Saturday, March 17, 2007

Admission from MIT

Yes! While my son already got admission from Stanford, we were still very anxious to know the results from MIT since MIT is also one of his top choices. I am very pleased to know that MIT also offers him an admission today. Now a big decision for him to make!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Future of Education

I was very lucky to attend an event where Bill Gates and George Lucas discussed the future of education. Two smartest people at our time agreed that Internet plays a critical role in the future. Gates talked about he just took the best geography lecture through the web and he was impressed with the depth and quality. He also mentioned the MIT openware project that all MIT course materials are made available to everyone in the world for free. Lucas suggested doing project-based learning at school; to have students work on a real-world problem such as building a house or shooting a rocket to mars instead of just teaching abstract academic subjects. He argued that better learning is driven by the need to solve problems. Since all the knowledge is on the web, it is more important for a teacher to keep student motivated than to convey knowledge.

A few years ago, I was debating whether to send my kids to private school. The long commute to school has bothered me very much, so I eventually decided against it. But I was also aware that public school education may not always challenge my children enough. To address the issue, I searched and found many resources on the Internet to enrich their learning. As they get older, they are able to do it on their own. They have learned well and I am pleased with the money and time saved by not going to private schools. :)

Thanks to technologies, the cost of education has gone down and the trend continues. Schools are no longer the main source of knowledge. Parents have a lot of cost-effective ways to help their children's learning. I believe that children growing up with Internet will be more creative and have stronger problem-solving skills. The future of education is great.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Serious about Math Education II

My friend Stella asked me to add materials apporpriate for elementary school kids. Her sons Yoyo and Toto are at 2nd grade and kindergarden currently. They are very bright and ready to take on more challenges than their school curriculum provides.

When my boys were that age, I remembered that they used to play a PC software called Math Blaster. I am glad to find out that it is still available here. Also, they have worked on some worksheets from
A Plus Math Worksheets.

When my kids were at 3rd-4th grades, I found a math program is called Highline advanced math program. Look for Lessons, first year and second year. It is not an on-line class, but it systematically introduces a concept in every lesson. I printed out all the materials once and had them work on a sheet or two each time. I think very highly of this program and I do see good results from my own children's learning.

Additionally, my friend, Ann, told me about the Singapore Math website today at www.singaporemath.com. It is a lot more challenging than what US students normally have, but it is the level that I would have wanted my children to be at.

This post is an addition to my earlier blog entry Serious about Math Education. The earlier post covered more about middle school and high school math.