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[school-discuss] Bouncing ideas around
- To: schoolforge-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: [school-discuss] Bouncing ideas around
- From: Justin <icbluenu@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2006 13:30:24 -0700
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I've been reading this list for a few months and recently it has been pretty interesting. First time posting. I'm just going to toss a bunch of ideas out here - I'm sure much of this is already covered somewhere, and I just haven't found it. I would appreciate all feedback, critical is great too, as long as it helps develop ideas :)
I would like to start a discussion towards the school forge website, and ways that it could be crafted to better facilitate the mission of School Forge. I try to imagine if I were a teacher (or admin), and was curious as to 'where to start' as far as understanding the value. I would say the interface to these audiences is still rather technical, and intimidating enough to cause many to make the unfortunate assumption that either 1) these systems wouldn't be user friendly and making them work would be a chore (and all that that entails) or 2) It's not ready for prime time yet.. the things we have heard for years.
Because the goal is to promote both the technology, and the content (which I think Creative Commons type licenses should be included in the scope of this) I'd suggest organizing the interface to follow a path of "what are you looking for" with the two main sections being "software" and "teaching materials (content)", other sections to cover members, links, etc would be in there as well.
I could go to teaching -> k-12 -> (content lists..by subject/age groups/software requirements/etc) -> This then would provide a content based resource, and if the teacher found a resource that looked like it would be of use, they could check out what software is required for the content. Other search options could be say.. the teacher has this software package/content player installed, they could see what plugins are available for it.
My second thought is formulating systems that will help streamline the process of developing content for these systems, providing immediate and time saving benefits. In my opinion, content (worksheets, games, lessons) should never be in application form, that there should be content interfaces that lay out some guidelines. The interfaces, with the different content plugins could handle reporting back to the teacher the various scores, create 'performance grids' (see if grades of students are getting better or worse..could be used to quickly identify if counseling efforts are helping and to develop strategies, pretty much allow teachers to micromanage the information reported back however they would like) If there were (and this might be too much of a stretch) a standard for transferring the information from those packages into a broader classroom management package and up to administrative (enterprise like) classroom management - it could give almost instant results back to the teachers and administrators on classroom performance.
Phase two could involve starting to take a look at national testing standards and promoting content developers to research these guidelines. If open source is shown to be cheaper and have the content available that will help students prosper and reach higher achievement levels, it's a two-for-one punch in free content and free software. The small amount of looking into national testing standards I did though, proved to go nowhere as those standards are locked away and probably cost a great deal of money to access (scary...scary..)
Also, within a system like this, it would be easier to find college students and teachers to contribute content, which would be wonderful and necessary. As in the value of content for educators - is equal to the value of code to open source.
I would be willing to assist on website development/design as well. Thanks.