Start later, finish on time

"Monkseaton High School in North Tyneside, UK, began an experiment in October that saw its 800 pupils ranging in age from 13-19 attend school an hour later than normal, at 10am. Early results indicate that ‘general absence has dropped by 8% and persistent absenteeism by 27%.’ Head teacher Paul Kelley supported the idea because he believed that ‘it was now medically established that it was better for teenagers to start their school day later in terms of their mental and physical health and how they learn better in the afternoon’, and he now claims that the children are becoming ‘happier better educated teenagers’ as a result of the experiment. The experiment is being overseen by Oxford neuroscience professor Russell Foster. ‘He performed memory tests on pupils at the school which suggested the more difficult lessons should take place in the afternoon. He said young people’s body clocks may shift as they reach their teenage years — meaning they want to get up later not because they are lazy but because they are biologically programmed to do.’"

Principal’s Top 10 Ideas for Good School Management


While not in complete agreement (the comments bring up lots of interesting attendant ideas), I appreciate the common sense throughout.

US Dept of Education Enters the Cloud

From Read Write Web

A computing device for every teacher and student so they can access the Internet at school or at home? That, along with an embrace of cloud computing, Creative Commons, and open-source technologies is part of a new set of recommendations from the U.S. Department of Education.

See the whole article here:

FCC chairman outlines broadband plan for kids


Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski had a nice chat with Elmo and talked about the future of broadband in relation to our children. Though he took a more evenhanded approach than many, listing benefits and dangers, the one danger he so glaringly omitted (and one I don’t hear much talk about) is the loss of social skills and human relationships that will happen when we tether our kids to their computers without skilled mentors at their sides.

"The benefits of digital learning aren’t just theoretical. They’re real. One study found that low-income children who use the Internet more at home had higher GPAs and standardized test scores than children who use it less," he said. He added that we need to set a "clear and non-negotiable goal: every child should be connected to broadband."

While I agree with this, there seems to be little talk about WHERE that connection will be. Will the kids be home lone, connected via a laptop or smartphone? Or will they be in a diverse community, learning skills impossible to learn while face to face with a screen?

Read the whole article at CNET, here.