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Learning with the Read/Write Web



Updated: 2011-06-20T19:06:04Z

 



10 Years of Blogging: Time for a Change and a Book

2011-06-20T19:06:04Z

So last week it marked 10 years since my first blog post, a full decade of writing and sharing online. As I’ve said many times before, it’s been an amazing journey. I don’t think I could have imagined the many ways that blogging was going to change my life, in a learning sense, in a […]So last week it marked 10 years since my first blog post, a full decade of writing and sharing online. As I’ve said many times before, it’s been an amazing journey. I don’t think I could have imagined the many ways that blogging was going to change my life, in a learning sense, in a professional sense, and in a personal sense. I still find all of it strangely bizarre, like I’ve been pulled along on this most excellent ride that has simply been a privilege to experience. I’m so very fortunate to be doing something that I love, something that constantly challenges me and keeps me on the edge of my brain, and something that connects me to such passionate and smart people both online and offline on a regular basis. I am, in a word, humbled. Thanks to all of you who have supported my learning these last 10 years. That said, I’ve been thinking for quite a while now that I need to change things up a bit in terms of the way I’m sharing with the world. It’s become a struggle to blog in long form here. Yet I’ve not found the short form of Twitter to be anywhere close to a substitute for the extended conversations that take place here. (And to be honest, Twitter is a totally crappy archive of reading and thinking.) While I’ve tried to like it, Facebook just is not a place that I find myself wanting to spend much if any of my time. (I have a theory as to why , but I’ll share that in another post.) More and more as I think about “curating” my learning world, I find myself wanting to stow all the good stuff in one place, all the blog posts, quotes, pictures, graphics, photos, bookmarks, videos and other snips that I find interesting. I know I could do that here. But here’s the other thing…I’m also in constant need of fresh voices an perspectives. I’ve been pretty much connected to the same fairly small group for a long time now. Not that there’s anything wrong with those folks, but I need, I want to branch out. So, I’ve decided to pretty much bring my run here at Weblogg-ed to a close. I’m not taking the site down, but for all of those reasons and more, I’m moving my writing over to a new space on Tumblr that feels like, to me at least, a better space for the kinds of writing and curating and linking that I want to do. I’ve been playing there for the last month or so, connecting with some of the people in that community, and I’m looking forward to connecting even more. I’m feeling a sense of energy that really appeals to me, and while there are some drawbacks (lack of rss feeds for individual tags, for instance) it’s just seems like the space I want to be at the moment. I know there is some danger in the all eggs in one basket model…but I’ve got a post brewing about that as well. And I’m not ignorant of the effects the switch may have on my “findability” in the larger webspace. But I’m also not so worried about that. I sincerely hope you’ll follow me there and continue to engage in these conversations around change. And finally, another new book. Before you say it, I completely understand the irony of a book of collected blog posts, which is exactly what Corwin Press is publishing in August with about 40 or so of the most commented on pieces found here in this space over the last 10 years. The idea for doing the book was broached by my editor at ISTE last year, and at first, I blanched at the prospect. But I came around for three main reasons. First, while it may seem kind of strange to those who have read this blog in the past, there are still lots of people out there who have yet to entertain the notion of change that this collection argu[...]



