"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."
An article from Educational Leadership on "how to engage students whom seem unreachable, who resist learning activities, or who disrupt them for others." Larry Ferlazzo reflects on his yers of teaching and shares ways he engages students by developing "their intrinsic motivation."
The post provides eight detailed recommendations. The infographic above shares the short hand version!
"Universities are scrambling to get out front of the Internet and revolutionary change in higher education."
"The old saw goes that things that can’t last don’t last. Traditional American colleges and universities may be in that category right now. They cost too much. Young Americans are graduating with punishing debt. And the Internet is offering a big alternative.
The superhot phrase of the academic season is MOOC: Massive Open Online Course. Top schools are racing to offer them. Sign up, dive in, learn – from anywhere. Goodbye campus and quad. Maybe. How will this really work?
This hour, On Point: a college system at the breaking point meets the Internet revolution."
"By 2050, nearly two-thirds of Texas public school students will be Hispanic and probably poor. But in the Laredo Independent School District, for one, that is already the case."
"But geography aside, Texas public schools may increasingly find more in common with the South Texas district. In 2011, the state reached two landmarks. For the first time, Hispanics became the majority of public school students. And to cope with a historic budget deficit, the Legislature did not finance enrollment growth in the state’s schools — something that had not happened since the modernization of the Texas public school system in 1949. Though the first turning point passed quietly and the second with much political strife, they both underscore the challenges ahead as a dramatic demographic shift occurs in public school classrooms statewide.
By 2050, the number of Texas public school students is expected to swell to nine million from roughly five million now, and nearly two-thirds will be Hispanic, according to Steve Murdock, a demographer and director of Rice University’s Hobby Center for the Study of Texas. The overall percentage of white students will drop by half to about 15 percent. Without an accompanying change in Hispanics’ current socioeconomic status, that also means Texas students will continue to grow poorer — and their education more expensive — in the next four decades, Dr. Murdock added. (Rice University is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune.)
State population figures over the last decade show the shift is well under way in the public school system. Economically disadvantaged children in Texas classrooms make up 60 percent of all public school students, up from less than half in 2000. Students with limited English skills now make up 16 percent of them. Of about 979,000 children added to the state’s under-18 population from 2000 to 2010, 931,000 were Hispanic.
'When you look at children, there is no doubt. The future of Texas — the future of the United States — is tied to the minority population,' said Dr. Murdock, a former state demographer and director of the United States Census Bureau. 'It’s just mathematically true.'l
Join us Thursday, August 30th @ 1 PM ET to discuss the RTT-D competition and what the Absolute Priority of creating personalized learning enviroments would mean for you as a teacher, an administrator, a school, or a district.
The RTT-D competition is for LEAs that have the leadership and vision to move beyond the one-size-fits all models, are concerned about inequity for their diverse student population, and are looking at student-focused approaches. Technology levels the playing field for learners, yet just putting technology in the hands of teachers and learners isn’t enough. To be college- and career-ready and to raise the achievement gap across all groups of learners, learners need to know how they learn best and teachers need to understand how their roles will change.
'The economic and educational achievements of the Pacific region in the past 50 years are spectacular – unprecedented in fact.
"This long essay by Sir Michael Barber, Katelyn Donnelly and Saad Rizvi assumes the near certainty that the Pacific region will take primary leadership of the global economy in the near future and explores the implications for their education systems, calling for a 'whole-system revolution' in the structure and priorities of teaching and learning in the region.
'What is clear, though, is that education – deeper, broader and more universal – has a significant part to play in enabling humanity to succeed in the next half century. We need to ensure that students everywhere leave school ready to continue to learn and adapt, ready to take responsibility for their own future learning and careers, ready to innovate with and for others, and to live in turbulent, diverse cities. We need perhaps the first truly global generation; a generation of individuals rooted in their own cultures but open to the world and confident of their ability to shape it.
'The growing pace of change and increasing complexity mean that global leadership will no longer be merely about summits behind closed doors. In an era of transparency, leaders will find themselves constantly in dialogue with those they purport to lead. Meanwhile, innovations which transform societies can and will happen anywhere. Leadership, in short, will be widely dispersed and will require increasing sophistication.'"
"Tech and Learning has just posted a wonderful article concerning Internet Gaming. With school starting up, make sure you have your resources available to help that special student of yours make the grade. Read on, and check out the hotest sites available for online learners."
Are you looking for ideas for projects that are not papers, but that will help students "acquire subject matter, practice critical thinking and develop transferable information fluency and technology skills through a variety of creative activities"? If so, this post is for you! Joyce Valenza has begun a list of alternative to the paper which connect to the Common Core State Standard College and Career Readiness for Writing. You can add to this list by going to Google Doc (the link is in the post). A wide variety of great ideas and there are additional ones added to the Google Doc, so do check it out.
"Students taking free online courses offered by the startup company Coursera have reported dozens of incidents of plagiarism, even though the courses bear no academic credit. This week a professor leading one of the so-called Massive Open Online Courses posted a plea to his 39,000 students to stop plagiarizing, and Coursera's leaders say they will review the issue and consider adding plagiarism-detection software in the future.
