21st Century Learning

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How to quit your job and still have work

I understand that it is hard to find a job. There are not many companies hiring new employees, high school students can’t find summer jobs, and many school districts are facing employment cuts.

However, despite the lack of jobs, there is plenty of work to do. Read more »

iPod + iPhone + iPad = iConsumption

When computers were first invented, people realized their incredible potential to speed up productivity. And for a while, this is how computers were used: tools to enhance productivity and efficiency. People used computers to actually DO something, to CREATE something.

And then something began to change. Read more »

More school is a waste of time

I am baffled that people would suggest the problem with school in America is that we don’t have long enough days or that the school year is too short. I learned from a very young age that if something isn’t working, I shouldn’t continue doing it. If students are disengaged and bored with 180 days of school, what does adding another 10-20 days of boring, disengaged schooling do to enhance education? More of a bad thing is WORSE. If what you are doing in a given period of time is not working, YOU SHOULDN’T ADD MORE TIME! You should restructure what you are doing in that time.

Show me a classroom where students are engaged for 50 minutes, then yes, I will agree that those students could get a better education if they had that same engagement for another 10 minutes. However, I wonder how many principals are walking around their buildings, observing the teaching and learning that is occurring (or NOT occurring), and are thinking to themselves “Man, we just need to make this longer. All those students who are passing notes and failing classes, we need to keep them in their desks a little longer. That will solve our problem.”

Wake up people. If your system is broken, putting your “product” (the student) in the system longer won’t make it better. A flat tire doesn’t improve by riding on it longer. A broken computer screen doesn’t get better by looking at it longer. A broken furnace doesn’t heat the house no matter how long you wait. Read more »

A BRIEF INTERVIEW WITH MAYA FROST

Maya Frost, author of “The New Global Student”, has spent a significant amount of time encouraging those who might be interested to explore alternative pathways to education, such as going on a global romp. While this may not be an attractive option for some students, there are some key insights in her book about how this sort of experience can have huge benefits for those who are willing to go on the adventure. As more and more schools talk about creating “21st Century Learners”, her insights and her experiences have more and more relevance. It turns out that traveling to Buenos Aires for a semester (even while you are in high school) isn’t as complicated as you think as long as you have a little moxy.

While Maya’s book is written mainly to parents, it has consequences for everyone involved in education. As a teacher, I was curious about how some of her experiences related to my fellow teachers. I asked her a few questions via email and she was generous enough to respond with the following: Read more »

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