Saturday, May 7, 2016

Worth Reading...

Sharing highlights from the past few weeks.

1. Johannes Haushofer CV- professor at Princeton University publishes a CV of his failures in an attempt to balance the record and provide some perspective.

I have noticed that this sometimes gives others the impression that most things work out for me.  As a result, they are more likely to attribute their own failures to themselves, rather than the fact that the world is stochastic, applications are crapshoots, and selection committees and referees have bad days.

2. Is Your School Literate? (Richardson)- the author revisits a question presented six years ago and wonders whether schools are addressing the evolving notion of what it means to be literate in the 21st century.

While I think the “Are our kids literate?” question is certainly an important one, an even more significant one may be “Are our schools literate?” Is modern literacy something that is a part of our DNA, or is it something we try to “teach” as a separate entity using some off the web curriculum to pace us through it? I think you know that the answer, by and large, is that we’re not practicing literacy in schools in ways that either model or teach our students the skills they need to become truly literate in today’s world. Obviously, we’re not talking about a three week unit in the second half of seventh grade. And we’re also not helping our kids in this regard when we bring digital tools into classrooms and then employ them for traditional purposes. (The “digital worksheets” thing again.)

3. The World Must Invest in Technology Education (Knowles)- Andreas Schleicher, a Director at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), states how education technology will not only impact our children as individuals but future industry, business, and trade.  Schleicher states those unable to navigate the digital landscape will struggle to fully participate in the life around them.  Whether this bold statement is true can be debated.  However, it's critical that students are able to make thoughtful decisions regarding the use of technology. As opposed to the teacher dictating the use of technology, individual learners should assume ownership the selection of digital tools and resources.

Technology should allow for deeper learning, and flexibility for more individual choices to accelerate learning, and to use out-of-school learning in effective and innovative ways.

4.  Don't Send Your Kids to College.  At Least Not Yet (Falik)- An interesting piece about whether it's best for students to take a gap year before entering college.  The article points out that taking a gap year offers the chance for students to gain experience through personal exploration.  Additionally, students potentially enter college more mature through a bridge year.

A growing number of colleges have begun to embrace a novel solution: change the outcomes of college by changing the inputs. What if college freshmen arrived on campus not burnt out from having been “excellent sheep” in high school, but instead refreshed, focused and prepared to take full advantage of the rich resources and opportunities colleges have to offer?

5. The Power of Audience (Cofino)- The post discusses the power behind creating for a public audience.  This has been a recurring theme posted on this blog.  Students need to compose for an authentic audience and preferably one that can offer helpful feedback.  Also, check out the following video, the girl in the video describes her learning process and specifically, how she was able to learn from others who, publicly, shared their work.

6. The EdCollabGathering: Future Ready Elementary Classrooms- elementary school teachers share how they broke away from traditional models (instruction, environment, management) to create a transdisciplinary environment in two 4th grade classrooms.