Radio Series

Teaching NOW! also includes a special documentary
radio series on education that addresses general
issues in today's schools

Cut and Paste - Listen online

Produced by: Jean Snedegar
Plagiarism at universities and colleges is rife – 4 out of 10 students admit they copy material from the internet and try to pass it off as their own work. For some it’s an easy way out at the last minute; for others it’s driven by cut-throat competition to get into the best graduate or professional schools. To deal with the issue, colleges and universities are trying many different approaches, from changing their teaching methods to using online detection filters to promoting a culture of integrity on campus. Producer Jean Snedegar visits faculty and students at Duke, the University of Virginia, and other colleges to discover the underside of higher learning.

Sunshine and Darkness - Listen online

Produced by: Marti Chitwood Covington
Xeroderma Pigmentosum is a genetic mutation with a number of implications. It can be life threatening. It diminishes the body's resistance to UV waves. People with XP can't tolerate sunlight. The older they get, the worse the problem becomes. People with XP have to be completely covered up before they go out, and even inside they live with curtains drawn. The disorder also creates a bubble around the person with XP, their family and friends. Often isolated, even in school, their connection to the world is tenuous. Today, that isolation is breaking down. Producer Marti Chitwood Covington reports on how schools, families and technology are helping people with this rare disorder (only 125 people in the United States have it) connect with the world.

Teaching: The Next Generation - Listen online

Produced by: Richard Paul
In conversations about the use of technology in schools, what you'll often hear is: Once we have a cadre of young teachers and administrators who've grown up with technology, computer use in schools will take off. This program examines that premise by following a young teacher, Brian Mason (7th grade American History) as he begins his second year in the classroom. The program also explores Mr. Mason's approach to teaching by testing his theories about "what works" against the opinions of education experts.

Who needs libraries? - Listen online

Produced by: Richard Paul
As more and more information is available on-line, as Amazon rolls out new software that allows anyone to find any passage in any book, an important question becomes: Who needs libraries anymore? Why does anyone need four walls filled with paper between covers? Surprisingly, they still do and this program explores why; looking at how university libraries, school libraries and public libraries have adapted to the new information world.

Software Is Elementary - Listen online

Produced by: Richard Paul
There's an unusual phenomenon popping up in schools across the country -- educational software is almost never used in a classroom beyond the 8th grade. From pre-school to 8th grade, there is widespread use of specially-designed software to teach math, reading, grammar, and languages, but you'd be hard-pressed to find any of it in high school. Producer Richard Paul talks to professors, teachers, psychologists and software developers on his quest to find out why educational software disappears after middle school.

People and Software - Listen online

Produced by: Richard Paul
From computer-simulation programs to "electronic paper," there are hundreds of software programs being pitched every day to teachers and administrators. But the reality is that programs like this are NOT what students are using when they use computers in schools. What they're using is prosaic software like Word, email and PowerPoint. Why is this? What is keeping the wiz-bang software out of the classroom? Producer Richard Paul investigates the gap between the promise and reality of educational software.

Equity in Education: 50 Years After Brown - Listen online

Produced by: Kathy Baron
Brown vs. the Board of Education was the 1954 Supreme Court decision that declared the old "separate but equal" policies of many school boards unconstitutional. May 17, 2004 marks the case's 50th anniversary. Producer Kathy Baron takes a look at how far school systems have come in assuring equality for all students and whether technology plays a role in giving these students access. The Brown case triggered numerous court mediated desegregation policies around the country. Some school systems are only now emerging from court orders. Are schools for minority students now equal to those of primarily white students? And many higher education systems are facing a grim reality. In California, a large percentage of incoming freshman are enrolled in remedial classes. Another major court case found that K-12 students in the state were not getting equal access to education. What, in fact, does an equal education look like?

