Tag Archives: education

School… a place for learning?

Dewey Quote

From: http://missklohnsclassroom.blogspot.com.eg/2012/10/what-weve-been-up-to.html

It has been a while! Last post – beginning of July. Now, I’m in Egypt and pondering the same questions with new friends!!!

So… How do we bridge the gap between what we know is best and the constraints of the current system that we are in?

A system that is largely dictated by university/college and employer expectations and guidelines as well as parent perspectives on what education/classroom learning SHOULD look like. Is this fair? Can we change this? Is it already changing?

Then, I come across Will Ferriter’s post on a Will Richardson TEDx Talk. Both are worthwhile to spend some time digesting and reflecting on! What resonated to me is the idea that, when something happens that makes us want to learn more… we dive in deep for the sake of our own curiosity. How can we, as educators, create those events that make students want to learn more about what we are TRYING to teach?
We have talked long and often about the disconnect between what we know about how learning best occurs and how we ‘do’ learning. So, let’s work on connecting some of these concepts, within the constraints that we face, as we work on eliminating the constraints.
Here are some concepts we can immediately use to engage our students more (many of these can be hit by developing Project-Based Learning activities – see previous posts on PBL):
  • Make it fun
  • Make it with a real world application
  • Make it relevant to young lives, now
  • Make it social
  • Make it for a real audience
  • Make it challenging
  • Make it from the ideas of our students!
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Leadership, Motivation, Emotional Intelligence and Innovative Education… click.click.click.

From Alex Ragone's Flickr stream at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ alexragone/3461563518/ No changes made.

From Alex Ragone’s Flickr stream at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ alexragone/3461563518/
No changes made.

Here’s what I love about the internet (one thing, anyway)… it’s amazing how, if you just browse, your thoughts really can lead to anywhere through a series of mouse-clicks.

Case in point – I was reading “5 Habits of Innovative Educators” on the Huffington Post site (which I, of course, clicked my way to) and I thought, these are good ideas to share…  When I got to “4. They are passionately curious.” It made me think about an article title I had seen in my mail inbox but hadn’t read yet, “Why Recognizing Emotions Is a School Leadership Necessity“. Click. Click. That article ended with a references to a school’s emotional tone and school climate… hmmm, I just received ASCD’s Educational Leadership magazine for February centered on “Building School Morale“. Instead of trying to find the hard-copy of the magazine I just… Click… Went to ASCD’s website and clicked on the Educational Leadership tab to remind me about the various articles.

Common strands: Leadership, Motivation and Emotional Intelligence.

School leaders owe it to themselves and those they are surrounded by to develop habits that support innovation. In doing so they will inevitably engage on an emotional level with like-minded learners because they will be showing they are passionately curious, seeking feedback to improve and believe in their students. It is that emotional engagement and connection with others that helps keep motivation high. School climate is a direct responsibility of leaders. The interesting thing is, from my experience, once a leader acknowledges their role and contributes positively to the school climate, those around the leader also take responsibility for a positive school climate.  In a high morale, positive school climate, educators and learners feel safe taking risks, being creative and making more connections… voilà! Celebrate the cycle of innovation!

10 years too late? 21st Century Skill-building!

Wordle_Ed_TechThe time has passed to urge everyone to get ‘up to speed’ and hope that most do!

If you aren’t’ building your technological proficiency AND staying mostly up-to-date with the latest tech trends – especially educational technology, you’re already too far behind. The future is not flipped classrooms, integrating Web 2.0 applications with student learning goals, BYOD and getting the most out of Open Courseware for your students and you – it is the present as in RIGHT NOW! The future is practically impossible to anticipate but if you’re not actively promoting technology integration and digital citizenship then you’re putting our students at a disadvantage in being prepared for that future.

From: Kathy Ishizuka's Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathyishizuka/ 6270134103/sizes/l/

From: Kathy Ishizuka’s Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathyishizuka/ 6270134103/sizes/l/

The beauty of tech integration is that it does NOT take anything away from building sound critical thinking/reasoning skills and writing skills (many of us would argue that it actually CAN enhance those skills, tap into student interests better and facilitate collaboration… necessary real-world skills).

A recent EdWeek blog by Peter DeWitt highlights the gulf between tech use in our personal lives (fairly advanced) and how well schools use technology.

I look forward to reading, “Digital Leadership – Changing Paradigms for Changing Times” by Eric Sheninger, once it comes out. I have no doubt he does a great job of laying it out very clearly and I hope he also provides something of a ‘blueprint’ for those who haven’t gotten ‘in gear’ yet.

Embrace it or get left behind!

Unchanged from Jeremy Price's ForestForTrees Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/ forestfortrees/5388596974/sizes/l/

Unchanged from Jeremy Price’s ForestForTrees Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ forestfortrees/5388596974/sizes/l/