[LON-CAPA-users] Draft letter To Board of Education????

Ed Kashy lon-capa-users@mail.lon-capa.org
Mon, 30 Jan 2006 10:01:42 -0500

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Hi Gerd, Wolfgang, Michael,
  Please comment/suggest changes.....
Good idea?

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To: Kathleen Straus,
State Board of Education

Dear Ms. Strauss,
  I write re/ yesterday's LSJ article "State May Require Online Courses". It is indeed a worthwhile goal, Which can perhaps be met and exceeded without the issues that are implicit in the word 'require'.
  For several years now, in part with support of the NSF, a growing number of High School teachers in the mid-michigan area have used LON-CAPA* to implement technology in the classroom, mostly for homework delivery and assessment. The hands-on experience gained on learning to use the technology effectively and providing students with a challenging set of tasks uncovered a number of difficulties. 
  Their experience with the technology led these teachers to create an informal association they named "TheDump",  Teachers Helping Everyone Develop and Use Materials & Problems. Their mission statement: Include Technology in Teaching and Learning to Promote Achievement. The results have been to empower teachers, allowing more time for educational activities. When using the technology, there is less hand grading required. Areas in which students have difficulty are quickly identified while there is still time to address these difficulties. It is also seen that students collaborate more and copy each other's work less because problems are individualized but cover the same concepts.
  These High school teachers, mostly in science and math, have now demonstrated that difficulties in getting started due to the large task required to develop materials, are effectively overcome by the cooperative use of teaching materials. This has has made it much easier for new teachers (following a brief training period) to get started. 
  A number of MSU faculty and staff are associated with this effort. With the conclusion of the NSF project, we are considering a number of ways to keep this collaboration between faculty and teachers as well as among teachers healthy and growing. 
  I think that a presentation to you and other board members could be very useful at this time. Please let me know and I would be glad to make the arrangements with members of your staff and some of teachers.
Best regards,

Ed Kashy
University Distinguished Prof.(emeritus)
Michigan State University

*Learning Online Network with Computer-assisted Personalize Approach, see http://lon-capa.org