Amy\’s Grab Bag, Oct. 2, 2004

Another collection of items that have caught my interest lately.

TOP OF THE LIST: CM Professionals: This is a brand-new organization for people involved in all aspects of the content management industry. I just joined because it sounds really cool and several top-notch colleagues of mine are already members. I’ll report later on how I like the group.

Here’s how CM Pros defines itself: “…The premier community of practice for people involved with managing content for electronic and other media. CM Professionals collects, develops, organizes and provides access to knowledge about content management through online resources, email interaction and face-to-face summits. By identifying, refining, publicizing and advocating for respected content management practices and models, CM Professionals educates and fosters interaction among content management professionals, enterprise leadership, product vendors and university educators.” They’re having an event in Boston Nov. 30.

Read the rest of this week’s list…

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E-Learning Gone Awry in Poor Schools

I love e-learning (whether on the internet, or on a standalone computer or independent network), mainly because I believe this approach holds tremendous potential for education at all levels. But I must bracket my glowing blanket statement with these caveats:

E-learning only succeeds IF:

  • That delivery approach is appropriate for that individual learner. (Not all students learn well by e-learning.)
  • Other learning options are readily available (if that particular lesson is required).
  • Lessons are designed to achieve the correct learning goals. (That is, the top priority is meeting the student’s needs, rather than the needs/desires of administrators or other parties.)

Within that context, I’d like to draw your attention to an excellent and highly disturbing series recently published by Baltimore Sun writer Alec MacGillis: Poor schools, rich targets. Here’s the summary:

“Across the country, education software companies are trying to capitalize on the 2001 No Child Left Behind law by targeting struggling schools that are under pressure to raise their test scores and have millions in new federal funding to spend. But there is little solid research behind much of the software, which may not produce lasting results for the poor students the law claims to help.”

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