Learnamic Blog

Broke Teachers, Chrome Extensions for Students, Chinese AI-powered education, and More - Week's Best Links

by Joel

Top Stories

China's AI education could reshape how the world learns - MIT Tech Review
With tax breaks, a competitive learning environment, and lax privacy protection, China is charging ahead with AI learning solutions.  One company called Squirrel has already opened 2000 locations.  The US has none of those advantages - will it be left behind? 

While we at Learnamic don't advocate for entirely computer-driven education, if it can speed up fundamental learning, it may make students better prepared for teacher-led, problem- and project-oriented learning.  If the US education system is to stay competitive, we need to look very closely at these solutions.

Career Evolution Through Autodidacticism and Accelerated Learning - Archinect
Fascinating discussion of the rise of self-teaching with some inspiring success stories.  The tools and content exist, so if you have the motivation, you can learn just about anything!

Education Access

States with more poor students spend less, creating disparities - Charbeat
Busing has been a hot topic lately, but the problems it is meant to address exist at a much larger scale, too - the states with the most poor students also spend the least per student, making education outcomes from states like Connecticut dramatically different than say Arizona, Mississippi, or California.  And these disparities, due to state-level politics, are much harder to resolve.

I’m A Teacher And I’m Broke - ScaryMommy
Touching article from a public school teacher illustrating just how hard it is to get by on her salaries (she has to work several jobs on top of teaching to make ends meet.)  How much longer can the US underpay its teachers and still expect them to provide quality education?

Learning Resources

10 Chrome Extensions for Students - Edutopia
Super handy Chrome extensions for students that enhance their web-browsing experience and make learning convenient, including dictionaries, grammar-checkers, voice-typing, accessibility, note-taking and more.

The 25 Best Podcasts for Kids - Common Sense
Check out these 25 awesome picks for kids -- including perfect bedtime stories, science exploration, cool news, and more. 

Discipline & Rules

‘No-excuses schools’ loosen up - Washington Post
"No-excuses" charter schools have been known for their extraordinarily strict rules, but it appears they're starting to pull back a bit in a signal that the excessive structure wasn't helping to improve outcomes.  Sometimes kids just need to be kids!

Discipline Reform through the Eyes of Teachers - Fordham Institute
Interesting survey on school discipline, its shortcomings and areas for improvement, from 1,200 teachers nationwide.