Sunday, September 16, 2012

Q&A for MX Educational System

I understand that you're goal within this projects is to improve and challenge the existing system for communication between student, parent, and teacher. My question for you is how can you improve this without limiting yourself to an iPad? While it is a great tool for a learning environment and is one method of addressing the issues at hand, it could be groundbreaking to speculate new ways or new technology to access and share information while keeping that important aspect of privacy. 

We’ve considered not only using the iPad with it’s typical functions, but also exploring potential functionality that would break the limitations that the device currently has. As for other technologies, there may be something we can dream up that would aid in data mining a child’s interests and aspirations, or something that could aid in the student to mentor relationship.

students often don't like parents communicating with teachers, or give a rats ass about their education. are their any tangible incentives you might be able to give the student to fully participate in your program?

If we do this right and take into consideration the child’s other interests, and make those interests an integral part of the program, we propose that the child would not need to be given reasons to participate. The child would discover them as the system unfolds through extended use.

How can the student's awarness of their tailored education affect their overall performance?

Ultimately knowing what type of learner you are will affect the child positively by instilling the most efficient way of gathering knowledge and experiencing the world around them. Also their interests would be fostered in order to maintain involvement. They may know how they are being tailored for, but it should not be done so in a way that feels foreign to them.

Who is going to pay for all this technology? Parents of the children, or the Govt. with taxpayer money?

Well, it would be the tax payers that would assume the cost. This would be no different than what it is now, but would be replacing allot of the established curriculum needs and simplifying it into less components that can be used throughout the child’s education.

what kind of incentives will you give for kids who are really behind in their education by the time they reach middle school? how will you equal the playing field for all the students so that the kids who are behind are motivated to participate?

The system of incentives would be no different than that of the other students, in that they would be based on the child’s interests and aspirations. The burden getting the student back up to speed would fall on the teacher and parent, but the incentive should outweigh the intensive nature of their progress.

would this tool be used outside of the classroom as well? would kids still have the ability to interact after class, or  ask the teacher a homework question on the weekend?

also, why did you guys decide on 6th grade?

The system will focus just as much on outside the classroom if not more. Since a student will spend more time out of school than they will in, there should be an emphasis on what the child takes with them. There will be a focus on what the child is taking interest in as well as networking between other students and the relationship between child and mentor/parent. As for communicating with the teacher over the weekends, this would be a touchy issue. We’ll have to handle this delicately since the parents may not want that level of communication between student and teacher outside of the classroom. Also the teacher may not want to be contacted over the weekend, so the incentive would have to be very strong and very focused.

We started at 6th grade because that is statistically the drop off rate for student-parent involvement. Plus it will give us enough time to learn the student’s learning style and goals.

Is it wise for parents to be able to see all correspondences between students and teachers? what about the potential for abuse?

In this day and age I’d worry more about the parent not being able to see interactions between the teacher and student. I think it allows for a level of accountability that might not be there today. Doing this in a way that does not threaten the student or doesn’t narrow the child’s curriculum is the challenge. I could see the scenario where the parent could be getting too involved in what they don’t want their child to learn, but this would require the parent to be psychologically sound.

Can there be a way for schools at the administrative level or state level to "take the macro pulse" if you will, of a given school? can this data be transparent to all students, teachers, parents of any school?

We’re proposing that the information on where the student’s learning styles are being successfully provided for, would be open to the state, schools, teachers, and parents. This would instill a sense of pride for the parents and teachers (and perhaps students), as well as giving an instructed push to the other schools, in order to better themselves.

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