"When American education is in crisis, policy makers and thought leaders roll out the STEM argument, that the science, technology, engineering and math curriculum needs to be emphasized as the cornerstone of American competitiveness in a world where Chinese students do lightening drills on the periodic table of the elements at age 4 (lol).
There is certainly no question that STEM education and STEM skills are a vital part of this country’s edge, but many educators would argue that STEM is missing a key set of creativity-related components that are equally critical to fostering a competitive and innovative workforce, and those skills are summarized under the letter “A” for Arts.
Two years ago, the Conference Board and Americans for the Arts, in association with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), conducted a survey of executives and school superintendents. The study, called Ready to Innovate, demonstrated that more and more companies are looking for skill sets in their new employees that are much more arts/creativity-related than science/math-related. Companies want workers who can brainstorm, problem-solve, collaborate creatively and contribute/communicate new ideas.
And, interestingly, the study shows that managers are finding a dearth of creative workers trained in these “A” skills. So why is this not part of the overall national debate?
STEM should be amended to STEAM, an idea that has been kicking around with many people in the creative industries for a few years now, and became a key discussion point of the Americans for the Arts 2007 National Policy Roundtable where the Ready to Innovate study was first unveiled."
"Join me Tuesday, August 28th, for another live and interactive FutureofEducation.com webinar with Tony Wagner, this time on his latest book, Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World. Tony recently accepted a position as the first Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard. Prior to this, he was the founder and co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for more than a decade. Creating Innovators is a "provocative look at why innovation is today’s most essential real-world skill and what young people need from parents, teachers, and employers to become the innovators of America’s future" (from the publisher catalog).
Date: Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 Time: 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern (international times here) Duration: 1 hour Location: In Blackboard Collaborate (formerly Elluminate). Log in at http://futureofed.info. The Blackboard Collaborate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early. To make sure that your computer is configured for Blackboard Collaborate, please visit the support and configuration page. Recordings: The full Blackboard Collaborate recording and a portable .mp3 audio recording will be available after the interview at http://www.futureofeducation.com. Mightybell Discussion and Resource Space: https://mightybell.com/spaces/3d0f0836f5a57871# (includes links to Tony's website and the main book website, as well as the ability to add or comment on other resources)."
"Leaders who want to foster innovation should ask themselves these questions:
1. In my quest for the next big innovation, have I overlooked smaller incremental innovations that could still have a big impact on customer experiences or on employee productivity?
2. Do I reinvest my spare capacity into expanding my own knowledge, exploring future trends and learning from others? Or does my focus on performance and results preclude any consideration of unproven innovations?
3. Am I doing one thing every day that scares me? How much time do I spend pushing my own boundaries and working at the limits of my competence, where the next great innovations are most likely to be discovered?"
"Innovation is the currency of progress. In our world of seismic changes, innovation has become a holy grail that promises to shepherd us through these uncertain and challenging times. And there isn't a more visible symbol of innovation than the iPad. It's captured the hearts and minds of disparate subcultures and organizations.
In education it's been widely hailed as a revolutionary device, promising to transform education as we know it. Unfortunately, it's not as simple as bulk purchasing iPads and deploying them into the wilds of education. Innovation can't be installed. It has to be grown -- and generally from the margins."
This is a great way to create eBooks from your own online content or from any content you find online. You can create and share reading lists for courses. Create your own eBooks of yours or your students' stories. Create your own collection of your favourite articles. Collect a reading list of articles to read when you don't have an Internet connection. Webpages that you capture in this way can be much easier to read and of course you have all the eBook's mark up and note taking functions which will store all your annotations on the eBooks you create.
"Meet the four finalists of the Microsoft’s Imagine Cup, which challenges students to use technology to solve the world’s toughest problems."
"Microsoft’s Imagine Cup brings students together from across the world each year, in effort to use technology to solve the world’s toughest problems.
Mashable met with four teams, hailing from Germany, Australia, the U.S. and Qatar, to learn how they are using technology to make an impact on the future.
Students are using Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox 360, Windows 8, Windows Azure and Windows Phone in their Imagine Cup projects. Many members of the competition draw inspiration from the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals, to create solutions to problems in the fields of education, healthcare and environmental sustainability, among others.
The Worldwide Finals will take place in Sydney, Australia, between June 6 and 10, where the winners of local, regional and online competitions will share their visions for how technology can shape the future. The 106 teams will hail from 75 countries."
"Jailbreak verb. 1 To get out of a restricted mode of operation. 2 To enable use of a product not intended by the manufacturer.
Currently, the degree is the only meaningful “unit” of education to which employers give any credence. Of this dependency, TIME magazine writes, “The tight connection between college degrees and economic success may be a nearly unquestioned part of our social order. Future generations may look back and shudder at the cruelty of it… It is inefficient, both because it wastes a lot of money and because it locks people who would have done good work out of some jobs.”
The traditional degree, with its four-year time commitment and steep price tag, made sense when the university centrally aggregated top academic minds with residency-based students. Education required extensive logistics, demanding deep commitment from students worthy of being rewarded with the all-or-nothing degree."
"If you’re always on the hunt for new ideas to implement in the classroom or want to keep up with the latest news in education, then turn to Twitter. With teachers tweeting in droves, if determining whom to follow first is overwhelming, start by checking out these top 25 teachers, educators and experts on Twitter. By following their tweets, you will gain access to education news as it happens and numerous tips, activities and resources to use in your classroom or with your children.
"What extraordinary energy we expend, as a culture and a civilization, on trying to understand where good ideas come from, how creativity works, its secrets, its origins, its mechanisms, and the five-step action plan for coaxing it into manifestation. And little compares to the anguish that comes with the blockage of creative flow.