In recent weeks, students in at least three Coursera humanities courses have complained of plagiarized assignments by other students. The courses use peer grading, so each student is asked to grade and offer comments on the work of fellow students.
'I just graded my second batch of peer essays and was saddened to find one of them was lifted from Wikipedia,' wrote one student in the discussion forums for the course, 'Fantasy and Science Fiction.'"
Many students in the discussion expressed surprise that their peers would resort to fraudulent behavior in a noncredit course. Students who complete a course can get a certificate attesting to that accomplishment, but so far the courses do not count for credit at any university."
"Every Thursday the Featured area of the iPad App Store gets a refresh and adds some new and often topical featured sections. This week one of these is titled ‘Education Collections’ and it’s one of the best and most complete sections of this type that I’ve seen."
How do you know what’s going on in their heads if they don’t say anything? If you have students who are too quiet, chances are there is something they are not telling you, which you’ll need to find out – fast!
"'Struggle.' It’s a term we usually reserve for extreme situations. The struggle for freedom. The struggle for power. The struggle for survival.
The struggle to learn? Is this a struggle we should welcome?
Yes. After researching hotbeds of various talents, Daniel Coyle concludes in his book 'The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How.' that “deep practice” is a key to mastery and top performance. Coyle’s deep practice is characterized by:
A Brazilian boy learns a soccer move by trying, failing, stopping and thinking — a few attempts, then a pause. Coyle describes what precedes the boy’s breakthrough: 'He stops and thinks again. He does it even more slowly, breaking the move down to its component parts — this, this, and that.' Deep practice involves self-talk as the individual moves from articulating to executing each step. And self-talk requires slowing down: 'going slow helps the practicer to develop … a working perception of the skill’s internal blueprints — the shape and rhythm of the interlocking skill circuits.'"
There are a couple tools out now that I see bantered around in educational circles that I just hate! And there are some pretty awesome tools out there that are being used in rather old and traditional ways, and I don’t hate the tool, but I hate the use of them.
Prof. Hacker shares a unique perspective on how Angry Birds can teach us about Universal Design for Instruction and Universal Design for Learning.
"I think that Angry Birds is so fun to play because it helps develop our meta-cognitive skills. Throughout playing Angry Birds, one must pay attention to the strategies being employed, adjust one’s play as needed to achieve certain goals and objectives, and transfer what you have learned about a bird’s capabilities several levels ago to the current level.
In short, Angry Birds is a powerful metaphor for learning. As I was recently playing the game, I could not help but think: what if my classroom was more like this? Would students have a better learning experience?"
Consider the following:
> Angry Birds involves practice without penalty.
> Angry Birds offers the opportunity for constant feedback.
> Angry Birds inherently teachers that different tools have different purposes.
> Angry Birds rewards perseverance.
> Angry Birds gives no time limit.
"No wonder we are all addicted to this game! Now if only we could ensure that our classrooms are always safe spaces to practice new strategies, offer students a range of possibilities for how to succeed in their learning, give our students constant feedback, and support knowledge transfer within and among our courses."
"At its core, Google+ Hangouts is simply a souped-up version of video chat. But when it comes to education, it’s so much more than that. It becomes a vehicle for learning, sharing, collaboration, and ideas. Whether you’re an educator discussing learning practices, or a first-grade classroom speaking with an astronaut, Hangouts have seemingly endless possibilities. These are our 50 favorite ways for schools to use Google Plus Hangouts. How do you plan to use this cool tool?"
"New technology equipment and tools, state of the art building materials and methods, and experimental teaching practices are all impacting today's K-12 classroom. Districts nationwide are struggling to patch together learning environments that they think represent the future of learning at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels. As they adopt campus-wide IT infrastructures, invest in classroom technology, and test out alternatives to traditional learning spaces, the final results of all this innovation remains to be seen.
"To help decipher that code and give principals, administrators, IT directors, and teachers an insider look into what might be coming a few years down the road, THE Journal asked a half a dozen educational experts for their take on three different key concerns: what the classrooms will look like, who will pay for them, and whether we'll ever see them during our lifetimes."
This article at least scratches the surface of a discussion about the future of educational facilities and hardware. I'm thinking that a lot of the information here tends to conceive of future settings using today's ideas...and doesn't account for the fact that the landscape will be very different even just 3 or 4 years from now. It would take that much time, at a minimum, to implement these changes, but by then, they will already be out of date. The answer is most elusive. -JL
Much of what we hear when people talk about games for learning may be behind the potential of video games to teach traditional content, but there's also a very exciting, and increasingly popular trend in education of kids as game designers.
Think you need to wait for kids to settle down and learn the basics before you let them do projects and hands-on work? Not according to this expert teacher.
What tech vision will you share?
What message does your Acceptable Use Policy send when it goes home with students for them and their parents to sign? This year, change overly complex, negative language to language that celebrates the potential of technology – and students.
Games for collaboration and teamwork
Want to create a more collaborative, constructivist classroom? Instead of traditional icebreakers, try these games that encourage collaboration and teamwork.
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