As someone who talks a lot about Internet and web-based communications a lot in my work, it seems natural to me to think that schools would communicate electronically and use Web-based teaching tools.
This is not necessarily so, according to this Slashdot article by Amy Vernon, “K-12 Education Remains Stubbornly Outside the Cloud.” (The “cloud” being Internet -based storage of shared information, in this case school assignments, notifications, et al).
I read this with curiosity, as my experience in Newton Middle Schools (my son goes to Bigelow) has been that the schools are using the web very well for disseminating homework and other information to students, and now even distributing grades and progress reports. If anything, it has been a slow process getting used to these innovations, but I welcome them.
A few additional thoughts on the issue:
- Are all middle schools and high schools using them? What about elementary schools?
- Are we leaving behind any folks that for whatever reason are not Internet-connected at home (the “digital divide” question) if we rush to the Web?
- What is the next step? Is it using Facebook (or other tools)- or letting students do so- to communicate with each other online about assignments and projects?
- Are we really ahead of the curve in this? Does it feel that way to you?
What is your experience with “cloud-based” education in Newton?