[IAEP] Data vs Critical Thinking - Can Sugar give schools both?
godiard at gmail.com
Thu Apr 22 20:08:09 EDT 2010
In the context of Sugar we need a simple way to students to send their work
to the teacher and a simple way to the teacher to group these works, and
follow the progress.
Can we start with it?
On Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 11:03 AM, Caroline Meeks <caroline at solutiongrove.com
> Great vision!
> I break this down into two parts.
> 1. Software that assess students, track and displays results, quickly and
> efficiently without using up a lot of instructional time.
> 2. Software and a content library that analyzes these results and gives
> students the right learning objects/experiences for their current level and
> learning style.
> #1 is straightforward programming.
> #2 is a grand challenge!
> Both 1 and 2 already happen without technology, just substitute "teacher"
> for "software" and adjust the grammer.
> What is interesting is that for a teacher #1 is the difficult, time
> consuming, boring piece that is challenging to do well, especially in large
> classes and #2 is one of the interesting, creative parts of their job.
> On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 10:54 PM, Yamandu Ploskonka <yamaplos at gmail.com>wrote:
>> On 04/21/2010 05:06 PM, Caryl Bigenho wrote:
>> In essence, every child deserves an IEP (Individual Educational Plan)
>> which are expensive and time consuming to develop and thus are reserved for
>> an elite group: the special needs children. Every child has special needs.
>> Every child needs an IEP. But where will the funds, personnel, and
>> curriculum come from to provide it?
>> Haha! that was to be point number 2, that I somehow forgot and the
>> message went into drafts and I sent it later without checking.... Thanks
>> Caryl, good catch, that was missing
>> 2) As per 1) (now below somewhere in the earlier messages), each child and
>> educator is unique. Just like Caryl mentions it, to do an IEP is
>> complicated, expensive, etc, but in essence it is about gathering data and
>> reactions to stimuli from an individual and following certain protocols to
>> interpret them and then act certain interventions that correspond to the
>> said individual.
>> You know what? Computers are grrrreat! at handling data, interpreting it
>> by following algorithms, and then giving an output that corresponds to the
>> inputs entered. In slightly better English, a computer could present
>> certain activities to a child, and from the way the kid responds, determine
>> the course of action to help said kid to learn. And computers don't mind at
>> all to help Johnnie one way, and then help Sally a very different way,
>> keeping strict track of each one, and not just adapting the way things are
>> presented to each child's style of learning (uh, I believe the current
>> buzzword is neural cognition something). Of course this might have a chance
>> if the programmers are not one-size-fits-all lusrs.
>> example: 310 - 220
>> Right answer is 90, OK, next.
>> but, among the "wrong" answers some do tell us some things. Like someone
>> answered 110. That is not a random error, but something that needs a *
>> specific* intervention, not just telling the kid he needs to "do more
>> math problems". Another telling error would be 190. Also, some exercises
>> would be presented in audio, others involving putting things in places, etc,
>> trying to figure out what style a kid is best at - then using that style as
>> a good road for learning new stuff, but also a chance to catch up some other
>> styles he is less strong in.
>> Yes yes yes, this involves some AI, something sort of dead after the
>> dot.com bubble. But it could be done - some such computer-based
>> interactive tools already exist for some diagnoses, and also for some
>> therapies, interestingly enough some of the software in use is the same
>> version released in the late 90s...
>> Now for the very best thing:
>> Computers can be immensely patient.
>> They can be immensely customisable. A computer doesn't care if it needs
>> to work slowly-like with Matt, doing good reinforcing with little pink
>> dinosaur dances to keep him interested, and they still are just the same old
>> pile of gray metal, just as good, even if they sit in front of Josh, who
>> might just beat Doogie Howser by graduating UCLA at 8. It just feeds him
>> more stuff faster, thus not just helping him learn, but keeping him out of
>> boredom trouble, and best of all, out of Mrs. Crabby's hair, does she *
>> hate* show-offs.
>> Is this just a gedankenexperiment<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought_experiment>
>> It obviously hurts any chance of getting this to work that my people
>> skills and my grant-application skills are both extra low, because this
>> would need some money to put together a prototype. Unless this hits some
>> wave of viral networking, and this message gets passed on to someone who
>> could fund it...
>> An IEP *and* made-to-size interventions, for every one, for every single
>> one of those very special, very uniquely created kids, whatever abilities,
>> skills, giftings, interests they have. And also, very important, to help
>> the teacher - not replacing him by any means, but taking away the routine,
>> the drudgery, the need to be a specific fit to every child, letting the
>> teacher focus in human relationship, behavior, communication, while the
>> detail and step by step work is helped by the machine.
