anti-critical thinking.

Well, yes. But that's compulsory schooling for you. Kids are forced to sit in boring classrooms for the best part of twenty years being indoctrinated by left-wing, unionised government employees so they'll vote for left-wing governments who'll demand higher taxes to pay teachers more.

You need to get kids to enjoy learning, get them reading and writing, then get them to learn to think rationally and analyze things critically.

Kids naturally enjoy learning and want to learn as much as possible. Takes years of teaching to beat that out of them.

What these people really don't want to hear is that 'high tech' is making schools themselves irrelevant when a kid who can read can find just about any information they want either online or in a good library.

Re:You're addressing the wrong problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45570327)

Has nothing to do with left vs right. Those labels don't make much sense to begin with.

Kids naturally enjoy learning and want to learn as much as possible.

I think you're wrong. A grand majority of people are unintelligent, and it isn't solely because of our education system. The elite few--that is, intelligent people--have always brought about all the important innovation.

Re:You're addressing the wrong problem. (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 9 months ago | (#45571885)

The elite few--that is, intelligent people--have always brought about all the important innovation.

And of course they did it alone, with no support from the surrounding society?

Re:You're addressing the wrong problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45574075)

The rest of society usually helped make it possible, but that doesn't mean they were intelligent. The majority usually help in unrelated, repetitive, and mindless ways. That doesn't mean they're useless; they're not. The mindless masses do serve a function, but they've never been intelligent.

Re:You're addressing the wrong problem. (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about 8 months ago | (#45570319)

The people that think technology is the problem with our schools aren't addressing the real problem: The fact that our culture is anti-learning, anti-education, pro-sky-fairies and anti-critical thinking. You need to get kids to enjoy learning...

...like by having a focused, deadline- and goal-driven event to get them excited about things that they do at school. Let's have a film festival and get the students to film themselves showing off something that their schools are doing, unrelated to sports.

good luck with that (2)

khallow (566160) | about 8 months ago | (#45569621)

I wonder how many of the subsequent examples will turn out to be shams. It has to be possible for technology to help education. For example, I routinely interact online with people from the rest of the world. But in practice, I've had mostly negative experiences with technology in the classroom.

The positive experiences I recall: displaying complex data like charts and such and enabling a professor bound to a wheelchair to project their written words on a screen (both which incidentally could be done with an overhead projector). I've also had some positive experiences with remote teaching and computer lab classrooms which are oriented around study of particular software.

The rest just seems like a very expensive way to implement cheap technologies that already work. It's a way to turn a thousand dollar blackboard into a ten thousand dollar blackboard.

Re:good luck with that (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 9 months ago | (#45572033)

I learned more in my middle school shop class than I did in my "technology" class. Technology changed so fast that what I learned 20 years ago is utterly useless today. The lessons I got from shop class, though, are timeless: Always wear safety goggles. Always keep your eye on the saw. Measure twice, cut once. Work on big projects in pairs - a second pair of eyes will make you more productive AND safer. And most importantly, don't use flammable paint on your rocket!

Re:good luck with that (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about 9 months ago | (#45572459)

I learned more in shop (9th grade) than in my first few computer classes (6th and 8th grades) as well, but that's in part because I was already programming before I took those computer classes. Honestly I didn't learn much in my first computer science class either (9th grade) but did in my second year, especially because I was competing for the school in programming competitions, learning how to quickly grasp requirements, break them down into known parts, and implement those parts logically. That sort of education (plus the years of college and work experience that followed) helps when I'm in a room with managers and I can confidently say that I not only can solve some new problem, but that I can do so in X days with minimal risk to other features.

Next up, video of unemployment lines ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45569655)

As swine like Zuckerberg lobby for the government to allow
workers from other countries to take jobs which US citizens
could have done, these students will have the chance to
film themselves waiting for the next round of unemployment
benefits.

Or perhaps they can film their lifestyles as homeless people.

