The Edmond Sun

Opinion

March 10, 2008

Using technology to benefit taxpayers

EDMOND — Can you imagine a classroom where students no longer need to use their textbooks? What about a school environment where advanced students are not unnecessarily held back and those who need more time to study an important concept are allowed to spend the time they need? How exciting would it be if students had access to all of the same resources from their homes that they normally would access in the classroom?

I must admit that one of the less encouraging parts of being in the Legislature is the constant exposure to the “government status quo.” Because government is a monopoly and does not have the same natural competition as privately owned businesses in the free market, there is little incentive for innovation. In the free market, a privately owned business is forced to innovate and modernize in order to compete and survive. As a result, government agencies frequently simply survive; not by updating and modernizing, but by constantly pressuring legislators to dole out to them more of the people’s hard-earned money.

That is why it is so exciting and inspirational when there are clear examples of hardworking individuals who are applying innovative concepts to the public education system right here in Logan County. Recently, I was privileged to observe a department of education official as she interviewed students from Crescent High School.

The official expressed amazement as she realized how technologically advanced Crescent High School has become. She made the observation that the technology capabilities of the Crescent High School program were superior even to those employed at the state department of education.

One of the foremost components of the Crescent system is known as Acellus. Acellus is a server-based curriculum that allows Crescent High School students to complete their math curriculum on their computers through the Internet. Acellus provides high-quality video lectures to students, identifies specific areas of student difficulty, provides an alternative learning path customized to each student’s learning experience and captures student data so that the overall effectiveness of the course can be assessed. The program frees up teachers to spend one-on-one time with students requiring special attention.

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Poll

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

Agree
Disagree
Undecided
     View Results