>> From: caroline at solutiongrove.com
>> Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2010 17:00:22 -0400
>> To: yamaplos at gmail.com
>> CC: subbukk at gmail.com; iaep at lists.sugarlabs.org
>> Subject: Re: [IAEP] Data vs Critical Thinking - Can Sugar give schools
>> On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 3:16 PM, Yamandu Ploskonka <yamaplos at gmail.com>wrote:
>> I highly respect you initiatives, Caroline, not just because they start as
>> a basically good idea, but then you do great follow-through that I wish I
>> will learn more from. And this is a great initiative, your email waiting a
>> long time in my inbox because it was so good I wasn't figuring out how to
>> contribute, though I felt I needed to at least share a couple thoughts.
>> Thank you for your kind words :)
>> Something sort of along these lines I have been pursuing pretty much since
>> forever, but in my case it has not passed from being a gedankenexperiment,
>> My reflection goes along these ways
>> 1) each child (and each teacher!) is unique in abilities, giftings,
>> potential and actual skills, learning styles...
>> from this we can infer that "one-size-fits-all" education is not as good -
>> for the child - as education that fits each child's way.
>> one-size-fits-all education is cheaper,
>> The interesting thing is that RTI is actually being implemented as a
>> cost savings measure in the US. In the US schools often identify up to 15%
>> of their students as needing "special education". They are then
>> generally segregated into separate classrooms or pulled out of class into
>> resource rooms where they receive instruction with highly qualified teachers
>> in small class sizes. Lots of money is spent on this but the outcomes for
>> the students are generally extremely poor. In addition, many students with
>> reading problems are not referred until they start failing, often around 3rd
>> or 4th grade. The referal process itself is expensive, involves tests and
>> lots of meetings.
>> With RTI policy makers are hoping to teach more students in their
>> normal classroom and remediate learning problems early, reducing
>> identification of special ed students and reducing costs. Although the
>> results of the studies show that improves performance for all students, cost
>> savings by reducing special ed is a major driver in adoption.
>> seems to work, is the way it is done everywhere... arguments hard to beat,
>> though for generations it was SOP, for those who could afford it, to have
>> tutors to work with their kids one-on-one, something obviously impractical
>> and impossible to scale-up to the needs and the rights we recognize now.
>> enter differentiated instruction, which sadly has meant often some kind of
>> apartheit, where the "A" tier gets attention, funding, the best teachers...
>> Again an interesting cultural difference. In the
>> US differentiated instruction, when its being used to refer to a single
>> classroom, seems to usually mean more attention to the lower performing
>> We do definitely also have tracking where students who test high enough
>> go to separate classes and receive more of everything. But that is not what
>> the people here in the US usually call differentiated instruction.
>> It is now SOP that there are "better" schools parents fight to get their
>> kids in. Contrariwise, many classrooms are by design mixed-things and some
>> sort of forced integration has been a fashion for a while, and for a while
>> failing schools got more funding, a trend that took a while to turn around
>> since it was discovered that it encouraged failure.
>> Your proposal indicates "more intensive instruction" for the "students
>> that are struggling", which is nice, no doubt for those, but maybe unfair to
>> the others. It appears many more "scholar athletes" lately are getting
>> diagnosed for disorders that allow them to use chemicals that otherwise are
>> banned... I am concerned that if the way to get better schooling is to be
>> lower tier, there might be a rush for it.
>> Nod, I agree. I think there is a fundamental dilemma that society and
>> indeed every teacher faces around who gets instructional attention. My hope
>> working with technology is to raise the general level and the amount of
>> resources, I don't imagine that we will ever really eliminate this dilemma.
>> Interestingly I worry about it on the other side in this case. In the
>> kindergarten class I observed the struggling students had an hour of small
>> group phonics lessons. The other students had shorter reading groups and in
>> the rest of the time they played with blocks, math games, used computer
>> software and read. I worry about the struggling students having enough time
>> for exploration and play.
>> To me our goal needs to create technology that provide the best possible
>> experiences for students receiving the intensive instruction and those who
>> are left with more time for individual activities and I think Sugar can
>> absolutely support both.
