Archive for November 17, 2010

Panel Calls for Turning Teacher Education ‘Upside Down,’ Centering Curricula around Classroom-Ready Training

I’m trying to figure out from the press-release and the report what’s being removed or what’s currently on-top that’s going to be at-bottom in the new proposed model for teacher education.  I get that clinical practice is going to be put at the forefront.  What do they think is currently at the forefront, and where is that going to go?  I worry that the emphasis on practice will mean a de-emphasis on content.  Much of the discussion on this blog has centered on the need for teachers of CS-STEM to know CS-STEM.

A national expert panel composed of education experts and critics today called for teacher education to be “turned upside down” by revamping programs to place clinical practice at the center of teacher preparation. This new vision of preparation also will require the development of partnerships with school districts in which teacher education becomes a shared responsibility between P-12 schools and higher education.

Those and other sweeping recommendations are part of a report by the Blue Ribbon Panel on Clinical Preparation and Partnerships for Improved Student Learning, convened by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) to improve student learning.

The new approaches will involve significant policy and procedural changes in both the state higher education and P-12 education systems and entail revamping longstanding policies and practices that are no longer suited to today’s needs. The changes called for will require state higher education officials, governors, and state P-12 commissioner leadership working together to remove policy barriers and create policy supports for the new vision of teacher education.

NCATE president James G. Cibulka talked about why NCATE convened the panel: “There are more students with greater learning needs than ever before; rigorous new standards for students with higher expectations for student achievement; and the need to turn around low-performing schools, to name just a few of the unsolved challenges present today. These unmet needs press education stakeholders at large to make bold, simultaneous systemic changes.”

via NCATE News & Press Releases – Panel Calls for Turning Teacher Education ‘Upside Down,’ Centering Curricula around Classroom-Ready Training and Increasing Oversight and Expectations.

November 17, 2010 at 4:28 pm 3 comments

Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell on the future of software (Q&A)

Always useful for computing educators to keep an eye on the world of software in which our students will work. Nolan Bushnell has an interesting perspective.

What led you to focus on the 10 specific areas of software?
Bushnell: The 10 was an arbitrary number. My original list was 16 but there were some that could be folded. Some things that I am passionate about will take more time and are as much a chemistry and manufacturing problem as software. But the biggest thing for the near future is auto-cars, which will change everything.

Tell me about that. Why do you think they’ll change everything, and how so?
Bushnell: It’ll be within five years, somewhere. The costs are there right now. The Google car actually was cost-effective. Think of no traffic congestion, highways that can hold 30 times as much traffic. Half the energy costs. It just goes on and on.

After auto-cars, what do you think is the second-most likely area of your 10 to change society?

Bushnell: The next three will happen at the same time. One is the elimination of credentials. People are not their credit cards or passports and those are subject to fraud that is costing us billions of dollars. The physical metrics are better and cheaper and will be deployed. You will walk into a restaurant and pay by looking into a camera or by using your thumbprint. No identity thief will be able to do that. You can access all your accounts and board a plane naked.

Another will be the cloud containing all our medical information with layers of security. This will help solve the genome problem by sharing your DNA and medical condition but with identity stripped off.

Another is personal robotics. It’s a passion of mine and is now doable. All the obstacles I faced in the 1980s have been solved. It will be huge.

Lastly, government downsizing will be a big software opportunity. As more states hit the wall, their only hope will be to build in new efficiencies. California, for instance, is on the far side of the tax elasticity curve. Higher taxes lead to more jobs leaving the state, and less revenue. About half the states are going to decrease workers and still provide services.

via Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell on the future of software (Q&A) | Geek Gestalt – CNET News.

November 17, 2010 at 3:03 pm 3 comments

Out-Processing Processing with Field

Marc Downie is coming to Georgia Tech to give a talk, and his abstract included a reference to the Field programming language, designed for creation of computing-as-art.  “Always in collaboration, always in real-time their practice has spawned a parallel series of investigations into the tools and representations used to make digital art. This thought has become embodied in a new open source platform for programming art called Field. What kinds of tools do we need to survive the complex forms that we can create? what kinds of interactions can we have with the code that we write? and what kinds of collaborations and communities of artists might arise around these platforms?”  That was intriguing enough that I looked up Field. Wow!  Explicitly, they aim to be better at processing than Processing. They interact with a wide variety of code bases, from pure-Python to Java to Max/MSP. The IDE includes a bunch of unusual ideas, like embedding GUIs into the source code.

Since it’s such an important source of interesting libraries, the Processing tradition has received special attention — the ProcessingPlugin bridges Field’s execution model to the world of Processing. Field replaces the Processing Development Environment and its programming language while allowing you to use all of your favorite Processing libraries and renderers from within Field’s integrated Processing “Applet”. Field has no start or stop button — there’s no compile cycle. You can execute, script, sequence and manipulate code as the “Applet” runs — all while building personal practice-oriented interfaces in the canvas. We think that, for many uses, Field is a better Processing than Processing. We note that most if not all of the items on Processing’s proposed “future features” list are already available in Field, or are not needed in Field because it is a live environment, or can be readily made inside Field today.

via OverviewBanners2 (Field).

November 17, 2010 at 2:24 pm 6 comments

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