Re: Next up, video of unemployment lines ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45570125)

Pimp My Cardboard Box?

Calling All Young Michael Moores! (1)

theodp (442580) | about 8 months ago | (#45569673)

Perhaps some budding Michael Moore [michaelmoore.com] might want to contrast the technology available [sidwell.edu] to the President's kids at the $35,288-a-year Sidwell Friends School ("The number one blessing for this [iMovie] project [blogspot.com] was the delivery of noise-cancelling headphones for each child") to the tech available at rural Appalachia schools [npr.org] (avg. family income $40,000). Sidwell Friends is also living-the-cyberlife as a charter member of the elite Global Online Academy [globalonlineacademy.org] , which boasts that "classmates in Washington, D.C. $35,288 [sidwell.edu] , and San Francisco $38,900 [harker.org] work on projects with peers in Madaba-Manja, Jordan $38,272 [kingsacademy.edu.jo] , and Portland, Oregon $25,850 [catlin.edu] . Students in Hawaii $19,950 [punahou.edu] (President Obama's alma mater) and Chicago $29,985 [latinschool.org] discuss global health issues with students in New York $40,220 [dalton.org] , Seattle $28,500 [lakesideschool.org] (Bill Gates' alma mater), Boston $46,700 [nobles.edu] , and Jakarta, Indonesia $30,200 [jisedu.or.id] ."

Re:Calling All Young Michael Moores! (2)

jcr (53032) | about 8 months ago | (#45569907)

Of all the things there are to blame Obama for, sending his kids to a private school is not one of them. His kids are not public property, and his duty as a parent is to get them the best education he can afford.

That being said, he's a flaming asshole for throwing his weight into killing DC's voucher program. [newsmax.com]

-jcr

Re:Calling All Young Michael Moores! (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 8 months ago | (#45570147)

I have no issue with him sending his kids to private schools. But I think there is a good argument for sending them to the same schools he wants the rest of us to go to. He works for us, he is not a king, and he should send his kids to the same schools that he believes that we should be forced to go to by doing as you said, killing the voucher program

Re:Calling All Young Michael Moores! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45570693)

NO, you should not hurt your kids just to prove a point. He should be getting them the best education he can.

Re:Calling All Young Michael Moores! (2)

femtobyte (710429) | about 8 months ago | (#45570827)

For the president's kids, certain logistical considerations make this nigh impossible. Consider that those kids are way up near the top of the list as the world's juiciest kidnap/assassination/crazy-whackjob-murder targets. If I had kids, I wouldn't want them to be going to the same public school as the president's, because any such school would necessarily need to be utterly isolated and cut off from the outside world, under constant heavy guard and severely restricted access.

I do certainly favor the general principle, though --- and, in cases where the complicating logistics of being a super-high-profile celebrity do not exist --- I think it's highly hypocritical when elitist goons with kids in private school infiltrate school boards and the upper public school administrative chain, for the specific purpose of destroying public schools to save on taxes.

Re:Calling All Young Michael Moores! (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about 9 months ago | (#45572471)

As another commenter says, I agree with you in principle. If I believe in the public school system, I should send my kids to it. And I will at least in part, tempered to compromise with my wife who found one of her life's passions (music) at a Montessori elementary school before she switched to public schools, too.

But I'm not POTUS. My kids are anonymous. I wouldn't want my kids to be at a school that is itself a terrorist target due to the presence of the POTUS' kids.

Yes it is when he screwed over DC (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 9 months ago | (#45572131)

Of all the things there are to blame Obama for, sending his kids to a private school is not one of them.

Actually it is.

DC had an awesome voucher program going, that helped poor kids attend good schools.

When Obama came in, he nixed it.

So his kids should attend the same schools he made the poor kids attend when they didn't have to.

Re:Yes it is when he screwed over DC (1)

jcr (53032) | about 9 months ago | (#45580041)

You didn't read the last line of my post, did you?

