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[翻译]Education Report - Can Computer Programs Help Students, Teachers?

更新时间:2017/8/30 9:23:36 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

Junior Alvarado was worried when he began his first year at a public charter high school in Washington, DC. He often struggled in his math classes and earned poor grades in middle school.

阿拉瓦多在华盛顿特区一所特许公立高中刚上高一时很担心。他数学学得不好,在中学时成绩不佳。

But the teachers at the Washington Leadership Academy used computer programs to identify the areas he was weak in and design a learning plan just for him.

但是华盛顿领导学院的老师们利用电脑程序来确定他的薄弱环节,并为他量身定做了一个学习计划。

As Alvarado started geometry in his second year of high school last week, he says he felt much better about his math skills.

阿尔瓦多上周进入高中第二学年开始学习几何时,他说他感觉自己的数学技能有所进步。

“For me personalized learning is having classes set at your level,” the 15-year-old said, in between lessons. “They explain the problem step by step, it wouldn't be as fast. It will be at your [speed].”

这位15岁的学生在课间表示:“对我来说,人性化学习就是按自己的水平上课。他们一步步解释问题,不会那么快。就是按照你自己的速度。”

Many schools in the United States struggle to raise the high school graduation rate. They also have difficulty helping many minority and low-income students perform at the same level as others. So many educators see digital technology as a way of solving these problems.

美国很多学校都在努力提高高中毕业率。他们在帮助少数族裔和低收入家庭的学生群体获得同其他学生同等表现方面也存在困难。所以很多教育家将数字化技术视为解决这些问题的办法。

Personalized learning

个性化学习

The use of technology in schools is part of a larger idea of personalized learning. This idea has been gaining popularity in recent years.

在学校中利用科技是个性化学习这一更大概念的一部分。这一概念近年来颇受欢迎。

Personalized learning is a way of teaching centered around the interests and needs of individual students instead of entire classes as a whole. It includes flexible learning environments, specially-designed education plans, and letting students help decide what and how they learn.

个性化学习是围绕学生个体兴趣和需要,而不是全班一体的的一种教学方式。它包括灵活的教学环境、特别定制的教育方案以及让学生们帮助决定他们学什么以及怎么学。

Under the Obama administration, the Education Department put $500 million into personalized learning programs in 68 school districts. These programs served almost 500,000 students in 13 states and Washington, D.C. Organizations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have also invested heavily in digital tools and other student-centered methods.

奥巴马当政时期,美国教育部为68个学区推行个性化学习项目投入了5千美元。这些项目服务了美国13个州以及华盛顿特区的近50万名学生。像比尔和梅琳达·盖茨基金会等组织也在数字化工具和其它以学生为中心的教学方法上投入巨资。

The International Association for K-12 Online Learning supports the growth of education technology. It claims that up to 10 percent of all of America's public schools now use some form of personalized learning.

K-12在线学习国际协会支持教育科技的发展。该协会声称,高达10%的美国公立学校目前采用了某种个性化学习形式。

Rhode Island plans to spend $2 million to become the first U.S. state to make teaching in all of its schools individualized. And current U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos also supports personalized learning.

罗德岛州计划花费2百万美元成为美国首个在所有学校采用个性化教学的州。美国现任教育部长贝丝迪·德沃斯(Betsy DeVos)也支持个性化学习。

Supporters say traditional methods, where teachers just speak at the front of the class and test students all at once, do not match the modern world.

支持者表示,传统教学方法是老师们站在台上讲课,并且同时测验全部学生,这与现代世界不符。

Ken Wagner is the Rhode Island Education Commissioner. He said, “The economy needs kids who are creative problem solvers, who synthesize information, [form] and express a point of view.”

肯·瓦格纳是罗德岛州的教育专员。他说,“当今经济需要孩子们创造性解决问题、综合信息并表达观点。”

At Washington Leadership Academy, educators use computer programs to collect information on students’ performance. This information helps teachers follow their students’ progress and make changes to lessons that meet students’ individual needs. That way students are able to master subjects at their own speed.

