“Seat time” 2.0

schoiolbusReports have been surfacing about different ways students use the daily bus ride to school. One particularly interesting one comes from Arkansas where it’s reported that Sheridan Turns School Bus into Classroom. This program is a joint effort and demonstrates some smart thinking. For instance, in combination with the WiFi’d bus in a maths & science curriculum:

The bus project and the Internet lessons are different because, in part, they not included in the regular school program, Hudson said. Instructional time is on the bus and in a satellite location — not at school.

As this begins to break down the criterion of “seat time” as a measure of learning, schools will need to take a look at other dimensions.  Conversely, maybe information overload will become the bus butt of the future?

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4 Responses to “Seat time” 2.0

  1. Scott Kahler says:

    It is great that these kids have the ability to get more work done. However, many kids are over worked now. Will the education system now expect the students to work using this tech?
    Also, many people can’t afford to eat much less afford a laptop. Will we expect all children to have a laptop for a bus?
    Just my option on the subject. The digital divide is a topic not spoken about in many circles.

  2. tom says:

    Hi Scott,

    Thanks for your comment. I’m not crazy about using the WiFi buses to “get more work done,” but I do like that the walls of the classroom are coming down a little. The fact that an educational system acknowledges that real learning can happen flexibly is a step in the right direction.

    I also agree that requiring a laptop/child widens the digital divide between social classes, but when I look at the ubiquity of phones (even in the Third World), the divide that concerns me most in the one between an assembly line education and personal learning. Without students feeling that their learning is personally meaningful, I’ll bet that the WiFi buses are full of kids playing World of WarCraft, Runes and chatting on MSN. When I look at the number of students affected by this kind of excapism, innovations toward engaging and authentic learning are a positive.

    This is all just my opinion, obviously.

    Thanks again for commenting,

    Tom —

  3. Scott Kahler says:

    What do you think of Second Life?

  4. tom says:

    Hi Scott,
    I haven’t been bitten by the virtual world bug, although I’ve cruised around Second Life a little. Without doubt, the amazingly lifelike environments in games like Crysis will provide a compelling experience, but I think the challenge (and reward) for our era is finding joy in the real. I turn to psychology here and the research that shows a meaningful life comes from developing expertise, serving something outside ourselves and caring about whatever it is we do. It’s just that we won’t always make these investments in life when a “second life” is so willing to please.

    All the best,

    Tom —

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