-jcr

Re:Calling All Young Michael Moores! (1)

Monsuco (998964) | about 9 months ago | (#45577261)

Perhaps some budding Michael Moore [michaelmoore.com] might want to contrast the technology available [sidwell.edu] to the President's kids at the $35,288-a-year Sidwell Friends School ("The number one blessing for this [iMovie] project [blogspot.com] was the delivery of noise-cancelling headphones for each child") to the tech available at rural Appalachia schools [npr.org] (avg. family income $40,000). Sidwell Friends is also living-the-cyberlife as a charter member of the elite Global Online Academy [globalonlineacademy.org] , which boasts that "classmates in Washington, D.C. $35,288 [sidwell.edu] , and San Francisco $38,900 [harker.org] work on projects with peers in Madaba-Manja, Jordan $38,272 [kingsacademy.edu.jo] , and Portland, Oregon $25,850 [catlin.edu] . Students in Hawaii $19,950 [punahou.edu] (President Obama's alma mater) and Chicago $29,985 [latinschool.org] discuss global health issues with students in New York $40,220 [dalton.org] , Seattle $28,500 [lakesideschool.org] (Bill Gates' alma mater), Boston $46,700 [nobles.edu] , and Jakarta, Indonesia $30,200 [jisedu.or.id] ."

And what would the message of this movie be? "America has expensive but fancy private schools"? I think we already knew that. Yeah, if you're willing to shell out some coin, you can indeed buy a great education for your kid. So what? With more money you can also buy better healthcare, go to better colleges, eat at better restaurants, drive safer cars and live in better houses located in better neighborhoods.

Yeah... Be proud of a failed system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45569731)

You can have all the laptops that you want in a classroom but it still won't change the shitty federal education program that is practically mandated throughout the country, and terribly designed standardized tests that not only do worse for children but also for teachers. There's absolutely no way I would allow my children to study at a public institution in the US unless it's highly reputable and those are too few in between to even count on one hand. The system was designed to pass ignorant children and there's nothing teachers can do about this, unless of course they value their job that is. But of course, none of that matters because most classrooms seem to have laptops and big TV/projectors while ignoring the core problem and the fact that we're in an unrecoverable amount of debt. Oh wait, that's nothing to be proud of as well. Is there anything good we can say about the public school system in the US? Third world countries have beaten the US in education by miles and most places in third world countries can't afford a computer lab. What does that have to say about technology in the classroom? It's absolutely useless if you don't have a solid foundation to begin with. I suppose that's to be expected from a country that treats everyone the same (except if you're black, you don't get an IQ test and can't be disciplined by law) and forces everyone through the same curriculum no matter how smart or stupid they are. M'erika!

Spend more, because kids aren't learning more (3, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | about 8 months ago | (#45569809)

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-education-spending-tops-global-list-study-shows/ [cbsnews.com]

While the USA spends more on education, we still aren't learning better then anyone else.

Funny how Lincoln educated himself with a piece of coal and a shovel to write on (according to stories I was told in school), yet today kids have to have an tablet to learn?

Maybe the kids could do a high tech film about how throwing money at technology doesn't actually improve education.

Re:Spend more, because kids aren't learning more (1)

binarstu (720435) | about 8 months ago | (#45570855)

Maybe the kids could do a high tech film about how throwing money at technology doesn't actually improve education.

Exactly what I was thinking.

There is a general feeling in the U.S. that public schools are failing (regardless of whether that opinion is justified). It seems to me that buying more technology is the lazy administrator's way of "doing something about it." Purchasing technology also provides a convenient measure of progress, however dubious. Administrators can brag about how they are providing every student with an iPad, or putting smart boards in every classroom, or whatever the current fad is, and claim that they are improving the school.

Are these purchases usually made with a clear plan for how to use the technology, or solid research-based evidence that the new technology will actually improve students' learning? I would guess that most of the time, the answer is "no" on both counts. The fact that we're now having Bill Nye ask K-12 students, "So, you've got all of this cool technology in your school... how is it actually useful?" suggests I might not be wrong.

