Print 21 comment(s) - last by bah12.. on Feb 10 at 1:09 PM

Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) teamed up with Microsoft as part of its 1:1 device initiative

Closing the education gap in the U.S. has been a hot topic addressed by many tech companies as of late, and Microsoft is doing its part along with a Florida public school district to bring Windows devices to students. 

According to The Official Microsoft Blog, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) teamed up with Microsoft as part of its 1:1 device initiative, which seeks to place the technological tools in students' hands in order for them to gain the skills needed to succeed through K-12, college and eventually the workplace. 

The partnership between M-DCPS and Microsoft will result in the rollout of 100,000 Windows 8 devices by August 2015. Starting this spring, 13,000 elementary school students will get laptops while about 15,000 7th grade civics students and 9th grade world history students will get Windows 8 devices.

To top it off, M-DCPS’s 350,000 students will receive Office Pro Plus for free as part of Microsoft Student Advantage. 

[SOURCE: weebly]

"We applaud M-DCPS for carefully looking at the needs of its teachers and students before making the decision of which technology solution to implement," said Margo Day, vice president of U.S. Education at Microsoft. "We believe that choice in devices is critical and we support the variety of our hardware partners with their diverse Windows 8 offerings."
Earlier this week, many major tech companies backed President Barack Obama's ConnectED initiative with pledges totaling around $750 million. Tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint have all pledged computers, mobile devices, internet service, discounts or cash. 
The ConnectED initiative aims to connect 99 percent of U.S. students to the Web via Internet-connected devices within five years. It will also make better use of existing funds to ensure internet connectivity and train teachers on the use of devices and Web services. 

Source: The Official Microsoft Blog

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RE: I'm skeptical...
By rsmech on 2/7/2014 1:09:37 PM , Rating: 4
When you and I were in school we didn't have our own device, the class or the lab did. It was structured use. You still focused on reading, writing, and arithmetic. My daughter has a pad for school and many of the parents feel as I do. The way they are being used is a distraction more than anything at school and home.

Could they be more useful, yes but they are just handed out and everyone thinks learning just increased because students now have a device in their hands. Implementation is poor.

RE: I'm skeptical...
By MrBlastman on 2/7/2014 1:45:20 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly. In the 80s our usage of technology was structured! There was a time and place for it with the majority of time spent on academics. They are totally going about all of this wrong, these days. They don't even teach cursive anymore for crying out loud!

(Not that I write with a pen much these days anyways.)

RE: I'm skeptical...
By bah12 on 2/7/2014 5:44:56 PM , Rating: 2
They don't even teach cursive anymore for crying out loud!
Good f'in riddens. I've always thought cursive was a waste of a youthful mind. At the age in which they teach it, the mind is like playdough. I cannot think of a more wasteful exercise than to teach an already reading and writing proficient student how to do it all over again in a slightly different alphabet, all so they can handwrite at a marginally increased speed.

The english language has 2 options, easy to read harder to write plain text. Or easy to write harder to read cursive. This day in age the later has no place, kill it...kill it now. Even if the zombie apocalypse comes it isn't like we cannot print, and all written word would be lost.

RE: I'm skeptical...
By 1prophet on 2/8/2014 9:03:00 AM , Rating: 2
Reasons why you cursive should be taught.

more here

Putting pen to paper stimulates the brain like nothing else, even in this age of e-mails, texts and tweets. In fact, learning to write in cursive is shown to improve brain development in the areas of thinking, language and working memory. Cursive handwriting stimulates brain synapses and synchronicity between the left and right hemispheres, something absent from printing and typing.

RE: I'm skeptical...
By 1prophet on 2/8/2014 9:04:30 AM , Rating: 2
Reasons why cursive should be taught.

RE: I'm skeptical...
By bah12 on 2/10/2014 12:55:38 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not suggesting we just let them play angry birds instead of using this time for teaching. What I'm suggesting is that at this age we could inject better skills than cursive. Some may be even better at stimulating the brain. Heck teach them a second language. Or more advanced mathematics, or art, or music.

My point is that they spend a very large amount of time and effort learning the same language twice, and at a time when there are far more interesting uses of their growing mind.

RE: I'm skeptical...
By wallijonn on 2/10/2014 10:56:00 AM , Rating: 2
Good f'in [riddance]. I've always thought cursive was a waste of a youthful mind.

A hundred years ago one would make their mark on a piece of paper and was duly witnessed by someone who could actually read and write.

Today's students do not know how to spell, read nor write. They make a squiggle mark as a signature. They are lost without digital calculator and watch apps. on their cell phones. They are technology dependent, slaves to technology for the rest of their lives.

RE: I'm skeptical...
By bah12 on 2/10/2014 1:09:18 PM , Rating: 2
They are technology dependent, slaves to technology for the rest of their lives.
And it was no different 100 years ago. Technology changes what we deem necessary knowledge to pass on. Do you think back then every child knew how to craft a stone spear or hunt a bison. At one point in history it would have been considered vital knowledge, yet as technology advanced the need to teach our children such antiquated skills diminished. Consequently it also allowed us to start teaching them how to read/write/spell. The very virtues you admire were once considered not important at all, in fact the stability technology brought to our life is what propelled us to advance those skills. When you weren't spending the majority of your time hunting, and trying to stay alive, you then have time to create language, mathematics, reading, and writing.

So yes we are a slave to technology, but that isn't something new.

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