Friday, March 30, 2012

People power the technology

Technology alone can't transform education.  That was a big message Charlotte's Bill Goodwyn,  CEO of Discovery Education, took away from this week's federal summit on the future of digital textbooks.

"If you can't improve the instruction,  it doesn't matter how many devices you have,"  said Goodwyn,  whose company provides digital texts and professional development for the educators who use them.

The conference was hosted by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genachowski.  The FCC is involved because it's promoting broadband access and digital literacy.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools,  of course,  is in the thick of a transformation that includes wireless internet access and digital texts.  During this week's school board meeting,  teachers and technology facilitators swarmed the dais to give board members a one-on-one demonstration of a digital science text with video clips and  interactive graphics.  Along with their iPads,  each carried a traditional textbook for contrast.

Afterward,  Hopewell High technology facilitator David Casavecchia tweeted his reaction to the time he spent with Vice Chairman Mary McCray: "McCray was AWESOME! #BestBoardMember."

I got so tickled at that tweet that I called him to see what was behind it.  Was he being politic,  or was it really that much fun?

Casavecchia, who's 34, says he was a bit worried about doing the demonstration for McCray, a 59-year-old retired teacher.  He thought about his parents, who "aren't big on these tablets." But he showed her a 3D model of a nucleosome that rotated on the touch screen,  and she took over.  "Just the expression on her face, she got it!"  Casavecchia said.

It's something I've seen often as technology transforms classrooms and workplaces:  The young become leaders and teachers.  At worst,  that can be stressful and threatening to those of us who aren't so young.  At best, it's a joyful experience for all involved.

I asked Casavecchia if that's how digital learning works:  Will students become teachers as well as learners?  Yes, he said -- but he added a note of caution:  The teacher has to be comfortable with the technology to make it work.

Which brought us back to Goodwyn's point:  Tablets, wireless internet access and digital texts won't do much good unless adults learn new ways to teach.  Casavecchia notes that the CMS plan to get iPads into more classrooms includes intensive training when the "innovation kits" are awarded in May.  Teachers who get the devices will be expected to take online courses and attend a summer institute.

Come August, they'll start showing the rest of us what it's all about.


Anonymous said...

No Data
No Peace

Anonymous said...

Does CMS require 3 vendors to offer competing bids for the contracts?

Why does Apple get the bid?

Need more information about the process. Millions of dollars have been spent (Administators) and perhaps will be spent (teachers).

Anonymous said...

"She got it!"

McCray comprehended what a nucleosome is thanks to a 5 minute lesson using a 3-D rotating computer model?

Wow. Like that really is AWESOME!!!""&&)(:/(&""$$@@@!!!

Anonymous said...

McCray got what a nucleosome is or she got how to use the latest I-Pad?

I know thanks to modern science Pluto has been booted out of the solar system, there might be a particle faster than the speed of light, and the Periodical Table of Elements ain't what it used to be but is the average student smarter today than yesterday?

Anonymous said...

A serious question. Seriously.

Learning to play the piano is an ions old practice. Do today's piano students learn better using I-Pads?

Anonymous said...

Just thinking about my 7th grade old-school English teacher and her dreaded red pen.

Take 2 -
Thanks to modern science, I know Pluto has been kicked out of the solar system, it's possible there might be a particle faster than the speed of light, and the periodic table of elements ain't what it used to be but are today's students smarter than previous generations? said...

"Tablets, wireless internet access and digital texts won't do much good unless adults learn new ways to teach."

Technology can do a lot.
When they invented the printing machine they made books available to a much larger number of individuals, education much more affordable and culture stopped to be a "restricted number of individuals knowledge"

Of course you still need the WILL of the pupil to learn, and that can be stimulated only with a good teacher.
A good book is not only the book that teaches you what you should learn; it is a book that invites you to learn what you should learn...

Anonymous said...

Android and Nokia Lumina are cheaper smartphones. How can CMS offer Apple if the other phones are cheaper?

Cheap windows 7 said...

