Sifry’s Alerts: The State of the Live Web, April 2007
- 70 million weblogs
- About 120,000 new weblogs each day, or…
- 1.4 new blogs every second
- 3000-7000 new splogs (fake, or spam blogs) created every day
- Peak of 11,000 splogs per day last December
- 1.5 million posts per day, or…
- 17 posts per second
- Growing from 35 to 75 million blogs took 320 days
- 22 blogs among the top 100 blogs among the top 100 sources linked to in Q4 2006 – up from 12 in the prior quarter
- Japanese the #1 blogging language at 37%
- English second at 33%
- Chinese third at 8%
- Italian fourth at 3%
- Farsi a newcomer in the top 10 at 1%
- English the most even in postings around-the-clock
- Tracking 230 million posts with tags or categories
- 35% of all February 2007 posts used tags
- 2.5 million blogs posted at least one tagged post in February
Note: The quarterly update of the blogosphere from Technorati. I still find it all pretty amazing.
– post by willrich
Education Week: Let’s Abolish High School
- Quote: “A century ago, there was no way to address these concerns, but, thanks to computers and the Internet, we now have rapidly improving tools that will soon allow virtually all young people to master essential material at their own pace, and to do so at any point in their lives. There will probably always be a place for the classroom, but it will be a place where intense and intimate learning takes place with highly willing students, not a step on an assembly line.”
Note: Pretty compelling essay by Robert Epstein that challenges, once again, the traditional beliefs about schooling and learning. It’s getting to the point where I’m either going to have to stop reading stuff like this or put my blog where my mouth is in terms of my own school system…
– post by willrich
Dave Ehrhart says
Iâ€™ve been teaching high school social studies for 35 years, I am a technology integrator in my district, and I love teaching. I have come to some conclusions regarding mandatory schooling in the traditional sense. I think that compulsory attendance for high school students is becoming increasingly counter productive. I am a great believer in public education, however, forcing students to attend is becoming as outdated as the 180 day school year. The teacher as the source of knowledge has changed, so why not redesign the whole system with only those students who want to learn â€œattending high schools,â€ if thatâ€™s what weâ€™ll call them. Everyone else can make another choice. Technical training, apprenticeships, or maybe self-directed learning at home will guide students along the path that interests them. Maybe some problem students will decide that they need some â€œeducationâ€ to succeed and will return to learning . There are some amazing students in high school, and they would do even better without being held back by those who do not want to attend. I shutter to think how many dollars and how many hours in any school day go to dealing with those who do not want to attend. Those same students make good teachers want to leave teaching. In this new system teachers could then become the directors of students and engage them In meaningful learning. â€œOne size fits allâ€ no longer works in our educational system. Sooner or later weâ€™ll all have to face the reality that everything else has changed, and schools need to also.
Larry Carlton says
I can not quite come to grips with abolishing high school all together. But I do agree with many points that Epstein addresses in his article; Letâ€™s Abolish High School.
As an educator in a high school, I witness first hand the immaturity of our freshmen and sophomores, but about the time of the junior year a light seems to go off with many of our students and learning seems to become of value. Many of our students seem to have that thirst for learning, but what do we traditionally do, we make them sit through our face to face classes. This leads to boredom.
I agree with Epstein that â€œteenagers are inherently highly capable young adults and we need to establish opportunities and incentives.â€ Recent opportunities which our district established are: 1) online classes 24/7 and we grant high school credit, 2) work study program, 3) college classes offered a local community college and 4) interactive two-way distance learning classes. These opportunities create challenges for my students, and puts responsibility for learning on their shoulders.
With these opportunities, some students may be able to graduate at the end of his/her junior year which will afford them the opportunity to enter college, the military and/or the world of work earlier.
Thank you for directing me to the article.
