What’s the hot topic with the members of the Jefferson County Board of Education? Cellphones in high schools. Never mind about that epic list of Louisville’s failing schools or the almost-daily school bus fender benders – last year JCPS buses were in 250 wrecks in 180 school days. This school board likes the idea of cellphones in high school classrooms because, they contend, cellphones in the classroom will improve students’ access to information. Technology is the big selling point here.
Lightning-fast access to information is turning our kids and most of you people into a bunch of big dummies. Critical thinking and memorization skills suffer when students (and grown-ups) are just a few keystrokes away from answers. Why give your brain a workout and memorize information when you can just use Google, a calculator or a contacts list?
School board member and Chrysalis Ventures president, David Jones, Jr., “applauds the principals’ courage to be among the early implementers in JCPS.” It’s courageous to allow high school students to have cellphones? Seriously? My definition of courage is summed up by the tiny number of teachers who do not support cellphones in JCPS high schools – and there are so few of them that I can seat all of the comfortably in my living room. Those teachers probably want their students to focus on something silly like education.
InsiderLouisville’s Terry Boyd had this to say when Jones was running for school board (just days after JCPS announced a new online resource called HealthTeacher):
What would happen if successful innovators had as much say in education as bureaucrats?
If David Jones, Jr. gets his way, the future of education will include a lot more technology.
If cellphones make their way into the classroom, score one for Hafidi Jones!
Below is a screenshot from Business First:
This is from the HealthTeacher website:
Nashville, TN (June 28, 2011) – HealthTeacher, a leading provider of online health and wellness information for children and adolescents, today announced that it has closed $5.27 million in Series C funding led by Chrysalis Ventures with new investor SSM Partners participating. Additional investors participating include Board Members Ted Dacko, Gary Facente, Jon Vice and CEO, Scott McQuigg. In conjunction with the financing, SSM General Partner Casey West will join Chrysalis Ventures Managing Director Koleman Karleski on the company’s Board.This new round of financing will be used to expand the company’s product offering and management team. Following a 2010 in which HealthTeacher cemented its position as the leader in youth health education, the company is now extending its reach beyond the classroom, engaging children and their families with interactive health and wellness products.
HealthTeacher is a leading provider of online health promotion, disease prevention, social/emotional wellness and safety resources for kindergarten through 12th grade and is used by nearly 30,000 teachers nationwide. HealthTeacher helps establish community based youth health collaboratives by developing partnerships between healthcare organizations, businesses, community leaders and schools to address the growing issues affecting the health status of young people.
Koleman Karleski is the managing director at Chrysalis. Until last year, he and Jones were the only full partners at Chrysalis so he’s kind of a big deal. He was mentioned in the HealthTeacher blurb a few paragraphs back. Karleski had this to say in an interview with Brian Gormley at the Wall Street Journal:
Over the past two decades, fund sizes have increased dramatically; bets on intellectual property have replaced a focus on profits. That has resulted in lower returns. Hopefully, as an industry we’ll learn our lesson of the past two decades and get back to basics.