Cory Turner offers a primer on how private school vouchers work, why they’re controversial, and the arguments for and against them
nprEd correspondent Cory Turner offers a primer on how private school vouchers work, why they're controversial, and the arguments for and against them. Read more: “The Promise and Peril of School Vouchers” at http://n.pr/2psFwFz
Posted by NPR on Sunday, May 14, 2017
more on vouchers and charter schools in this IMS blog
n a 2016 survey of higher education institutions (study
published by UPCEA and Pearson), one in five institutions now offer the opportunity to earn verified digital badges.
The way we learn is continuously evolving. In the coming years we should expect to see organizations of all kinds start experimenting with the increasing number of badge platforms out there. While Mozilla Open Badges seems to be leading the way in the development of badging, other networks including Badge Alliance, Credly and Digital Me are growing their networks as they launch their own competing platforms. Students and professionals use social networks and other digital platforms daily, and with that comes a different way to showcase professional skills.
more on digital badges in this IMS blog
Cryptocurrency scheme is part of wider UN effort to revolutionise aid with blockchain technology, increasing financial transparency
The UN’s children’s agency, Unicef, has launched a futuristic pilot project to utilise the cryptocurrency Ethereum to raise money for Syrian children.
the “blockchain” technology associated with the cryptocurrency – the world’s second largest after the controversial Bitcoin – to revolutionise not only how aid organisations raise money but also to increase transparency in their financial transactions.
Blockchain – which emerged as one of the underpinnings of Bitcoin – is a shared record of transactions maintained by a network of computers. It has become a key technology because of its ability to record and keep track of assets or transactions with no need for middlemen.
With a valuation of some $88bn (£62bn), Ethereum – which launched in 2015 – has an equivalent market value to Starbucks, according to Forbes magazine
The World Food Programme (WFP) has used Ethereum to deliver $1.4m in food vouchers, via the use of iris recognition scanners in camp supermarkets, to around 10,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan,
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AltSchool shift raises concerns of profits placed over educational promise
Roger Riddell Nov. 8, 2017 https://www.educationdive.com/news/altschool-shift-raises-concerns-of-profits-placed-over-educational-promise/510293/
- The announcement by Silicon Valley personalized learning startup AltSchool that it will close two of its lab school campuses in Palo Alto and New York City has some educators concerned that the company is putting profits over efforts to improve education, EdSurge reports.
- Butler Middle School (PA) Principal Jason Huffman also told the publication that he sees the company’s struggles as parallel to those of other education reform models that didn’t live up to their promises, adding that organizations like Future Ready have made similar models and platforms for personalization available at a lower cost to schools and districts.
Education historian Diane Ravitch, a former assistant secretary of education under President George H.W. Bush, has been among the chief critics of these increasingly close ties, especially as it pertains to charter schools and voucher programs, decrying efforts to “turn us from citizens into consumers.” Public schools, she has said, should be focused around “building a sense of community, having a sense of democracy at the local level, having people from different backgrounds coming together to solve problems and learn how to be citizens.”
But AltSchool’s intentions with its lab schools and approach to developing its platform have seemed noble enough, with the company partnering with schools of varying sizes to learn how to best scale up successful approaches to personalized learning for traditional public schools. Its lab schools have been noted for eschewing traditional grade level structures and curriculum, attracting funding from the likes of Mark Zuckerberg.
Earlier this year, we visited one of the company’s partner schools — Berthold Academy, a Montessori in Reston, VA — to find out more about what AltSchool was looking to model and how its partnerships worked, finding a promising approach in action.
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