Re:Spend more, because kids aren't learning more (2)

SydShamino (547793) | about 9 months ago | (#45572487)

I agree that, for many students, whatever toys they get in 9th grade might be too late. I don't think that this is just due to the public school system, though. Kids need to enter elementary school intellectually curious and wanting to learn. For some, that's a genetic certainty. For others, though, it may take hard work on the part of their parents (or extended family, not that those exist to the extent they used to). How do we fix this? Do we have the money to train new parents on how to prepare their one- and two- and three-year-olds to be good learners? If we did, how many parents would take up the offer versus knee-jerk rebel against government intrusion in their bad parenting. From many things I've read, Head Start is one of the best programs to keep kids in school and learning. Why do we (as a country) keep cutting its funding?

Re:Spend more, because kids aren't learning more (1, Insightful)

femtobyte (710429) | about 9 months ago | (#45571299)

The US has to spend more on education because it spends so much less on providing a decent quality of life for overwhelming numbers of children outside school. Lack of living wage and labor protections, along with a generally terrible social safety net and public commons, means that millions of kids arrive at the school door in no condition to learn. When you can't afford nutritious meals at home, regular healthcare, or a clean and calm environment to sleep in, or access to extra-curricular educational and cultural enrichment, it's no wonder the schools have trouble producing decent results. Countries with uniformly better educational outcomes aren't severely cutting corners on the rest of the fabric of society, making students suffer environments of severe inequality, exploitation, and poverty. The entire degraded societal fabric of poverty and inequality makes changes in any one area seem so futile and expensive in the US --- which is used as an argument against improving any one area. But, really, you need a mass overhaul of the whole, to build the foundations of a functioning society (rather than an exploitative oligarchy).

Re:Spend more, because kids aren't learning more (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 9 months ago | (#45573113)

Yes, because Hungary, Slovenia, Estonia, Czech Republic, and China (Hong Kong) are all known to have higher standards of living then the regular Joe's in the US.

Perhaps there is something else involved like the family units or even cultures in some US areas or even among certain people?

Re:Spend more, because kids aren't learning more (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about 9 months ago | (#45574705)

Family social conditions are certainly a big part of this --- and the US ultra-Capitalist system has been extremely destructive of family structures compared to more civilized countries. Forcing parents to work multiple minimum-wage jobs, with ever-changing erratic hours, does not permit for a stable family life --- you're not at home with the kids when you're working 80 hours a week to keep a home. Nor does the US global-chart-topping incarceration rate, for minor or non-existing offenses, which results in huge numbers of already underprivileged kids being further stripped of family. Functioning family units are among the first victims of Capitalist exploitation, as has been repeatedly demonstrated throughout history.

Re:Spend more, because kids aren't learning more (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 9 months ago | (#45577451)

Not to mention the safety nets encourage single parent families by doling out benefits disproportionatly for single parents verses families. This is even true with the ACA where people claimed they are considering a divorce because their combined income as a family did not qualify for federal subsidies where theirr indevidual incomes did. Then there is the trophy culture of some who think the number of kids you claim means you are a man verses raising them like men traditionally had to.

I know you are working hard at trying to blame capitolism, but the reality is that more socialist safety nets are associated with the problems than anything. This even goes back to the Carter years where seniors where divorcing and shacking up tk maximize their benefits because the inflation took their retirement income and halved it.

Re:Spend more, because kids aren't learning more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45577733)

If "more socialist safety nets are associated with the problems than anything," then how come countries with stronger socialist safety nets typically soundly beat the US on metrics related to poverty, and ability to escape from it? The US has some of the weakest social safety nets in the developed world, and severe problems with intergenerational poverty --- which is only a "meaningless coincidence" if you've been brainwashed by far-right propaganda.

