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+ - Makers Lab in High School Media Center->

Submitted by edumacator
edumacator (910819) writes "I have a wonderful Media Specialist at my high school who loves books, but realizes we need to more with that communal space in our school. After sharing the attached article, she is very excited to investigate creating a "Makers Lab" in our media center. I'm an English teacher that loves technology and a bit of a DIY background, but I'm not terribly knowledgeable in this field. So, my slashdot compatriots, I turn to you. What are essentials do I need to get this off the ground?"
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Comment: Re:Oh, really? (Score 1) 1255

by edumacator (#44738121) Attached to: Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil

You would make a wonderful apologist, where were you when Stalin needed you? Someone needed to paint Russia as the Disneyland it was back then and gain cooperation in purging the land of evil.

We're getting really close to Godwin here, but I can tell you are angry. Take a moment and look back over the thread. Exactly where am I supporting a broken system? I agree education is broken. I agree we need to change it. I agree not all kids will learn, but who is to pick which ones will. I have students every year who realize their potential and begin to see value in themselves and working hard. Will all the kids do that? No. But my job is to give them the chance.

I am glad you are persistently optimistic

I think you got that wrong. I am persistently persistent. I'm not optimistic. In fact, I think the educational system is probably in the midst of an implosion. I just think it is political.

Comment: Re: Oh, really? (Score 2) 1255

by edumacator (#44737691) Attached to: Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil
Reread my post. I clearly separate the issue of public schools into two , personal and societal. I applaud you for being invested in your children's education and for finding the best learning experience for them. That doesn't negate the reality that most students don't have parents who care enough to do the same for their children. Do we just leave them to fend for themselves? We need invested community members to fight the good fight for all our students.

Comment: Re:Oh, really? (Score 4, Insightful) 1255

by edumacator (#44734935) Attached to: Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil

I hear the frustration, and I identify with it. I'm glad you have solved the problem for your daughter. In spite of the Slate article, I don't think you are evil for sending your child to private school. If I had no options for a good public school, I'd probably look at alternatives too.

The problem though isn't completely personal. It's social, which I think was the essence behind the provocative title of the article. It's a social problem because not all of our children have parents like you or me who are willing to look for those alternatives.

It's in our social interest to educate as large a swath of the population as possible. As tragic as it is to say, the vast majority of parents aren't interested in finding the solution. They often send talented boys and girls to school after telling them that school is a waste of time, or more often never mentioning school.

Public school is vitally important because those kids deserve a chance too, and right now, I'll admit, we aren't giving them the best education we can offer. I can tell you that the teachers and administrators are, for the most part, going into work every day wondering how we can make school more meaningful for our students. We lose sleep over the disinterested students, specifically the talented ones. We try to make it interesting and engaging, but we are blowing against a very strong cultural wind that does not originate in the school. It is the collective force of an indulging society. That's the fight we need to fight. That's the change we need to see.

While I realize you are frustrated and have found a great alternative for your child, public school is still an important issue, and I'm saddened to see your energy sidelined because you found a solution for your child. There are other kids out there without parents as caring as you seem to be.

Comment: Re:Oh, really? (Score 5, Informative) 1255

by edumacator (#44734467) Attached to: Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil

I'm a public school teacher, and I see some of the issues you address above on a regular basis. However, that is not the norm. Teachers do NOT try to create passive cattle. Most teachers work hard to teach students to be independent thinkers, while they go home to households that don't care about their education, don't push their kids to be more than obedient, and don't help find the children the support they need to prosper.

Are there terrible teachers? Yes. Should we fire them? Yes. They are not though the norm. Think of any professional environment and the slackers that do as little as possible. We all have those losers.

We also have to quit thinking of schools as external from our society. We need to see them as a part of a larger whole. We can escape blame that way, but it isn't accurate or beneficial. Do you know who your local school reps are? Have you spoken to them? Have you raised a voice that asks for more accountability or initiative from the students, teachers, and administrators?

Of all political bodies, school boards are the most local and relatively responsive to community input.

We have serious problems with our public schools, but I believe educating our children is essential for a functioning society; it is more so for a democracy. Let's not throw out the system because it has flaws. Let's work together to fix them.

Start locally.

Comment: Re:Oh, really? (Score 1) 1255

by edumacator (#44734383) Attached to: Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil

That's such a naive statement, I'd like to actually hear the details. I think you are dramatically oversimplifying a complex issue.

Why is it akin to abuse? I'm not taunting; rather I think this issue is one of the most fundamental to our future, so I'm trying to engage.

Yes. I'm a public school teacher.

Comment: Kudos and ideas (Score 2) 265

First of all, congratulations for starting the club. Too many students sit passively by in high school.

A couple of things that could help. Do you have a dynamic teacher in your building that might be willing to sponsor the club? They can help you with recruitment and ways to keep people interested.

Also, try to have some really clear goals. Can you build an app for students in the building? Can you collect scraps from your IT person, and build some extra computers for the cafeteria for students to use or to give to underprivileged students? Can you find some local places to visit on a field trip or two? As much as I wish as a teacher that students would readily join clubs for their own edification, typically you need to find a "hook" to get them in the door. Once they've built something or seen the glory that is coding, they are going to be more likely to stay in the club. Try to find something they can SEE at the end of the year. Nothing beats seeing the fruits of your labor.

Good luck! If you need more advice or ideas, I could introduce you to some great AP computer science teachers.

Comment: Re:Why is this here? (Score 1) 48

by edumacator (#43845155) Attached to: WeVideo Helps You Edit Your Videos Online (Video)

WeVideo is awesome for my students. They have short video compositions, and this gives them an intro to visual literacy and composing without having to go through my IT department, which is - understandably? - nervous about installing new programs.

This is a perfect bridge for education where we don't have the resources we need to introduce our students to all the programs they should should at least use once or twice.

Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984

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