[ExI] google classroom, was: RE: Meta question

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sat Aug 20 14:48:13 UTC 2016

The education these modern students are getting is so far superior to
anything my colleagues and I were offered  spike

Sounds great.  My question is:  how much time is spent with a computer and
how much with a live teacher?  There is no give and take with a computer
(or a very limited amount of it), and I found that the personal opinions of
my teachers, while I may disagree with them, were important to me, and
still are.  I also learned how to ask the right questions in the right ways.

If the teacher is just standing there watching 40 students go at 40
different speeds, I'll bet she wishes she had gone into some other

bill w

bill w

On Sat, Aug 20, 2016 at 9:00 AM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

> >... On Behalf Of Anders
> >> ...  Still, I think I made the right choices even without such
> education... Keith
> >...School is often a hindrance for education...
> --
> Dr Anders Sandberg
> _______________________________________________
> Public schools are not allowed to offer ethical or moral guidance in our
> times.
> On a topic related to that but distinct enough that I chose to change the
> subject line, I have some observations of current public school I would
> share.
> My son started fifth grade last week.  The teacher asked for the students
> to
> bring their parents to an evening meeting to teach the parents how the new
> Google Classroom software works.  It was one pleasant surprise after
> another.  For instance:
> There are 29 students in the class; 24 showed up with at least one parent
> and plenty with both, so already over 80% participation in an after-school
> event.
> There were enough computers that all students had one, and there were
> plenty
> of spares should one of them conk.  I still don't know who donated the
> money
> to get those, about 40 HP Powerbooks and a charging rack just for that one
> classroom; I think Google and Microsloth may have done that.  I want to
> write a letter of gratitude and assurance that was money well-spent.
> The curriculum they are using is called Google Classroom, which might be
> described as a pumped-up and filled-out version of Sal Khan's excellent
> Khan
> Academy.  KA is more science/math/technology oriented, and ooooh Khan is
> good; he did such a fine job on that.  But Google Classroom has the Common
> Core stuff in there and a lot of broadly focused (defocused?) material on
> "language arts" and "literature" and "social studies" and such as that, all
> that useless non-science and non-math silliness we geeks were forced to
> endure with such suffering and longing to get out of there and get back to
> the real learning, the kind with actual equations in it.  You know what I
> am
> talking about.
> This Google Classroom somehow makes vaguely bearable even those "fields" of
> "study" which have no actual equations, those tenuous disciplines which are
> forced to express their principles by reliance on "nouns" and "verbs" and
> such flimsy constructs.  I scarcely consider any human endeavor which
> resists being coded into software and which has no equations a legitimate
> use of the human mind.  Or if so, it strains to qualify for its own term
> with the suffix "-ology."  I tend to consider all such ventures better
> lumped together under the term "sports" but I must qualify even that, for
> most sports are now delightfully mathematized.  They should be considered
> with the kinds of sports where a panel of human judges hold up numbers at
> the end of the performance (he said with the accompanying dismissive hand
> gesture.)  But hey, I started out a geek and it got even better from there.
> I know I am a fortunate man, born into fortunate times.
> The best part of this curriculum is that it appears to be completely
> open-ended.  None of it depends on a teacher or a class of similarly-aged
> compatriots; the student progresses as fast and as far as ambition, talent
> and drive will take her.
> The education these modern students are getting is so far superior to
> anything my colleagues and I were offered, the two situations nearly defy
> direct comparison.  Or if such comparison is attempted, a dissatisfying and
> suboptimal summary is derived, such as: "That sucks, this does not."  While
> succinct and insightful, the comparison lacks constructive descriptive
> power.
> It will be fun to watch what this cohort will achieve.
> spike
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