Monday, August 24, 2015

Teachers as Agents of Creation and Change - Teacher Entrepreneurship Week Interviews Start Tonight




Tonight is the first of four evenings of interviews, live on Google Hangouts on Air (and recorded on YouTube).

An unbelievable lineup. Broadcast for free. Be sure to register for any schedule updates and information here. All live sessions are held in Google Hangouts on Air, recordings are at YouTube. The main event page is here.

Tweet or follow at #TEWeek. Huge shout-out to the series sponsor, TES - check out their new educational resources marketplace!



THE SCHEDULE:
(All times US-Eastern Daylight Time - GMT-4)

ADVANCE RECORDING


Silvia Tolisano
Recording Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YWunz8m84s

MONDAY, AUGUST 24



6:00 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Vicki Davis
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/c6rkj1qqamsven67nu52bhvdolo
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8swgfjc_iI

6:30 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Alice Keeler
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/cnk6io227r7de879rgsiam2i4pc
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcojjPK819I

6:45 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Matt Harris, Ed.D
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/cevjjmj8beooirdrgs5n4jrmm8s
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpP4_z53bAU

7:00 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Shelly Sanchez Terrell
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/chnc8gcjunpg8rp90uildirq4tk
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMtlZt8SBxc

7:15 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Ben Wilkoff
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/c6gda2jgh9cg5r6lvv6a58obhto
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89QMmsV30Sw

7:30 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Erin Klein
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/cvq6pk1d8egdflkvcgo0q10lsdg
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOHNOgEiSXU

7:45 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Jon Corippo
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/crcs1rj260jjj9cuob8radatjsg
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUnz688Lj04

8:00 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Rushton Hurley
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/ceqaolugof7artbinugv9tioj5s
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TXWa8WDJkk

8:15 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Esther Wojcicki
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/cbt1uiuvhavh07hbm8b7753q4o4
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIXxBv6BJRY

8:30 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Suzie Boss
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/cqms4eoknuiqm69ieve3p9fptuo
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WExLobqex8

8:45 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Lisa Nielsen
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/c4ju29th3buba7o1pc0961s7nb8
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1CUBBM7fog

TUESDAY, AUGUST 25



7:00 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Angela Maiers
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/chinc327g9sbcdhtdmgrdr8u1o8
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbMXyIjODoU

7:15 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Curtis Bonk
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/cmpn6p269801j0no7d774vcjue8
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsiyBG9Tk_s

7:30 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Ramsey Musallam
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/cdoq092l1kgonv8verabrpn6ro0
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HfIEyAZ56I

7:45 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Julie Lindsay
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/ckfjeq2jepnqcrg2t6843um6suo
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VN2nF4MFFM

8:00 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Nicholas Provenzano
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/csu4n6bm1g5223gl7193kvgjoe0
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-pNiWaWWpA

8:15 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - David Warlick
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/c79hu4obhrlcbme44l5aree24sk
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wYF1lHOlt0

8:30 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - TES Marketplace Demo - Erica Magnusson
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/cm5qa5pi6tojni041hc28guatdk
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoPeEb3bemQ

8:45 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Dean Shareski
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/ct9al3p267qa39t0rq940t5v7ls
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI0ouheSFfU

9:00 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Steven Anderson
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/ch7r6569h71e95bv2fssehr1njc
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61-cldfFAeQ

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 26



7:00 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Richard Byrne
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/chapp8otapjsju7sr65i67kn9eg
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVJPpKV5yhI

7:15 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Lee Kolbert
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/cjr1lr9is33k43lrhsutbl7uf8o
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRR055H3A3Q

7:30 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Dan Meyer
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/cfhblreavacidkaq3hhu8l53158
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmczso3U0vg

7:45 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Anne Mirtschin
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/cblr9gkloig6q6mrtcnetmlpskc
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaOLtPej9ew

8:00 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Bill Ferriter
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/chidn5h5nop3arlaroefhqoh5sk
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mXgi8BpH7g

