Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Balance of Powder

I just found out the other day that I will be heading out to Crested Butte this season.  As an avid skier Crested Butte was one location on the resort bucket list I had not visited.  Even though it is the summer, thinking about the upcoming ski season is always on my mind.  In doing some investigating about Crested Butte I came across this video not about Crested Butte but instead about Island Lake Lodge and the BC Powder Highway (another bucket list item- driving the powder highway).

I loved the opening line to the video about following your passion:

"If everyone could find something they are passionate about and spend all day doing it, that is the world I would love to see."

Quick Thought

I do not understand why some are so opposed to using Google Apps in school.  I must be missing something.  I am not saying that Google Apps is the magic pill which will solve our educational problems and I also understand like any product their are glitches and "things" you wish were better. However, the ease with which stakeholders can collaborate and publish content outweighs the alternatives.

Again, maybe I am missing something...

Worth Reading....

1. Playground Poem (Stager)- 

it is worth noting that many of the nations “beating” the USA academically (as if learning were a zero-sum game of winners and losers), have more recess than the United States. K-12 schools in my second home of Australia have a 20-30 minute late “morning tea” and an hour for lunch and recess – through graduation.

2. Michael Wesch on Seymour Papert and Constructionism (Fryer)- “Nothing could be more absurd than an experiment in which computers are placed in a classroom in which nothing else has changed… Computers serve best when they allow everything to change.”

3. Jennie Magiera's Keynote from the July 2014 EdTech Teacher Summit (Fryer)- This podcast is a recording of Jennie Magiera’s opening keynote on the second day of EdTechTeacher’s Summit in Chicago on Navy Pier on July 29, 2014. Jennie is a teacher and educational leader in the Chicago Public Schools, and has taught in a 1:1 iPad classroom. Jennie and the other teachers in her team (primarily from Burley Elementary and the National Teacher’s Academy in CPS) are passionate about not only engaging students in the learning process, but also using social media to help students discover and share their own voices with those in their neighborhood, community, city, and nation.

4. This Is What A Student-Designed School Looks Like (Vangelova)- students are allowed to design their own school within a school at Monument High School in Great Barrington, MA

“How do we process sequences with complex hierarchical structure and make sense of them?” he asks. “How do we integrate sensation and action? How do we remember long and difficult sequences of information? These are fundamental neuroscience questions, and music can help us answer some of these questions, because it’s in some ways simpler than language, but it’s still of sufficient complexity that it can address these very deep and important aspects of human brain function.”

6. Welcome to Epic, A School Where Students Are Heroes On a Quest (Schwartz)- another example of rethinking how we structure school

Students in adolescence start telling the story of themselves; who am I, what do I do, and there’s this narrative out there that people tell them about who they are,” Hatcher said. In Oakland, often the expectation is that African American and Latino students won’t succeed. Epic educators are challenging that narrative by giving students the chance to become the superheroes of their community. Hatcher wants his students to feel they can control their lives despite the random violence happening in the neighborhoods where they live.

7. A Portal to Chaos and Adventure (Westervelt)- innovative and creative space for students to play 

Children need an environment with “the opportunity to engage in open, free play where they’re allowed to self-organize,” he adds. “It’s really a central part of being human and developing into competent adulthood.”
Brown says this kind of free-range fun is not just good; it’s essential. Wild play helps shape who we become, he says, and it should be embraced, not feared.