Re:Spend more, because kids aren't learning more (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 9 months ago | (#45579321)

Try looking at the differences in implementation. Of course placing cameras in the houses of children to monitor their behavior like in england would be unnaceptable but those other countries do things differently. So try looking at the situation and actually thinking before jumping to far right propaganda as excuses yo be intelectually lazy.

Re:Spend more, because kids aren't learning more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45572193)

While the USA spends more on education, we still aren't learning better than anyone else.

Funny how Lincoln educated himself with a piece of coal and a shovel to write on (according to stories I was told in school), yet today kids have to have a tablet to learn?

Maybe the kids could do a high tech film about how throwing money at technology doesn't actually improve education.

It certainly hasn't been applied to your spelling. SOLs in action, eh?

Hey kids. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45569903)

Do our jobs for us because we're clueless.

learn about geometry through an app on your iPad.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45570795)

. Or on any computer, via khan academy. Why is the white house advertising apple?

Grab some footage from the 1980's ... (2)

MacTO (1161105) | about 8 months ago | (#45570803)

Seriously. Even though I'm sure there are some great uses of technology in schools today, the education systems that I have worked with made two critical mistakes.

1. Deciding that technology should be integrated into the classroom, rather than being a dedicated subject. In theory, this sounds great. In practice, very few teachers have computer skills beyond word processing and web browsing. This means that kids are typically exposed to computers as writing and research tools, but little else within the core curriculum.

2. Promoting a philosophy that kids know more and are more adaptable to emerging technologies. This is only true because schools are unwilling to hire people with the skills necessary to teach courses using the contemporary tools. Even then a teacher with a couple of hours of professional development will have more computer skills than most children because adults have a nasty tendency to confuse seat time with proficiency.

Don't get me wrong. I'm confident that some great videos will come out of this competition. There are excellent teachers and teachers who excel at integrating technology into the curriculum. But I would not take these videos as representing the norm. They are actually representing an idea.

Re:Grab some footage from the 1980's ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45572215)

Let's not forget that technology isn't a replacement for good teachers and a quality education.

I'd rather see dedicated technology courses with light integration in regular subjects. The fundamentals aren't something that needs to be taught with high-end technology. I hope people don't forget that technology is just a tool.

We don't work for the White House (0)

ChipMonk (711367) | about 8 months ago | (#45570819)

Mr. Nye, we are not your (government's) employees, nor do we donate our labors to the government. If you want multimedia records of our children's excitement about their technical education, go out there and record it yourself, on your own dime. Our children are not your property, and they do not take orders from you.

The #1 lesson in "good citizenship" you seem to treasure for our children, is how to say "piss off" to self-important government bureaucrats.

Piss off.

Sincerely,
ChipMonk

WRONG SOLUTION (3, Insightful)

litehacksaur111 (2895607) | about 9 months ago | (#45571059)

Technology is not going to fix the problem of parents not being involved in their children's education. People learned how to spell and add numbers before there were computers, tablets, Ipads, etc. Somehow everyone thinks that spending more on technology or blaming teachers in going to fix education. The problem begins and ends at home with the parents getting involved in their kids education to motivate them to learn. One of my favorite quotes regarding this is "The man who learns only when and what he is taught in school has truly learning nothing at all." The main problem with education is motivating students and that cannot be solved with teachers, small class sizes, or technology. END RANT

Re:WRONG SOLUTION (0)

CodeBuster (516420) | about 9 months ago | (#45572087)

Technology is a solution that liberals love to apply to education for three reasons. First, it's high tech and anything tech related in education makes the person who suggested it look smart. Second, it distracts attention from the unholy alliance that exists between the teachers' unions and the Democratic Party by suggesting that the problem is not poor teaching but rather "low technology" in the classroom. Third and finally, it provides a target at which to throw money which is a favorite liberal "solution" to any problem, never mind the outcomes because it's the good thoughts and intentions, not results, that count.