8:15 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Will Richardson
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/c76kl562sn9igun0ctlvccos0l0
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzHcBmbS5-w

8:30 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Sylvia Martinez
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/canu8v4p2b04ckmhj66d9tc00f0
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eO7c3BRJsek

8:45 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Mike Lawrence
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/cf90gjr1709emjensnhvfo7eqkc
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khJ0fznAoUw

9:00 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Shabbi Luthra
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/cum7kitijip5hr0gic8hafktba4
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVJDBDJxbpA

THURSDAY, AUGUST 27



7:00 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Adam Bellow
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/cfje30dlb8ncmdli31t03dhqqb8
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNSCFHJOkGA

7:15 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Tom Whitby
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/cache8cskdpjrgiitq7287afhg0
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJJOrHWzVmI

7:30 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Nicole Tucker-Smith
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/ch23vo0tti71d44p6cq0q2a6qmo
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9MOKuU5QVQ

7:45 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Barbara Bray
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/cdhb9emhc8kf5sf6mn1u4rt0tlo
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvkbcpCBQpo

8:00 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Lucy Gray
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/c5jpt8l5m23o7okk2277s2li678
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3869m_3wqc

8:15 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Bernard Bull
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/cf965sibpuo3ijejlpls2avro58
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jPQ_-KMq6I

8:30 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Paul Allison, Karen Fasimpaur and Chris Sloan
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/c8n33egq2q5vv1ul6gvcf9c0hpo
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfOZtXquJ1g

8:45 PM (INTERNATIONAL TIME) - Gary Stager
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/c77cmbqkn153shmsr206tbdbhuk
Recording Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjUGHkKSPJ4

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Announcing Global Collaboration Day on September 17th!


Dear Education Friends:

We believe in the power of connected, globally competent learners of all ages.....let's show others what connected learning looks like around the clock on September 17th! We are very excited to bring you our newest project, Global Collaboration Day! 

Students, teachers, and organizations will get online to celebrate and practice global collaboration in their own time zones on September 17th, 2015, as back-to-school-season begins in the northern hemisphere. On this day (and beyond), global educators and other professionals will host connective projects and events and invite public participation. 

The primary goals of this whole day event are:
  • demonstrate the power of global connectivity in classrooms, schools, institutions of informal learning and universities around the world.
  • introduce others to the tools, resources, projects, and networks that are available to educators today.
  • focus attention on the need for developing globally competent students and teachers throughout the world.

Any educator, school, non-profit or for-profit entity is welcome to participate as an attendee or as a host of an event. We are also seeking partners to help us get the word out about this event to their network. 

We hope that you will consider hosting one event and our recommendation is to keep your proposed event/activity fairly simple. You can also choose to highlight a project or initiative that is already in existence. It’s really up to you how you design this experience, but keep in mind that we want to introduce global collaboration to those who have not yet experienced the power of connected learning.

Here are important links to save for future reference:

Thanks for your continuing support! See you online on September 17th!

Lucy Gray & Steve Hargadon
Global Education Conference Co-Chairs
@GlobalEdCon on Twitter
http://bit.ly/gcdparticipants

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

"It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory." - W. Edwards Deming

Often, when I'm having a conversation about the expanded ways in which the Internet has provided new and exciting options for learning, the person I'm talking to will argue: if schools don't change dramatically, they will be left behind and become irrelevant. The market will force schools to change.

I myself have drunk the Kool-Aid, to be sure, but I now see this as wishful thinking.

The "schools will have to change" argument presumes, first, that most parents think about learning rationally and make choices about their children's schooling based substantively on the specific learning philosophy of their children's school, teachers, and administrators. For most parents, if there is even a conversation about the learning philosophy, it usually comes well-after the very practical realities of location, convenience, timing, child-care, children's friends, and which teachers are "good" or "bad."

