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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Very cool -- "flipped education"

We love the way Prairie Grove English teacher Anne Minton is using technology to speed her students' mastery of important concepts.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette high-lighted Minton's technique in Monday's paper.

Minton sends video lessons of basic concepts -- verbals, in this instance -- along with a quiz to students via email. They learn that lesson at home, and have more time to delve into deeper -- and more interesting -- learning in the classroom. It's called "flipped education," and more and more teachers and schools are using it to their -- and students! -- advantage.

This is another great example of educators harnessing technology to actively engage students in the learning process.  Have more cool examples? Send them our way and we'll write about them.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Is $2,000 enough?

The Arkansas General Assembly will take up the issue of how to continue the state's promised Arkansas Challenge Scholarships with dwindling lottery funds. No doubt that must be done, but we hope legislators are not sold on the plan that's on the table.
That plan entails a $2,000 scholarship to freshmen, with a $1,000 increase in aid each year a student remains in school and qualifies for the scholarship.
Yes, this plan will use up fewer of the limited lottery dollars. Two, it could prove an incentive for students to remain in school.
Yet the original intent of providing the scholarship was to encourage more Arkansas high school graduates to go to college, and, wow, did it work! Enrollments leaped across the state.
We fear that $2,000 is not enough of a dent in tuition/board/fees to allow a student and his/her family to pay for that first year of college.
If you can't get them there, keeping them there is a moot point.
We encourage the legislature to accomplish its cost-cutting like this: start with a higher scholarship amount for freshmen and increase that amount by smaller increments for each subsequent year in school.
After all, we need all the college-educated Arkansans we can produce.