Technology is very useful in our routine life. We can't image life without technology. You have done great work.

Anonymous said...

Of course technology is here to stay and needs to continue to be integrated into the classroom but not only can I imagine life without technology but I can actually remember life before usernames and passwords which is why I like going camping in places where my smartphone doesnt work. Unplugging myself with a libray book off a shelf is liberating and good for the soul. Playing a musical instrument that does require electric power is still pretty awesome.

Anonymous said...

Playing a musical instrument without electrical hookup is pretty awesome.

Anonymous said...

"She got it!". Nucleosomes

Will McCray be pay-for-performance tested on the subject of nucleosomes after CMS's awesome 5-minute IPad demo?

A Nucleosome is the basic unit of DNA packaging in eukaryotes, consisting of a segment of DNA wound in sequence around eight histone protein cores.[1] This structure is often compared to thread wrapped around a spool.[2]
Nucleosomes form the fundamental repeating units of eukaryotic chromatin,[3] which is used to pack the large eukaryotic genomes into the nucleus while still ensuring appropriate access to it (in mammalian cells approximately 2 m of linear DNA have to be packed into a nucleus of roughly 10 µm diameter). Nucleosomes are folded through a series of successively higher order structures to eventually form a chromosome; this both compacts DNA and creates an added layer of regulatory control, which ensures correct gene expression. Nucleosomes are thought to carry epigenetically inherited information in the form of covalent modifications of their core histones. The nucleosome hypothesis was proposed by Don and Ada Olins in 1974[4] and Roger Kornberg.[5][6]
The nucleosome core particle consists of approximately 147[7] base pairs of DNA wrapped in 1.67 left-handed superhelical turns around a histone octamer consisting of 2 copies each of the core histones H2A, H2B, H3, and H4.[8] Core particles are connected by stretches of "linker DNA", which can be up to about 80 bp long. Technically, a nucleosome is defined as the core particle plus one of these linker regions; however the word is often synonymous with the core particle.[9]
Linker histones such as H1 and its isoforms are involved in chromatin compaction and sit at the base of the nucleosome near the DNA entry and exit binding to the linker region of the DNA.[10] Non-condensed nucleosomes without the linker histone resemble "beads on a string of DNA" under an electron microscope.[11]
In contrast to most eukaryotic cells, mature sperm cells largely use protamines to package their genomic DNA, most likely to achieve an even higher packaging ratio.[12] Histone equivalents and a simplified chromatin structure have also been found in Archea,[13] suggesting that eukaryotes are not the only organisms that use nucleosomes.

Anonymous said...

How many superintend candidates know what a nucleosome is?

How many school board members know what a nucleosome is?

Does the CMS tech. dude who demonstrated a rotating 3-D nucleosome on his IPad know what a nucleosome is?

I'm assuming Scott Muri knows what a nucleosome is.

Anonymous said...

Who knew?

So, my problem in high school Biology had nothing to do with anything except being denied access to an innovative IPad? Dang. And to think I could have been a nucleosome scientist. I guess I would have "gotten it" had I been able to see a rotating 3-D pair of nucleosome core particles consisting of approximately 147 pairs of DNA wrapped in 1.67 left-handed spherical turns around a histone octamer consisting of 2 copies each of the core histones H2A, H2B, H3, and H4.


Anonymous said...

