Saturday, February 14, 2009

Accelerated K12 Mobile Learning: Press Release

This press release continues the series describing school learning efficiency.

The first post described Learning Efficiency Scale; the second, Learning Efficiency Rating of Instruction; the third, Rationed Learning Interview; and the fourth, Learning Efficiency Scale Revision Update.

Readers should review comments at the beginning of previous posts for background about learning efficiency.

Thanks, Anonymous, for sending me a copy of this embargoed press release! I’ll post it without further comment. Here goes:

LANDGRANT UNIVERSITY, Office of Information, EduChoice Publications

CONTACT: O. N. Lyne, Information Officer


Normsville, CA Dr. W. E. Doynit, Superintendent of Normsville Unified Public School District (NUPSD), received approval last night from the school board to open New Era (charter) School Initiative (NESI) in Fall, 2013.

This approval followed a finding of support by the regional school accrediting agency.

The Normsville board also approved a contract with Landgrant University to provide supporting academic and evaluation services for this initiative. The university’s Childrens Center for Research on Mobile Learning will fulfill this obligation as well as coordinate efforts between NESI and software developers and publishers as well as hardware manufacturers.

NESI will offer a six academic year K12 curriculum. That means that students entering school at six years of age could earn a high school diploma by age 12. This rarely happens in public or private schools.

Instruction will follow a six cycle spiral curriculum with content that exceeds minimum state learning standards for high school graduation. Educators have monitored the development of this curriculum and its related instructional practices since they emerged into public view in the middle 1960s at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The number of students to open the school was not disclosed. School administrators estimate that 500 students will sign up to enroll across the 13 grades.

Parts of the NESI academic package have been available through commercial publishers since the late 1960s. Their introduction online in 2009 of parts of this instruction spurred the imagination of Doynit to begin planning NESI. Their attraction has been the relative efficiency of student learning.

Other NESI parts have subsequently demonstrated their utility for learning efficiency.

“Why should any student spend time waiting for slower students to complete any assignment?” Doynit asked in response to a board member’s question during the meeting. “NESI will demonstrate that more students will learn more in less time for less cost than through our regular school practices.”

“One of the stark realities in schools is that students respond to things in their own immediate best interest. Let’s give them a choice they can see and accept that’s also consistent with their world outside of school. They learn more when they see prompt individual consequences for academic behavior, and that’s what NESI curricula and instruction offers,” Doynit concluded.

The introduction of the Tablet PC in 2002 into schools has demonstrated that students and teachers learn quickly how to increase individual learning efficiency beyond that accomplished through conventional group and project based instruction.

Educators know that research shows that students in parts of NESI programs learn more in less time than through regular instruction with teacher made and most commercial learning materials.

The district estimates that the total NESI program for each student will cost 25 to 50 percent less than regularly budgeted items for comparable school time.

“I voted for this project,” said Board member Ernest K. R. Full, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, “because it offers a state-of-the-art way for students to distinguish themselves academically at their own learning pace. That’s a valuable choice that public schools should allow every student to make without penalty.”

Each student will receive a Tablet or other mobile PC upon enrollment in NESI. They will use it at school and home to complete school assignments.

They will trade in their equipment for a new one every two years in order to continue using state-of-the-art communication equipment for learning. NUPSD will provide a maintenance and support program as do many private schools that require similar equipment.

Landgrant University has accept a relatively few rising teenagers as undergraduates. They did not pose unexpected problems.

Based on that experience, the university has appointed a joint faculty and administrative committee to guide preparation for an increased number of young undergraduates in the future.

“We will be prepared for them when they apply,” commented Dr. G. O. Forit, University President.

Interest in NESI among board members grew out of the university’s report Rationed Learning: A Conspiracy of “Yes, but … 2002 – 2012."

“We concluded,” said Dr. Gather Fisher, a senior research associate on the project, “that the ideological divide among educators about uses of mobile personal computers in classrooms distributed learning among students according to their use of advanced electronic communication technology in and out of schools.”

Board members listened to opposition from local teachers, their unions, and local community members to the proposal, but decided on a split vote of five to four to authorize the planners of NESI to proceed according to their proposal work plan.

Children’s Research Center for Mobile Learning

Landgrant University. Rationed Learning: A Conspiracy of “Yes, but … 2002-2012”.