Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Worth Reading

Sharing a few gems I came across in the past week.

1 Coaching, Care and Kids (Lehman)- questions why administrators are not allowed to coach or lead certain extracurricular activities but also brings up the point that educators should find a way to get involved in activities that transpire outside of the classroom

Having that incredible relationship where we, as educators, really have the opportunity to care for kids and have that transactional relationship where both teacher / coach / mentor and student make a difference in each other's lives, is a big part of what makes teaching such a profound profession.

 2. Complexity and Constructing Community Knowledge in the Classroom (Reilly)- building community knowledge in the classroom.  This post serves as another reminder about the need to build a community or network of learners in the classroom.

Constructing community knowledge is very much connected to individual agency.  Brent Davis and Elaine Simmt (2003) suggest that five conditions are present in complex learning systems: internal diversity, redundancy, decentralized control, organized randomness, and neighbor interactions. These conditions are the basis upon which a team, such as PLC, or a classroom of students and a teacher build community knowledge that is rich and larger than any one individual. We can understand these co-specifying conditions in the following way.

 3. Gaming for Understanding (Brathwaite)- It's never easy to get across the magnitude of complex tragedies -- so when Brenda Brathwite's daughter came home from school asking about slavery, she did what she does for a living -- she designed a game. At TEDxPhoenix she describes the surprising effectiveness of this game, and others, in helping the player really understand the story.

4. Texting That Saves Lives (Lublin)- When Nancy Lublin started texting teenagers to help with her social advocacy organization, what she found was shocking -- they started texting back about their own problems, from bullying to depression to abuse. So she's setting up a text-only crisis line, and the results might be even more important than she expected.