What is unschooling? A parents guide to child-led home education — from yahoo.com by Nicole Harris

Excerpt:

Unschooling is a form of homeschooling that emphasizes a child’s interests, rather than a structured academic curriculum. “It’s a curiosity-led approach to education that relies on the natural creativity of young people,” says Krystal Dillard, co-director of the Natural Creativity Center, an unschooling center in Philadelphia. “There is no prescribed curriculum; rather, children are empowered to explore with adults offering guidance along the way.”

Parents who practice unschooling don’t set aside hours or places for education. Instead, they encourage learning as a natural part of everyday life. “As a result, self-directed education looks different for everyone, and can constitute anything from climbing a tree to building a computer to producing a film,” says Dillard. Unschooling can happen in the home, in the yard, at unschooling centers, or virtually anywhere else.

“As a result, self-directed education looks different for everyone, and can constitute anything from climbing a tree to building a computer to producing a film,” says Dillard. Unschooling can happen in the home, in the yard, at unschooling centers, or virtually anywhere else.

 

 

From DSC:
NOTE: The K-12 education system that I’m talking about in this posting is the pre-COVID-19 education system.



What Cory Henwood describes here…

The paradigm of one -- as described by Cory Henwood

is what I describe as the quickly moving K-12 education train that stops for no one!

K-12 education in America is a like a quickly moving train that stops for no one.

(image source)


This becomes especially troublesome for those on either side of the 80% bell curve.
I know about this, as one of our daughters has been living through this phenomenon for years. We are seriously considering homeschooling for her as we want her learning experiences to be more positive ones for her. We want to provide more choice, more control for what she wants to learn about — and the pace at which she can go through those experiences. We want there to be more joy in her learning experiences. This will hopefully help her build more positive perspectives about learning in general.

This is not a mute issue…nor is this a topic that’s focused on just students with special needs. In fact, this topic is relevant to every single student in America — as everyone is now required to be lifelong learners these days. Grades need to diminish in importance. The enjoyment of learning needs to rise.

Note: There were some times in public and charter schools that provided courses and topics of great interest to her, and provided some great joy to her. Plus, there were some incredibly-dedicated teachers and staff that created a team around our daughter. I’m very grateful for them and for their efforts. But positive learning experiences were becoming too few and too far between. The train left the station *for everyone* at such-and-such a time, and stopped *for everyone* at such and such a time. The education system required that she and her classmates move at a certain (high) speed — regardless of their mastery of the content. Teachers know what I’m talking about here…big time.

We need to get to what Cory discusses about when he discusses competency-based education.

We need to get to what Cory discusses about competency-based education.

Plus, we need to get to a place where there is:

 

Silver Lining for Learning, Episode 05: Rethinking school with Will Richardson — from dangerouslyirrelevant.org by Scott McLeod; joined by Chris Dede and Curt Bonk as well

Per Scott:

I was fortunate to be the primary host for Episode 05 of Silver Lining for Learning on April 18. Our guest was Will Richardson and we had a fantastic discussion about both the realities and possibilities of school transformation.

Will has been talking about how to rethink learning, teaching, and schooling for decades. He is the author of multiple books and has launched major collaboration initiatives such as the change.schoolModern Learners, and Powerful Learning Practice networks. If you weren’t able to join us, the archived video is well worth it!

 

From DSC:
The article below is meant as fodder for thought for us now…until we get back to holding class in physical learning spaces again. But it caught my attention because I’d like to see us give students “More choice. More Control.” in all areas of their learning — whether that be in the physical realm or in the digital/virtual realm.

 

 

4 reasons to build choice into classroom design — and how to make it work for students — from spaces4learning.com by Deanna Marie Lock
A look at the key elements of a modern and highly engaging learning space

 

providing more choice and more control to students within the physcial classroom

 

Are you marking the boundaries between remote and online learning? — from linkedin.com by Amrit Ahluwalia

Excerpt:

As we shift from a three-stage life model to a 100-Year Life model, ongoing and continuing education is going to become a standard part of the lives of every student currently pursuing a degree, and for almost every adult currently in the workforce.

It’s really important that this experience doesn’t taint their perspective of online learning, because it’s more than likely that they’ll need to leverage online learning to maintain their career progression later in life.

In the early stages of the transition, however, it looks like both learners and faculty might be really embracing the possibilities offered by remote learning technologies.

