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.

 .

DanielChristian-SomeQuestionsReTheCommonCore-June2013

 

.

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.)

.

 


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.”

.

The Common Core Standards

 

.

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.

.

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.

.

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: 

 

From DSC:

  • What if you want to allow some remote students to come on into your face-to-face classroom?
    .
  • What if you want to allow those remote students to be seen and communicated with at eye level?
    .
  • What if you want Remote Student A to join Group 1, and Remote Student B to join Group 2?
    .

Well…how about using one of these devices  in order to do so!


 

New video collaboration robot: TelePresence gets moving — from cisco.com by Dave Evans

Excerpt:

That is why Cisco’s new joint effort with iRobot—demonstrated publicly this week for the first time—is so exciting: We’ve created a mobile Cisco TelePresence unit that brings collaboration to you—or, conversely, brings you to wherever you need to collaborate. Called iRobot Ava 500, this high-definition video collaboration robot combines Cisco TelePresence with iRobot’s mobility and self-navigation capabilities, enabling freedom of movement and spontaneous interactions with people thousands of miles away.

.

irobot-june-10-2013
.

iRobot Ava™ 500 Video Collaboration Robot — published on Jun 10, 2013
iRobot and Cisco have teamed to bring the Ava 500 video collaboration robot to market. The robot blends iRobot’s autonomous navigation with Cisco’s TelePresence to enable people working off-site to participate in meetings and presentations where movement and location spontaneity are important. The new robot is also designed to enable mobile visual access to manufacturing facilities, laboratories, customer experience centers and other remote facilities.

 

.

Double Robotics Double

http://www.doublerobotics.com/img/use-office.jpg

 

 

MantaroBot™ TeleMe

 

 

 

From Attack of the Telepresence Robots! — from BYTE  by Rick Lehrbaum

.

Kubi

http://twimgs.com/informationweek/byte/reviews/2013-Jan/robotic-telepresence/kubi.jpg

 

 

MantaroBot “TeleMe” VGo Communications “VGo” Anybots “QB” Suitable Technologies “Beam”

 

.

RP-7i ROBOT

RP-7i Remote Presence Robot

 

Also see:

 

Game changers + kids — from live.huffingtonpost.com

Excerpt:

What happens when you bring business innovators together with today’s youth? Choose2Matter is about to find out. We talk to the people behind Choose2Matter and leaders of the business world about the power of the idea that everyone matters.

 

Also see:

.

Choose2Matter-May2013

Michigan district fires all teachers, closes every school — from takepart.com by Suzi Parker
A funding crisis caused the Buena Vista School District to close its schools for the rest of the year—and perhaps permanently.

 

From DSC:
This is not right.

If the State of Michigan can’t resolve this…
I hope that a corporation or two — or a major philanthropist or two — steps in here to insure that all these students have Internet access. Then provide/allow these students to go online.  Let these students take any class that they want to — and help them enjoy learning as much as possible. They will learn things along the way — without even knowing that they are learning (along the lines of what Sugata Mitra has been saying).

Are there issues with this idea? You bet. I can think of several off the top of my head:

  • Parents out at work, kids at home…
  • Online learning works best with disciplined students…
  • The students may take courses that are not STEM-related
    (However, if they are interested in another discipline or topic, these things could be brought into their learning along the way.)
  • The students may not take courses related to the Common Core standards
    (However, this is not a big concern for me; as pounding everyone into a similar “mold” goes against the reality that each of us is different.  We each have different gifts, skills, abilities, strengths, weaknesses, passions, interests, and preferences.)

But we’ve let these kids down — and make no mistake, we will all pay the price for this type of thing — one way or another. We need to help these kids discover the joy of learning…before it’s too late. 

  

 

 

 

 

 

DSC’s comments on “Four Reasons Why Kids Should Learn Programming” — from tynker.com by Jolie O’Dell

.I like this blog posting and others have discussed this topic before…but I respectively disagree with one of the assertions: Programming is not easy — at least it wasn’t for me.  I think that’s true for others, as why else is it so hard to find good programmers and why are they paid so well?  Most people I know do not think like programmers do — it’s a different way of thinking. I’ve tried a couple different languages (albeit at a beginning level!), and while I greatly appreciate what programmers do, I am the first to tell you that I am not a programmer.   At least within web design and development types of tasks/careers, people tend to either gravitate towards the front end OR the back end — though there are exceptions to this rule of thumb who can do both types of tasks well.

So while I agree that students should learn some type of coding, we need more tools/services like this that aim to make programming fun, enjoyable, understandable, and relevant.

 

Tynker-April2013

.

About
Tynker is a new computing platform designed specifically to teach children computational learning and programming skills in a fun and imaginative way. Tynker is inspired by Scratch from MIT. It is a completely browser-based implementation written using Open Web standards such as Javascript, HTML5, CSS3 and does not use Flash.
.

Also see:

Employers identify top 5 job skills

From DSC:
Though K-12 and higher ed do more than
develop skills — and I could add several key
traits/characteristics that we work on
developing (such as integrity, honesty, work
ethic, etc.) — I wanted to reflect on a question:
On a regular basis, are we doing
the things to help foster these traits?

