That's an Interesting Question

by Jeff Camp | June 4, 2017 | 0 Comments
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We've been busy. In the past few months we have been reworking all of the lessons in Ed100. Yes, all of them. I hope you'll like what we've done so far.

At the top of each lesson you will now find a section titled "In This Lesson." It consists of a short list of links, usually written as questions. Here's picture of what that looks like for Lesson 3.2 (Teacher Preparation and Certification):

this is a picture - click to visit lesson 3.2, where you can try the real thing.

New on Ed100: "Beacon links"

If you click the picture above, you'll visit Lesson 3.2. But when you actually go there and click the link, Ed100 does something NEW to deliver the answer: it automatically scrolls to the appropriate part of the lesson and activates an animated "beacon" that shows you exactly where to look. Yep, these beacon links works on phones, too!

Interesting questions

Years ago, I started researching and writing Ed100 because I had loads of questions about California's education system. I thought it was much too hard to find explanations of the education system that were short, clear, fair and accurate, so I recruited some fellow truth-seekers and set out to write those explanations as clearly as I could.

Giulia GomesGiulia Gomes

Today, when you have a question about anything, including the education system, you probably turn to Google. When I found myself doing that, I realized that it was time to modify our lessons, putting questions front-and-center. With help from Giulia Gomes, our amazing intern, we have identified over 700 questions that are answered by our lessons.

I hope you like the result so far. Thinking through the lessons in this way is making them better and clearer. It is also helping us to identify gaps. For example, how did it get past us that we have no lesson about homework? We will add a new lesson about it in Chapter 4 later this year.

Important updates

Reviewing and updating every lesson in Ed100 is a big task. (You might not know that the "100" in our name is an approximation of the number of lessons in the full course.) This process will never really end, of course. The education system is ever-changing, and we are constantly reviewing and revising our lessons to keep current. The date in fine print at the end of each lesson now indicates when it was last updated.

Here are just a few of the lessons we have updated recently in important ways.

  • Lesson 9.7: Measuring School Performance. This lesson succinctly explains the new California School Dashboard, and includes links to our blog series about it.
  • Lesson 7.2: The Federal Role in education. The new Every Student Succeeds Act required changes to many of our lessons, particularly this one.
  • Lesson 2.1: Diversity. We significantly broadened this lesson, which now includes data and research about diversity of religion, sexual orientation and gender identity in California schools.
  • Lesson 2.9: Undocumented. We updated this lesson to better reflect the conditions in California for immigrant families. About one in 30 children in California is undocumented, but about 1 in 8 has at least one parent who is undocumented.

New Drawing, and new Ed100 Certificate!

At the end of each lesson we present one question in a "review" quiz, designed to reinforce a main point of the lesson. Each review quiz that you answer correctly earns a ticket for your school on the Ed100 leaderboard. In the 2017-18 school year (which, for Ed100, we count as having just begun) we hold drawings using those tickets. We have just reset the drawing box for the 2017-18 school year. You could win up to $1,000 for your school's PTA! (See rules.)

See the progress of other Ed100 participants at your school by viewing the Leaderboard. You can view and print your personal Certificate of Progress from your profile page. Complete all of the lesson reviews to earn your certificate as an Ed100 graduate.

Thank you for reading, sharing and supporting Ed100. We are on a mission to ensure that each California school community has a core group of informed leaders, including parent leaders. Like most of the Ed100 team, I'm a volunteer -- if you have ideas about ways to improve Ed100, or if you want to join our volunteer team, please drop me a note!

-- Jeff

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