14 Apr 2012 1 Comment
26 Mar 2012 1 Comment
Recently, I heard Sir Ken Robinson speak about the value of embracing and fostering creativity in our schools. Then I heard about James Cameron’s historic journey to the deepest part of the ocean and I began to contemplate his words that “Imagination feeds exploration.” This, in turn, got me thinking about Albert Einstein’s famous quote that “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” So, you might be asking how does any of this relate to my goal of transforming education? Well, I strongly believe that teachers and schools need to promote the importance of “Discovery.” We need to tap into our young student’s innate curiosity and lead them, not force them, into a sincere desire to want to know more. Can you imagine what James Cameron first thought about that led him to explore the deep ocean. What influences sparked his imagination? What teacher guided his discovery? Then imagine if he had been thwarted along the way because he did not have the opportunities or support to fully investigate his passions. This is one example. Einstein another as well as all those who helped get a man on the moon. My plea, similar to Sir Ken Robinson’s, is to foster creativity in schools and show those young adults we are charged with each day that we value the act of discovery as much as we value exhibiting proficiency on standardized tests. In this way, I believe we can instill wonder and spark exploration in every aspect of learning!
19 Mar 2012 Leave a comment
15 Mar 2012 1 Comment
Several years ago, Westfield High School was in a consortium to transform schools. I deeply admire Grant Wiggins and believe in his methodology. This article is provocative, not surprisingly. I will reread several times to fully understand and evaluate his basic premise.
UPDATE: Cool. This post was nominated and made the shortlist for Most Influential Post of 2012 by edublog. I’m really honored!
What if the earth moves and the sun is at rest? What if gravity is just a special case of space-time? Following both counter-intuitive premises revolutionized science and ushered in the modern world. Could a similar counter-intuitive thought experiment advance education from where I believe we are currently stuck? I believe so.
The educational thought experiment I wish to undertake concerns curriculum. Not the specific content of curriculum, but the idea of curriculum, what any curriculum is, regardless of subject. Like Copernicus, I propose that for the sake of better results we need to turn conventional wisdom on it is head: let’s see what results if we think of action, not knowledge, as the essence of an education; let’s see what results from thinking of future ability, not knowledge…
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12 Mar 2012 2 Comments
During my time at the NASSP Conference in Tampa, I took a crash course in how to best help my school decrease the digital divide. I was immersed in all things Social Media, including Twitter, Web 2.0, Flickr, etc. So much so that today, when my flight was delayed, I was consumed with amassing websites on my new Delicious account. Oh what an opportunity to “Jump In” as I blogged about earlier. I was even Tweeting right up until the captain told us to turn off our phones. I am addicted.
Interestingly, some of what I was Tweeting about were spiritual matters, as I follow a number of wise Tweeters. I commented on being present and appreciating the “Now.” Then I had to shut down and decided to, once again, listen to Eckhart Tolle’s “The Deepest Truth of Human Existence.” I have commented, via Twitter, that this “meditation” is truly a gift to mankind. I was again impressed and inspired while listening on the plane.
Then I realized that I am in quite a quandary with my energies and the focus of my Twitter posts. There is a part of me that has a sincere desire to delve into the Social Media Revolution with the intention of bridging the digital divide for Westfield High School. I am committed to making some significant changes to best utilize what I have learned. And, at the same time, I am also committed to helping some people recognize, among other things, the value of “surrendering to the present moment, filled with its limitations” as beautifully professed by Mr. Tolle. This dilemma is the same one I first experienced when I began Tweeting and recognized that I was writing about two distinct themes: Improving education and raising awareness about spiritual matters, such as our connection to our inner selves and to raising our consciousness. As Walt Whitman expressed so beautifully, “We are complex beings.” I guess I will need to determine how I wish to express my complexity in the digital world. Time will tell.
10 Mar 2012 Leave a comment
Well, over the past few days I have taken a crash course in how to join the Social Media revolution while here at the NASSP convention in Tampa. Fortunately for me, and many others, we have had some excellent presenters and coaches. I will be forever grateful to Eric Sheninger and Patrick Larkin for their stewardship and excellent example. Now I simply must let all this information settle for a bit before I figure out my next steps and how to use this technology to improve my school culture and improve student achievement.
What I really appreciate is the passion of those I met here and how much they truly want to transform education so that they can provide the best learning environment for our students. People like Eric, Patrick and Bob Dillon are all so sincere in their desire to make technology work to improve instruction. I applaud their expertise, but just as importantly, their passion. I am grateful to have met them and to be a part of their Professional Learming Network.
03 Mar 2012 2 Comments
Recently, I jumped into the digital world when I got my iPad. I feel I am in a whole new world as I am more connected and capable. Then I joined Twitter and the social media revolution. I never got on Facebook so this type of interaction is new as well. So, after being frustrated with the limits of 140 characters, I was advised to begin blogging. I can certainly see the benefit of writing about your interests. Now I am curious who will care what I have to say.