Tag Archive: Online Media

As a journalism teacher, I talk to students about finding their voice.  I urge them to tell stories that reflect who they are, but also to tell stories that will be meaningful to others.  In the digital age, conversations with my students often revolve around sharing their voice, sharing that story, online.

I often forget, and they haven’t yet discovered, that online media can be a great equalizer.  They are not speaking to their audience through a television set or a radio.  They are broadcasting in a way that allows their voice to be heard by others – through a myriad of channels – and perhaps more importantly they are broadcasting in a way that allows the audience to respond to them and continue the conversation that they began.  Now we must include yet another dimension to this conversation.

Roger Ebert presented at TED last month with the assistance of his friends…and some technology.  Ebert lost his speaking voice to cancer, yet he remains a prolific presence in American journalism.  His voice, despite the lack of audible sound, is stronger and more poignent than ever.  He has leveraged the power of online media – facebook, twitter, blogging, and more – to reclaim his voice and his place among this country’s greatest arbiters of popular cultural.  Ebert reminded the TED audience that the impatience that people may have when waiting for his text-to-speech software to catch up with his thoughts disappears online.  Online, Ebert says, everyone speaks at the same speed.

School of ONE

Are Hybrid Schools the Answer?  The Following text is by Liz Dwyer of Good:

Talk to any teacher—veteran or neophyte—and she’ll tell you that one of the most challenging things is teaching students who are at different levels. Imagine the effort and skill required to teach a fourth grade class where a few kids read are struggling with Dr. Seuss, a few are zipping through the last Harry Potter book, and everyone else is somewhere in between.

Of course, savvy teachers already know to use technology to either push kids or provide extra help, but what if tech tools could be used to provide a completely customizable education experience throughout the entire school day?

A few innovative campuses—currently called “hybrid schools” because teachers and technology work together—are cropping up across the country. The latest issue of Education Next spotlights some of the great innovations happening at these hybrid schools and New York City’s School of One, which operates on three public middle school campuses, really stands out. It even uses a computer program that has an algorithm that figures out exactly how to teach specific skills to individual kids.

In the video above, Joel Rose, the leader of School of One, explains their methodology. It’s impressive to see the amount of technology they have at their disposal as well as the personalization the programs provide. Of course, the model does raise a few questions. Is it scalable to the entire public school system? And in an era of budget cuts, can districts even afford the technology investment?