Early structural studies provided evidence that an octamer of histone proteins wraps DNA around itself in about two turns of a left-handed superhelix. In 1997 the first near atomic resolution crystal structure of the nucleosome was solved by the Richmond group, showing some of the most important details of the particle. The human alpha-satellite palindromic DNA critical to achieving the 1997 nucleosome crystal structure was developed by the Bunick group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.[14][15][16][17][18] The structures of over 20 different nucleosome core particles have been solved to date,[19] including those containing histone variants and histones from different species. The structure of the nucleosome core particle is remarkably conserved, and even a change of over 100 residues between frog and yeast histones results in electron density maps with an overall root mean square deviation of only 1.6Å.[20]
[edit]The nucleosome core particle
The nucleosome core particle (shown in the figure) consists of about 146[7] bp of DNA wrapped in 1.67 left-handed superhelical turns around the histone octamer, consisting of 2 copies each of the core histones H2A, H2B, H3, and H4. Adjacent nucleosomes are joined by a stretch of free DNA termed "linker DNA" (which varies from 10 - 80 bp in length depending on species and tissue type[13]).
Nucleosome core particles are observed when chromatin in interphase is treated to cause the chromatin to unfold partially. The resulting image, via an electron microscope, is "beads on a string". The string is the DNA, while each bead in the nucleosome is a core particle. The nucleosome core particle is composed of DNA and histone proteins.[21]
[edit]Protein interactions within the nucleosome
The core histone proteins contain a characteristic structural motif termed the "histone fold," which consists of three alpha-helices (α1-3) separated by two loops (L1-2). In solution, the histones form H2A-H2B heterodimers and H3-H4 heterotetramers. Histones dimerise about their long α2 helices in an anti-parallel orientation, and, in the case of H3 and H4, two such dimers form a 4-helix bundle stabilised by extensive H3-H3’ interaction. The H2A/H2B dimer binds onto the H3/H4 tetramer due to interactions between H4 and H2B, which include the formation of a hydrophobic cluster.[8] The histone octamer is formed by a central H3/H4 tetramer sandwiched between two H2A/H2B dimers. Due to the highly basic charge of all four core histones, the histone octamer is stable only in the presence of DNA or very high salt concentrations.

Anonymous said...

Histone - DNA interactions
The nucleosome contains over 120 direct protein-DNA interactions and several hundred water-mediated ones.[22] Direct protein - DNA interactions are not spread evenly about the octamer surface but rather located at discrete sites. These are due to the formation of two types of DNA binding sites within the octamer; the α1α1 site, which uses the α1 helix from two adjacent histones, and the L1L2 site formed by the L1 and L2 loops. Salt links and hydrogen bonding between both side-chain basic and hydroxyl groups and main-chain amides with the DNA backbone phosphates form the bulk of interactions with the DNA. This is important, given that the ubiquitous distribution of nucleosomes along genomes requires it to be a non-sequence-specific DNA-binding factor. Although nucleosomes tend to prefer some DNA sequences over others,[23] they are capable of binding practically to any sequence, which is thought to be due to the flexibility in the formation of these water-mediated interactions. In addition, non-polar interactions are made between protein side-chains and the deoxyribose groups, and an arginine side-chain intercalates into the DNA minor groove at all 14 sites where it faces the octamer surface. The distribution and strength of DNA-binding sites about the octamer surface distorts the DNA within the nucleosome core. The DNA is non-uniformly bent and also contains twist defects. The twist of free B-form DNA in solution is 10.5 bp per turn. However, the overall twist of nucleosomal DNA is only 10.2 bp per turn, varying from a value of 9.4 to 10.9 bp per turn.
[edit]Histone tail domains
The histone tail extensions constitute up to 30% by mass of histones, but are not visible in the crystal structures of nucleosomes due to their high intrinsic flexibility, and have been thought to be largely unstructured.[24] The N-terminal tails of histones H3 and H2B pass through a channel formed by the minor grooves of the two DNA strands, protruding from the DNA every 20 bp. The N-terminal tail of histone H4, on the other hand, has a region of highly basic amino acids (16-25), which, in the crystal structure, forms an interaction with the highly acidic surface region of a H2A-H2B dimer of another nucleosome, being potentially relevant for the higher-order structure of nucleosomes. This interaction is thought to occur under physiological conditions also, and suggests that acetylation of the H4 tail distorts the higher-order structure of chromatin.

Anonymous said...