Second, it's not as if most schools have, or feel the need to have, a consistently articulated learning culture, one that is clearly developed and crafted together by all constituent groups, that drives decision-making, and that is compelling and recognizable to the students, teachers, staff, and parents. Perhaps think of it this way: the companies most-desirable to work for have clearly articulated ways in which they care for their customers, employees, and stakeholders. Wouldn't we like to have our children attend a school that is similarly forthright in how it operates for the benefit of all? I'm sorry to say that both in the business and education worlds, measures of cultural value have become increasingly less relevant to the push for "performance"--hollow numbers that hide the loss of core commitments.

As a quick aside, the lack of defined learning cultures in our schools is pervasive. The current demand for "quality teachers" leads me to believe that we seem to not realize that the culture of an institution has much more to do with how the teachers perform collectively than their rightly-appreciated individual talents. Instead of recognizing the power that an aligned vision has for bringing out the best in (and, of course, addressing problems with) teachers, we fantasize that schools will become great learning centers if we just could somehow just bring the best teachers together. This is related to the same tired argument that promotes bringing together subject-matter recordings of the "best teachers" to build great online learning experiences. What's missing from that vision is the influence of caring individuals who help to change the learning lives of students. It's really, really hard for teachers to be caring individuals when they don't work for an organization that has a clear vision of how and why learning takes place, and cares for the teachers in this same way as well.

Back to our conversation about why significant change is unlikely to be required.

The final reason, the reason that parents and students aren't going to just stand up and demand that their schools go though dramatic changes to reflect the shifts in learning potential provided by modern technologies, is: schools are actually changing and will continue to do so, but they only change just enough to survive.

Survival is what institutions are good at. Institutions consistently make just enough changes to stay relevant, which makes sense because any more is risky. And survive they must, since so very many people depend on schools in very practical ways, from large supplier contracts to the individual paychecks that allow those who work at schools to support themselves and their families. Schools will make just enough changes based on just enough demands on them by parents and students in order to continue to be the place that we send children during the day. Individual schools, and even some districts, will push the envelope and reshape what they are doing, but perhaps this explains why their influence on others schools is often so limited.

The idea that in five or ten years, because of modern learning affordances and the demands they create for authentic learning, schools in general will look much different than they do now as a result of needing to survive is not, I believe, likely. So, for those of us who care about dramatically reshaping the learning experiences of children, what do we do? That is the million-dollar question.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

You Are Not a Failure

One of my favorite ways to catch people's attention is to use the statement, "your child is not defective."

You see, parents often get the message that their children have not measured up in both specific and general ways. In an education system driven by standards and data, the focus is most often on what is not being done well, which is labeled as a deficiency and then becomes the center of attention and efforts. And therefore so many parents have been willing to believe, when they hear it, that their children are defective.

We're also very good at blaming the parents. They know it, and they internalize that. It's pretty natural to make the logical leap: a defective child means a defective parent or parents.

It's an easy argument to make because, like so many other social and emotional issues, there is truth to it. As parents we are the major influences in our children's lives, and often their successes and challenges are pretty reflective of our own ups and downs. But it's a truth that depends on a way of viewing life that focuses on people's deficiencies rather than working to help them, and it's based on a system of school/work/life where our not feeling confident is arguably beneficial to those trying to convince us to buy their expertise or products.

I spoke to a group in our church recently about how adults can feel like failures in their lives. I could see several people in the congregation physically nodding their heads, as though just recognizing this deep emotional pain out loud produced an involuntary physical response. No matter how much we try to make things look good on the outside, we can feel broken and alone on the inside. We, more than those around us, can see all the ways we feel we have not measured up.

In a purely biological framework, success and failure are just objective outcomes of life, reproduction, and death. Believing that the "losers" in the game of life have lost through their own weakness would be the natural conclusion if we thought that life was nothing more than biology. But if there is something more to our lives--something spiritual or moral--then seeing others or ourselves as failures is abhorrent. Would we say that the child with Down Syndrome is a failure? Or the person missing a limb is defective? Why is it so easy, then, to find fault with ourselves, even if our problems are less outwardly visible?

