Trust Us, It’s For the Kids.

The Charles M. Schulz Museum is Common Core aligned.

This means that when kindergartners take a field trip to learn about Snoopy, parents can rest assured that their children are actually learning something.



Just kidding.

What it really means is that parents can rest assured that their child will be contributing to the digital learning cash cow that Wall Street and venture capitalists are banking on.

One of the loftiest dreams of next-gen ed reformers is that children will be able to “learn” anytime, anywhere – at museums, the grocery store, the hair salon – anywhere that is willing to align whatever it does to “standards,” while collecting information about your child and entering it into a tracking system.

Here’s how Mitchell Robinson, founder of Span Learning and former Senior Advisor for Nonprofit Partnerships for the U.S. Department of Education, explains it:

 Jenae spends Thursday afternoons this semester at the museum of natural history following a course of study that was jointly designed by her school science teachers and museum staff. Her work is organized in an online digital backpack that also includes logs of her activities, results of her online quizzes, and a digital portfolio of her completed work. The museum education coordinator reviews Jenae’s work, enters evaluation notes in the digital backpack, and then marks off when Jenae has earned badges for demonstrating mastery of each course unit. When all her badges are completed, the school science teacher reviews the digital backpack and certifies that Jenae has earned her science credit for that semester.

And all you need to do to make this work is buy our digital, personalized learning products!

From the same document:

 Heather leads a community-based after-school program at the local Boys & Girls Club. She has a master of social work degree and seven years of experience at the Club, but she’s not a curriculum expert and used to spend hours each week on lesson planning. Heather is thrilled that now each day she can log-in to her computer and personalized lesson plans for each student are ready to go, jump-starting her planning for the afternoon

You don’t even have to talk to the kids if you don’t want to!

 Alexander’s volunteer Big Brother used to greet him with questions that are repeated every day across the country: “What did you do at school today? What do you have for homework? What do you need help with?” Now instead of relying on Alexander’s self-reporting, his mentor pops up his iPad and can see what he worked on today.

As for data sharing, here’s what Robinson says:

 These systems can also embed parental consents required to share school records and education data between schools and community partners.

Yep – just check the little “agree” box right here, and for a low, low fee, we’ve got you covered:


Okay.  I’m being serious now.

Take another look at this diagram from Global Education Futures that I wrote about here, and see if it’s all starting to make a little more sense:



Don’t be.  It’s for the kids.




Click to access blendedcbo.pdf

















Author: Emily Talmage

My name is Emily Talmage and I teach fourth grade at Montello Elementary School in Lewiston, Maine. In addition to teaching in Lewiston, I have also taught special education and general education in New York City, including one year at a “high-performing” charter school in Brooklyn. I also have two master’s degrees; one in Urban Education from Mercy College, and another in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. I have also worked as a research analyst and assistant at the National Center for Children and Families at Columbia and Oldham Innovative Research in Portland.

2 thoughts on “Trust Us, It’s For the Kids.”

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