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Two education foundations said Wednesday they are working to develop 24 new online reading and math courses that will be aligned with the common core national standards. The courses will be developed by the Pearson Foundation — associated with the major textbook company — and will include video, social media, games and other digital materials. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will provide $3 million for four of the courses to be offered free to schools. The initiative appears to be the most ambitious effort so far to align textbooks — online or otherwise — with the new standards and may position Pearson as a leader in the market.

Read about all the details in:

The New York Times Foundations Join to Offer Online Courses for Schools

MSNBC/The Associated Press Gates gives $20 million for digital learning; Video games, virtual schools among initiatives to try to catch kids’ attention

eSchool News:  Gates gives $20M for digital learning, Common Core curriculum; Grants to aid schools in adopting common standards through online and game-based learning tools

 

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For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives, read on.

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated,

If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.

In response to Bill’s comments, General Motors issued a press release stating:

If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics (and I just love this part):

  1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash…….. Twice a day.
  2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
  3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.
  4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.
  5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive – but would run on only 20 percent of the roads.
  6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single “This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation” warning light.
  7. The airbag system would ask “Are you sure?” before deploying.
  8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.
  9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
  10. You’d have to press the “Start” button to turn the engine off.

 

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Tutor.com, aided by a $1.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is developing a unique professional development model focused on on-demand, one-on-one support for math teachers.
Have you struggled with professional development in your district? How would you change professional development offerings? What are some of the challenges that go along with offering a solid professional development program?

Leave your thoughts in the story’s comment section, or eMail me.
Laura Devaney, Managing Editor
ldevaney@es[email protected]

Tutor.com to apply its tutoring model to helping teachers; participants being sought through March 15

Read the full story, CLICK HERE

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I know that I posted about Bill Gates yesterday, but it seems to be the hot topic on twitter and in blogs and this came through from Education Week today.  It just really makes me wonder, what the heck is Bill Gates thinking, clearly he is clueless…….

“Just when it appeared that Bill Gates had finally learned a lesson in humility, he put his foot in his mouth once again. In an op-ed in the Washington Post on Feb. 28, Gates argued that student achievement has remained virtually flat over the past four decades despite doubling per-student spending in K-12 schools because teaching is the one profession that has no clear indicators of excellence (“How teacher development could revolutionize our schools“). His solution is to “identify great teachers, find out what makes them so effective and transfer those skills to others so more students can enjoy top teachers and high achievement.”

Read the full story from Education Week, CLICK HERE

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Larry Ferlazzo, an amazing high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.  His blog Websites of the Day , really hits the nail on the head. And I’d say I agree, Bill Gates is clueless on this topic for sure.

Every education needs to read this post today.  Wow!

“It’s truly amazing to me that a person as smart as Bill Gates can be as clueless as he is about education. It appears that the Arrogance Of Bill Gates is going to be a running series in this blog. Today, he really out-did himself in The Washington Post.

My Teacher Leaders Network colleague Kenneth Bernstein has already offered an eloquent response, so I’m not going to write a lengthy post here. (Stephen Krashen has also posted a response).”

I would, however, like to point out a few things. CLICK HERE to read Larry’s comments.

And here is an article by Gary Stager: Who elected Bill Gates:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gary-stager/who-elected-bill-gates_b_829456.html

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