Higher order structure

The current chromatin compaction model.
The organization of the DNA that is achieved by the nucleosome cannot fully explain the packaging of DNA observed in the cell nucleus. Further compaction of chromatin into the cell nucleus is necessary, but is not yet well understood. The current understanding[19] is that repeating nucleosomes with intervening "linker" DNA form a 10-nm-fiber, described as "beads on a string", and have a packing ratio of about five to ten.[13] A chain of nucleosomes can be arranged in a 30 nm fiber, a compacted structure with a packing ratio of ~50[13] and whose formation is dependent on the presence of the H1 histone.
A crystal structure of a tetranucleosome has been presented and used to build up a proposed structure of the 30 nm fiber as a two-start helix.[25] There is still a certain amount of contention regarding this model, as it is incompatible with recent electron microscopy data.[26] Beyond this, the structure of chromatin is poorly understood, but it is classically suggested that the 30 nm fiber is arranged into loops along a central protein scaffold to form transcriptionally active euchromatin. Further compaction leads to transcriptionally inactive heterochromatin.
[edit]Nucleosome dynamics

Although the nucleosome is a very stable protein-DNA complex, it is not static and has been shown to undergo a number of different structural re-arrangements including nucleosome sliding and DNA site exposure. Depending on the context, nucleosomes can inhibit or facilitate transcription factor binding. Nucleosome positions are controlled by three major contributions: First, the intrinsic binding affinity of the histone octamer depends on the DNA sequence. Second, the nucleosome can be displaced or recruited by the competitive or cooperative binding of other protein factors. Third, the nucleosome may be actively translocated by ATP-dependent remodeling complexes.[27]
[edit]Nucleosome sliding
Work performed in the Bradbury laboratory showed that nucleosomes reconstituted onto the 5S DNA positioning sequence were able to reposition themselves translationally onto adjacent sequences when incubated thermally.[28] Later work showed that this repositioning did not require disruption of the histone octamer but was consistent with nucleosomes being able to “slide” along the DNA in cis. In 2008, It was further revealed that CTCF binding sites act as nucleosome positioning anchors so that, when used to align various genomic signals, multiple flanking nucleosomes can be readily identified.[29] Although nucleosomes are intrinsically mobile, eukaryotes have evolved a large family of ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling enzymes to alter chromatin structure, many of which do so via nucleosome sliding.

Anonymous said...

DNA site exposure
Work from the Widom laboratory has shown that nucleosomal DNA is in equilibrium between a wrapped and unwrapped state. Measurements of these rates using time-resolved FRET revealed that DNA within the nucleosome remains fully wrapped for only 250 ms before it is unwrapped for 10-50 ms and then rapidly rewrapped.[30] This implies that DNA does not need to be actively dissociated from the nucleosome but that there is a significant fraction of time during which it is fully accessible. Indeed, this can be extended to the observation that introducing a DNA-binding sequence within the nucleosome increases the accessibility of adjacent regions of DNA when bound.[31] This propensity for DNA within the nucleosome to “breathe” is predicted to have important functional consequences for all DNA-binding proteins that operate in a chromatin environment.[30]
[edit]Modulating nucleosome structure

