I think teachers and school organizations need to ask themselves the Why questions, beginning with: Why do we own the learning and not our students? Or, as Will Richardson so eloquently posits, Why School?
Why do we have so many students like the one I know, frustrated and bored, just waiting to be challenged? We’ve made education about manipulation and hoops instead of inspiring our students to pursue learning that matters to them — learning that can help them make a difference in our communities and the world.
It’s just a short but beautiful drive from the picturesque city harbor on the bay in Belfast, ME, to 60 spectacular acres dotted with greenhouses, cold frames, a community garden, and beautifully designed and maintained flower beds. This is the inviting home of Troy Howard Middle School, which houses 400 energetic sixth, seventh, and eighth graders from small towns scattered around Waldo County, 730 square miles of land located in the eastern coastal region of Maine. The landscape and gardens are tied to the Ecology Academy, one of three learning academies established during Troy Howard’s turnaround from one of the poorest-performing schools in the state to a role model for other middle schools.
"Educational Origami is a blog and a wiki, about 21st Century Teaching and Learning. This wiki is not just about the integration of technology into the classroom, though this is certainly a critical area, it is about shifting our educational paradigm. The world is not as simple as saying teachers are digital immigrants and students digital natives. In fact, we know that exposure to technology changes the brains of those exposed to it. The longer and stronger the exposure and the more intense the emotions the use of the technology or its content evokes, the more profound the change. This technology is increasingly ubiquitous. We have to change how we teach, how we assess, what we teach, when we teach it, where we are teaching it, and with what. Its a tall order, but these are exciting times."
NASA has expanded its Women@NASA website to include Aspire 2 Inspire, a new feature aimed at helping middle school girls explore education and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) ...
Identify when there is a necessary technology learning curve (the 'rules') and when technology becomes invisible to learning. Enter, the PLAN, TRUST, EXPECT scale. When we 'scale' our students properly, we are more ...
"If I asked you to think of the teacher in your life who influenced your own teaching most profoundly, would you think of an online teacher? My guess is no. If you're like me, your models of teaching are mostly, if not exclusively, face-to-face.
If we don't already know the answers to these questions, what do we need to know to design, deploy, control, and live humanely with the tools we are creating?
Where are we going? Do we want to go there? Is there anything we can do about it? I have written this because I hope we can think together about where these questions lead. Perhaps there are solutions that can only be found by many of us, working together.
Thinking critically about the technosphere we inhabit, which defines who we are and dictates how we live and die, is scary — like thinking about performing surgery on yourself. Your internal denial alarms are going off already, I know. But I urge you to repress the urge to rise to the defense of penicillin and civilization, and consider how I came to rethink my attitudes.
You’re reading this on the web, after all. I do all the HTML myself. I upload it to the server. I do a little PhotoShop, a little Unix. I’m not an archgeek, but neither am I totally unaware of how this new stuff works. It is possible to think critically about technology without running off to the woods — although, I must warn you, it is possible that you will never be quite so comfortable again about the moral dimensions of progress and the part we all play in it. I know that I’m not.
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