In my dreams, kids who got homework. will rush home to open their PC ad go to my site, to make their homework there. It's a fun place to be in. Not only do you get to play with your homework, you get to meet people and have fun and do a lot more then just go to wikipedia and print a page from there....
I am working on the development of my startup. It's an Internet based system aimed at improving homework process in a way that will enhance learning and be fun for the kids.
It's supposed to be a free membership site. Nothing like any of the familiar homework assisting sites that your students may be using. One of the objects is to tackle the phenomena of the "google students" or the "wikipedia students"...

The question I am stuck with right now is - what's in it for the teachers?

Can you help me?
Can you guess what's in it for the teachers or simply express your wants, needs and especially dreams such a tool may give you?

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Hi Or-Tal, i give you here some ideas about my own experience...

1. The problem is not only to improve homework process, but to link closely homework and schoolwork
2. So you can develop your ideas only if you work with teachers and parents students and other people
3. We can experiment here some ideas: one suggestion. We chose together topics who can interested both israelian and french students/parents/teachers. The first step is to know better culture and daily lif of our countries. This is the reason why i propose now that students teach their own language to other students. Just a few words and idiomatic sentences at first, but also some elements about our country (culture, geography, history, language...). My theory: we learn if we teach and if we trust in students skill to share...
4. Why don't you invite israelian parents, teachers, students to share with european students/parents/teachers here. For example my friend Nidal Shanawi (an arab israeian living in France) will create a group about Israel very soon: he speaks very well arabic, hebrew, french and english and he was happy to listen to your voice in our VoiceThread with your poems in hebrew and english. Why don't you create a group about "Learning hebrew" or about israelian culture. Maybe this kind of experiment can help you to improve your ideas for your next startup. I have also a project about online education, but not exactly the same of you, and i'm ready to work with you to experiment here some ideas...
See you soon !
Hi Vincent and thanks for your response.
I will be very glad to work with you on this project, but I am experiencing incredible difficulties getting students, and teachers, and parents - online, even for the most simply things, such as their own school web site. I am working on it constantly and I hope that is several months, things will be different. Israelis students grow up with computers, and I was certain I will get a lot more cooperation to go online, but was amazed to find out that 13-14 year old kids didn't know what social networking is.
So as a starters, I am taking 3 opinion leaders to a Jeff Pulver social networking event on Wednesday....
As for students teaching - this is another way to present the type of interactions I want created on the site. But it's not the whole thing. A lot more is happening through the process.
My biggest question remains:
What's in it for a teacher?
How can it make the life of the teacher easier?
1. A teacher needs to EXTEND his face-to-face schoolwork by a distant homework: this is the reason why you need to involve teachers of a school ready to follow you in an experiment before creating your startup... Online educational and commercial startups are in France in a kind of competition with schools and it's a bad way in my opinion: the marketing strategy is based on this idea: schools don't work very well, we can improve skills and performances of your children if you pay more for individual lessons for your children. So this is a way to replace schools by new online services...
2. Keep in mind that internet can also make the life of a teacher more difficult because it's a radical change of pedagogy... It is easier for a teacher to continue to teach in a classical way rather than using active pedagogy and active learning with internet. This is the reason why it is necessary to read about history of active learning to study how you can use internet and social networking in this prospect...
3. You said that "Israelis students grow up with computers": of course but so what ? like european students, you can see that students don't use computers to be creative but just to copy/paste, to play, to chat on msn and so on. Do you read individual blog of teenagers ? it's very very poor because no one explain them how to be creative and active in training... Our theory here is to give a frame to students to work by sharing, to give desire to learn something they don't know... So, as teacher, i don't need a startup to help me, i need to find partners out of the school, to give more intellect inside my school. I need to work directly with parents and students...
You are so right.
This is what I want to do. I do not want to replace school. I don't want to create a web site that will add to the teacher's work. However, I think that using the web and social networking - can make children do homework, and do it better.
I think that perhaps the results of using the web site will make teachers endorse the web site eventually, and perhaps even take part in it. But initially, it's a place for the kids, where they might discover the joy of learning and excitement of finding new informations sources.

BRAVO -- you really get it!! That's what it is all about....that other kind of learning. To let students know that the door is NEVER closed. And also about "content" (which isn't it funny, just like the word, that beautiful word "content"? which I much prefer to Peace....).

Your understanding the whole and with simplicity, I admire.......bien faites. Pour moi, il n'y a pas une semblance d'education sans l'enthusiasm......toute commence la...


Please visit Susan Tsiari. Maybe she is even a member her but she certainly is on EFL Classroom 2.0 . She was instrumental in getting me underway and I applaud her every effort. She is an Israeli primary school technology teacher and her wisdom will help anyone....more so you , given your similiar cultural context...Contact her here.....just say David sent you (but not THAT one,...just this ordinary but still dancing one...)

Or-tal, one last thing. Your life as a teacher is not to get "easier" ..... it is to get "more beautiful". Sometimes they agree other times they don't . But let your nose lead you to beauty as you know it. Then you will never be wrong (like King David ).

Hi David-
I am already connected with Susan, Thank you. This is a natural connection.
I am not a teacher. I am a communications strategist, working with hi-tech companies, mostly startups.
I am also a mother of three...
I am trying to consult teachers while I am creating the initial plan of the startup. It is far from being the actual project. When the project will get on the way, I assume I will have a team of teachers consulting me.
The latest thought I had was to examine how interested kids are at all in online help for their homework. This could be a hard work, but I think it's worth while to try it. And that's before I begin to develop my complex system.
Have you had experience with kids who didn't want to make homework? Or did a very superficial job?
why don't you ask to students themselves ? Do you want we create a discussion in the forum about it in french/english/italian and so on ?
Sure, why not??
Done... here:
thanks. I am beginning to refresh my French... :-)
I think Vincent is half right.

It is about connecting classrooms and that is "half" the potential of technology and online learning. But only half........a great half and as the world becomes smaller, it is something so necessary and essential for eliminating the tribalism and focus on "difference" which is really a scourge of our human thinking........Konrad Lorenz mentions it, as well as Koestler but few "thinkers" note that this feature of human psychological development (a fancy word for learning :)) is the most damaging and primitive. We are soooo much more similiar than different yet we pretend not so -- ego rules. It is for education to proceed in the opposite direction and technology offers a great avenue to drive upon.

But two -- the other half is that of self directed learning. The highest development, the top of the pyramid is this premise. Technology takes us there. Of course, there are lots of children, students, all around the world who will be disadvantaged and "need" teachers. But the true goal of all "progress" is freedom and release -- yet it so seldom happens. The goal of wealth? To relax. Who does? The goal of hunger, satiation but who is every satisfied? The goal of life - happiness? So why do we "need" problems? The goal of school? To have no teacher. So why do we continue to believe this need be when the cure is at hand?

Those with access to technology should use it as a pedagogical tool of liberation. From the teacher and from stricture. This is seeing the future. Those seeking to profit (and that isn't a bad word) would do well to see the long term of this and not the short term of the traditional classroom approach.

For example, last week I got another business proposal for another "networking" solution for teachers. Put them in classrooms online, their own little boxes for each class and with a "boss" (teacher) directing . We walk into the future backwards, as Socrates said and that is wrong. Why can't we think differently? What use is school?

The great day might come when we do value students / people for what they can do and not what or how many years they've skipped the same sad song. We are imprisoning vast millions of the young through our accreditation system, the diploma and the non - merit based economy. That too must change.....

Anyways, I could link so much here but thought I'd rather just share my thoughts....end of my diatribe, sorry :)





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