238 Provocations for School 3.0 – John Maeda’s TEDGlobal 2012 Talk #School3pt0

There are at least 238 provocations for School 3.0 in “John Maeda: How art, technology, and design inform creative leaders.”

I see ideations for such things as form + content, networking diagrams for learning communities, play leading to powerful discovery, and 235 more!

What do you see?

Inspired by Jackson 4th Graders’ Common Sense

Yesterday, someone sent me an email about Warren T. Jackson’s 4th Grade Class led by Ms. Campbell. In part of the email, Ms. Campbell explains,

Earlier this year, my students were inspired by the Apple Education Summit and its introduction of interactive, digital textbooks on the iPad. In class we tied what we learned about this new technology in with American history to produce our persuasive essays titled, Common Sense: 2012,” inspired by Thomas Paine’s original “Common Sense in 1776.

In their writing my students discussed and persuaded why textbooks on the iPad were the inevitable replacement of the paper textbook, and the time is NOW.

Their ideas were so spectacular, Dr. Reich encouraged us to film them. I took it a step further by applying for the PTA “Teaching in Excellence” Grant. We ended up winning and produced it as a professional movie!

I am inspired by Ms. Campbell’s classroom leadership and educational innovation. I am inspired by Dr. Reich’s administration encouragement. I am inspired by the support of the PTA. I am inspired by one of my local, public elementary schools! And I am inspired by those amazing 4th graders. KUDOS to you for what you created and for that which you are advocating! [Watch them at http://www.commonsensekids.org/ to be inspired!]

CHANGEd: What if we used reading and Google Earth as spingboards for interdisciplinary, global empathy? 60-60-60 #54

Some believe that technology is separating us, disconnecting us, making us less empathetic. I don’t think it’s about the technology. I believe it’s about the people behind the technology and the ways that we commit to using the technology. I believe technology can actually make us more connected, more together, more empathic. Tools can be used to build up or to tear down…to joyfully create or to tragically damage and destroy. But it depends on the user, not the tool. I am thankful that I have many teachers who are showing me these lessons.

Steve Goldberg is one of my newest teachers. He is teaching me to use Google Earth to read for global empathy. What if more of us used reading and Google Earth as springboards for interdisciplinary, global empathy? Oh what a wonderful world it could be!

Inter-disciplinary reading of the news

Skyping in to Detroit to talk current events

Empathizing with Baba Amr (wherever that is)

CHANGEd: What if…60-60-60 Project Explained

Short Addendum to “Be Safe and Teach Them to Drive”

On July 19, I wrote a blog post entitled, “Be safe and teach them to drive!” A couple of readers added very thoughtful and thought-provoking comments. The discussion about cyber safety and digital citizenship is CRITICAL, and there are many voices to consider as we form a united chorus of educators and parents committed to keeping our children safe, while guiding them to learn the positive demands of being responsible and respectful digital citizens.

Yesterday, a very trusted colleague and respected fellow administrator on the school’s senior admin team sent me the following link: http://blog.genyes.org/index.php/2011/09/08/cybersafety-do-fear-and-exaggeration-increase-risk/

Embedded in the post is a slide deck from Larry Magid, co-director of ConnectSafely.org and founder of SafeKids.com. I found the slide deck to be thoughtfully rendered and thought provoking. While I admit that my philosophy aligns with Mr. Magid’s presentation, I do think that we must consider the points of his message no matter what our online philosophy. Doing so helps us better prepare for the critical challenge of keeping our kids safe while teaching them how to drive in a connected world.

“Out of the Egg Crate” Guest Post: Jennifer Lalley

Last spring, I “offered my blog” to any and all Junior High faculty who might want to guest post. I thought it might be one small step on the journey of trying something new and thinking out loud with a public reflection – for some, like trying on clothes before deciding what to buy. Then, I waited. And waited.

Wait time is an invaluable tool in the educator’s tool kit, eh? (pronounced “A” and in honor of @gcouros). Since I extended the invitation, 112 days have gone by.

But learning is the constant – we should guarantee that people will learn…at high levels. Time and support should be the variables.

Thanks to the support offered at Faculty Forum, and perhaps some other support I am unaware of, a Junior High faculty member has submitted a guest post. Many thanks to Jennifer Lalley for taking this opportunity.

It’s the beginning of a new year, and we are all frantically trying to keep track of the influx of information coming our way. However, something about this year feels different for me (Jen Lalley). At the moment, I feel more energized than overwhelmed. Yesterday in the faculty meeting, I felt thankful for the time and space to speak openly and honestly about the changes here at Westminster. Although it’s hard, it’s valuable to have differing opinions on how technology is affecting our students and our classrooms. I left our meeting wanting more discussion. Can we continue it here?

Some of the themes thrown out…

– How do we find balance with screen time/non-screen time?
– How do we communicate to parents what we are doing in school?
– What is valuable about “traditional” teaching, and what needs revision?
– How is technology transforming pedagogy?

As said in the meeting, I echo how all of this boils down to “learning and sharing.” To me, that’s the reason we blog, MOODLE, tweet, journal, etc. Honestly, there are times when I’m working with other teachers when my individual spot in the “egg crate culture” seems nice and cozy and warm. It’s safe there, and I can move at my own pace.

There’s a problem with that statement, ”at my own pace.” It’s not really about me. It’s about the students. The moments I venture out of the egg crate have made me sharper, and most importantly, have engaged my students on a deeper level.