Dr. Robert Epstein says
Just for the record, the first words in my essay, “Let’s Abolish High School,” were “Well, not quite.” Rather, I think we need to give young people ways to test out of high school quickly, to enter the adult world, and to escape the insane and ridiculous world of “teen culture.” Through most of human history, young people weren’t trying to break away from adults, as are are here (where adults infantilize and control them 24/7); rather, they were trying to become adults. We need to get that process started again by giving young people incentives and opportunities to join the adult world just as soon as they can demonstrate readiness in one or more domains.
Steven Barber says
As a veteran High School English teacher who might be labeled “an old dog who still tries to occasionally try & learn new tricks” after 23 years, I present you another question to ponder- why should we assume that high school students are drastically different learners than we are?
We all learn in a variety of ways. As groups of learners though I think it is imperative we have a “real person” to “guide” us to effectively disseminate, digest, & engage in purposeful use all available information we need to “learn”. I have a perponderance of college-bound juniors in my 11th grade high school American Literature courses whom have often heard me utter my own educational edict for them to remember- “Information is not yet knowledge, and knowledge is definitely not yet WISDOM…” It has been my experience that 14-18 year old teens still need person-person exposure to our collective interpersonal experience, guidance & encouragement in order to effectively engage themselves in critical thinking & evaluation of the exponential explosion of “information” which seemingly surrounds us all in the digital age…
In fact, I was the audience member who mentioned to you at the MACUL Conference (Detroit), that “we didn’t care” that your internet connection at the MACUL conference wasn’t working perfectly in your early morning session, primarily because we were absent from our schools giving standardized tests that are sadly & tragically rooted in the mistaken premise that each student must “master the basics” of memorizing the so called “facts”…
It also allowed us though to engage in more personal & thought provoking dialogue regarding current educational practice & perhaps improving the process…
So I certainly also understand your stated views regarding the outdated nature of the current high school educational process!
Thank you though for listening…
Zeeland East High School/Zeeland Public Schools
Eric MacKnight says
Years ago a group of my students took a very sensible proposal for a revised daily schedule to our principal. They came back with the news that the schedule could not be changed because it was fixed by the needs of the district’s fleet of buses to serve all of the elementary, junior high, and high schools on a staggered timetable.
You see the metaphor here. When Dr. Epstein and others question fundamental assumptions underlying the school system, they are actually questioning fundamental assumptions underlying the culture and the economy.
Many of us can come up with better ideas for education, but the reality is that changing the culture and the economy is even less likely than changing the district’s bus schedule.
Or as Melville wrote in Moby Dick, ‘Who ain’t a slave? Tell me that!’ and in “Bartleby, the Scrivener”: ‘I prefer not to’. Until we are prepared to accept the consequences of saying, “I prefer not to”, we have to deal with the bus schedule we are given.
Laura B. Fogle says
I agree that we underestimate the abilities of high school students. However, I don’t think this means that we should eliminate mandatory schooling for them. Our current society demands more formal education than ever. The low skill, high salary jobs of the twentieth century are no longer plentiful. High school needs to be reformed to be responsive and challenging to students. Students should have more choices about areas of specialization. Teachers and guidance counselors should help students find something they are passionate about and pursue growth in that area. If we eliminate compulsory 9-12 education students from low income backgrounds are the most likely to skip the optional education. They will feel the need to work to help support their families. Without a high school degree they will only be qualified for minimum wage jobs. And will be unlikely to ever be able to afford to educate themselves further.
Public education is supposed to be the great equalizer and eliminating the most advanced years would be a mistake.
Kimberly Thibault says
I think it’s necessary to note the importance of a good teacher on a child’s life. The maturity level of students at such a young age is low, and therefore, some students lack the ability to make the right decisions. With the right teachers, students are provided with a level of knowledge that is necessary for them to grow and become lifetime learners. Otherwise, gifted, well-rounded students should be given the opportunity to graduate high school and advance their education at the speed they are capable of. I am a sophomore in college and have just begun to realize the ineffectiveness of high school on my education. I feel as though, like myself, many other students display the knowledge necessary to graduate high school early and move forward with their education. This will create a truly productive learning process in which students will be able to advance beyond belief. If only we could escape the traditional high school process, then the world would be in our hands!