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: 

 

First a definition:

A digital audio workstation (DAW) is an electronic system designed solely or primarily for recording, editing and playing back digital audio. DAWs were originally tape-less, microprocessor-based systems such as the Synclavier. Modern DAWs are software running on computers with audio interface hardware.

Secondly, some items from Adam Dachis on LifeHacker.com:

 

 

From DSC:
For those who want to dip their feet into the pool quickly to see what it’s like, I would recommend checking out Garageband — it’s a powerful tool that can give you some nice results — and the learning curve is far better/easier than the more complex tools out there.

 

 

 

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:

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Choose2Matter-May2013

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

 

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.

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6915209866_dd348ca2b9_o

 

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

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TheNewMindset-SimonMcKenzie-Jan2013

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.

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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!!!

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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.

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.

 

 

‘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.

Excerpt from Beyond school choice — from Michael Horn

With the rapid growth in online and mobile learning, students everywhere at all levels are increasingly having educational choices—regardless of where they live and even regardless of the policies that regulate schools.

What’s so exciting about this movement beyond school choice is the customization that it allows students to have. Given that each student has different learning needs at different times and different passions and interests, there is likely no school, no matter how great, that can single-handedly cater to all of these needs just by using its own resources contained within the four walls of its classrooms.

With the choices available, students increasingly don’t need to make the tradeoff between attending a large school with lots of choices but perhaps lots of anonymity or a small school with limited choices but a deeply developed personal support structure.

 

Excerpt from Cooperating in the open — from Harold Jarche

I think one of the problems today is that many online social networks are trying to be communities of practice. But to be a community of practice, there has to be something to practice. One social network, mine, is enough for me. How I manage the connections is also up to me. In some cases I will follow a blogger, in others I will connect via Google Plus or Twitter, but from my perspective it is one network, with varying types of connections. Jumping into someone else’s bounded social network/community only makes sense if I have an objective. If not, I’ll keep cooperating out in the open.

 

 

From DSC:
Perhaps helping folks build their own learning ecosystems — based upon one’s gifts/abilities/passions — should be an objective for teachers, professors, instructional designers, trainers, and consultants alike. No matter whether we’re talking K-12, higher ed, or corporate training, these ever-changing networks/tools/strategies will help keep us marketable and able to contribute in a variety of areas to society.

 

 

 

Addendum on 2/5/13:

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JayCross-LearningEcosystem2013

 

8 things to look for in today’s classroom — by George Couros

Excerpt:

As I think that leaders should be able to describe what they are looking for in schools I have thought of eight things that I really want to see in today’s classroom.  I really believe that classrooms need to be learner focused. This is not simply that students are creating but that they are also having opportunities to follow their interests and explore passions.  The teacher should embody learning as well.

 

From DSC:
If we can tap into students’ passions/hearts, I believe we’ll find enormous amounts of creative energy pour forth! I’m again struck with adding the tags/keywords to this posting — More choice, more control.

 

 

Also see the following items from Genius:

  • The New Consumer Agenda:
    From authentic collaboration to small indulgences … what consumers want in 2013 and beyond, and how brands are responding.
  • Marketing Trends 2013+:
    From black marketing to crowd creatives, brand gaming to urban formats, solomo and diffusion … what will be big in marketing in 2013

 

Additional notes from DSC:

  • With thanks going out to Mr. Jim Woods (@hyperinnovation) on twitter for this resource
  • The wave-related graphics above are very appropriate for our times — and I’d rather be surfing the waves then being crushed by them!

 

 

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