Educating Emily - Listen online

Produced by: Jean Snedegar
Twelve-year-old Emily lives with her mother in a small town in the mountains of West Virginia. Emily has cerebral palsy, and is one of three-quarters of a million children in the United States with developmental disabilities -- she has impaired hearing, very limited speech and didn't learn to walk until she went to school. Because of Emily's inability to communicate in conventional ways, educators and other professionals initially had little idea of what her mental capabilities were, nor how much she could learn. But advances in communication technology, plus the love and commitment of family, teachers, therapists and community, have meant that Emily is learning not only to communicate, but also to reach her full potential as a human being.

What's New In School - Listen online

Produced by: Richard Paul
American education is prone to fads, such as New Math, Roberts English, Denelian Handwriting. These fads sweep the country and then disappear. Why are these fads so readily accepted and then so quickly abandoned? Producer Richard Paul looks into the trend of educational fads.

High School Time - Listen online

Produced by: Richard Paul
From 6:00 am to 6:00 pm, a student, teacher, and principal let us in on their world of bells, tests, technology, and teen life. We track what a day is like at Westfield High School in Virginia. With almost 3,000 students, it is one of the largest schools in the Washington, DC area

After Graduation: Meeting Special Needs - Listen online

Produced by: Alyne Ellis
Many learning disabled students are finding that they learn more readily with a variety of technology assistance and human support in their classrooms. But what happens once they leave school? Whether moving into the workforce, or on to higher education, most high school graduates discover they must adjust to new environments on their own and learn to advocate for themselves. Alyne Ellis takes a look at how some schools and universities are trying to ease the transition of learning disabled students to a life after graduation.

The Tale of Two Computer Labs - Listen online

Produced by: Richard Paul
This program takes a look at the digital divide between two schools, Herndon High School in wealthy Fairfax County, Virginia which has 800 computers, and César Chávez High School in the District of Columbia which has 50 computers. We look at how this disparity affects student learning and explore whether the sheer number of computers is what makes the difference, or whether it is the application of the technology with clear program goals, robust professional development and great teaching.

The High Stakes of Today's Testing - Listen online

Produced by: Katie Gott
Standardized tests have been around for nearly 125 years in the US. What's different now is that schools and teachers are being held accountable for the results of these tests. This in itself has parents and educators up in arms. Add to that President Bush's new education policy, the No Child Left Behind Act, and the stakes are raised, with threats of federal funding being cut off to underachieving school districts. Then there is the question of how and what the children are being tested on. And where does technology fit into this world of testing and accountability? We follow the paths of two failing schools, one in Maryland and the other in Virginia to understand how each state applies its testing policy, and how testing impacts schools, teachers, parents and children. In Virginia, we see how academic review teams, a type of teaching SWAT team, evaluate, support and improve a failing school. In Maryland, we see what happens to a school whose operations have been transferred to a for-profit company. What happens if these schools don't make the grade after the scores are in?

Game Over - Listen online

Produced by: Chris Brookes
Video games dull the brain and turn boys into violence craving, delinquents. That apparently is the popular opinion but not one that is entirely factual. How about this, videogames can be educational for both boys and girls and improve their knowledge of math, science and social studies. Game Over takes a look at how video games are making inroads in education.

Snacktime, Naptime, Computer Time - Listen online

Produced by: Barbara Bogaev
Computers in classrooms are a given in elementary schools across the nation. Now new technology initiatives are bringing computers into preschools, driven by the assumption that if children don't begin early, they fall behind. But is this really true? Early childhood education specialists weigh in on a government funded statewide program and a corporate international computer initiative which aim to make toddlers computer literate.

The Enabled Classroom - Listen online

Produced by: Alyne Ellis
How can technology help students with learning disabilities? From academics and hardware manufacturers to teachers in the field, hear about the technological advances for teaching everyone from elementary to university students grappling with learning disabilities. Producer Alyne Ellis delves into the advantages, controversies and problems of these merging technologies.

