From Linda Naranjo-Huebl  on Sunday, July 14, 2013 — a day after George Zimmerman was found not guilty of murder in Trayvon Martin’s death

After discussions with my African American friends and a morning of intense prayer and tears, mingled with despair, a prayer:

God of the Universe, come to us in our despair and broken heartedness, and minister life to your children. God of Justice, reach us in our mourning over our African American brothers, fathers, and sons who are not safe on our streets. Stepping outside their homes–as objects of hatred, suspicion and fear–they face the very real threats of harassment, molestation, assault, and death by both police officers and citizens. Let me stand with my sisters who are mothers, daughters, wives, and sisters of black boys and men in the United States. Forgive me when I have let my own privileged position keep me at a safe distance from the fear and heartache that weighs on their hearts and souls every day. Let their despair, fear, anger, and heartbreak be my own. Help them as they struggle to support their sons, brothers, husbands, and fathers as they walk in this hostile world, as they try to encourage them to trust in a God who calls them beloved when the world will not, who will never forsake them in their trials.

Oh how hard it is right now to believe with our brother Martin Luther King Jr. that the “arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” We cry out with the prophet, “Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5:24). Holy Spirit, grant us faith; help us believe that your justice reigns, that you record all our tears in a bottle and write them in your book (Ps. 56:8), that you will judge the unrighteousness, that you will one day wipe every tear from the eyes of the victims of injustice. Keep us from falling into hopelessness, cynicism, and despair. Take our anger and hopelessness and turn our energies into the work of justice and reconciliation between God and humans and among our human family, for this is the heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Regards,

Linda Naranjo-Huebl
Associate Professor of English
Calvin College

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Also see:

  • This video that the Howard University School of Law posted last year.

 

  • Lament From a White Father — from huffingtonpost.com by Jim Wallis
    Excerpts (emphasis DSC):
    It’s time for white people — especially white parents — to listen, to learn, and to speak out on the terribly painful loss of Trayvon Martin.  If my white 14-year-old son Luke had walked out that same night, in that same neighborhood, just to get a snack, he would have come back to his dad unharmed — and would still be with me and Joy today.  Everyone, being honest with ourselves, knows that is true.  But when black 17-year-old Trayvon Martin went out that night, just to get a snack, he ended up dead — and is no longer with his dad and mom. Try to imagine how that feels, as his parents.

    Listen to the stories from Saturday and Sunday nights, of 12-year-old black boys who asked to sleep in bed with their parents because they were afraid.  If black youth in America can’t rely on the police, the law, or their own neighborhood for protection — where can they go?

    Finally, there is a religious message here for all Christians. If there ever was a time that demonstrated why racially and culturally diverse congregations are needed — that time is now. The body of Christ is meant, instructed, and commanded by Christ to be racially inclusive. If white Christians stay in our mostly-white churches and talk mostly to each other we will never understand how our black brothers and sisters are feeling after a terrible weekend like this one. It was the conversation of every black church in America on this Sunday, but very few white Christians heard that discussion or felt that pain. White Christians cannot and must not leave the sole responsibility of telling the truth about America, how it has failed Trayvon Martin and so many black Americans, solely to their African-American brothers and sisters in Christ.  It’s time for white Christians to listen to their black brothers and sisters, to learn their stories, and to speak out for racial justice and reconciliation.  The country needs multi-racial communities of faith to show us how to live together.

 

 

From DSC:
1) To start out this posting, I want to pose some questions about “The Common Core” — in the form of a short video. <— NOTE:  Please be sure your speakers are on or you have some headphones with you — the signal is “hot” so you may need to turn down the volume a bit!  🙂

With a special thanks going out to
Mr. Bill Vriesema for sharing
some of his excellent gifts/work.

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DanielChristian-SomeQuestionsReTheCommonCore-June2013

 

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Having asked those questions, I understand that there is great value in having students obtain a base level of knowledge — in reading, writing, and basic math.  (Should we add keyboarding? Programming? Other?  Perhaps my comments are therefore more appropriate for high school students…not sure.)

Anyway, I would be much more comfortable with moving forward with the Common Core IF:

* I walked into random schools and found out which teachers the students really enjoyed learning from and whom had a real impact on the learning of the students.  Once I identified that group of teachers, if 7-8 out of 10 of them gave the Common Core a thumbs up, so would I.