The UnCommon Core

2011-06-09T18:02:22Z

(Warning: Elitist, preachy, liberal, rantish stuff ahead.) Lately, I can’t seem to get out from under the feeling that a) this country has pretty much lost its way and that b) at the end of the day, our education system carries much of the blame. No question, my parenting lens is coloring some of this; […](Warning: Elitist, preachy, liberal, rantish stuff ahead.) Lately, I can’t seem to get out from under the feeling that a) this country has pretty much lost its way and that b) at the end of the day, our education system carries much of the blame. No question, my parenting lens is coloring some of this; I’ve been reading Umair Haque and Climate Progress and the occasional Thomas Friedman essay, and I’m simply getting depressed at the picture of the future that’s being painted. And, I’m even more distressed at not being able to know how well my kids will be able to deal with the boatload of crap that is coming their way. Let’s just say things feel pretty dire right now, and to me at least, it seems like our society is offering up one part denial, one part lack of interest and one part ignorance in response. The first is a choice, but those second two? I blame our all consuming love affair with the test. Not kidding. It’s bad enough that we’re bleeding kids to the tune of 7,000 a day from the system, 2,500,000 1,200,000 a year. (See note below.) That’s not all due to the test, certainly, but much of it is due to being subjected to a curriculum that is driven by the one size fits all outcomes that we’ve set up for them. Read Seymour Papert’s list of 8 Big Ideas for Constructionist Learning and ask yourself seriously how much of that goes on in your school. My guess is not much, and the primary reason is we don’t value that stuff more than we value making sure kids pass the test. We don’t give kids time to go deep, we don’t honor failure, and we’re not about “learning to learn” as much as we are about “learning to know.” So many of our kids are disengaged or simply not interested in learning because they see no benefits past the exam. Are we really surprised that so many adults in our society aren’t learners? So many teachers, in fact? That’s not our emphasis in schools. Similarly, is anyone surprised that a huge swath of our population can’t speak intelligently about the larger issues that face us? No doubt, the financial mess we’re in and climate change and the Middle East and the rest are complex, fast changing issues that can be difficult for anyone to keep up with. (I’m no exception.) But again, have our schools really been cultivating the learning dispositions needed to grapple with those topics as they evolve? We give a lot of lip service to problem solving and critical thinking and the like, but I’m not convinced that those and other really important skills and literacies are showing up meaningfully in more than 10% of classrooms in this country because in large measure, they’re not on the test. It’s about content and knowledge, not learning. Here’s the deal: Right now, the test is forcing us to spend too much time on stuff that we don’t really need to be spending time on any more. I used to joke about open phone tests, but I’m not joking as much any more. I keep looking at my kids’ tests, especially Tucker’s state NJ ASK stuff and see way too much stuff on there that he could answer with his phone. Not getting it. And it’s not getting better. I just spent a couple of days out in Seattle working with a group of pretty amazing educators helping to write problem based curriculum that aligns with the Common Core. Their main motivation is to engage kids in learning, and I got a chance to observe one of their modules being implemented in a local high school classroom. It was good stuff. But in general, what bothers me about the Common Core is what bothers me about the traditional curricu[...]



A Different Path

2011-05-24T17:57:23Z

So it’s been about five years now since I wrote this to my kids: Dear Tess and Tucker, For most of your young lives, you’ve heard your mom and I occasionally talk about your futures by saying that someday you’ll travel off to college and get this thing called a degree that will show everyone […]So it’s been about five years now since I wrote this to my kids: Dear Tess and Tucker, For most of your young lives, you’ve heard your mom and I occasionally talk about your futures by saying that someday you’ll travel off to college and get this thing called a degree that will show everyone that you are an expert in something and that will lead you to getting a good job that will make you happy and make you able to raise a family of your own someday. At least, that’s what your mom and I have in our heads when we talk about it. But, and I haven’t told your mom this yet, I’ve changed my mind. I want you to know that you don’t have to go to college if you don’t want to, and that there are other avenues to achieving that future that may be more instructive, more meaningful, and more relevant than getting a degree. And today when I read this, I still think that old post is pretty relevant: Of the 2 million graduates in the class of 2011, 85 percent will return home because they can’t secure jobs that might give them more choices and more control over their lives. Ok, then. The other day at Tucker’s basketball game, I overheard two moms talking about the “plan” for college. The one mom was very passionate about her son NOT going to a traditional college right  after high school. “My kid has no idea what he wants to do, and I’m not sending him to some $25,000 a year school to have him figure it out,” she said. “He can take all the standard requirement courses at a community college, transfer out when he’s ready, and in the meantime see where his interests are.” The funny thing was that the other mom was shaking her head slightly in agreement but I could tell by her questions that wasn’t going to be an option for her child. “What if he can’t transfer the credits?” “Don’t you think he’ll miss a lot of the ‘college experience?'” “You mean he’s going to live at home?” The horror. I have a theory, and I may be wrong, but I’m willing to bet that the 15% who do get a job out of college are not necessarily the smartest kids out there; they are the ones who are the most passionate and committed to the life’s work they know in their hearts they were meant to do. It’s not like every kid from an Ivy school is getting a job; plenty of kids from what Newsweek or U.S. News would consider third tier colleges will go on to find fulfilling work that will give them “more choices and more control over their lives.” Or, they will be the creative, self-motivated, problem solvers who will start their own businesses, carve out their own paths to success. Look, I’m somewhat swayed by the statistics that show kids with college degrees are dealing with much less unemployment that those without, and that they make more money. And I know there can be amazing learning that happens in some university classrooms.  But I’m also swayed by the fact that neither I nor even one of my friends from college ended up doing what they got a degree from school to do. Way too many of us are going to college because we’re “supposed to” without any real clue what we want to do with our time there. Thirty years ago when I was in school, that wasn’t such a big hit in the pocketbook; there was always grad school, right? Today, I think that mom at the basketball got it right. Who can afford to waste a couple of years in college? And unless you really want to get saddled with debt, grad school’s not as much of an “hey-I-finally-figured-o[...]



