Huffington Post: In remarks to the National Press Club on Tuesday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called for educators across America to move their curricula away from textbooks and towards e-books.
E-books offer numerous advantages for students and educators. They can contain interactive videos and games to help students understand lessons, and schools can save money and get updated editions of textbooks distributed faster. Some countries, such as South Korea, have already jumped into the digital revolution and pledged to eliminate traditional paper textbooks by 2015.
But can districts, already burdened by budget cuts, overcome the initial startup costs of getting e-readers into students’ hands? Do you think moving from paper to digital textbooks is a feasible goal? Share your thoughts in our comments section.
New York Times: Last month, The U.S. News & World Report published its annual college ratings report. To no one’s surprise, Harvard and Princeton were tied for first.
In an enlightening op-ed, Joe Nocera asks readers to stop and think about the value we place on college rankings. Schools that want to be at the top of the list know how to “game the rankings,” as Nocera put it, and it creates an undue anxiety for students to get into what the list considers to be a “good” school. In addition, schools lower in the rankings now need to compete for students’ attention, which means they need to spend more money. Where does that money come from? Tuitions.
Slate: Last month, researchers from Yale University released the results of a study showing how professors (both male and female) across scientific disciplines discriminate against female students. In response, The New York Times convened a symposium of U.S. scientific leaders to discuss the situation and formulate a response.
Some suggestions included engaging students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects at an earlier age, before bias sets in, and implementing training programs for professors to highlight the prevalence of sexism in science and build awareness around the issue.
But overall, the symposium discussion focused on how not only to close the STEM gender imbalance, but the imbalance for women across the entire spectrum of education. Read a full recap of the symposium on Slate.