Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Watch, Listen and Learn!

The Adam Smith Academy is dedicated to producing original audio-VISUAL educational content, and distributing it through the latest technology, such as, iPods, iPhones, DVDs and online streaming videos. By creating short, narrated and illustrated “movies” of classic literature, history, economics and philosophy, parents and teachers can increase interest, comprehension and retention of difficult subject matter by delivering it to students in their favored formats.

From the site:
Place a book, an iPod, a cellphone (with video capability), a DVD, and a computer with streaming video in front of 10 students with the exact same content, and maybe, just maybe, one would pick up the book.

Taking the previous example a step further, ask any student for a memorable quote, and see if any are from a book. Most likely, 99-out-of-100 students would quote you something from their favorite, or even the last movie, they saw.

Put simply, the current educational system is antiquated. But, it’s not the content. It’s not the teachers. It’s not for a lack of money, or the age of school's buildings or grounds. It doesn’t need another bond, or smaller classes sizes, or a more conservative or liberal approach. The problem with the system lies in its distribution.

What may have worked 10, 20, even centuries ago, isn't the best option with today's current technology. And, while Thomas Jefferson and John Adams might still choose to curl up with a good book (if they were alive today), we can guarantee you Ben Franklin would be surfing the Internet for the lastest scientific information out of MIT or CalTech, and Alexander Hamilton would be scrolling through the latest stock quotes on his new iPhone.

The truth is, while parents, teachers and politicians argue over why “Little Johnny” isn’t learning in school, Johnny’s up in his room listening to his iPod, watching a DVD, and/or playing video games on the Internet. If only someone had noticed that “Little Johnny’s” book bag was lying in the corner collecting dust, perhaps the seemingly endless arguments and finger-pointing over what's wrong in education might have been averted, along with the waste of a lot of the taxpayer's money.

We believe that by presenting educational content in an entertaining fashion and on a “cool” format, students may not even know that they’re learning.

Here is an example - The Occurance at Owl Creek by Ambrose Bierce:

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