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Pattern Group A. Site Genres > Raising the Bar

Raising the Bar

The education reformer John Holt was once quoted as saying, “I suspect that many children would learn arithmetic—and learn it better—if it were illegal.” This sentiment captures many of the problems with education as it exists today. Advanced educational forums need to draw students in, challenging them with real-world problems that everyday people face, not artificial ones commonly found in classroom textbooks. They need to stimulate students' natural interests and foster a social norm of educational excellence and lifelong learning. Internet access alone is not enough. There needs to be an ongoing and thriving community—both online and offline—of enthusiastic experts, local technicians, designers, alumni, parents, teachers, and students to make it happen.

Many attempts at introducing educational technologies into the curricula have failed. There are numerous issues involved with costs of procuring the hardware and developing the software, with making these tools fit into existing work practices, and with training teachers to use these tools effectively. In fact, it is not uncommon to have students who are more comfortable and experienced with using computers than the teachers are.


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