To students studying Business, Economics, Religion, Political Science, and Philosophy:


Please consider — and research/define where necessary — the following items occurring in the United States today. 

The fiscal cliff.
The U.S. debt limit.
Federal spending vs. revenue.
Printing money and it’s potential impact on inflation.
Recent election results.
A global economy; global competition.
The place/role of money.
Race against the machine; also see this posting.
Matthew 6:19-34.


Then, please discuss/answer the following questions:

  1. What makes our debt risky? On a national level? On the money and banking level? On a personal level?
  2. What are your thoughts about the following items:
  3. What implications do you see in these items? Will they be impacting you and/or your future?
    • Are there political ramifications for this?
    • Are there spiritual ramifications for this?
  4. Could the U.S. be heading for trouble? If you say yes, what support do you have for this assertion? If you say no, what do you support your argument with?
  5. Do you think we are a divided nation? What support do you have for this perspective?
  6. What characteristics of leadership would you most like to see at this point in time?
  7. After reading Matthew 6:19-34:
    • If you, personally, lost everything you had, what would that do to you emotionally? Physically? Spiritually? That is, if our savings completely dried up, what would life be like for us as a society? What would that do to our hearts?  To our perspectives/worldviews/priorities? How we choose to spend our time? What would it do to our view of God?  To our view of ourselves?


Some other resources to consider:



fiscal cliff



The  article, “Technology changing how students learn, teachers say,” reminds me of the graphic below. It appears that teachers now have a definite answer to the question I was asking back in June 2010:


If attention can be visualized as a it getting harder to get through the gate?


Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Teachers who were not involved in the surveys echoed their findings in interviews, saying they felt they had to work harder to capture and hold students’ attention.

“I’m an entertainer. I have to do a song and dance to capture their attention,” said Hope Molina-Porter, 37, an English teacher at Troy High School in Fullerton, Calif., who has taught for 14 years. She teaches accelerated students, but has noted a marked decline in the depth and analysis of their written work.


Bottom line:
Like so much in life, we have very little control of most things. Students are changing and we cannot control that situation — nor should we seek to. Why? Because most people I know — including myself — do not like to be controlled.  We can and should attempt to pulse check these sorts of changes, plan some experiments around them, and then see and report on what works and what doesn’t work.  This all relates to something I saw on earlier today on Twitter from Anya Kamenetz (@anya1anya):

If you declare a no-media classroom, you better be damn fascinating.



Also, a relevant quote:

The biggest problem area for teachers is students’ attention span, with 71% saying saying entertainment media use has hurt students either “a lot” (34%) or “somewhat” (37%) in that area.

— from Children, Teens, and Entertainment Media: The View From The Classroom
A Common Sense Media Research Study – NEW REPORT
November 1, 2012
Download the full report

How student help desks support mobile devices — from by Tanya Roscorla


The help desk staff members each have a title, role and responsibilities. They solve problems for students and staff in-person, but they also update a blog with videos that address common issues they see.


Also see:

  • Why learning should be messy — from by Nikhil Goyal
    “Today’s problems — from global poverty to climate change to the obesity epidemic — are more interconnected and intertwined than ever before and they can’t possibly be solved in the academic or research ‘silos’ of the twentieth century,” writes Frank Moss, the former head of the M.I.T. Media Lab. Schools cannot just simply add a “creativity hour” and call it a day.

Purdue's Digital Badges - 9-11-12



Kuers introduces What If Learning dot com



The site presents teaching examples—for both elementary and secondary classrooms—from a range of subjects: art, cooking, dance, technology, drama, English, environment, geography, history, technology, math, foreign/second language, music, physical education, health, Bible class and science. (There are also categories titled “teacher,” “tests” and “topics.”)

Each example leads off with a question: “What if a grammar lesson challenged selfishness?” “What if success in math depended upon forgiveness?” “What if history could inspire students to love their city?” The site also provides tabs labeled “The Approach,” “Training,” “Big Picture,” and “Information,” where teachers can learn how to apply what they’ve learned in their classrooms.

“The website helps teachers ask key questions and make strategic decisions, not only about what to teach but about how to teach,” said Matt Walhout, Calvin’s dean for research and scholarship. “It relates specific topics like language, history, and math to the overarching Christian principles of faith, hope, and love.”


Also see:

Mister Rogers remixed by Symphony of Science

Tagged with:  

Summer Learning Guide from

Camp Virtual: Your Guide to Making Summer Learning Fun


Send your kids to summer camp … virtually. With our summer learning guide, it’s easy to pick apps, games, and websites for kids that let them have fun while keeping up their existing skills and building new ones so they’ll be ready for school again in the fall.

And what better way to orient skills than around camp themes? We’ve selected more than 50 recommendations with the highest Learning Ratings for kids aged 2-17, and categorized them by traditional camp themes. We’ve also included additional tips and activities that you can use to support your kids as they sharpen their skills.

Tagged with:  

Coworking spaces team with universities to bridge the gap between classroom and practice — from by Jessica Stillman


With tuition costs mounting, the national student loan burden growing and employers complaining about a lack of certain job skills, no one is really in love with the current university education system. But with frustration comes creativity, as initiatives of all sorts attempt to dream up a better way. Should we go back to an apprentice system? Is online learning the answer? How about re-imagining universities as coffee shops?