Eukaryotic genomes are ubiquitously associated into chromatin; however, cells must spatially and temporally regulate specific loci independently of bulk chromatin. In order to achieve the high level of control required to co-ordinate nuclear processes such as DNA replication, repair, and transcription, cells have developed a variety of means to locally and specifically modulate chromatin structure and function. This can involve covalent modification of histones, the incorporation of histone variants, and non-covalent remodelling by ATP-dependent remodeling enzymes.
[edit]Histone post-translational modifications
Since they were discovered in the mid-1960s, histone modifications have been predicted to affect transcription.[32] The fact that most of the early post-translational modifications found were concentrated within the tail extensions that protrude from the nucleosome core lead to two main theories regarding the mechanism of histone modification. The first of the theories suggested that they may affect electrostatic interactions between the histone tails and DNA to “loosen” chromatin structure. Later it was proposed that combinations of these modifications may create binding epitopes with which to recruit other proteins.[33] Recently, given that more modifications have been found in the structured regions of histones, it has been put forward that these modifications may affect histone-DNA[34] and histone-histone[35] interactions within the nucleosome core. Modifications (such as acetylation or phosphorylation) that lower the charge of the globular histone core are predicted to "loosen" core-DNA association; the strength of the effect depends on location of the modification within the core.[36] Some modifications have been shown to be correlated with gene silencing; others seem to be correlated with gene activation. Common modifications include acetylation, methylation, or ubiquitination of lysine; methylation of arginine; and phosphorylation of serine. The information stored in this way is considered epigenetic, since it is not encoded in the DNA but is still inherited to daughter cells. The maintenance of a repressed or activated status of a gene is often necessary for cellular differentiation.[13]
[edit]Histone variants
Although histones are remarkably conserved throughout evolution, several variant forms have been identified. It is interesting to note that this diversification of histone function is restricted to H2A and H3, with H2B and H4 being mostly invariant. H2A can be replaced by H2AZ (which leads to reduced nucleosome stability) or H2AX (which is associated with DNA repair and T cell differentiation), whereas the inactive X chromosomes in mammals are enriched in macroH2A. H3 can be replaced by H3.3 (which correlates with activated genes) and in centromeres H3 is replaced by CENPA.[13]

Anonymous said...

ATP-dependent nucleosome remodeling
A number of distinct reactions are associated with the term ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling. Remodeling enzymes have been shown to slide nucleosomes along DNA,[37] disrupt histone-DNA contacts to the extent of destabilising the H2A/H2B dimer[38][39] and to generate negative superhelical torsion in DNA and chromatin.[40] Recently, the Swr1 remodeling enzyme has been shown to introduce the variant histone H2A.Z into nucleosomes.[41] At present, it is not clear if all of these represent distinct reactions or merely alternative outcomes of a common mechanism. What is shared between all, and indeed the hallmark of ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling, is that they all result in altered DNA accessibility. Studies looking at gene activation in vivo[42] and, more astonishingly, remodelling in vitro[43] have revealed that chromatin remodeling events and transcription-factor binding are cyclical and periodic in nature. While the consequences of this for the reaction mechanism of chromatin remodeling are not known, the dynamic nature of the system may allow it to respond faster to external stimuli.
[edit]Dynamic nucleosome remodelling across the Yeast genome
Studies in 2007 have catalogued nucleosome positions in yeast and shown that nucleosomes are depleted in promoter regions and origins of replication.[44][45][46] About 80% of the yeast genome appears to be covered by nucleosomes [47] and the pattern of nucleosome positioning clearly relates to DNA regions that regulate transcription, regions that are transcribed and regions that initiate DNA replication.[48] Most recently, a new study examined ‘’dynamic changes’’ in nucleosome repositioning during a global transcriptional reprogramming event to elucidate the effects on nucleosome displacement during genome-wide transcriptional changes in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae).[49] The results suggested that nucleosomes that were localized to promoter regions are displaced in response to stress (like heat shock). In addition, the removal of nucleosomes usually corresponded to transcriptional activation and the replacement of nucleosomes usually corresponded to transcriptional repression, presumably because transcription factor binding sites became more or less accessible, respectively. In general, only one or two nucleosomes were repositioned at the promoter to effect these transcriptional changes. However, even in chromosomal regions that were not associated with transcriptional changes, nucleosome repositioning was observed, suggesting that the covering and uncovering of transcriptional DNA does not necessarily produce a transcriptional event.
[edit]Nucleosome assembly in vitro

Diagram of nucleosome assembly.
Nucleosomes can be assembled in vitro by either using purified native or recombinant histones.[50][51] One standard technique of loading the DNA around the histones involves the use of salt dialysis. A reaction consisting of the histone octamers and a naked DNA template can be incubated together at a salt concentration of 2 M. By steadily decreasing the salt concentration, the DNA will equilibrate to a position where it is wrapped around the histone octamers, forming nucleosomes. In appropriate conditions, this reconstitution process allows for the nucleosome positioning affinity of a given sequence to be mapped experimentally.[52]



Anonymous said...

