Thursday, September 25, 2014

Worth Reading

Sharing a few intriguing posts from the past couple of weeks.

1. Teacher Reflects On The Perfect Storm For Learning- A high school class, encouraged by a STEM contest, turned an idea to help the community into a prototype

For our project, the convergence of the right components on a focused objective created the potential for a "perfect storm" of learning to take place: curiosity among the students, a potentially daunting data gathering and number crunching component, and the use of math, science, and technology.

2.  John Dewey on the True Purpose of Education and How to Harness the Power of Our Natural Curiosity (Popova)- Dewey distills the purpose and ideals of education

While it is not the business of education to prove every statement made, any more than to teach every possible item of information, it is its business to cultivate deep-seated and effective habits of discriminating tested beliefs from mere assertions, guesses, and opinions; to develop a lively, sincere, and open-minded preference for conclusions that are properly grounded, and to ingrain into the individual’s working habits methods of inquiry and reasoning appropriate to the various problems that present themselves. No matter how much an individual knows as a matter of hearsay and information, if he has not attitudes and habits of this sort, he is not intellectually educated. He lacks the rudiments of mental discipline. And since these habits are not a gift of nature (no matter how strong the aptitude for acquiring them); since, moreover, the casual circumstances of the natural and social environment are not enough to compel their acquisition, the main office of education is to supply conditions that make for their cultivation. The formation of these habits is the Training of Mind.

3. Why Don't We Truly Embrace Failure (Couros)- the need to fail and have conversations around moments of failure

The part of this process  which is imperative is resiliency and grit.  Resiliency, in this case, being the ability to come back after a defeat or unsuccessful attempt, and grit meaning a “resolve or strength of character.”  These are characteristics that are important in the innovative process as we need to continuously develop new and better ways to serve our students.

4. Maker Movement Reinvents Education (Stewart)- how giving students the chance to create and make reshapes the work we do with kids

“I finally decided I could take on much bigger and more ambitious projects if I got one for myself,” he says. So he sold his laptop on eBay, added to those proceeds all of the birthday money and allowance he had saved over the years, and took out a loan from the Bank of Dad to buy the cheapest 3-D printer he could find online. By the end of seventh grade, he had paid his father back entirely—all from the sales of his customized iPhone cases and little cone toys that he’d designed to flip around like benign butterfly knives. Once his debt was paid, he could finally begin the more ambitious project he’d had in mind: “the zero point energy field manipulator,” or gravity gun, from the video game Half-Life 2. He designed and built a full-size model of it—3 feet long and 2 feet high—“which was pretty difficult,” he explains, “because the actual platform of the machine is 10 inches by 10 inches,” so he had to get creative.

5. The Art and Science of Engagement (Blakley)- Johanna Blakley examines the best ways to understand how documentaries affect our lives. Her talk focuses on the need to balance the filmmaker's creative vision with a nuanced understanding of audience as key to measuring the true impact of media.  Another resource to consider or even share with students in examining what it means to compose.
In honor of the Captain's last game at the stadium here are some favorite moments from the past 20 years

“This kid is not going to college. He’s going to Cooperstown.”

Where Have You Gone Derek Jeter (Henninger)- Jeter's public life was exemplary. Was he the exception?

Jeter's Iconic Flip

Jeter's Jump Throw

Dive Into the Stands Against Boston

Mr. November