Cheating, Domestic, Elementary / Primary / Junior, High school / Secondary 2, Required, Technology - Written by on Monday, October 3, 2011 18:50 - 0 Comments

Heard: Robo-Truant Tech and Other Apps to Fix Education – Businessweek

Robot Attack!

Image by Dan Coulter via Flickr

Jonathan Alter at Bloomberg talks about his experience over at Education Nation in NYC. His list includes: Class Dojo, our favorite ImagineK12 startup, Facebook-like collaborative environments like Edmodo and Kickboard for Teachers.

We thought it was particularly interesting that one the simplest ideas and implementations of technology provide a pop, however brief in warding off kids cutting class (emphasis mine):

Arguably the most practical if least transformational idea is Founded by a brilliant 16-year-old named Zak Kukoff, this digital attendance book automatically contacts parents when their kids miss class. In the 200 schools now using Truanttoday, 50 percent of the students who ditch show up to class that day after their parents are alerted. As Brokaw quipped, we’ll all be working for Zak some day.

Alter also provides an insightful summary of the conference and a tool worth looking into (emphasis mine):

The challenge is to break down what works so that at least some of the best practices can be more widely adopted. Like many others at the conference, former President Bill Clinton was focused on why two schools with identical poverty levels so often get entirely different results out of their students. “If every problem has been solved by someone somewhere, why are we so lousy at copying those ideas?” he asked.

A solution may be on the way. This month — too late to be included in Education Nation — the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research unveiled a sophisticated tool for learning which of Chicago’s public schools are working. Finally, someone is bottling the formulas for success.

via Robo-Truant Tech and Other Apps to Fix Education: Jonathan Alter – Businessweek.


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