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$37m buys experiment in schools - Why not just stay home?
Boston Globe ^ | September 2, 2002 | Hiawatha Bray

Posted on 09/02/2002 2:48:05 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

Edited on 04/13/2004 2:08:11 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

Reports from the nation's retailers suggest that the usual surge of back-to-school buying is rather muted this year. People just aren't buying as many pencil pouches and protractors as they used to, not to mention computers.

Just as well for Apple Computer Inc. that the State of Maine is about to hand out 16,000 brand new iBook laptops to every public school seventh-grader in the state. Next year, Maine will pick up 20,000 more, for use by seventh- and eighth-graders. Each laptop will include wireless networking, allowing students to easily connect to each other and to the Internet.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Maine
KEYWORDS: homeschooling; publiceducation
Back-to-School 2000 Marks Another Increase in Homeschooling Trend - Business/High Tech Editors - In Response to Need for Homeschooling Products and Information, Book Retailers Expanding Resources from Regional to National Level

What: As millions of students head back-to-school this month, approximately 1.3 - 1.7 million youths will be staying home -- and not because of sickness. This growing percentage of children is staying home for their education -- a trend that is increasing by an estimated 7-15 percent annually.

With these numbers quickly spreading from rural to more mainstream areas, national resources for homeschooling products, recommendations and information are becoming increasingly more important. Parents previously restricted to limited selections and regionalized searching now have easier access to the information they need.

In response to the growth, AMZN) today launched its dedicated homeschooling store devoted to providing the ultimate selection of homeschooling books, videos, software, curriculum guides, test prep manuals, games and other resources.

Why: -- 25% of homeschooled children are learning at one grade level above their peers that are not homeschooled

-- Homeschooled children on average score above conventionally schooled children in both reading and math

-- The Internet is perfectly tailored to homeschooling parents' needs for searching, selection and shopping at home

Where: Located at the store features expert editorial recommendations, an ultimate selection and the comprehensive tools needed for first-time as well as seasoned homeschooling parents. Packaged in one easy to navigate area, the Homeschooling store provides the comfort and convenience of discovering the best products to suit individual children and families.

Homeschooling Comes of Age***IN THE LATE 1970s, when Reed was reading Johnny Tremain to her kids, only about 15,000 children were being schooled at home around the entire country. In fact, the practice was still outlawed in some states-and didn't become legal in all fifty until the early 1990s. By the 1999-2000 academic year, thirty years after Reed started out, 850,000 school-age children were taught at home, according to a report published last August by the U.S. Department of Education. But officials at the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) believe that homeschooling had grown even faster. They say the number of homeschooled children is closer to 1.7 million and has been growing between 7 and 15 percent a year for the past decade.***


But…but my child won't be properly socialized. Free Republic Education LINK Thread

1 posted on 09/02/2002 2:48:06 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Very interesting. The educrats interviewed don't seem to have a rose-colored, unfounded optimism about this experiment. This means they just may honestly assess the results, which as the article states, can't be known for (at least!) a couple of years.

I also note that the reporter quotes Clifford Stoll as a part time highschool physics instructor and author. About twenty years ago, Clifford was an "astronomer whose grant had run out" (to use his words) and was administering Unix systems at Lawrence Berkeley Labs. This was in the days of the Internet, but before the World Wide Web. Most machines on the Internet were either military or academic (today, those would be the .mil and .edu domains).

One day he noticed some anomalies in the CPU resource accounting on one of his systems. One simple investigation led to yet another more complex one, and the plot thickened. It appeared that someone was hacking his system, and then covering their tracks.

With the help of some geek friends, he came up with some ingenious ways of tracking the intruder and figuring out where he was coming from. By the time they were done, they had (at great effort) involved US and international authorities in a directed manhunt that finally caught a German hacker who was surfing in a very sophisticated way among the computers of the Internet, with the ultimate targets being the US military and defense-related university installations. I think the guy was getting paid by the Soviets, but don't quote me on that.

There was a PBS special on the affair, and it was the subject of Stoll's first book, Cuckoo's Egg.

2 posted on 09/02/2002 4:31:06 AM PDT by Erasmus
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Older readers will remember when television sets appeared in our classrooms, placed there by educators convinced that educational television shows would turn us into little Einsteins

As a graduate of 10th grade TV History I can attest to it being a resounding failure. Even us students, at the time, knew it.

If the teachers check 'history' on the browser program of the students, they are going to find 9 out of 10 students have not been to but

Of course, when an assessment of the program is done, the 'educators' will determine that the reason for the failure is the displays aren't large enough, some of the students can't see the screens well and they need to buy larger laptops. Please cough up an additional $50 million.

3 posted on 09/02/2002 4:56:48 AM PDT by Vinnie
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Each laptop will include wireless networking, allowing students to easily connect to each other and to the Internet. It's all part of a $37 million plan to make Maine school children the most wired in America. And while it will help Apple's quarterly earnings report, it's far from certain that the program will result in better-educated students.

Oh yes, completely unsupervised unlimited internet access will definately educate these pubescent children!

4 posted on 09/02/2002 8:14:38 AM PDT by doubtfullyhopefull
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To: doubtfullyhopefull
Now we hand the students the tools for encrypted note passing during class.

Apples? While a respectable machine, not something I look for in an employee. Apple is the exception and not the rule. It is a fact when hiring support staff, I give preference to the windows/IBM candidate over the Apple OS candidate.

I do not see this reality changing in the next 10 years when these kids graduate highschool or college and hit the job market.

Does apple even have the mature educational software market as windows? Are parents going to be able to buy their children educational software?
5 posted on 09/02/2002 8:28:09 AM PDT by Greeklawyer
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To: Vic3O3
"Still, King said he is confident that the Maine program will get it right, partly because of a million-dollar grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to train the teachers who will lead these digital classrooms."

Someone needs to let Bill know that the state is giving these kids Macs instead of real computers.

Semper Fi

6 posted on 09/02/2002 9:21:13 AM PDT by dd5339
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To: Vinnie
The kids will mostly use the laptops to chat with one another about frivolous nonsense. MTV will be big, so will individual music star and sports star websites. Of course, there will be plenty of porn browsing, too.
At the seventh and eight grade level, kids should be starting to do some serious reading of the classics. Everybody knows how computers and the WWW can be alligators, mercilessly devouring your time. More technology, less reading.

7 posted on 09/02/2002 3:24:54 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler
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