在华盛顿领导学院,教育工作者们利用电脑程序收集学生们学习表现相关信息。这些信息有助于教师们跟踪学生们的进步,并对课程做出改变来满足学生们的个性需求。这样,学生们就能以自身进度掌握各门课程。

In English classes, for example, students reading below their level would have the same books or reading materials as their classmates. But complex words in the reading materials would have notes helping explain the words shown on the students’ computer screens.

例如在英语课程中,阅读水平低的学生们也跟其它同学一样使用相同的书本或阅读材料。但是阅读材料中的复杂词汇会在学生的电脑屏幕上显示注释,帮助解释这些单词的意思。

Joseph Webb is the principal who helped establish the Washington Leadership Academy last year. The school serves about 200 mostly African American students from high-poverty and high-risk areas in Washington, D.C. He says the digital tools help teachers identify problems students are facing before they become too serious.

约瑟夫·韦伯(Joseph Webb)是去年帮助建立华盛顿领导学院的校长。该学校为来自华盛顿特区极度贫困和高风险地区的200多名主要为非裔美国人的学生提供服务。他说数字化工具帮助老师们在问题变得严重之前确定学生们面临的问题。

“We can [solve them] right then and there; we don't have to wait for the problem to come to us,” he said.

他说:“我们可以当时解决问题,不用等到问题出现到自己身上。”

Too early to tell

言之过早

Still, many researchers say it is too early to tell if personalized learning works better than traditional teaching.

然而,很多研究人员表示,现在就说个性化教学比传统教学更好尚言之过早。

The Rand Corporation recently did a study of personalized learning and found that it only led to small improvements. It found only a 3-percentile improvement in math and even smaller improvements in reading compared to schools with traditional teaching methods. Some students also complained group work in personalized learning classes was more difficult as each student had different tasks to complete.

兰德公司最近对个性化学习进行了研究,发现它只能产生些微改善。与采用传统教学方法的学校相比,它在数学上只有3%的改善,在阅读上改善更小。有些学生还抱怨个性化学习班级的小组讨论更难,因为每个学生要完成不同的任务。

In addition, experts in children’s health say the overuse of technology presents other problems. They warn that too much time looking at screens can damage face-to-face relationships and young people’s interest in physical activity.

此外,儿童健康专家表示,过度使用科技也带来了其它问题。他们警告说,过多时间看着屏幕会损害面对面的人际关系以及年轻人对体育锻炼的兴趣。

Some teachers have their doubts as well. Marla Kilfoyle is the executive director of the Badass Teachers Association, an education activist group. She admits that technology can be helpful in the classroom in many ways. But she argues that no computer program should ever replace the personal touch, support and inspiration teachers give their students.

有些老师也有各自的疑问。Marla Kilfoyle是坏蛋教师协会的执行主任,这是一个教育活动家组织。她承认,科技在教室里有多方面用途。但是她认为,任何电脑程序都不能取代教师对学生们的接触、支持和启发。

“That human element is very important when children learn,” Kilfoyle said.

Kilfoyle表示:“这种人文因素在孩子们学习时是非常重要的。”

I’m Lucija Milonig. And I’m Pete Musto.

Words in This Story

charter – n. a document which declares that a city, town, school, or corporation has been established

graduation – n. the act of completing an education program at a school, college, or university

income – n. money that is earned from work, investments, or business

digital – adj. using or characterized by computer technology

flexible – adj. easily changed

district(s) – n. an area or region containing the schools that a school board is in charge of

match – v. to be suited to (someone or something): to go well with (someone or something)

synthesize – v. to combine things in order to make something new

screen(s) – n. the usually flat part of a television or computer monitor that shows the images or text

complain – v. to say or write that you are unhappy, sick, uncomfortable, etc., or that you do not like something

doubt – n. a feeling of being uncertain or unsure about something

inspiration – n. something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create

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