 

Employers Identify Top 5 Job Skills

 

 

From DSC:
At a range between 79%-82%, note how high up the scale the desire is for people who have the ability and willingness to learn new skills!  In other words, employers want lifelong learners.

However, if people come out of their K-12 and/or higher ed experiences and don’t really enjoy learning in the first place, that’s going to be hard to deliver on.  I continue to suggest that we need to cultivate more of a love of learning in students — giving them more choice, more control to identify and pursue their passions….things they WANT to work on. If learning is fun, the other things will take care of themselves. 

 

Schools are doing Education 1.0; talking about doing Education 2.0; when they should be planning Education 3.0 — from User Generated Education by Jackie Gerstein

Excerpt:

Education 3.0
Education 3.0 is based on the belief that content is freely and readily available. It is self-directed, interest-based learning where problem-solving, innovation and creativity drive education.

.

6915209866_dd348ca2b9_o

 

Also see —  with a thanks going our to Kevin Corbett on this one:

.

TheNewMindset-SimonMcKenzie-Jan2013

InDesign FX: How to create a puzzle with InDesign — from blog.lynda.com by Mike Rankin

.

How to create a puzzle effect using InDesign

.

Also see:

  • How to hook your reader from the very first page — from blog.lynda.com by Lisa Cron
    Excerpt:
    Think stories are just for entertainment? They’re not. Stories are simulations that allow us to vicariously experience problems we might someday face. Think of them as the world’s first virtual reality—minus the geeky visor. Story was more crucial to our evolution than opposable thumbs. All opposable thumbs did was let us hang on. Story told us what to hang on to.
    .
    The great feeling of enjoyment we get when a story grabs us is nature’s way of making sure we pay attention to the story.

From DSC:
I appreciate Kevin Wheeler’s comment on Jay Cross’ posting entitled “A Solution to the College Crisis” (emphasis below from DSC)

In response to Jay Cross:

Higher education in the United States is broken. Costs are ouf of control. Students are dissatisfied. Graduates can’t get jobs. Says MIT’s Andy McAfee, “What’s going on is halfway between a bubble and a scandal.” I propose we put higher ed back on track by founding Corporate Colleges. Corporate colleges break higher […]

Jay,

As you know I have written a book on Corporate Universities and have spent many years at the “coal face” of learning, work and formal education. What you propose is actually what many corporate universities are offering today (except for your funding approach). It works well at the professional levels where people already have skills and degrees but seek additional competence.

it works much less well with entry level folks and people with minimal education. Many of these folks lack basic skills or are functionally illiterate. Some are reluctant to sink time into learning, especially if it reduces pay. Many have social issues and have had bad experiences learning in school. They are not predisposed to learn in any way that looks like learning.

They need personal attention, work-based apprentice-like education, and a tremendous amount of coaching with consistent motivation or interest falls off. It is a dilema that technology works much less well at this level and therefore costs for coaching go up while the benefit to a corporation is minimal. Most organizations would rather invest in those who are already performing than try and educate entry-level or marginal folks.

Everything you propose makes perfect sense, but it is damn hard to get it to work in reality.

.

From DSC:
This is exactly the kind of thing I’ve been trying to address — if people don’t like learning, it will be very hard to get them to become lifelong learners (something that has become a requirement these days). 

To those of us working within K-12 and/or higher education:

One of the greatest gifts that we can possibly give to our students is a chance for them to identify and develop their God-given passions, interests, and abilities.  If we create the “space” for this to occur, an enormous amount of internal energy and will power will be released.

Check out this video for a perfect example of this!!!

.

 

IfStudentsDesignedTheirOwnSchools-March2013

 

To those folks working within the corporate world:

How can your organization’s culture be tweaked to better support people and their development?  This might be putting more resources towards helping internal employees develop their own learning ecosystems — based upon their interests, passions, career goals — and/or hiring entry-level folks and then helping develop them.  Besides helping to make the world a better place, this approach just might just turn out to be a solid business move.

Passion-Based Learning Conference: Spartans Connect II — from ryanbretag.com

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Just like the past two years ago, we asked our students and faculty what they are passionate about. But we didn’t stop there. As Dan Pink said, “If people tap their strengths, and use them in the service of something larger than themselves, passion will take care of itself.” So we asked questions like these:

  • What do you do for fun?
  • What are your interests?
  • How do you spend your free time?
  • What do you love doing – something you get lost in, find flow with?
  • What are you passionate about.

ChesapeakeChildDevCtr-March2013

Tagged with:  

From DSC:
THIS is what it could look like if students OWNED their own learning and could pursue their own passions! — A powerful piece!
Well worth your time if you are involved with — or concerned about — education in any way, shape, or form.

The video starts off with this troubling/deep assertion by a student (which I’m sure varies in actuality across the board):

  • “It’s crazy that…in a system that is meant to teach…and to help the youth, there is NO voice from the youth at all.”