Excerpt from

Essentially, Kennel is a collaborative workspace for creative entrepreneurs in Singapore. Set facing the fringe of a forest, with ceiling-to-floor glass windows spanning across the entire space, we like to think that Kennel lets you switch easily between the bustle of Dempsey Hill and the calm serenity of nature. We also love that the walls are covered in Ideapaint, with markers readily available around the entire space for you to write anything on the walls. It is clear that the space was designed for creativity and collaboration to thrive!


An alternative to incubators: the co-working space — from by Genevieve DeGuzman

An alternative to incubators: the co-working space
. -- Examples of connecting Christian faith and teaching across various ages and subjects.



This site is for teachers who want their classrooms to be places with a Christian ethos whatever the subject or age group you teach. It explores what teaching and learning might look like when rooted in Christian faith, hope, and love. It does this by offering 100+ concrete examples of creative classroom work and an approach which enables you to develop your own examples.

‘What if Learning’ is a “distinctively Christian” approach developed by an international partnership of teachers from Australia, the UK and the USA. It is based on the premise that a Christian understanding of life makes a difference to what happens in classrooms. Its aim is to equip teachers to develop their distinctively Christian teaching and learning strategies for their own classrooms.


 Addendum on 4-17-12:


Unified opens an online university for social media marketers — from by Anthony Ha

Services > Unified University

The social media landscape is complex and constantly evolving, leaving top global brands and agencies with the challenge of staying on top of the latest trends and best practices. Unified University is a first of its kind – an all-encompassing training, continuing education and certification program, complete with access to the industry leading best practices knowledge base. Unified University is designed to help marketing and agency executives become experts and internal thought leaders on social strategies, platform insights, earned media measurement, and more.

Through Unified University’s comprehensive training program, a social team can get certified on the Unified Social Operating Platform and learn about the latest advances in social advertising. Certification ensures that a team is up to date on the latest options within the social web, including the benefits of advertising across social ecosystems including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, StumbleUpon and more.

Teams learn that brands may require very different strategies to ultimately achieve similar results. Unified University assures that teams know how to strategically represent brands across all social options while delivering high quality results and maximum ROI.

From DSC:
Is this a part of the future? If higher ed doesn’t respond more forcefully, I’d say so.

Along these lines, from page 408 of the Steve Jobs book:

One of Job’s business rules was to never be afraid of cannibalizing yourself. “If you can’t cannibalize yourself, someone else will,” he said.

Innovate. Reinvent. Staying relevant. This goes for the accreditation agencies as well.

 Also see:



Staying Relevant

From DSC:
For those who don’t think that the conversation is moving outside of academia, here’s yet another example:


Enstitute U -- A community that educates and prepares Millennials to be valuable and actively participating members of the economy, and society at large, through apprenticeship, hyper-focused curriculum, and real-life projects that have real-life consequences.


E[nstitute] was founded on a very simple idea: If you want to be the best, you have to learn from the best. We are creating a community that educates and prepares Millennials to be valuable and actively participating members of the economy, and society at large, through apprenticeship, hyper-focused curriculum, and real-life projects that have real-life consequences.

E[nstitute] is a two-year educational program built on an apprenticeship model that provides an alternative path to traditional post secondary education. E[nstitute] is a full-time commitment.

Also relevant:

Young Black Males, Learning, and Video Games — from by Whitney Burke


As of 11/20/11 (~2:00pm EST)


As of 8/24/11:


From DSC:
With the increase in globalization — and from what I’ve seen happening in the financial systems (i.e. how what happens in Europe affects the financial systems in the U.S./Asia/other and vice versa) — it seems clear that we are all in this boat together.  If that’s true, what does that mean for:

  • Businesses and economies around the world?
  • The ability of families and individuals to afford the increasing cost of getting a degree?
  • Higher educational systems — and business models — around the world?
  • How do we resolve such massive problems?
  • What does all of this mean for how we should be educating our students?


Addendum on 11/21/11:

  • Debt committee: Why $1.2 trillion isn’t enough — from by Jeanne Sahadi
    That’s because under the most likely scenario, reducing deficits by $1.2 trillion won’t stop the accumulated debt from growing faster than the economy.

    Thus, to stabilize the debt, Congress would need to pass a debt-reduction plan worth $4 trillion to $6 trillion, budget experts say.

7 billion -- from the National Geographic Society

Also see:




5 ideas for responding to what kids want the nation to know about educationfrom The Innovative Educator by Lisa Nielsen


In the session the focus was clear. Educators and the former principal (YAY for administrators) who attended wanted to know how we can hear the children and show them they matter, we love them, and we want to honor their unique passions, talents, interests, and abilities.  We discussed a lot of great ideas.  Here are five ways we discussed addressing what students want from education:

  1. Rather than bubbletests, measure student progress with personal success plans.
  2. Rather than report cards and transcripts allow students to showcase their learning with an authentic ePortfolio.
  3. Rather than work that only has the teacher as the audience, empower students to do real work that matters to them and has a real audience.
  4. Rather than telling students how to meet learning goals, empower them to drive their own learning as participant Deven Black explained he does (visit this link to see how).
  5. Have conversations with students about what their talents are.  You can use the videos in this article that feature students sharing stories about their talents.

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