Ira Socol – educational reformer

Wow. My mind has really been opened to a wider view of learning and educational reform after stumbling onto (via my Twitter network) Ira Socol.

Here are a couple of brilliant quotes, talking out technology and learning:

“The majority of our students do “poorly” in school, do not achieve their potential in school, do not enjoy education. Doing it “the old way,” utilizing the old tools, ensures that they never will.”

“But now it is all about how you learn to find information, how you build your professional and personal networks, how you learn, how to learn – because learning must be continuous. None of this eliminates the need for a base of knowledge – the ability to search, to ask questions, requires a knowledge base, but it dramatically alters both how that knowledge base is developed, and what you need to do with it. This paradigm opens up the ranks of the “educated” in ways inconceivable previously.”

Oh so challenging but so liberating. And confirming what I am experiencing as I work with disengaged youth who have been spat out by the school system. (No disrespect inferred by the teachers and administrators – we are all pawns in the system).

As educators we must challenge the “system” and demand that it be relevant to all learners and bring about the much needed revolution…not reform, as that is just tweaking around the edges of what is inherently a broken system.

Looking forward to reading more and sharing Tweets together.


Grandma and Baby

I am not really into art galleries but I went with my wife to see a local exhibit that has everyone talking with more than 5000 visitors having been to see it.

The Grandma and baby sculpture is absolutely amazing in its realism.

The artist is Sam Jinks and his website display more incredibly realistic work.

Where and when do the best ideas happen?

This Best-Ideas-Poll I found has some very pertinent information for educators. The results found that most people have their best ideas when they are doing something completely different.

Many people said they come up with ideas best while:

  • Daydreaming
  • Driving
  • Commuting to and from work
  • Doing something that feeds your soul
  • When you least expect it
  • Walking
  • Being in nature
  • Late at night
  • Surfing the internet
  • Traveling
  • Vacationing
  • Showering
  • Having fun
  • Relaxing
  • Working with your hands
  • Reading books outside your field
  • Early in the morning
  • Dreaming (at night)
  • Taking a break
  • Laying awake in bed
  • Just before sleep
  • Just upon waking
  • Exercising
  • On a plane
  • Waking up in the middle of the night
  • Hanging out with friends
  • Doing nothing
  • Meditating
  • Doing anything mindless
  • Joking with friends
  • Taking a bath
  • Any repetitive physical activity
  • In the bathroom
  • In the kitchen
  • On a train
  • Gardening
  • Jogging or running
  • Just after exercising
  • At a concert
  • On the toilet
  • Riding a bicycle
  • Swimming
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Drinking anything with alcohol
  • Playing a sport
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Shaving
  • In a bar
  • Organizing things

Is it important for our students to have ideas? Of course it is.

So why do we insist that they stay at their desk/table for hours at a time to think, write, answer questions etc? We need to give them time and space for their thinking…even outside the classroom.

The results also showed that most ideas came about when people were on their own or worked with one other. How come we expect students in a classroom of others to generate good thinking or ideas most often as a class group?

If we look at most workplaces the majority of work is done alone or in small groups/teams. With each left alone to do their own job.

So if we want our students to be more productive let’s allow them to daydream, go for a walk, do some doodling, have a drink, take a break, do some origami etc, whatever works for them.

Are we paying attention to ‘Digital Learning’?

This is a real challenge for us all….

Since most of today’s students can appropriately be labeled as “Digital Learners”, why do so many teachers refuse to enter the digital age with their teaching practices?

This presentation was created in an effort to motivate teachers to more effectively use technology in their teaching.

Please see… to learn how you can become a better teacher.

Community trumps content

Another really good TED talk that shines the light on the growing power of social networking and Web 2.0. How can we learn to embrace it and factor it into our learning environments rather than excluding it and making it difficult for our students.

Students are realising they can learn more form their community than they can at school!! The revolution is coming…

The power of web video

WOW! This is absolutely brilliant…

It reminded me of two chats I have had with students who both said that they learnt all about how they mastered something by watching YouTube videos. One boy was how he learnt to play the guitar and the other how to do hardstyle dancing…other time it was how to make a taser from a camera!!

I must admit I find myself looking for and watching video to learn how to do something online.

Anyway, watch and enjoy. Here is the blurb first…
TED’s Chris Anderson says the rise of web video is driving a worldwide phenomenon he calls Crowd Accelerated Innovation — a self-fueling cycle of learning that could be as significant as the invention of print. But to tap into its power, organizations will need to embrace radical openness. And for TED, it means the dawn of a whole new chapter …

Ken Robinson – Do schools kill creativity

I have posted this video before, but here it is again. I have watched both these a number of times. This is a must watch for all teachers and educators.

Ken Robinson’s talk at TED was so popular it has been watched millions of times.

Here is his much requested follow up talk at TED, also great viewing.