Wednesday, March 05, 2014

a one-room school house for the 21st century..,

publicradio |  Carpe Diem is a public charter school system. The Indianapolis campus is the first step in what's meant to be a national expansion. A school opened in Cincinnati, Ohio in August 2013. A school is on track to open soon in San Antonio, Texas and there are plans underway to start Carpe Diem schools in Detroit, Baton Rouge, and Washington, D.C.

The Indianapolis campus is called Carpe Diem-Meridian. It's located on North Meridian Street, about two miles north of downtown, in a brand new two-story building across from a Wendy's and a liquor store. The school opened in August of 2012. It's designed for 300 students in grades six through 12; the first year there were about 90 students.

The school's founder, Rick Ogston, was a Christian pastor before getting into education. The idea for a school where students would spend part of their day learning on computer came to him after a prayer.

It was 2003. Ogston was running a charter school in Yuma, Arizona. He describes it as a "traditional" school with "traditional teachers, in traditional classrooms, doing traditional things." The school had been open for a few years and things were going pretty well. Test scores were fine. But Ogston felt something wasn't right.

One day he was walking the halls of the school, peering into classrooms. He saw students sitting quietly at their desks, listening to teachers lecture. Everyone looked kind of bored -- the teachers and the kids.

He went back to his office, put his head on his desk, and prayed for guidance.

When Ogston opened his eyes, the first thing he noticed was the cell phone clipped to his waist. Then he lifted his head, "and I looked on my desk and saw the computer." He scanned his office and noticed other forms of technology -- a copier, a fax machine. These were devices he rarely thought about, but now, looking around his office, he realized how much technology had changed the way he worked and lived his life.

Technology had not changed school, though. "We had some of it in classrooms," he says, "but it wasn't nearly being leveraged or used like it could be."

Ogston began to imagine a new kind of school, where students would use computers for their work as much as he did for his. Teachers could stop lecturing if students watched lectures on a computer instead. Teachers could then use class time to answer questions. Some teachers and professors around the country were already experimenting with this approach; it's known as "flipping the classroom." But Ogston didn't know about that. He was following his instincts.

Transforming his school from "traditional" to something new wasn't going to be an easy feat. He predicted teachers and parents would resist.

But then, as Ogston sees it, God intervened. The school lost its lease and the only space available in Yuma was a huge, open room in a University of Phoenix building. There was no way to turn the space into traditional classrooms. To keep operating, his school would have to do things differently. Ogston seized the opportunity to make his vision a reality. All of the students were going to be in one room, working independently on computers. It would be like a one-room schoolhouse for the 21st century.


CNu said...

Chris Hedges tried to explain the exact same phenomenon in the Suffering? You deserve it article linked here “The basic conventions of public discourse are those of the Enlightenment,
in which the use of reason [enabled] us to achieve human objectives,”
Offer said as we sat amid piles of books in his cluttered office.
“Reason should be tempered by reality, by the facts. So underlining this
is a notion of science that confronts reality and is revised by
reference to reality. This is the model for how we talk. It is the model
for the things we assume. But the reality that has emerged around us
has not come out of this process. So our basic conventions only serve to
justify existing relationships, structures and hierarchies. Plausible
arguments are made for principles that are incompatible with each

CNu said...

The administration and lots of democratic politicians will absolutely not support the 21st century instructional model because it guarantees to put a whole bunch of unionized teachers out on their ineffective butts. So our basic conventions only serve to
justify existing relationships, structures and hierarchies.
The two party/one ideology system will always and inevitably fail to identify, support, and help structurally implement the types of radical changes required to intelligently and effectively accomodate the changed circumstances of the contracting economy.

Constructive_Feedback said...

