About Bo Adams

Learner. Husband. Dad. Chief Learning and Innovation Officer at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Atlanta, GA. Have worked in transformation design, educational innovation, and school leadership for 20+ years.

#MustRead Shares (weekly)

  • tags: Visual Thinking visiblethinking #MustRead video designthinking

  • HT @HollyChesser via our MVUpper Diigo Group. Her questions:

    Do we teach students to ask what is worth wanting? What does it mean to be an “excellent sheep”? Is it possible to teach how to build a self or become a soul? What would I need to know in order to facilitate that? What is the most compelling purpose of a university education in your mind? Commercial? Cognitive? Moral? What does a moral education look like? If the elite universities have abandoned it, what does that foretell for the institutions attempting to keep pace?

    tags: #MustRead purpose purpose of education

    • Deresiewicz offers a vision of what it takes to move from adolescence to adulthood. Everyone is born with a mind, he writes, but it is only through introspection, observation, connecting the head and the heart, making meaning of experience and finding an organizing purpose that you build a unique individual self.
    • to discover “just what it is that’s worth wanting.”
    • Instead of being intervals of freedom, they are breeding grounds for advancement. Students are too busy jumping through the next hurdle in the résumé race to figure out what they really want. They are too frantic tasting everything on the smorgasbord to have life-altering encounters. They have a terror of closing off options. They have been inculcated with a lust for prestige and a fear of doing things that may put their status at risk.
    • The system pressures them to be excellent, but excellent sheep.
    • What we have before us then, is three distinct purposes for a university: the commercial purpose (starting a career), Pinker’s cognitive purpose (acquiring information and learning how to think) and Deresiewicz’s moral purpose (building an integrated self).
  • tags: play adventure Gever exploring #MustRead

    • There was a time when parents trusted the resilience of childhood.
    • We’ve come so far that there is now a counterculture to this type of parenting. There are people like Gever Tulley, who founded the Tinkering School as a space for kids to play with power tools and wield pocket knives. In places like Wales they are building “adventure playgrounds,” essentially controlled junkyards where kids can slide through mud, build precarious structures and light fires, all with the hope of re-creating a childhood that includes freedom and a sense of danger.
    • parents today operate under the assumption that society is more dangerous than when we were kids, when in fact the opposite is true.
  • How school might get in the way of learning, at least to some degree.

    tags: time #MustRead

  • HT @MeghanCureton

    tags: creativity #MustRead

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

#MustRead Shares (weekly)

  • “everything is connected” — a story about interdisciplinarity (and other things, too)

    TED: http://www.ted.com/talks/david_christian_big_history

    tags: history curriculum interdisciplinary #MustRead

    • Christian began wondering if he could apply this everything-is-connected idea to a larger scale: “I began thinking, Could I teach a course not of Russia but of humanity?” He soon became infatuated with the concept. “I remember the chain of thought,” he said. “I had to do prehistory, so I have to do some archaeology. But to do it seriously, I’m going to talk about how humans evolved, so, yikes, I’m in biology now. I thought: To do it seriously, I have to talk about how mammals evolved, how primates evolved. I have to go back to multicelled organisms, I have to go back to primeval slime. And then I thought: I have to talk about how life was created, how life appeared on earth! I have to talk geology, the history of the planet. And so you can see, this is pushing me back and back and back, until I realized there’s a stopping point — which is the Big Bang.” He paused. “I thought, Boy, would that be exciting to teach a course like this!”
    • “What this course can do, however it’s taught, is validate big questions” — How did we get here? for instance, or Where are we going? — “that are impossible to even ask within a more silo-ized education.”
    • True to Christian’s original style, however, the high-school course links insights across subjects into wildly ambitious narratives.
    • “Most kids experience school as one damn course after another; there’s nothing to build connections between the courses that they take,” says Bob Bain, a professor of history and education at the University of Michigan and an adviser to the Big History Project, who has helped devise much of the curriculum. “The average kid has no way to make sense between what happens with their first-period World History class and their second-period algebra class, third-period gym class, fourth-period literature — it’s all disconnected. It’s like if I were to give you a jigsaw puzzle and throw 500 pieces on the table and say, ‘Oh, by the way, I’m not going to show you the box top as to how they fit together.’ ”
      • I wonder what this Big History course’s “Learning Outcomes doc” looks like. It would be interesting to compare it to a school’s subject-area divided L.O.s
    • Ravitch continued: “It begins to be a question of: Is this Bill Gates’s history? And should it be labeled ‘Bill Gates’s History’? Because Bill Gates’s history would be very different from somebody else’s who wasn’t worth $50-60 billion.”
    • Wineburg’s deepest concern about the approach was its failure to impart a methodology to students. “What is most pressing for American high-school students right now, in the history-social-studies curriculum, is: How do we read a text? How do we connect our ability to sharpen our intellectual capabilities when we’re evaluating sources and trying to understand human motivation?” he asked. “When we think about history, what are the primary sources of Big History? The original scientific reports of the Big Bang?” Wineburg, who also has developed an electronic history curriculum, scoffed.
  • “I’ve always loved learning, but I hate class” #idiploma stu uncovers confidence http://t.co/kTp3Mf5dfc via @themargnificent cc @boadams1