Re:WRONG SOLUTION (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45572211)

Technology is a solution that liberals love to apply to education for three reasons. First, it's high tech and anything tech related in education makes the person who suggested it look smart. Second, it distracts attention from the unholy alliance that exists between the teachers' unions and the Democratic Party by suggesting that the problem is not poor teaching but rather "low technology" in the classroom. Third and finally, it provides a target at which to throw money which is a favorite liberal "solution" to any problem, never mind the outcomes because it's the good thoughts and intentions, not results, that count.

LMAO...nice pile of ignorance. Look at where schools are dumping money into tech without any rationale and find republitard-voting administrators quite happily burning dollars on crap. I can give you names and phone numbers on that score, pal.

Re:WRONG SOLUTION (1)

litehacksaur111 (2895607) | about 9 months ago | (#45572391)

What does this have to do with liberals? I consider myself left of center and I have clearly stated that technology is not a solution. My wife is a teacher with a masters degree and she makes $42K. That is not an obscene pay. Somehow you managed to turn this into an argument to bash teachers, liberals, and unions - none of which are responsible for this. I live in Georgia which is a dead-red state where there no teachers unions, yet technology is being forced on the schools by private companies looking to secure extra taxpayer money. Moreover the parents largely approve of these private companies and support increasing technology in the classroom. The problem is that everyone wants to blame the government or teachers instead of taking personal responsibility and acting as parents for their kid.

Re:WRONG SOLUTION (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | about 9 months ago | (#45605519)

What does this have to do with liberals?

Education has been a battle ground in the culture wars for decades in the United States, especially in California where education and government policy regarding it has been the source of much strife between those who favor parental choice and private education and those who favor government control, higher taxes and limitation of private options. In California we spend over half of the entire annual budget on education and hardly an election goes by without school bond measures and other education related initiatives on statewide ballots. In California education is a political issue and the left has used it as a lever to advance other goals of the long term liberal project, not least among them indoctrination of children into a leftist world view.

I consider myself left of center

Which would make you a liberal. To the extent that I'm right of center, I'm a conservative.

My wife is a teacher with a masters degree and she makes $42K. That is not an obscene pay.

No it's not. In fact she should probably be earning more. If we had more private education and less government bureaucracy then not only would children receive a much higher quality of education, but your wife would be receiving a salary more commensurate with her abilities as a teacher (read higher). Charter schools and vouchers work and they increase quality of education substantially wherever they are tried, even in poorer inner city areas, but they're anathema to those on the left who oppose vehemently any attempt to loosen the grip of government control over our schools.

yet technology is being forced on the schools by private companies looking to secure extra taxpayer money

Whenever the government loosens the strings of the public purse there are always scores of petitioners looking for ways to get their piece of the government largesse. In private schools, you don't see these sorts of wasteful spending because there are market incentives to either turn a profit or in the case of parochial schools (usually catholic) a religious obligation to provide quality education to the greatest number of students at the lowest average price. The only way to do either of these things is to maximize efficiency. There's no comparable mechanism in public schools funded by the government to enforce fiscal discipline and efficiency, particularly in administration.

Moreover the parents largely approve of these private companies and support increasing technology in the classroom.

They support them because they're not asked to pay for them directly but rather indirectly through taxes which encourages a wasteful attitude towards the spending. I wonder how many of these parents would continue to support iPads for every student if they were required to pay even some of the cost, say $100, directly out of their own pockets. At the very least, they would view the proposed technology purchases with a more critical eye towards cost benefit if they where being asked to shell out their own money for the devices.

The problem is that everyone wants to blame the government or teachers instead of taking personal responsibility and acting as parents for their kid.

But that's just it. The government and the teachers unions make it difficult or impossible for many parents to exercise the control and discretion necessary to take on that responsibility. Most parents want what's best for their children, in their judgment as parents, but the government and the teachers unions are often standing on their shoes or acting against the interests of parents and children when it comes to reform and change.

