Sunday, February 9, 2014

Worth Reading..

Sharing highlights from the past week.

1. Creativity Becomes An Academic Discipline (Pappano)- growing number of degrees undergraduate and graduate in creativity

Traditional academic disciplines still matter, but as content knowledge evolves at lightning speed, educators are talking more and more about “process skills,” strategies to reframe challenges and extrapolate and transform information, and to accept and deal with ambiguity.

2. Forget Coding, Let's Change Up How We Teach Math (Burt)- leveraging Math (as a space) to teach code and to eternally address questions of will I ever use this outside of school...

One of the most common obstacles we hear about why schools don’t teach computer science is that there aren’t enough qualified educators out there to meet the demands.  But there’s a trained army of math teachers out there willing to find new and better ways of delivering their content, that with a small amount of preparation could no doubt be leading the way.  So, how can we make time in their curricula and schedule to make it happen?
3. Passion-Based Learning, Day 1: Probing Minecraft's Appeal (Renwick)- thoughts about why Minecraft appeals to students and what lessons to learn from why there is an intense interest in Minecraft.
When someone enters Minecraft, the world is their’s to create. They are in control of their destiny. What a stark contrast to our students’ lives in school. The standards are set, the assessments are pre-determined, and the plans have been prepared. All without the students’ input. If this is their learning to own, we don’t always do a very good job of including them in the process.
4. Making Ourselves Vulnerable (Richardson)
Walk down the vendor floor of any big edu-conference and you’ll see our obsession with making learning less messy and less “vulnerable.” Struggle, patience, courage, persistence, failure, passion…none of these are quantifiable to the degree that reformers or most edupreneurs need them to be to “count.” Yet schools will spend time and money (lots of it) on stuff that organizes, compartmentalizes, personalizes, standardizes, and captures “learning” in order to be compared “successfully” to other districts down the road.
5. Rethinking Education With Design Thinking (Pfau)-highlights schools in the Bay area where design thinking influences work with kids
Students not only master the concepts embedded within each project, they also exercise their skills of collaborating with teammates, investigating their topic thoroughly, using empathy to generate ideas for solutions, prototyping, testing and most importantly, they learn that failure is not a setback. As Gever explained in his talk, the retention of information that kids have as a result of this process is significantly higher. More significantly, learning to identify the need for and acquire skills in response to problem solving situations is a life long skill set that will better shape these kids to confront productive careers that address real world problems.
6. School In the Cloud Report- A brief introduction to the School In the Cloud project

7. Art, made with coding: calling future interactive artisits- In between creating masterpieces like the Sistine Chapel and “Madonna and Child,” Michelangelo dissected cadavers in the hopes of understanding how the human body worked so he could paint it accurately. He’s not the only one: there has long been a connection between science and art. And it’s true today more than ever, as modern artists use technology for inspiration, inventing ways to give life to code, letting it spill from the screen and onto the canvas.