>> Personally I'm more impressed with the data collection and analysis part
>> of RTI. I the goal I'd like to see us work towards is to sue the data used
>> to give every student instruction right in their zone of proximal
>> development and to make it easy for teachers to find alternative teaching
>> approaches for students who don't respond to the first way something is
>> I do think there is power in learning from research
>> backed pedagogical methods like RTI, especially when
>> they emphasize something like Data which is a good match for technology.
>> However, this is a good conversation because part of RTI is very based in
>> the US public school culture of spending more resources on special ed
>> students. So we need to dissect it and take the pieces that create better
>> learning for all students.
>> On 04/20/2010 09:29 AM, Caroline Meeks wrote:
>> Hi Subbu,
>> Not off topic in my opinion.
>> RTI consists of:
>> 1. *Scientific, Research-Based Instruction- Delivered in Tiers, with
>> students who are struggling getting more intensive instruction.*
>> *2. Screening of all students.*
>> *3. Progress monitoring (about every 2 weeks) for the students getting
>> the more intensive instruction (the 'intervention').*
>> *US based discussions of RTI focus on how it effects the pipeline to
>> special education. But in many OLPC contexts I don't think there is a
>> special education to be referred to. I think if kids can't make it in the
>> general classroom they drop out. Thus a system that keeps more kids on
>> track is valuable.*
>> *Discussions of how to improve instruction is very on topic for RTI. In
>> RTI terms you could think about it in two ways. Are the materials part of a
>> Tier I (all students) instruction or are they for Tier II, for struggling
>> students. The great thing about technology, be it a laptop or a mp4 player,
>> is that it could be used in both ways. The whole class could use it, and we
>> could help teachers match up specific weakness in students with specific
>> learning objects for a Tier II like intervention.*
>> *I'm focusing a lot on the screening and progress monitoring pieces of
>> RTI because, thanks to huge, long, high stakes tests that teachers don't see
>> results back from for months, assessment has gotten a bad name.
>> RTI assessment is quick and results are immediate, specific and actionable.
>> *Yes, on the cell phones/hand helds for doing the assessments. In the US
>> palm pilots are used. I do think setting it up on a cell phone would be far
>> more economical.*
>> *Thanks for responding. :)*
>> On Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 9:36 AM, K. K. Subramaniam <subbukk at gmail.com>wrote:
>> On Tuesday 20 April 2010 06:01:33 am Caroline Meeks wrote:
>> > Why can't computers for children both give them the means for creation,
>> > independent learning, collaboration etc etc. and give their teacher
>> > detailed, nuanced, actionable data on what skills they have mastered and
>> > what they are still struggling with?
>> Computer-centric vocabulary is becoming obsolete today. Talking about
>> computers today is a bit-like talking about DC/Induction motors in our
>> We don't think of mixers, juicers, grinders, washing machines etc as motor
>> machines, do we? Kids don't think of mobile phones as computers. They
>> of them as phones, cameras, voice recorders, mp3/mp4 players etc.
>> >Problem solvers, groundbreaking pioneers and visionary leaders need to
>> >their phonics and their basic math skills. We have the capability to
>> >tools that help teachers know and track which students are struggling
>> >what skills, and provide the collaborative framework for them to collect
>> >data and share it to determine what works to teach those skills to all
>> Just a few weeks back, I had a discussion with village school teachers
>> using smart machines to enliven language lessons. The discussion veered
>> using mini-speakers with mp3 player in classrooms. The players, about 4"
>> take in 2GB USB flash, SD card or micro-SD cards and play for 5 hours on a
>> single charge. They cost about $8-$10 here and 2GB card can easily hold
>> four-five years of language lessons. Neither teachers nor 6-9 year olds
>> of them as computers.
>> We could also think of using portable mp4 players (for visual lessons) or
>> smartphones (for data collection). These machines don't exclude the use of
>> laptops for authoring lessons and give more options for children to learn
>> languages, math and science.
>> [Apologies if this is OT on a RTI thread]
>> Caroline Meeks
>> Solution Grove
>> Caroline at SolutionGrove.com
>> 617-500-3488 - Office
>> 505-213-3268 - Fax
>> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
>> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.orghttp://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep
>> Caroline Meeks
>> Solution Grove
>> Caroline at SolutionGrove.com
>> 617-500-3488 - Office
>> 505-213-3268 - Fax
>> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.orghttp://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep
> Caroline Meeks
> Solution Grove
> Caroline at SolutionGrove.com
> 617-500-3488 - Office
> 505-213-3268 - Fax
> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
Responsable de Desarrollo
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