Blog: The Educated Reporter

NBC’s Education Nation: What Does It Take For Schools and Students To Suceed?

I’m in New York City for Education Nation, the annual NBC News symposium exploring what’s working — and what needs to be tackled — in America’s public schools. The sessions are being broadcast, so you can follow along. The hashtags (#EducationNation and #WhatItTakess) are also getting plenty of action on Twitter.

Today’s topics include higher education and MOOCS,  early childhood education, school safety, and effective campus leadership. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who is scheduled to be interviewed by Matt Lauer at 10:35 a.m. on the role schools play in developing a globally competitive American workforce.

There was a session Monday on the digital classroom expansion, including online and “adaptive” learning, which involves tracking students’ performance so that the curriculum can be adjusted to make sure they’re mastering key concepts. This is not a idea without controversy, as critics express concern that screen time will replace human interaction — i.e. teachers — and ultimately hurt kids’ academic, social, and emotional development. But proponents contend the digital component actually frees up teachers to teach, and helps them to be more effective by quickly identifying when students are straying off track. If you’re looking for background about online learning, check out EWA’s Story Starters resource. And for more on what’s new in classroom technology, check out this video from EWA’s 66th National Seminar held at Stanford University.