The Power of IPads!



Anonymous said...

And that is exactly what the kids do, copy and paste from an Internet site and pass the work off as their own with no citations. I bet these bloggers don't even have iPads.

Anonymous said...

Cut me some slack. Knowing how to cut and paste from Wikipedia on my smart phone is far more innovative than plagiarizing the 1976 World Book Encyclopedia.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else remember their parents purchasing a yearly updated version of the World Book Encyclopedia?

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be, like, totally awesome if Coach White could learn how to execute a proficient pay-for-performance volleyball serve in 5-minutes thanks to an IPad? The innovative possibilities!

Anonymous said...

Oops. Proficient beach volleyball serve - wearing an aerodynamic, wind resistant, performance enhancing Speedo.

Anonymous said...

OMG! Like, how about an innovative "Physics of Beach Volleyball" IPad U-Tube demo featuring Coach White?!

Anonymous said...

Kids dont care about this they are only going to use the iPads to emaik back and forth. The first time my daughter gets a nasty link from another kid at school next year I am going to file a lawsuit against the school system. They are not proactive thinkers so I am sure they have not even thought of this since the brain man Muri is leaving. Go already you loser Muri !

Anonymous said...

10:57 intellectual theft is not right; I can not cut you any slack.

Anonymous said...

It's really sad to see that people can see the promise of technology but are blind to the fact that it won't help if schools cannot be brought under control. Most of you people have great ideas, unfortunately you don't teach, therefore cannot comprehend that technology alone won't work even if the teacher knows how to use it. If schools and this sorry state doesn't pass legislation to remove those who cause disruptions then this is all for nothing and we will be back at square one in ten years.

Anonymous said...

I would rather have my vision and dental benefits back rather than an IPAD!

Anonymous said...

Really! McCary awesome? I think we need to check the Dicionary App!

Anonymous said...

"A serious question. Seriously.

Learning to play the piano is an ions old practice. Do today's piano students learn better using I-Pads?
MARCH 31, 2012 1:08 AM"

Actually, yes. 1. You can't practice the piano if you don't have one - but now - you can if you have an iPad.
2. You can practice in your car, on the bus, in an airplane, even when the baby is sleeping.
3. 20 classroom keyboards take up an awful lot of space (and electric outlets), but 20 iPads can be used from the student's chairs, no extra space needed.
4. When you practice on an iPad, it will give you feedback on your practice (rhythms, notes, tempo, etc), which doesn't happen unless your mom/piano teacher is standing over you at the piano.

Experiences that used to be limited to a select few (i.e.. playing the piano, going to the Louvre, talking to a world famous scientist about his discovery) are now open to ALL students through the iPad.

Anonymous said...

Tried an experiment and let the students use their smart phones to finish researching their projects and to assist those who did not have a smart phone. Bottomline, those who were interested in their education were engaged and helped others, the others looked busy but didn't get the work completed.

To make this work, it is about learning to make good choices and taking responsibility for your education. Technology will provide us with a myriad of points of view, lessons, and data but if we don't learn to organize our thoughts and think about what we are doing with the data then technology is not going to make a difference. It will just become another form of entertainment.

On the plus side it should help make communication and assessment faster although it limits assessment. As much as I understand the need to help students operate successfully in today's high tech society, I can't help think that we still need to balance this "success" with learning the benefits of quiet reflection and practice.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what will happen to student's brains when CMS teaches them to count on technology to do their thinking for them? This is a good business measure for Gates and Apple both but where is the data that shows enhanced mental funtion? Just like a lion's instinct and ability to hunt to survive is lost when raised in captivity...what will the effect be on the minds of children who learn that the answers are all in the tech and they become dependent on technology?

Anonymous said...

See what happens with technology in Gaston county? Learn from it you CMS fools. Mary McCray man you cannot speak without Kojo telling you what to say you know this ! I am waiting til those iPads CMS purchases end up in the pawn shop then I will buy one at 75% off !

