Wednesday, November 16, 2016

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Sugata Mitra vs. Ken Robinson

What role do teachers play in learning according to Sugata Mitra's vision of a School in the Cloud that he articulates in his 2013 Ted Prize Wish?

Compare his vision to that of Ken Robinson, below.

Ken Robinson, Education's Death Valley
"Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish — and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational "death valley" we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility."

3 Principles Guide Human Life in Flourishing
  • Diversity (as a strength to embrace) vs Conformity 
  • Curiosity (as the engine of achievement) vs Compliance 
  • Creativity (to allow flexibility and thinking outside the box) vs Standardization

He argues that the standardize testing landscape forgets about the relationship between "teaching" and "learning" as it deprofessionalizes teaching, and emphasizes control at the federal level. He makes a strong case for the importance of TEACHERS in awakening the the floor of the Educational Death Valley.

He believes that schools work when they:
  • Highly personalized
  • Strong teacher support
  • Tight links with community
  • Broad and diverse curriculum
  • Student involvement in and outside of school

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

This I Believe... Haiku

Digital Natives
What does learning look like here?
Make something, seek joy

Teaching needs patience
Inspiring teachers practice
Be helpful to teach

Teach dedication
Challenging yourself to teach
 Believe in students

Education is
access opportunity
empathy for all

kids are capable
they can be knowledge-able
when they are challenged

learning is ongoing
teaching nurture students' worlds
listening is key

The way we fund schools
fuels injustice, poverty
destroys neighborhoods

Everyone can learn
Classroom are microcosms
Kids need resources

To follow my dreams
I became a poor teacher
look how rich I am

Students need support
instruction much be given
emphasize strengths

Critical Resources for Ad Hacking

I heard a lot of people talking about SOCIAL CLASS when you were ad hacking today.  Thought you might like this resource to use for yourself or with kids.

PBS Original exploration of class, PEOPLE LIKE US

In this episode, a commentator "hacks" an upscale food store (like Williams Sonoma or Sur le Table).  Great to introduce some of the commentary!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Destroy/Build UP Gender Issues

Weebly Tutorial take 3 (Jane)

Weebly – a short tutorial, by Jane

If you would like to make a website, a store, or a blog, go to – or so weebly says on their front page. I only checked out the website capabilities because I do not want to interfere with my shaky but strengthening blogspot know-how.

First, you may create a login or give your privacy away by using FB or Google to log in.

1. My first impression is that this would be a great tool for students to build for themselves. Rather than giving them the ol' pen and paper assignment in order for us to get to know them at the beginning of the year, this would be a much more worthwhile way for them to construct and depict what and who they are – and it is theirs to keep.
Description: Macintosh HD:Users:jlevasseur24:Desktop:weebly examples.png

2. Next, you need to make a choice about your domain name. This is where panic begins to set in for me. Ah! This step can be skipped…for now. It's as if I'm out on technology bail.

3. This website is extremely user friendly! I am stumbling around it and am able to make pages, and negotiate the choice of adding my own elements to a page or using a present one.
"Would I like to use this format for all pages or just this one?"
"Thank you for asking, Weebly, and just at the right time."
Description: Macintosh HD:Users:jlevasseur24:Desktop:Books page.png

4. What a job seeker's tool!  What a great way to curate one's own life, in a more tasteful way than Facebook. It is a diary for one's self or for sharing with whomever you'd like – or a commercial venture, a store, if you've something to sell.

5.  Teachers:  you can try it for free! though the Upgrade key rather insistently hovers.

Overall, a great, user-friendly tool for not only students, but also for personal & professional teacher use.
What a great way to share lesson plans and student examples!

Khan Academy (Mike)

I decided to do my tutorial on Khan Academy . Khan academy is a virtual tutorial on how to do mathematics and other subjects.
Why I decided to do this was because I teach eight grade mathematics and I sometimes use ConnectED video tutorials to reemphasize what we are going over in the classroom. This is very similar to what I already use, but I might still use it for struggling students with certain concepts, because they have extra practice and they can access this from their home or library computers/cell phones. 

   When I signed up for this, it asked me to add my students names and emails which I first of all do not have yet, and secondly I don't feel comfortable giving out without parents permission first. They send you a confirmation in your mailbox which you have to use in order to start the tutorials. The tutorials are youtube videos, which I have found just by using youtube

   While getting ready for class this morning, my wife, who always turns on NPR in the morning, was playing this station and on the news came on a segment on KHAN Academy. I thought that this was such a weird coincident and I listened to part of it. It appears that Mr. Khan had opened up a school in the Silicon Valley and was charging $25,000 per student to attend to what sounded like a version of the MET School in Providence, where you do not get grades, but work on whatever interested you at the moment. Class sizes were limited to fifteen students per class. They claim that the rooms were sort of like "Organized Khaos" to make up my own word. like they make up they own curriculum. Mr. Khan talked about Artificial Intelligence to start off the class. If interested, I have the link for the NPR publication. 

   Except: When I used this first tutorial they had several comments added after, where people seemed to be a little confused about why you had to write six places for changing a fraction into a repeating decimal.