In this week”s 5 Education Articles to Start Your Week, we examine news articles which mark a drastic shift in a school technology policy.

Many American colleges are shying away from the print editions of books in favor of e-books. Fourth graders are enjoying up to two hours on their laptops during the school day and even receive helpful instant messages from their teachers while in the classroom.  Plus, a new software is making it as easy as Netflix for students to find coursework that they will love.

1. To Save Students Money, Colleges May Force a Switch to E-Textbooks

by Jeffery R. Young, The Chronicle

With the growing prevalence of e-reading tools, it was just a matter of time before students realized that carrying around 1 Kindle loaded with course reading materials is way easier than lugging around a bag full of books. However, despite the benefits to student’s lower lumbar region, no school was in a rush to change their book policy significantly, until quite recently.

According to The Chronicle, many colleges are considering a new policy. Instead of requiring student to buy textbooks for the school year, they”d would pay an upfront course materials fee for e-books provided by the school.

Takeaway: e-Books continue to make strides in their move to replace traditional print books.

by Marc Parry, The Chronicle

Imagine you’ve moved away from home for the first time into your new college dorm room. You meet a few new people in your hall and try the questionable food in online casino the cafeteria. You’re about to go to class for the first time but instead of being in a classroom among your peers… you sit down in your dorm room.

Many colleges have already begun using online teaching over in-person lectures. They believe that encouraging students to earn some credits online will speed up students achieving their degrees and also save money for the school and student. Is this the future of tomorrow”s college?

Takeaway: Online courses provide a myriad of opportunities for both students and education providers. Is it the right answer, or just encouraging lazy students to sleep in and cheat for an easy A?

by Babara Martinez,

In the P.S. 100 in the Bronx, school children are part of a experimental program to fundamentally change the way children are learning. They are piloting a program based on a study by Israeli-derived company, Time to Know, Inc.

The study (similar to a study by Project Red) of a school in Texas showed 93% of students exceeded standards set for them when using technology in the classroom versus 63% prior to the program”s implementation.

Takeaway: Teachers hope to inspire better performance by embracing this computer and traditional learning hybrid.

4. New Software Personalizes College Experiences

by Niyaz Pirani, The Orange County Register

What if student’s coursework could be guided by a recommendation service similar to the the algorithms used by Netflix and Amazon? Well, the future is now!

Saddleback College is now using SHERPA, a special software which uses student-uploaded information like your work schedule, your friends at school, and your favorite professors to recommend coursework tailored to a student’s interests and life.

Takeaway: Personalized recommendation engines for .edu are here. What”s their best use and are they worth it?

5. How Much Math Do You Really Need in Everyday Life?

by Dangerously Irrelevant

In this short and sweet blog post, the blogger points us to a question that was posed to the Washington Post by a mathematics professor who wanted to know “How much math do you really need in everyday life.” He points out that though we often paint the United States as a “nation at risk” because of poor math scores, the United States as produced just as many Nobel laureates as they did in 1983.

Takeaway: Educators need to consider the depth of curriculum required at all grade levels and its impact on college or career success.

photo by: tychay

Are you in the process of considering using e-book materials, new software or a new method of tutoring or teaching? What challenges or criticism have you faced in the process?


Free e-Book: 5 Tips to Improve Your Reporting for Standardized Test Reporting
Download this eBook from Socrato to learn how to optimize and improve your reports to help students improve their scores on standardize tests such as the SAT, ACT, LSAT or others.

Download the eBook >>