Anonymous said...

Project LIFT if it aint broke dont go a fixen it ya fool. I think we need to bring in ole Bolyn to run the show folks he knows all. Or at least thinks he does from out in Pineville , N.C. .

Anonymous said...

April 4th, 12:23 PM.

Re: piano instruction.

Interesting. Are IPad piano concerts the wave of the future? I'm open to the possibility that this kind of instruction could breath new life into struggling arts organizations like the Charlotte Symphony.

Obvious next question? What about dance?

Anonymous said...

Re: Dance.

I imagine IPads could effectively support student learning in the areas of dance history, dance vocabulary and dance composition. However, can IPads actually teach students to dance? (dance technique).

What about visual art and theater?

Anonymous said...

While we change channels from Newton to Nirvana.

Just a thought...

How about having an actual CMS science teacher and a real CMS dance teacher demonstrate the wonders of IPads the next time CMS's tech. dept. wants to "Wow and Woo" an audience? Ya' know. While we're on the subject of innovation and creativity in the classroom.

- Moo

Anonymous said...


I'd be curious to see and hear what the Charlotte Symphony, the NC Dance Theatre and Charlotte's Shakespeare troupe could come up with using IPads. Perhaps a way to win public support for "IPads in Education" could start here? A 5 minute demo on nucleosomes wasn't exactly thinking outside of the box.

IPad Needs Not Students To Create said...

CMS students are not necessary for the IPad to compose or play music. It was 1986 when musical instrument digital interface first hit the market. Since then techno music has evolved into an entire genre and many subgenres of music being composed and played by in large part machine code. Machines emulate any and all musical instruments today. If a machine cannot emulate or synthesize a sound it simply samples or codes it. This is the point of asking the question, "Has CMS considered potential ramifications of students becoming reliant on technology as citizens?" There are university level courses taught on this very topic, in that it is not simply of technophobe concern. It is cute to see little Sally wiz through an IPad like an 80's computer science major. But is little Sally any smarter or dis that one little button interface coupled with memorizing programs actually just endorphin stimulating entertainment? Where is the data CMS claims to be driven by to support this costly and abrupt initiative to change the method of mental development in Mecklenburg County children? Should Mecklenburg County children (AKA guinea pigs) become the equivalent of a caged lion raised in captivity? Where is the data? Has CMS jumped to conclusions without the data to back it up? Good for the regional sales team to be sure.

Anonymous said...

Teachers need:

Healthcare,Dental and Vision

Salary cost of living increase and the ABC bonus money that was promised,but never paid

Pay what you owe and is needed rather than continue with another year of GIMICKS

Anonymous said...

CMeS would rather spend millions on Gimicks.Look at the last two years!

Anonymous said...

Man I wish I could throw a few iPads at the Gormanator over at Queens this week. What is he speaking on is this a new job announcement? Could Atlanta hire him already please !!

Anonymous said...

The problems that do exist in Education stretch so much further than just sticking tablets into the hands of teachers.

Who exactly would you say is the visionary educator in Charlotte who is saying out loud, "Gee, if we are going to use technology then our teachers need to become facilitators, we need technology in the hands of every student and kids need to learn and progress at THEIR OWN pace - sure that means some kids will be 7 years old and doing 4th grade work, while other 7 year olds will still be doing kindergarten work - and that is going to sprout some logistic issues, but its the right thing to do and so we have to figure out how to make that work. Not to mention it will eliminate social, age based promotion, it will allow those at the bottom to not get left behind and it will allow those in the middle and the top to reach as far as they can as fast as they can. We'll have kids doing Algebra 1 in 6th and 7th grades, we'll produce more kids more ready to go into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields at levels much higher and with more preparation than other kids from other districts. We have an opportunity to actually LEAD and revolutionize education if we actually have vision to see what we can become."

Nahhhhhhhhh that makes too damned much sense for this place.

Anonymous said...

Shakespeare blatantly plagiarized lots of stuff. Today, he'd be the master and "cut and paste".