 

My wife sent me this video from John Bennett, a math teacher. This was posted to YouTube back on 11/8/11.

In fact, if it were up to me, I’d would no longer require math to be taught…in middle school and high school.

NOTES:

  • 300 million people in the U.S. (as John mentioned back in October 2011)
    • 1.5 million engineers
    • 1/2 of a percent; and you can add another 1/2 of a percent for other kinds of jobs that require that kind of math
    • That leaves 99% of us in the United States who don’t use what we learned about in middle school and high school math classes. But the problem is, math has caused major stress for people in the last 40 years.
  • John Bennett had some major cognitive dissonance to the reasons WHY he was suggesting his students know the math concepts that he was trying to relay.
  • He came to ask, “When do most of us use math in real life?”
    • Money. Financial stuff. Balancing checkbook. Tipping. Cooking and carpentry.
  • Why are we still teaching algebra? Because it teaches us about inductive and deductive reasoning. Math helps us develop that kind of reasoning.
  • So a better plan would be to:
    • Let people who want to take math in middle school and high school take it.
    • For the rest of the students, provide strategy games and logic puzzles that help develop those cognitive reasoning skills.

From DSC:
When this math teacher meets people out in society, people confess how much stress math brought to them in school….and they’re aren’t joking.

Given that we are all required to be lifelong learners these days, I love what John Bennett is saying here…because we really aren’t serving society at large by requiring math be taught in middle school and high school.

  • It causes stress and very negative learning experiences for many people.
  • We don’t use it. (By the way, I could plug and chug ok, but I had no idea what I was doing. No real understanding. I haven’t used algebra and/or calculus since my youth.)

What does it take to change our curricula like that?! Is it possible? I sure hope so.

 

Healthy looks different on every body...and learning looks different with every mind.

From DSC:
What I mean by this is this:

While I certainly agree that research has produced excellent, proven, effective pedagogies that work with many students (the majority even), the fact is, learning is messy. When a child walks into a classroom, there isn’t even one other child with the exact same neural situation.

Nor is there even one other student with the exact same experiences, background, passions, motivations, interests, etc. I’ve experienced this with our daughter who isn’t a part of the 80% that the typical education train addresses. Look out if you are part of the 10% of either side of the bell curve! As your learning experiences are too costly to address and likely won’t be addressed in many cases.

All that said, I still agree that the teaching and learning strategies are still highly relevant across the masses. My point is that there is still a lot of diversity out there. They say that learning is messy for a reason. If you doubt that, go sit in on an IEP sometime.

 

Play is disappearing from kindergarten. It’s hurting kids. — from edsurge.com by  Joe Martin

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

In an increasing number of schools, teachers of very young students are pressured to pack every moment of the day with structured, academically rigorous tasks. One recent whitepaper linked the practice to preparing kids for the long road of schooling ahead, in which progress is measured through standardized testing starting in third grade.

Friedrich Froebel, a pedagogue of modern education, coined the term “kindergarten” in 1840 after recognizing the importance of play in the development of young children. Inspired by the idea of a garden, he designed a classroom where the teacher presented children with objects, which they were allowed to play with in any way they could imagine. When they lost interest in one object, they would be presented with a new one to spark curiosity and creativity. Children were encouraged to grow and flourish in this free form, play-based environment.

From DSC:
Given that we are all into a lifelong learning situation now, I vote for more importance being placed on whether someone enjoyed their learning experience. That said, I know there is struggle in learning…and learning in the struggle. But we focus so much on grades and standardized testing. This robs the joy from the teaching and learning environment — for the teachers as well as for the kids.

Also see:

 

From DSC:
When I saw the learning space as pictured below, I couldn’t help but ask a couple of questions:

  • Doesn’t this look like a colorful, fun, engaging active learning space?
  • One that encourages communication and collaboration?

The natural light is wonderful. And the physical setup seems to let the students know that they will be collaborating with each other the second they walk into this learning space…and it does so without saying a word. 

This type of learning setup seems like learning could be very fun and collaborative!

 

Guides to help kids learn coding — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

Below is a collection of some of the best books to help your kids learn coding. Kids will get to learn the basics of computer coding through a wide variety of interactive visuals, engaging games and project-based  activities. They will also get to experiment with different softwares and programming languages such as Python, Java, Scratch and many more. Links to the books are under the visual.