Building Blocks - Listen online

Produced by: Judith Kampfner
Two years ago at Long Creek juvenile detention center in Maine, one MIT professor revolutionized the existing school system. He instituted a learning-by-doing program where young offenders spend their day using Legos to build programmable robots - clocks, vehicles and moving fantasy figures. Teens photograph their creations and decorate the room and write diaries proudly chronicling their progress. Can incarcerated youth gain important skills and confidence from such a program or should they be learning discipline in a conventional schoolroom? Producer Judith Kampfner takes us inside the classroom to find out.

Magic Box - Listen online

Produced by: Richard Paul
Computer companies have been trying to sell schools on the benefits of computers for as long as there have been computers. But their approach has had to change over time. We take a historical look at the progressions and changes in market strategy that the various computer companies employed over the past 50 years to convince school systems to make the huge investment in computers.

Arc of Crisis: Bringing Context to Journalism - Listen online

Produced by: Bill Drummond
The September 11th terrorist attacks affected the United States in ways beyond the obvious concerns of airport safety and security. To William Drummond, a professor of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, the terrorist attacks exposed a weakness in the way news media had been presenting the world to the American public. For the last 20 years, the growth of 24-hour television news has dramatically increased the amount of information, but reduced the amount of context, explanation and understanding. The public was seeing more, but understanding it less. As a journalism educator, Drummond decided to teach a special class to graduate students that would rely on multimedia tools to bring more context and meaning in reporting on a region of the world that has been long ignored in the American world view. He titled the course "The Arc of Crisis."

Home Schools - Listen online

Produced by: Heather Gattucio
Imagine that your parent is your teacher, your siblings are your classmates, and your kitchen is your classroom. Plus, you get to study outside, choose your areas of interest, and do your classwork online. The image of home schooling is changing from detached and reclusive, to engaged and mainstream. And not all homeschooling is alike. Home school parent and producer Heather Gattucio examines very different approaches to this alternative educational regime.

Digital Equity - Listen online

Produced by: Kathy Baron
Whether it's a one room schoolhouse, a bilingual high school, or a magnet school, technology plays a significant role in the 21st century classroom.... And therein lies a story about an unequal playing field and a process that isn't as simple as it seems. Districts not only grapple with obtaining the technology but they have to figure out what to do with it once it enters the classroom. Access, support, training and vision now become pieces of the classroom technology puzzle. Producer Kathy Baron examines the issues in Digital Equity.

Click Here for College - Listen online

Produced by: Richard Paul
As was the case with virtually every industry during the dot-com craze of the 90s, it was once thought that university education would be revolutionized by the Internet. And just as with those other industries, the harsh economic light of the early 20th century, has revealed winners and losers. One school -- the University of Phoenix -- expects that its on-line division will provide 30% of its revenue this year. Yet others -- including New York and Temple Universities have abandoned their for-profit on-line education initiatives as unviable, amid carping by faculty that the demands of on-line education were perverting the education process. A look at on-line universities, what they are, what they aren't and whether they can survive.

Web of Letters - Listen online

Produced by: Gemma Hooley
Children who don't learn to read by the fourth grade are likely to be plagued by reading problems their entire life. Research has shown that learning to read is complex, involving neurological and sociological processes. Despite these insights, reading averages in schools continue to drop. But some educators believe that the trend can be reversed, with the help of technology. Producer Gemma Hooley looks at some of these interactive technologies and the role they play in today's schools by helping the students and the teachers. Tune in to the A, B, C's in Web of Letters.

Classroom Cool: Training Teachers in Using Technology - Listen online

Produced by: William Drummond
Veteran radio reporter and school of journalism professor, Bill Drummond starts to explore the world of technology in the classroom. Like many teachers, he starts with his website, but soon realizes there is a lot more to technology than a syllabus on a website. Students are actually having fun and learning in different ways because the classroom is now interactive. This is the first of an on-going series of reports that look at the changing classroom and how teachers are preparing for it.