RSI Corporate - Licensing

How every school can promote safety in a digital world

E-School News – Harold Reaves

“Keeping students safe in the digital era — with its myriad dangers — means a proactive IT strategy. Technology has become a mainstay within the walls of today’s schools. One-to-one computing is enhancing and enriching the student experience, transforming the way we teach and the way we learn. K-12 schools were expected to spend approximately $4.7 billion on technology this past year, according to IDC, with no sign of a plateau. But as rapid technology adoption continues unabated, the safety of the students who are meant to benefit from these advances is frequently overlooked.”(more)

Students Should Learn Programming. But It Shouldn’t Count as a Foreign Language.

Slate – Valerie Woolard

“Legislators in Florida have put forth a bill that would encourage high school students to take computer science classes by allowing them to earn foreign language credits after obtaining technical certifications. While their goals are laudable, their execution is flawed. As a recent Vox article pointed out, programming languages are completely different from natural languages. Computers and the code that powers them are literal, emotionless, strict, and free of nuance or ambiguity. Human language is anything but. This is not to say that code cannot be artful, clever, and beautiful, but to think of learning code as a substitute for learning a second language completely misunderstands the point of learning both coding and foreign languages in the first place.”(more)

Coding is not a suitable substitute for learning a foreign language

Daily Titan – Gerard Avelino

“Foreign languages and computer languages are two completely different concepts, but lawmakers across the country have begun proposing that high school students be allowed to fill their foreign language requirement with coding classes…The rationale behind these proposals is rooted in the rapidly changing world of information technology. Jobs in programming and various information technology fields continue to be in high demand…The choice, however, between computer languages and natural languages draws from a false equivalence: the way humans communicate with computers is not the same way that they communicate with each other…For computers, language is — quite literally — mathematics: rules and symbols that manipulate numbers to achieve an intended result. For humans, language is used to communicate ideas and express thought.”(more)

U.S. schools have more computers than ever. But what are they doing with all that (expensive) technology?

The Hechinger Report – Nichole Dobo

“A show-stopping school of innovation today can quickly devolve into tomorrow’s has-been. Keeping track of who’s doing what in the diverse field of blended learning, which mixes online and in-person education, isn’t easy. There are few sure things in life, but the lightning-fast rate of change in education technology is a given. The Blended Learning Universe and its new website, blendedlearning.org, offer a solution for schools and those who want to track local trends. It has assembled a database of more than 300 profiles (and counting) from 175 schools districts in 38 states.”(more)

Students Who Use Paper and Pencil for Common Core Test Scored Higher Than Those Who Used Computers

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“Though only one in five students used the old-fashion pencil and paper method to take the PARCC last year, those students seemed to have better odds to perform better than those who used computers. Education Week “reported that in some cases the differences were substantial enough to raise concerns about whether scores on the exam — the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test — are valid and reliable enough to be used for teacher evaluations or school accountability decisions,” said The Washington Post. Experts who have looked at the percentage of students who scored proficient in the pencil and paper test versus the online test have concluded the advantage is significant.”(more)

Computer coding valuable but not a foreign language

The Tallahassee Democrat – Johanne Deremble

“You probably heard about implementing coding classes at schools as an alternative to a foreign language class. Until last week, I did not believe it was a serious possibility. The bill is now going to be on the Senate floor and seems likely to pass – this is happening. Belonging to a family of scientists, it does make sense to me to implement coding classes in our schools. I do think it is an interesting idea that will give students more opportunities to engage in tomorrow’s world market. I do not understand, though, why it is associated with foreign languages. It is true that the word “language” describes a variety of things. A language gives you the ability to engage in a dialogue. Math is a form of language. With coding, you can communicate with computers. It is a technical skill that may be useful in numerous professions. But how is that comparable with learning a foreign language? I wonder about the message we are sending to students: Communicating with machines is as valuable as communicating with other human beings.”(more)