John McCain: A V.O.I.S.E. for Change

Forget textbooks and handouts. Forget No. 2 pencils. And if you’re looking for curricula for science or English class, you’ll need to go online. At the VOISE Academy, a new high school opening this fall in Chicago, classwork is guided and shaped by the tech tools of the twenty-first century, providing an intriguing glimpse at what schools may look like in the future.

With the help of outside funding, VOISE (Virtual Opportunities Inside a School Environment) will bring the best online education offers to a real-life classroom. Each student will have a wireless-enabled laptop for use at school; those without a PC and Internet access at home will have that provided, too. With tech as the backbone, designers say, VOISE will make learning what it should be: student directed, project based, rigorous, and relevant.

No More Pencils, No More Books: A School of the Future Readies for Launch, Edutopia, Sara Bernard

I almost couldn’t believe my ears when the left press, starting with Mother Jones, pointed out that John McCain considers himself “computer illiterate.” He’s proud of it too, more evidence of his maverick standing.

After nearly eight years of the violent attacks on public schools embodied in the No Child Left Behind fiasco, it’s sickening to think of a president who will simply not understand initiatives like the V.O.I.C.E. Academy.

I think McCain’s willful ignorance is the worst sort of continuity with the Bush regime. Why do these sorts of men keep getting nominated? A very American anti-intellectualism: a fear of knowledge among the powerful.

Our health care system is ruined and Bush simply ignores it, as if the ruin is the point. The same with the housing system and the social welfare system and the trains and the highway and bridges and the public schools.

It’s as if Republican’s decided to apply a little of capitalism’s’ famous creative destruction to selected targets in the public sphere. Piece by piece it all falls. And, just to be sure, nominate leaders who won’t– can’t– notice.

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol]

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