We can only hope that this new decade holds some solutions to the many educational challenges we have faced. The financial burdens facing the nation have left many classrooms striped of all extraneous resources. Many teachers are having to do so much more with so much less. In this week’s top education articles to start your week, we look at the cost of the education wars, some exciting educational news from Google and a few resources that may start your year off on the right foot.

The Cost of Education Wars

By Deborah Loewenberg Ball, Guest Blogger, Huffingtonpost.com

Are we just lobbing missiles at singular solutions or teaming up to build the systems we need to improve teaching and learning?

Deborah Loewenberg examines the classroom “wars” of the 1980s and 1990s – the wars were fought to improve reading and math, but instead cost many American students a full, meaningful education. Instead of using our resources to build an infrastructure together, we ended up using those resources to fix single solutions that were often undone within a generation.

U.S. Education is Much Better Than You Think

By Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

A quick look at the data from the 2009 PISA scores reveals that Americans are challenged to match up with the education offered in other foreign countries such as Finland. However, as Derek Thompson points out, most Americans don’t take into account the cultural differences which makes educating America’s youth a complex enterprise with no easy solution.

For example, the United States is more culturally rich compared to Finland which had the top international PISA scores. While Finland’s population has very few immigrants, United States has one of the highest immigration rates in the world. This presents a challenge when trying to educate children who use English as a second language.

Google Pushes Education Software Through the App Store

By Douglas MacMillian, Bloomberg Businessweek

A dedicated educational-software marketplace appears to be in the cards courtesy Google, Inc.

According to the article, though Google already provides support for schools in the form of free software programs, email, and spreadsheets, they also want to sell more robust applications directly to educators.

Education: More than The Sum of Test Scores

By Jim Tune, Seattle City Brights Blog

After a pair of education stories aired on NPR, Jim Tune went to his blog to discuss the lack of opportunities for creative thinking in the classroom. As school budgets shrink, so do the opportunities for children to express themselves.

57 EdTech Resources You Might Have Missed – Treasure Chest Jan 2, 2011

by Jeffery Thomas, Tech the Plunge

Sometimes you just want someone to jump in and show you what to read. Fortunately for us, there are bloggers out there like Jeffery Thomas who take the time to put together fantastic end-of-the-year lists like this gem.

After traveling through the link, you’ll be transported to a land of resources to get your edtech year off to a fantastic start.

featured photo by Aheram

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