Educating students about Trump, North Korea, climate change, water and food scarcity and environmental disasters could construct a dystopian narrative that leaves students hopeless for the future. How might we engage students with the realities of our times in an ethical and hopeful way?
Student centred learning, 1:1 computers, maker ed and reimagining learning. 4 common themes in many #edchatnz discussions - and all things that Seymour Papert had been calling for over the last 50 years. If you don't recognise his name, you will recognise his ideas and inventions: Logo programming language, Scratch and Lego Mindstorms robots will be the most well known to teachers.
This week, Seymour Papert passed away. I hope this serves to make us remember his key messages about teaching and learning. To this end, the Reading Room this week has 2 posts. The first is from MIT Media Lab remembering all that Seymour Papert did to transform learning for millions around the world:
The second post is written by Steve Wheeler, highlighting the key learnings that we should take from Papert. The post finishes with some quotes that would be great reflection points for all of us.
We all know that quality feedback has a large impact on learning but are we giving feedback to students at the right time? Or, as Tom Barrett questions, are we creating those Masterchef moments where the derailment of ideas is visible in people's eyes? This post by Tom clearly sets out why we need to plan for feedback to occur early and often, rather than waiting until students have committed to implementing ideas.
There are hundreds of educators around New Zealand who are sharing their thoughts online - are you connecting in with what your colleagues are thinking about or working through?
Thankfully, an awesome team of Alex, Nathaniel and Sonya have created an easy way for you to do this. They created #EdBlogNZ - a hashtag for NZ teachers sharing their blogs on twitter but more importantly, a website that regularly updates with the latest posts by NZ teachers, principals, facilitators, board members etc.
Chances are, something you are struggling with, working out, trialling, thinking about is also going through someone else's head. Perhaps one of those people have written a post on it recently? There is amazing power in us helping each other out through our blogging.The great thing is, with so many NZ educators blogging, there is always something new near the top of the list that you will want to read!
So, take the plunge. Check out the EdBlogNZ site by using the button below. Read what other NZ educators are doing/thinking about. Leave a comment and when you have built up the courage, start your own blog and join the community.
There have been so many articles and videos made about what we need to be successful in the 21st Century. What makes this latest video (from Let It Ripple) a bit different is that it says what we need to flourish, are the same things that make us human.
There is so much in the video that is important for schools to reflect upon. But importantly, I really feel you should also read Derek Wenmoth's blog post about the video. He writes about how our New Zealand Curriculum is perfectly set up for NZ schools to develop these characteristics in a systematic way, rather than the pockets occurring right now.
This week's reading is from Jay Silver who many NZ teachers may know through being the Founder/CEO of Makey Makey. He has put together an explanation of what an Invention Literacy would entail. Like conventional literacy, he argues that there is a vocabulary, grammar and literature that enables us to understand human made products.
Just as many schools are actively developing scientific literacy, financial literacy or critical literacy on top of the basics, perhaps it's time your team considered developing students' Invention Literacy?
There are 3 things that can make me enjoy a blog post:
Every now and then, you come across a post that does all 3 of these. This week's reading is one of those. Karen Spencer has written a great, provoking article on conditions that enable transformation, how these can be developed and finishes with some reflective questions that could prompt any number of inquiries within schools.
This week in the #edchatNZ MOOC we have been provoked around the future (or end of) schools.This article comes from a group in the United States who are radically reimagining education and supporting the implementation of these innovative models. Called 4.0 Schools they are connecting people who are working on the future of schools and investing in people to test their bold ideas.
The article is about challenging the idea that schools are a great big monolith that solves so many different issues. What if we unbundled the monoliths and focused on being more humanized, diverse, responsive and less wasteful? What if unbundling school made it better?
It's holidays - the one time that we actually get a bit extra time to take a breath and truly reflect on our practice. This week's reading comes from the OECD and synthesizes what research on cognition, emotion and biology implies for effective learning. They use this to create 7 principles of learning that should be present in all learning environments.
This is a great read and reflection for all teachers. It will also be a great warm up for those getting ready to start the #edchatnz MOOC next week!
We all talk about wanting our students to think more deeply/critically/creatively/analytically... but what are you putting in place to help this type of thinking emerge?
Project Zero from Harvard have been working on thinking routines and strategies for many years. This article from Mind Shift covers thinking strategies that help better learning to emerge.