 

IfStudentsDesignedTheirOwnSchools-March2013

 

From DSC:
A few radical — but powerful ideas — to help students OWN their own learning (something that they will need for the rest of their lives):

  • More choice, more control
  • Research what you want to research — “The most important thing about your question is that you ACTUALLY  WANT to know the answer.”
  • Students pursue their own passions — be that an interest in music, art, science, aviation, or in another discipline.
  • Student present their findings to each other — which involves more of a team-based approach (i.e. peer pressure in a positive way here, strongly encouraging each other to do their best work so as not to let others down)
  • Peer evaluation
  • No quizzes
  • No grades
  • Often no adults in the room; if adults are there, they are acting more as guides and facilitators
  • Multiple types of “assignments”/activities — some individualistic, some group work, some long-term

A couple of questions kept running through the back of my mind:

  • Did they hand select these particular students for this program?
  • If so, what were the predominant characteristics of those students?

 

 

With that said, this is a very powerful piece — well worth your time to check out.

 

 

From DSC:
Some very frustrated reflections after reading:

Excerpt:

Right now, boys are falling out of the kindergarten through 12th grade educational pipeline in ways that we can hardly imagine.

 

This situation continues to remind me of the oil spill in the Gulf (2010), where valuable resources spilled into the water untapped — later causing some serious issues:
.

From DSC:
What are we doing?!!! We’ve watched the dropout rates grow — it doesn’t seem we’ve changed our strategies nearly enough! But the point that gets lost in this is that we will all pay for these broken strategies — and for generations to come!  It’s time to seriously move towards identifying and implementing some new goals.

What should the new goals look like? Here’s my take on at least a portion of a new vision for K-12 — and collegiate — education:

  • Help students identify their God-given gifts and then help them build up their own learning ecosystems to support the development of those gifts. Hook them up with resources that will develop students’ abilities and passions.
    .
  • Part of their learning ecosystems could be to help them enter into — and build up — communities of practice around subjects that they enjoy learning about. Those communities could be local, national, or international. (Also consider the creation of personalized learning agents, as these become more prevalent/powerful.)
    .
  • Do everything we can to make learning enjoyable and foster a love of learning — as we need lifelong learners these days.
    (It doesn’t help society much if students are dropping out of K-12 or if people struggle to make it through graduation — only to then harbor ill feelings towards learning/education in general for years to come.  Let’s greatly reduce the presence/usage of standardized tests — they’re killing us!  They don’t seem to be producing long-term positive results. I congratulate the recent group of teachers who refused to give their students such tests; and I greatly admire them for getting rid of a losing strategy.)

    .
  • Give students more choice, more control over what their learning looks like; let them take their own paths as much as possible (provide different ways to meet the same learning objective is one approach…but perhaps we need to think beyond/bigger than that. The concern/fear arises…but how will we manage this? That’s where a good share of our thinking should be focused; generating creative answers to that question.)
    .
  • Foster curiosity and wonder
    .
  • Provide cross-disciplinary assignments/opportunities
    .
  • Let students work on/try to resolve real issues in their communities
    .
  • Build up students’ appreciation of faith, hope, love, empathy, and a desire to make the world a better place. Provide ways that they can contribute.
    .
  • Let students experiment more — encourage failure.
    .

 

‘Warnings from the trenches’ — from insidehighered.com by Colleen Flaherty

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

“Thus, students arriving in our high school lacked experience and knowledge about how to do the kinds of writing that are expected at higher levels of education,” he wrote. And even though high school teachers may try their best to make up for lost time, they, too, are held accountable for standardized test scores. Beyond mandatory state tests, the broad scope of Advanced Placement exams can have the same short-sighted effect on instruction, he added (many of Bernstein’s courses were AP U.S. government and politics).

Consequently, he said in an interview, students now arriving at college — even elite ones — are better at “filling in bubbles” than thinking outside a discrete set of multiple choices, in the ways the higher education and adult life demand.

Bernstein said he’d planned on retiring from his Maryland high school several years from now, but decided to leave last month due to a combination of factors, including the increasingly frustrating nature of teaching in a test-focused system.

 

From DSC:
I saw a question out on the blogosphere the other day that asked, “After the SATs are gone, then what?”  I’d like to see us pursue that line of thinking, as we need to strive to do more things for students’ learning and not so much because that’s the most efficient way to “manage” education.  (I wonder about CMS’s/LMS’s in this regard as well.)  My vote is for helping students identify their God-given talents, interests, passions, abilities and to help them develop those gifts — creating WIN-WIN situations throughout society and the globe. Assessment is a key element of teaching and learning, but I think we’ve gone too far with these standardized tests — the pendulum needs to swing back the other way.

 

Also see:

  • The Future of Education .. from Isaac Asimov, 1988 #edcmooc — from dontwasteyourtime.co.uk
    Excerpt:
    “Once we have computer outlets in every home, each of them hooked up to enormous libraries where anyone can ask any question and be given answers, be given reference material in something you’re interested in knowing … you ask,you can find out, you can follow it up and you can do it in your own home, at your own speed, at your own direction, in your own time, then everyone will enjoy learning.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

© 2019 | Daniel Christian