Brother CNu:

(I know that you believe that I "Politicize everything" and ultimately make "attacks on Black leaders................BUT)

When you listen to the people who claim "The Voice Of The Black Community" for an extended period of time IT BECOMES CLEAR that:

1) When it comes to EDUCATION and AGRICULTURE (for example) they are more competent at riling up the base by telling them that "A free people must EDUCATE their children and FEED their own people


I hear more about "Black Seats Of Power" (ie: in the Dekalb County Public Schools) that need to be protected from external attack AND - as was the case with WVON Chicago yesterday - when a favorable trusted official gets busted for corruption by the Feds - they ask "Why aren't you arresting OUR ENEMIES?"

The bottom line: If there is going to be revolution and change in the pedagogy on behalf of the children in our community: JUST DO IT!!!!

You start small - and PROOF EFFECTIVENESS.

Those people who are interested in adopting EFFECTIVE BEST PRACTICES will model their efforts out of you.

Those who are interested in PROTECTING THEIR ESTABLISHMENT (the political process of electing school boards and assigning principals, the service contracts to suppliers, fighting against state regulation of the poor performance - and the worst of them all - PUTTING THEIR OWN CHILDREN UP AS PAWNS AS THEY FIGHT FOR SOME LEVEL OF EQUAL NATIONAL FUNDING AS A PRETEXT FOR THE EQUAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS FOR 'THEIR KIDS'........................

.............THEY will ultimately MISS THE POINT!!
The point being that THEIR CHILDREN are the REPLACEMENT human resources for their community. In 30 years from now when THEY ARE THE "GOVERNING ADULTS" - instead of measuring the outcomes in the community based upon EQUAL EDUCATIONAL FUNDING - in aggregate we will be looking at the base level of COMPETENCIES that are intrinsic to the community body and IF THIS IS SUFFICIENT to allow them to live IN AGGREGATE at their desired standard of living.

Constructive_Feedback said...

Where I Depart From My Dear Friend CNu On The Matter Of Prof Adolf Reed Jr And The BENEFICIARIES Of His Political Agenda As He Pre-Prescribes The Methodology Of "Leftism" (and Redistributive Public Policy) As The Cure For Everything.

It is NOT ENOUGH To Be Critical Of "The Black Political Establishment. YOUR Suggested "Cure", Might Be, In Fact Just A More Concentrated Dose Of What They Are Already Injecting Into The Community Body Whose Internal Organs Are Shutting Down.

umbrarchist said...

Asimov predicted it more than 60 years ago.

But his prediction was off by more than 140 years.

But educators want to cram technology that should change "education" into a system they do not want to change. There is no telling what kind of mess will result.

umbrarchist said...

Yeah the White folks are much better at organizing the wrecking of the planet.

ken said...

I saw a little clip of some guy talking about google fiber in his back yard, I don't know if you ever heard about that, but did that ever get anywhere or was it deflected? I figured you're probably more in tune about the workings and maybe could provide some insight deeper on how institutions rationalize out of it. I didn't want to post the link in case you didn't want to.

CNu said...

Please post the link Ken. I got Google fiber as a consumer and it's fantastic. For $120/month I average 150 Megs down and about 40 Megs up at home, now have pervasive strong wireless all throughout my house, more channels than I can use (basic service), Android devices remotely control the service, I've got terrabytes of local and cloud storage, and the support is timely and thorough.

It's a superior consumer product. As far as Google's engagement with the community goes, they pulled a fast one on KC/KCK. There institutional collaboration and support has been abyssmal. Basically, they pulled the kayfabe on a bunch of non-technical political rubes, got into hog heaven as far as their business model and regulatory requirements goes, and then they've gone whole hog on the consumer front while giving the public institutions they promised to work with a one-finger salute.

CNu said...

I know that you believe that I "Politicize everything" and ultimately make "attacks on Black leaders.I have no problems with the critiques of the failed gatekeepers and 2nd/3rd line inheritors of the civil rights movement. None whatsoever. Where I glaze over is in your implied endorsement of teatards, racists, and regressive social conservatives.

I also believe it necessary to propose specific measurable achievable solutions.

CNu said...