* The Common Core covered more areas — such as fine arts, music, drama, woodworking, videography, photography, etc.    (Just because STEM might drive the economic engines doesn’t mean everyone enjoys plugging into a STEM-related field — or is gifted in those areas.)

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2) Secondly, here are just a few recent items re: the Common Core:


 

Good Read: Who’s Minding the Schools? — from blogs.kqed.org by Tina Barseghian

Excerpt: (emphasis DSC)

For those uninitiated to the Common Core State Standards, this New York Times article raises some important questions:

“By definition, America has never had a national education policy; this has indeed contributed to our country’s ambivalence on the subject… The anxiety that drives this criticism comes from the fact that a radical curriculum — one that has the potential to affect more than 50 million children and their parents — was introduced with hardly any public discussion. Americans know more about the events in Benghazi than they do about the Common Core.”

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The Common Core Standards

 

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Editorial: Make the Common Core standards work before making them count — from eschoolnews.com by Randi Weingarten
AFT President Randi Weingarten calls for a moratorium on the high-stakes implications of Common Core testing until the standards have been properly implemented.

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How to train students’ brains for the Common Core — from ecampusnews.com by Meris Stansbury
Excerpt:

According to Margaret Glick, a neuroscience expert and educational consultant at the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE), the Common Core State Standards and the accompanying assessments will cognitively require more than past standards. “They will require a deep understanding of content, complex performances, real-world application, habits of mind to persevere, higher levels of cognition and cognitive flexibility,” Glick said during “The Common Core State Standards and the Brain,” a webinar sponsored by the Learning Enhancement Corporation.

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Common Core testing will require digital literacy skills — from ecampusnews.com by Dennis Pierce
Excerpt:

It also will require students to demonstrate certain digital literacy skills that go beyond the core curriculum, observers say. These include technology operational skills such as keyboarding and spreadsheets, as well as higher-order skills such as finding and evaluating information online. And many observers have serious concerns about whether students will be ready to take the online exams by the 2014-15 school year.

 

Minn. moves ahead with some Common Core education standards — from minnesota.publicradio.org by Tim Post

 

Carry the Common Core in Your Pocket! — from appolearning.com by Monica Burns

Excerpt:

Whether you are a parent or educator, you have likely heard the buzz around the Common Core Learning Standards. Here’s the deal.

Across the United States schools are adopting these national standards to prepare students for college and careers by introducing rigorous content to children in all subject areas. The standards cover students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The Common Core Standards app by MasteryConnect organizes the CCLS for students, parents and teachers with mobile devices.

 

 

Addendum on 6/19/13:

Addendum on 6/27/13: 

 

Five lessons about the way we treat people

 


1 – First important lesson:  The Cleaning Lady


During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one:

“What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?”

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50’s, but how would I know her name?

I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

“Absolutely, ” said the professor…” In your careers, you will meet many people.  All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say “hello.”

I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

 


2. – Second important lesson: Pickup in the rain


One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960’s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab. She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man’s door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached.  It read:

“Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits.  Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband’s’ bedside just before he passed away…God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.”

Sincerely,
Mrs. Nat King Cole

 


3 – Third important lesson: Always remember those who serve


In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

“How much is an ice cream sundae?” he asked.

“Fifty cents,” replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.

“Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?” he inquired.

By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient.

“Thirty-five cents,” she brusquely replied.

The little boy again counted his coins.

“I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left.  When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table.  There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies.

You see,  he couldn’t  have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

 


4 – Fourth important lesson:  The obstacle in our path


In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway.  Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock.  Some of the King’s’ wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables.  Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road  After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.  The peasant learned what many of us never understand!

Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

 


5 – Fifth important lesson: Giving when it counts


Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare & serious disease.  Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.  The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister.

I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, “Yes I’ll do it if it will save her.”  As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheek. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded.

He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away”.

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.

 

 

Romans 11:33-36 (NIV)

Romans 11:33-36 (NIV)

Doxology

33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.

