We’re back after a 3-day hiatus.  It’s been a whirlwind with celebrating The Hit Man’s 8th birthday Monday night (his b-day was Friday but illness postponed the festivities), Christmas Eve with Mrs. Report’s family, Christmas, and the Triple-Birthday Blowout at Mama Report’s home yesterday.  (Hit Man, plus Baby Report turned 1 on 12/7 and a niece turned 13.)

From the hometown paper: As students debate college’s worth, schools work to prove value this is where America’s education policy chickens are coming home to roost, to borrow a phrase.  Between the skills gap, increased costs with a decrease in perceived value, and changing attitudes of the traditional college student, this is a pivotal moment for the American university.

Digital Learning gets INTO Dodge…  after the city slickers from Apple came to town, tablets will be in the hand of every young cowboy and cowgirl next month.  Dodge City was real, is real, and you can even go visit.

Heartland Institute questions “rigor” in Common Core.  Judging from the last paragraph, by “rigor” I think they mean “premise.”

Deep in the Heart of Texas, “techbook” is rolled out. “The fully digital product includes text-to-speech technology, which allows students to listen to instructions or text. The speech technology may also be translated to Spanish or French to help bilingual students and parents work together on school work or in breaking down language barriers.”

India calls for clarification before competency. They’re serious about this and putting a lot of thought into it. “The scheme envisages seven certificate levels with each level with about 1,000 hours, with each 1,000 hours being made of certain number of hours for vocational competency based skill modules and the rest for general learning simultaneously integrated and providing a diploma for vocational education after the certificate level five or leading to a degree after level seven in the university system, subject to their statutory approval. The programmes are sector-specific and sectors such as information technology (IT), media, entertainment, telecommunications, mobile communications, automobile, construction, retail, hotels, and fashion design, among others have been identified for implementation.”

BONUS LINK- two days after Christmas, a look back at about 29 Christmases or so.  As usual, the fashion and technology in the background is more interesting than anything else.

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