Rather than being filled solely with educators, many of the roughly 100 people who came to a Smart Schools Public Symposium earlier Monday were lobbyists and representatives of telecoms, networking companies, software and hardware providers as well as other businesses that service the Internet and its digital economy.
That’s because the symposium came amid the knowledge that voters this fall will decide on a $2 billion bond referendum which Gov. Andrew Cuomo has gotten on the ballot to, if it passes, modernize the state’s school buildings.
If the bond passes, these companies will be competing to equip schools with the latest broadband wiring and all that goes along with it.
And check out all the fun jargon, buzzwords and other bullshit Cuomo highlighted in his press release:
The Smart Schools Commission is charged with advising the State on how to best enhance teaching and learning through technology. The Governor instated the Commission in spring 2014 in order to reimagine New York’s public schools for the 21st Century. Access to advanced technology fosters a more interactive and personalized classroom experience while facilitating increased communication between parents, students, and teachers. Embracing innovation in education is an important step towards helping New York’s students gain the skills they need to succeed in the 21st Century economy.
The five experts highlighted to the Commission and community members the need and ability to: enrich the in-classroom learning experience by incorporating the use of tablets, laptops and smartphones; extend preparation for student instruction by using web-based software accessible at home, increase communication between the instructor and student’s guardian; provide more descriptive academic progress reporting; and to support these changes, build a robust network of high-speed broadband and wi-fi connectivity throughout New York’s public schools and communities. Challenges that the panel encouraged the Commission to address include the difficulty of providing broadband access to rural regions of Upstate New York and the initial implementation of new technology in the classroom.
In short, lots of yummy yummy taxpayer-provided funds for Cuomo's corporate criminal friends to gobble up - all so that we can envision and create "The Classroom of Tomorrow" today.
Sounds like the kind of claptrap I used to see hawked in "Tomorrowland" in Disney World when my parents took me there in the 70's.
Here's an idea - how about we create the "Classroom of Yesterday" when students used to read books, engage in discussions with peers and teachers and, golly, not stare at a freaking computer screen all day?
Nahh - no money to be made off that.
Because that's what this is all about, of course - funding a whole bunch of giveaways to Cuomo's corporate buddies and edu-entrepreneur friends while making believe he's "improving schools"!