Re:WRONG SOLUTION (1)

Monsuco (998964) | about 9 months ago | (#45577117)

Technology is a solution that liberals love to apply to education for three reasons. First, it's high tech and anything tech related in education makes the person who suggested it look smart. Second, it distracts attention from the unholy alliance that exists between the teachers' unions and the Democratic Party by suggesting that the problem is not poor teaching but rather "low technology" in the classroom. Third and finally, it provides a target at which to throw money which is a favorite liberal "solution" to any problem, never mind the outcomes because it's the good thoughts and intentions, not results, that count.

Actually, most teacher's unions would just prefer the money be spent on hiring more teachers. Regardless of what class sizes actually are (and regardless of all the evidence that suggest class size isn't all that important relative to other factors), a union's top priority will generally be to ensure more money is spent on its rank and file.

While unions are a huge problem in our public education system, they are far from being the only problem.

Re:WRONG SOLUTION (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | about 9 months ago | (#45605539)

Actually, most teacher's unions would just prefer the money be spent on hiring more teachers.

Yes, that's true but more education spending is always desirable from the liberal point of view, even if it's earmarked and cannot be used to hire more teachers, because spending begets more spending and larger budgets in future years which translates into more political power for their constituencies, namely the teachers unions and their fellow travelers in the Democratic Party.

Re:WRONG SOLUTION (1)

Monsuco (998964) | about 9 months ago | (#45577019)

Technology is not going to fix the problem of parents not being involved in their children's education.

There is no public policy remedy for a lack of parental involvement. Public policy can change the way in which we hire and fire teachers. Public policy can set curriculum and determine what sort of things we test for. The sort of technology schools purchase can be set by public policy. You can blame the parents all you want, but that will never accomplish anything since it is outside the realm of problems that are solvable.

Pornography On Display (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45571451)

So, Emperor Barak Hussein Obama employs the youth of the U.S.A. to satisfy his thrust for pornography is now out in the open by the other than the White House Staff!

On a recent note, the White House gave an "All Clear" to the HealthCare.gov website troubles, Trouble is this quote "Moving forward, technicians will focus on fixing the systems that send data on customers and federal subsidy payments to insurers, federal officials said on the call. Those systems, centered on a standard transaction form known as an “834,” are used to transmit key data about new customers to insurers." Dear God indeed!

The Obama "Fix" as suspected is nothing more than cosmetic! Now in boasting they telegraph to all "transaction form known as an “834,” are used to transmit key data about new customers to insurers" gives the key to the "Store" to the thieves, just as Obama ordered it. Question: how much to the thieves give to Obama?

Even the Internal Revenue Service of the Department of the Treasury is under lock-down to reveal to the Supreme Court of the U.S.A. Obama's sources of "income!"

Fancy that.

QED

Not about technology, it's about DRM! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45573339)

From what I've read over the past few years, the reason the education industry is pushing technology in schools is to have and end-to-end solution for DRM, so they can sell digital textbooks and other content to schools. That's why there are iPads in schools. No one is doing this to expose kids to technology so the kids can learn about it. They're doing it so they can get money from schools. They don't even have to print textbooks. I haven't seen a single technology initiative yet that wasn't tied to a copyright-industry publisher pushing digital content.

This is all about renting content temporarily, so the same content can be sold over and over. I still have textbooks from the 80s. Future generations will only get textbooks temporarily while they are in school.

stop blaming teachers and "left-wingers" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45575863)

I don't know why you keep blaming "left-wingers". look at the platform of the texas gop, they oppose critical thinking skills. Also they don't want evolution to be taught in schools. The problem is you keep blaming teachers and "left-wingers" when the problem is that parents are not being involved in education. All other developed countries have public schools and they don't have indoctrinated citizens. Stop your mindless bashing of ideologies.

The President has an assignment for you: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45577383)

Unless you're a member of the Executive branch of the Federal Government, the proper response is "You mean a request, don't you?"

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