    tags: idiploma innovationdiploma #MustRead mindset

  • Such a powerful post on several fronts. Shows iteration of learning model for daily/weekly structure and phases of deep-learning cycle. In my ever growing catalog of ways to organize learning in school that more closely parallels learning in life, this is a must for the collection.

    tags: school model learning environment #MustRead

  • A high school junior just launched a blog. No one required her to do so (to my knowledge), and this is her first post. It’s glorious and inspiring – about the pursuit of curiosity.

    tags: curiosity #MustRead innovationdiploma

  • A nice scroll-page of visual insights about how Intuit employs DT to “design for delight.” Venn diagram and cocktail napkin sketch are fabulous.
    HT @scitechyedu

    tags: #MustRead innovation intuit design designfordelight innovationdiploma #CohortRead

  • “Most strategies have sinkholes. Some are obvious; you just need to know what you are looking for. Others develop more slowly, becoming apparent only when it’s too late. The former often come from confusing “strategy” with vision, mission, and purpose statements, or with plans and goals.”

    tags: strategy #MustRead

    • 1. What distinctive capabilities make the company better than any other at how it adds value to its individual businesses, and how those businesses meet their promises to customers?
    • 2. Are changes happening in the company’s world that could render its distinctive capabilities obsolete or insufficient?
    • Most strategies have sinkholes. Some are obvious; you just need to know what you are looking for. Others develop more slowly, becoming apparent only when it’s too late. The former often come from confusing “strategy” with vision, mission, and purpose statements, or with plans and goals.
  • A beautiful, historical trace of how we define and value creativity.

    HT @MeghanCureton
    You might enjoy this @boadams1 http://t.co/fSOzw8lnDZ #mustread

    tags: mustread creativity #MustRead

  • HT @Romathio
    .@KristynGatesT @boadams1 @EmilyBreite @HollyChesser Ck out this blog post from @grantwiggins on UbD & PBL/inquiry http://t.co/3FX3diAdJh

    tags: ubd inquiry #MustRead

  • Moving from the McDonaldization of society and schooling to a more authentic learning model that recognizes and utilizes the wonder of deeper learning.

    tags: #MustRead sloweducation

  • Creating conditions in which the students generate the essential questions that drive curious pursuit of building understanding. Tied to Falconer, “When the questions become the students’ own, so do the answers.”

    tags: questioning questions essential_questions inquiry #MustRead

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Project Idea #4: Grab a challenge on Innocentive

Innocentive is like a matchmaker for problems and solvers. If you’re looking to make a difference (or just looking for an interdisciplinary project), the innocentive site (https://www.innocentive.com/) can provide a ready-made “bug list” of challenges that are looking for creative solutions…and creative solution seekers.

On the landing page, one of the top level menus is “Challenge Center.” Once you’re in the center, you can use various filters and tabs to narrow a search. 

Another bonus — many of the challenges come with solution “rewards.” For instance, a past TSA challenge posted a $15,000 prize. (Hat tip to @LauraFlusche of MODA.) So, a school full of innovators might just find an additional source of income, in addition to doing good work for the good of others.

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I am writing a series of blog posts about project ideas that could happen within a school – projects that could both transform school and, ultimately, transform us beyond school. This is my fourth part in the series. I’d love to know what you think.

More on Project Ideas:


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Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.