By STEVE LOHR
The education gap facing the nation’s work force is evident in the numbers. Most new jobs will require more than a high school education, yet fewer than half of Americans under 30 have a (2) postsecondary degree of any kind. Recent state budget cuts, education experts agree, promise to make closing that gap even more difcult. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and four nonproft education organizations are beginning an ambitious initiative to address that challenge by accelerating the development and use of online learning tools. An initial $20 million round of money, from the Gates Foundation, will be for postsecondary online courses, particularly ones tailored for community colleges and low-income young people. Another round of grants, for high school programs, is scheduled for next year.
Just how efective technology can be in improving education - by making students more efective, more engaged learners - is a subject of debate. To date, education research shows that good teachers matter a lot, class size may be less important than once thought and nothing improves student performance as much as one-on-one human tutoring. If technology is well designed, experts say, it can help tailor the learning experience to individual students, facilitate student- teacher collaboration, and assist teachers in monitoring student performance each day and in quickly fne-tuning lessons. The potential benefts of technology are greater as students become older, more independent learners. Making that point, Mr. Gates said in an interview that for children from kindergarten to about ffth grade “the idea that you stick them in front of a computer is (3) ludicrous.”
higher education: educação superior.
postsecondary: termo que se refere aos cursos feitos após o high school ou, no modelo educacional brasileiro, o Ensino Médio.
ludicrous: ridícula, absurda.