In 2010, designer and musician Alex Cornell found himself stumped by a creative block while trying to write an article about creative block. Deterred neither by the block nor by the irony, he reached out to some of his favorite artists and asked them for their copying strategies in such an event. The response was overwhelming in both volume and depth, inspiring Cornell to put together a collection on the subject. The result is Breakthrough!: 90 Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination (public library) — a small but potent compendium of field-tested, life-approved insight on optimizing the creative process from some of today’s most exciting artists, designers, illustrators, writers, and thinkers. From the many specific strategies — walks in nature, porn, destruction of technology, weeping — a few powerful universals emerge, including the role of procrastination, the importance of a gestation period for ideas, and, above all, the reminder that the “creative block” befalls everyone indiscriminately."
"When information is ubiquitous and free, and when basic education is available to billions of people worldwide, only one set of skills can ensure this generation's economic future - the capacity for innovation.
What are the skills of innovators? Why is innovation so critical to America’s future—and to the future of the planet? What must parents, teachers, mentors, and employers do to develop the capacities of many more young people to be the innovators that they want to be—and that we need them to become? What do the best schools and colleges do to teach the skills of innovation? What are some of the most forward-looking employers doing to create a culture of innovation?
Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change The World addresses these questions through in-depth profiles of young innovators and the adults who have made a difference in their lives, as well as vivid descriptions of innovation-driven classrooms and places of work."
Suzie Boss provides 8 tips for turning K-12 classrooms into innovation spaces. How can we prepare today’s students to become tomorrow’s innovators? It’s an urgent challenge, repeated by President Obama, corporate CEOs, and global education experts like Yong Zhao and Tony Wagner. Virtually every discussion of 21st-century learning puts innovation and its close cousin, creativity, atop the list of skills students must have for the future.
"The series of reports explores new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world, to guide teachers and policy makers in productive innovation.
The first report proposes ten innovations that are already in currency but have not yet had a profound influence on education. You can see a summary of each innovation at the menu on the right. Please contribute with comments on the report and the innovations."
"At the end, the video states Creativity is not inspired by the pressure of time but by the freedom, the playfulness, and the fun. Does that describe most secondary classrooms you know? I know many that fit that description, but not anywhere near enough. Too many pressures regarding content coverage and/or accountability…"
'If I [Frederic Terral] can do it, so can you.' That’s what I’ve been preaching to friends and colleagues since I started this terrain. Late nights, early mornings and sacrificed weekends is what it takes, but the rewards offset the inconveniences. So many of these crazy talented folks are dissatisfied with their professional lives so I wrote The Manifesto to be that annoying 'you can do it' voice in the background. The Manifesto also gets a bit preachy about the sacrifice of the arts in our schools, because as a father of little ones I want them to master their A-B-Cs and 1-2-3s AND their Red-Green-Blues and E-A-D-G-B-Es. This page also features links to right brain propaganda and right-brainers I revere. The links will continue to evolve indefinitely so check back periodically."
1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion. 2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done. 3. There is no editing stage. 4. Pretending you know what you're doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you're doing even if you don't and do it. 5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it. 6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done. 7. Once you're done you can throw it away. 8. Laugh at perfection. It's boring and keeps you from being done. 9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right. 10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes. 11. Destruction is a variant of done. 12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done. 13. Done is the engine of more.
"I love my three young children immensely. So it's hard for me to be fully rational about them. Of course they are the smartest, the best looking, and the most athletic. I'm not alone — all parents are irrational."
"Irrationality can be a strong asset. Sure, a vast majority of new businesses fail, so a fairly rational person could easily justify maintaining the status quo. But our world is — unquestionably — a better place because people take risks that don't quite make logical sense. Of course, irrationality presents challenges too. It can blind innovators to real problems and to important signals telling them to do something different. Yes, perseverance may be an underappreciated skill, but when paired with passion, it often leads to fanaticism.
So how can you toe the line between irrationality and fanaticism without pursuing a doomed idea?"
"All great teachers do great work. And not only that, but they also do different work. Great teachers are always looking to improve practice, steal ideas and try new things -- all in order to meet the needs of their students. PBL teachers are no exception. Any teacher who is truly doing PBL would also agree that it's different. There is something about being a PBL teacher that requires different work, and work that is especially capitalized when implementing a PBL project. Because I work with so many PBL teachers, I feel there are some things that PBL teachers should specifically be proud of. I present them in these six affirmations."
"When we tell students to study for the exam or, more to the point, to study so that they can do well on the exam, we powerfully reinforce that way of thinking. While faculty consistently complain about instrumentalism, our behavior and the entire system encourages and facilitates it.
On the one hand, we tell students to value learning for learning's sake; on the other, we tell students they'd better know this or that, or they'd better take notes, or they'd better read the book, because it will be on the next exam; if they don't do these things, they will pay a price in academic failure. This communicates to students that the process of intellectual inquiry, academic exploration, and acquiring knowledge is a purely instrumental activity—designed to ensure success on the next assessment.
Given all this, it is hardly surprising that students constantly ask us if this or that will be on the exam, or whether they really need to know this reading for the next test, or—the single most pressing question at every first class meeting of the term—"is the final cumulative"?
This dysfunctional system reaches its zenith with the cumulative "final" exam. We even go so far as to commemorate this sacred academic ritual by setting aside a specially designated "exam week" at the end of each term. This collective exercise in sadism encourages students to cram everything that they think they need to "know" (temporarily for the exam) into their brains, deprive themselves of sleep and leisure activities, complete (or more likely finally start) term papers, and memorize mounds of information. While this traditional exercise might prepare students for the inevitable bouts of unpleasantness they will face as working adults, its value as a learning process is dubious."
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