On Sun, Sep 16, 2012 at 7:32 PM, Wayne Bishop <email@example.com> wrote: > At 04:58 PM 9/16/2012, kirby urner wrote: > > Bill Nye the Science Guy was one of our better STEM teachers. > > > I would agree that he was one of the better KNOWN STEM teachers but can you > name for us a single student to contact and talk with who changed life's > direction and successfully went into a STEM career? Does he have an > equivalent in China or his shows translated into Mandarin? Locally, I would > trust my son's K-8 (eventually PhD in chemistry from Princeton) school over > those shows. At the time, the school was known for its serious reading and > mathematics but its "Science Guy" was a bit of a local joke. > > Wayne >
You're right, TV is not set up that way. However good Bill Nye was in teaching science, there was no feedback loop and students who watched his show were under no pressure to perform any science themselves. I recognize that fully.
However, I do think television is important for education, has been since its inception but the changes were exponential. The world is different now.
Disentangling TV and the Internet is getting harder though.
My focus is providing a safe place that's conducive to learning and study. That's not inconsistent with a traditional school concept. However, if the home environment is distinct from the school's (it's not a boarding school) and that space is not safe, this is of concern to those seeking to provide the education.
TV / Internet tends to be in intimate contact with peoples lives even though the media are so anonymous i.e. the people on the other end of the tube do not know you personally and do not meet you in their daily lives. These may be recordings. They may no longer be alive. Books are like that too. You don't usually meet the author, though sometimes you do.
The Internet is more interactive than TV. The Internet is also not incompatible with classroom setups. There's a lot of room for continuity here, i.e. what you see on the LCDs in the classroom might also be seen in the coffee shop. Some of the teachers you interact with will likely never meet you in person, but they know people you do interact with. There's two way traffic.
Where STEM is concerned, we need large rec room type places with workstations, tools, and people who know how to use those tools. This is what we called "shop" in the old days. Polytechnical schools. Lathes. Welding. You know the scene. Add computers. Add CAD. Add 3D printing.