40percentfreelancersby2020-quartz-april2013

 

Also, from Steve Wheeler’s

Etienne Wenger recently declared: ‘If any institutions are going to help learners with the real challenges they face…(they) will have to shift their focus from imparting curriculum to supporting the negotiation of productive identities through landscapes of practice’ (Wenger, 2010).

We live in uncertain times, where we cannot be sure how the economy is going to perform today, let alone predict what kind of jobs there will be for students when they graduate in a few years time. How can we prepare students for a world of work that doesn’t yet exist? How can we help learners to ready themselves for employment that is shifting like the sand, and where many of the jobs they will be applying for when they leave university probably don’t exist yet? It’s a conundrum many faculty and lecturers are wrestling with, and one which many others are ignoring in the hope that the problem will simply go away. Whether we are meerkats, looking out and anticipating the challenges, or ostriches burying our heads in the sand, the challenge remains, and it is growing stronger.

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Also see:

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401kworld-friedman-may2013

 

Also see:

  • The Nature of the Future: The Socialstructed World — from nextberlin.eu by Marina Gorbis, Institute for the Future
    Marina Gorbis, Executive Director of the Institute for the Future (iftf.org) discussed the evolution of communication and its consequences at NEXT13. She analyzed the perks and challenges of the new relationship-driven or “socialstructed” economy, stating that “humans and technology will team up”. Her new book ‘The Nature of the Future: Dispatches from the Socialstructed World’ was published in early 2013.  Watch her inspiring talk on April 23, 2013 at NEXT13.

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From DSC:
My best take on this at this point:

  • Give students more choice, more control of their learning
  • Help them discover their gifts, abilities, talents, passions
  • Help them develop their gifts, abilities, talents, passions
  • Provide content in as many ways as possible — and let the students work with what they prefer to work with
  • Implement story, emotion, creativity, and play as much as possible (providing plenty of chances for them to create what they want to create)
  • Utilize cross-disciplinary assignments and teams
  • Integrate real-world assignments/projects into the mix
  • Help them develop their own businesses while they are still in school — coach them along, provide mentors, relevant blogs/websites, etc.
  • Guide them as they create/develop their own “textbooks” and/or streams of content

 

James 3:17 (NIV)

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

The Dedication of the Temple

When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it.  When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying,

“He is good;
his love endures forever.”

 

From DSC:
For the last ~3 years, I’ve been a part of a church plant (it officially started on 10/10/10).  We’ve been meeting in a public school — almost a miracle in itself these days — and it’s been a beneficial situation for all involved parties.

Also, many college students come there as well as young families and people of all ages and backgrounds. We’ve grown to the point where we needed a more permanent home. So we’ve been looking for a while now…

The story behind the building that we recently purchased is an amazing story of patience and goodness — but also confusion.  I won’t go into it all, but I’m quite certain that the building we’re about to move into (the LORD willing) doesn’t look anything like the temple that Solomon built for the LORD.   I can say that with some confidence because the building that we purchased is a former fitness facility — plus it has offices that were designed for remote employees/mobile workers to come on in and use for a few hours/days at a time.

When I first heard we were looking at this building, I didn’t care for it.  Several of the buildings around it had closed up shop and they have stayed closed since leaving the area.  The business itself appeared to be like one of those restaurants in your home town that constantly changes hands — i.e. one that never seems to quite make it.

But the LORD was patient with us and we were patient with Him. He worked it out so that we could not only afford the building but also bring on an additional staff member in the meantime.

Having an open house the other night reminded me that the possibilities are numerous with this new building.  I look forward to see what the LORD has in mind for us there.  I’m thankful for the LORD — for His patience with me, His extended grace to me and others, and His being active in our lives.  I’m thankful for what He has done, what He’s doing, and what He will do in the future.

At the end of the day, I’m left with the same words that the Israelites were:

“He is good;
his love endures forever.”

 

EdutopiaHowToThankATeacher-May2013

Hebrews 11:1

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

 

 

At the heart of the Internet of Things lies a trust revolution — from Business Leaders Network by Mark Littlewood
Interesting article by JP Rangaswami in CIO magazine about the trust revolution that is required for the Internet of Things to have context and therefore value for consumers.

As the Internet of Things evolves, trust, becomes more important and valuable, not less.

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