Reed is a communist. He and I part ways with my assertion "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his abilities" - everything else is conversation.

ken said...

Your resident expert on the subject...

Vic78 said...

Here's a case of someone missing the point: Maybe she didn't miss the point and is playing the role of party hack.

John Kurman said...

I'm pretty sure that assertion has some exeptions. Like, say, family? You know, your infant children, or your favorite old decrepit relatives?

CNu said...

Those are dependents, so they're actually not exceptions.

Not too many years ago, I was rather stridently black partisan. In the span of 9 short years, I've gone from black partisan to half a click left of where Bro. Feed comes down on that topic.

Serial encounters with corruption and incompetence finally wrung out the very last vestiges of sentimental partisanship I once professed. As it turns out, the most progressive and good faith operators I've encountered here-to-date are the hardcore libertarian paleos who exert tremendous political pull in this area, and, who are receptive to and supportive of radical reform efforts.

Constructive_Feedback said...

[quote] I average 150 Megs down and about 40 Megs up at home[/quote]

You have to CONNECT to something.
If the rest of the "Internet" (more specifically the trunk circuits that your "bits" get dumped into along with other users with slower access circuits) then despite the larger "access circuit" to your house - and your "faucet" wide open - you'll still get a trickle.


The point is that in addition to fast access there needs to be a sound Content Distribution Network by which national content providers (Netflix, Apple Itunes, Pandora, Amazon Instant Video) push their multi-media content closer to the "network's edge" and thus you are streaming your video from a CDN pop in KC or STL, instead of having to draw from a server in LAX or NYC.

I am all for fast access - in fact I am envious of you. But so many of the arguments for "Net Neutrality" also threaten network efficiency as the big content providers are restricted from cutting a deal with Google/Comcast/etc to place these CDN circuits into the local POPs.

Constructive_Feedback said...

No actually those of them (as well as Black Folks, Koreans and Indians) who master Depreciation and teach their children Double Entry Accounting seem to fare better than those who don't. :-)

ken said...

Was KC ready for the changes but got denied somehow by google? Cause ealier you said "Those institutional cohorts want their jobs, period. What's best for the kids be damned." In regards to the school administration. It kind of seemed like you had a more intimate knowledge of what exactly is the hold up. I know here the school board lady came here trying to get votes telling me they were going to sell some land and use that money to buy computers for each student. I can see having labs with computers, but I am not so sure buying each kid a personal computer improves education.

umbrarchist said...

No the big smash hasn't arrived yet. It is almost funny.

CNu said...

Have you listened to the publicradio documentary linked to this post?

CNu said...

In theory Vic. In practice, the textbook publishers have witnessed what happened to record companies and they don't want the same thing to happen to them. Many a slip between the cup and the lip separating the digital rights management requirements of the text book publishers and the ebook goal state of the end-using schools/students.

f'zample. Let's say you used iTunes as a distribution channel. (Apple's ONLY digital content distribution channel) - well - they require individual user ID's and corresponding individual financial accountability, and, there's a lower age bound 13-14 under which they won't allow the userID and account. So, what do you do for 8th graders and below under the Apple rubric?

Ed Dunn said...

So I guess I'm the only one who has to ask about having a kid sit in an one-room schoolhouse for 6+ hours assigned to one seat...

CNu said...

lol, those are big monitor's on their cubicle desktops Ed...,

blacksmythe said...

Joan Walsh and Harold Meyerson did the same thing...for the same reasons.

Vic78 said...

Here's a link describing how I've felt about what passes as the left for a long time:

Dana Whaley said...

I taught at the original Yuma campus in 2002. Trust me, Rick Ogston didn't spend much time praying for a better educational system--he wanted the money. And Pearson was glad to help out. I taught 3rd grade and was forbidden to teach either history or science, instead spending 2 hours a day on a terrible mathematics program. Charter schools have turned out to be more interested in money than in education. Spend the money on real teachers in public schools. Charter schools are a massive hoax.

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