From DSC:
I don’t subscribe to the idea/expectation that every student should become a programmer and have extensive exposure to it. Why? Because:

  1. It’s been my experience that programming requires a different kind of passion, a different way of thinking and processing information, a different way of problem-solving, a different disposition/makeup that many people (including myself) don’t have. This is one of the reasons why coders are often in such demand and are often paid so much — because the vast majority of people don’t want to do it (at least as programming exists today).
  2. I’d like to see our students enjoy their learning. In fact, I’d like to see more emphasis on students enjoying their learning, and far less on grades. Given the new reality of lifelong learning, folks’ quality of life would increase if that were the case. To expect everyone to be able to code applications of some significance is an entirely different matter.

All that said, I do think it’s helpful for students to at least have some exposure to how to program — a basic understanding of coding and what are some of the things that are involved in that space. To have an appreciation of the process, some basic syntax, what’s possible, etc. would be helpful. 

Introduction to programming classes should explain why programming is relevant, list some of the various languages out there, list some different kinds of applications that we use today, and provide some basic elements of programming. Perhaps students could create some very basic, fun things. This could wet some students’ whistles big-time, while helping other students come to the conclusion of, “Well, I tried it, but I don’t want to do this for a living.”

 

Measure for assessing how investing in spaces for learning results in a robust return for students, for the institution, & for the community beyond the campus — from pkallsc.org

Excerpts:

How do you make the case that the investment in institutional investment in the physical environment for learning makes a difference? How will you know? What evidence makes that case? From the LSC spaces that work collection II, some potential measures of success can be distilled. These stories about recent projects embrace but go beyond attention to impact of learners while students and alumni; they set forth project goals that are measurable, returns that will be benefit the institution in the future—in regard to increased enrollments and graduate rates, of collaborative research between campus and community and more.

 

Launch of NUVU Innovation School in Scotland — from cambridge.nuvustudio.com by Saba Ghole

Excerpt:

NuVu Innovation School, which officially opened its doors on October 10, provides a unique learning environment designed around creativity, innovation and enterprise. The new school is designed to face up to the challenge of a fast-moving jobs market and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.

 

 

DC: In the future…will there be a “JustWatch” or a “Suppose” for learning-related content?

DC: In the future...will there be a JustWatch or a Suppose for learning-related content?

 

How augmented reality will overhaul our most crucial industries — from singularityhub.com by Peter Diamandis

Excerpts:

Healthcare
(1) Surgeons and physicians
(2) Assistance for those with disabilities
(3) Biometric displays

Retail & Advertising
(1) Virtual shopping
(2) Advertising

Education & Travel
(1) Customized, continuous learning

Within the classroom, Magic Leap One’s Lumin operating system allows multiple wearers to share in a digital experience, such as a dissection or historical map. And from a collaborative creation standpoint, students can use Magic Leap’s CAD application to join forces on 3D designs.

In success, AR’s convergence with biometric sensors and AI will give rise to an extraordinarily different education system: one comprised of delocalized, individually customizable, responsive, and accelerated learning environments.

(2) Training
(3) Travel

Manufacturing
(1) Design
(2) Supply chain optimization
(3) Quality assurance & accessible expertise

Transportation & Navigation
(1) Autonomous vehicles
(2) Navigation

Entertainment
(1) Gaming
(2) Art

 

Alexa Skill Blueprints Publishing Now Available in Australia and New Zealand – Create and Publish a Skill, No Coding Required— from developer.amazon.com by James Ang

Excerpt:

We are excited to announce that now anyone can create and publish an Alexa skill on the Australian Alexa Skills Store using Alexa Skill Blueprints. Skill Blueprints enable you to create and share customised Alexa skills simply by filling in the blanks to one of the dozens of easy-to-use templates, with no coding required. Now you can publish skills created using Alexa Skill Blueprints to the Alexa Skills Store in Australia for customers to discover and use. We have also built new Skill Blueprints specifically for content creators, bloggers, and organisations so they can reach anyone with an Alexa-enabled device.

Create Fun Learning Tools
Whether you are a parent helping your child study or want to teach something you’re passionate about, Blueprints are easy tools to create new ways to learn. Use the QuizFlashcardsFacts, and Listening Quiz Blueprints to help teach new concepts, retain information, and prepare for the next exam. Add your content into the Skill Blueprint template without the need for any coding and make learning fun for everyone.

 

 

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