We make mistakes. We fail at things. But you and I are not failures, we are not losers. The moment we allow someone to tell us that we are, or we tell ourselves we are, we have surrendered. It feels like this is one of the great choices in life: are we victims, destined to always feel that we have never measured up; or are we agents, capable of learning, of getting better, and of creating things of worth and value? I know I have friends who don't really understand how someone intellectual could also be faithful, but in part my devotion is the conscious decision to believe in the divine worth and value of every individual--which would include ourselves--and the belief in the opportunity for, and the ability of. individuals to repair and change their lives.

Like I've argued in my posts here, feelings of failure unfortunately often stem from our school experiences. To believe that a child is defective because he or she is not good at one or more particular tasks, the way that we define those tasks, is one of the most powerful traps of modern education. Then to move from the delicate balance of a child's unique temperament, personality, skills, and interests to blaming the adults in his or her life is another powerful trap. It's not because there isn't truth to the deep connection between children's behavior and the behavior of the adults in their lives--of course there is--but focusing on weaknesses and assigning blame in a very complex system of influences are about the two worst ways to improve lives that you can imagine.

One of my personal heroes is Angela Maiers, who reminds us that "You Matter." And one of my favorite movies is The Kid with Bruce Willis, who though outwardly very successful has difficulty finding the ability to actually declare at the end of the movie, "I am not a loser!"

Whoever you are, however you are feeling right now, you are not a loser. You are not a failure. You may have made mistakes, you may have amends or significant progress to make, but I reject those who, individually or through systemic processes, push others into a state of "assumed inadequacy." Behind those who would have you believe you are a failure is their own inability to feel good about themselves without you feeling bad about yourself.

We cannot believe in the potential of every child unless we believe in our own potential. 

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Save the Dates - Teacher Entrepreneurship Week Interviews Start August 24th


Four evenings of interviews with amazing teacher entrepreneurs, on teachers as creators and agents. All free and broadcast through Google Hangouts on Air. More information here and/or register to watch live and have access to the recordings. Confirmed interviews with:

Adam Bellow
Alice Keeler
Angela Maiers
Anne Mirtschin
Barbara Bray
Benjamin Wilkoff
Bernard Bull
Bill Ferriter
Curt Bonk
Dan Meyer
David Warlick
Erin Klein
Jon Corripo
Julie Lindsay
Kathy Schrock
Lee Kolbert
Lisa Nielsen
Lucy Gray
Nicholas Provenzano
Nicole Tucker Smith
Paul Allison
Ramsay Musallam
Rushton Hurley
Shabbi Luthra
Shelly Terrell
Silvia Tolisano
Steven Anderson
Sylvia Martinez
Tom Whitby
Vicki A. Davis
Will Richardson

Thanks to event sponsor:

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

"Our children need to be treated as human beings - exquisite, complex and elegant in their diversity." - Lloyd Dennis

Systems of mass production can be really good at certain things.

If you go into a McDonalds anywhere, especially in the United States, you're pretty-much guaranteed you'll be able to order something from a menu that is pretty-much identical to the menu in every one of their restaurants, and that the food (hmmm....) that you get will be pretty-much identically prepared as it would also be in every one of their restaurants.

You want that. You want to know what you are going to get. You depend on it being exactly the same. And McDonalds wants to deliver it exactly that way. So they put in policies and procedures to guarantee that this will happen. These policies and procedures are documented and detailed, can be measured precisely, and--most important of all--can be scaled.

The quality of the output can be measured in very standard ways from the top down.

And this would be exactly the wrong way to run a school system.

Children are not identical meat patties to be prepared in identical ways. They are not sent to us as completely raw material, just to then be shaped by rule-bound, low-paid employees into identical products.

So, if children are exquisite, complex, and elegant in their diversity, and we take that as a starting point, how would we create learning environments for them? What would we consider to be success? How and where would we measure that success? And who would be doing the measuring?

Discuss. :)