Students and studies has always been an interest of mine mainly because that is what I am and what I am passionate about. Learning is very important and needs to be taken seriously. When I think  of a bad school, college or university it normally I used to think of a place where teachers are bad at teaching, the equipment is insufficient to not existing and funding is something that has not been received in a decade.
During my previous studies this has changed and I have now come to see the worst schools, colleges and universities as being those that behave mediocre. There is no greater punishment to the poor performing student, then letting him sail through the education with accepted low performance. For the gifted student there is nothing worse than continuously being praised by the mediocre school for his/her performance.
How to become great

you don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process. Randall Munroe via  http://xkcd.com/896/

There is indeed no way around greatness than continuously failing until you get it right. Therefore bad schools can be just as great a place to study as a ivy league school.

A school should never be satisfied with its performance.  Especially not in a world where the IT requirements switches so fast that nobody can keep up to date with the current development. New tools arises and new services switch on and off. Just look at Google+ with its 10 Million fans in 4 weeks? The clever student keeps an eye out for alternative learning facilities, as there is only so much that can be acquired from a book.

Do your students know how to apply their informal learning tools in formal learning contexts?

Do students have the necessary skills to apply their informal PLEs in formal learning contexts? In other words, do they have the ability to use the loose aggregation of Web 2.0 tools (iGoogle, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, etc) to help them to engage more deeply with their learning?
And how does the situation look like on the schools – are they keeping up as well?
Tech integration: The rose-colored glasses of administrators

While 64 percent of IT administrators rated their districts’ technology as “cutting edge,” only 45 percent of faculty members and 39 percent of students reported being satisfied with their classroom technology. via http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/07/13/36iste.h30.html?r=349796550
Just about not even half the teachers are satisfied, which is bad per see. However think about how many of the satisfied teachers and students have a mediocre attitude to the IT facilities? Then think about the 64% IT administrators that are satisfied! It is impossible to keep up and the IT administrators should never be satisfied and should be bombarded by suggestions from the teachers and students.
Students are more interested in online learning than teachers?

while the proportion of high school students who had taken an online course as of last fall tripled from fall 2008, from 10 percent to 30 percent, only about 26 percent of teachers surveyed expressed interest in diving into online teaching if they hadn’t already done so via http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/07/13/36iste.h30.html?r=349796550
But this looks bleak as only 26% of the teachers are interested in online learning and tools for online learning. That is both disturbing and alarmingly good news for the mediocre teachers.

Advertisements