“There are Some People Who Don’t Wait”

2011-05-16T15:05:47Z

This quote from Robert Krulwich of NPR caught my eye yesterday: But there are some people, who don’t wait. I don’t know exactly what going on inside them; but they have this… hunger. It’s almost like an ache. Something inside you says I can’t wait to be asked I just have to jump in and […]

This quote from Robert Krulwich of NPR caught my eye yesterday:

But there are some people, who don’t wait.

I don’t know exactly what going on inside them; but they have this… hunger. It’s almost like an ache.

Something inside you says I can’t wait to be asked I just have to jump in and do it.

He was talking about beginning journalists, but I couldn’t help thinking about the many teachers who I have met over the years who haven’t waited. People like Shelley Blake-Plock and Dolores Gende and Anne Smith and Kathy Cassidy and Brian Crosby and Shannon Miller and Shelley Wright and Jabiz Raisdana and a whole slew of others who had some type of hunger overcome them, something that made them jump right in and really change the way the thought about teaching and learning and classrooms. For some, I know, what’s happened over the past decade or so has simply afforded a way for them to do more of what they always believed, to give kids the reins and let them learn about learning. But for others, and I would count myself in this second category, the last 10 years have brought to life a way of thinking about education that is decidedly different from the lens we originally carried into the classroom. For us, this has been a real transformation, not simply a shift in methods or pedagogy.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of teachers are still waiting…for something. What is it? Permission? Direction? Inspiration? Enlightenment?

I know this is a crappy time to be in education. Maybe as crappy as it’s ever been. Thousands of people are losing their jobs, their benefits. The profession is being dragged through the manure. The onslaught of tests and data collection and standardization is doing the same thing to teachers as it’s doing to kids, driving the creativity and the passion and the enjoyment of real learning right out of them. I am not unsympathetic to these realities…not at all.

But we can’t use this moment as an excuse to continue to wait. Technology aside, our educational systems are not creating the learners that we want our children to be. And it’s not about layering whiteboards or blogs onto a narrow, one-size fits all curriculum that has marched along undeterred for what seems like forever. It’s about fundamentally changing what we do in classrooms with kids.

The good news is that many have acted on their hunger. They’ve put kids ahead of the system, redefined themselves as learners first, teachers second, found the courage of their convictions and made learning, not test scores, the focus. The bad news is that far too many teachers still don’t even know that the traditional model of education is failing kids when it comes to learning. But somewhere in the middle, there are those that know there is a different path, yet they won’t make the leap.

What, I wonder, are they waiting for?




What We’ve Always Known About Education

2011-05-03T10:28:18Z

So this morning it’s David Weinberger that’s got me thinking. No doubt, David has been one of my favorite Web philosophers for a long time, someone who almost always seems to open the window just a bit more for me. Today, it’s this: …we knew all along that atoms were never up to the job. […]

So this morning it’s David Weinberger that’s got me thinking. No doubt, David has been one of my favorite Web philosophers for a long time, someone who almost always seems to open the window just a bit more for me. Today, it’s this:

…we knew all along that atoms were never up to the job. We knew that the world doesn’t boil down to even the best of newspapers, that it doesn’t fit into 65,000 articles in a printed encyclopedia, that there was more disagreement than the old channels let through. (What they called noise, we called the the world.) We knew that the crap pushed through the radio wasn’t really all that we cared about, or that we all cared about the same things within three tv channels of difference. The old institutions were the best fictions we could come up with given that atoms are way too big.

And I’m wondering, deep down, have we known all along that this idea of an “education” was really a fiction, something we created out of necessity with the implicit understanding that in a world limited by atoms, it was never really the end all, be all, but it was the best we could do under the circumstances? And if we didn’t know that, can we admit that now?

The circumstances have changed. We’re no longer constrained by atoms. For 125 years we’ve been making the learning world small, and now the world is all of a sudden big…huge. All of a sudden, the walls have been obliterated. Learning is unbound, and “an education” is next.

The work now is in making the transition happen in ways that don’t hurt the kids or teachers currently in our schools. In ways that prepare our kids for a learning world where atoms still matter, but for very different reasons.  A peaceful revolution of sorts that starts…where?




Have Schools Reached Their Limits?

2011-04-30T19:20:47Z

(Cross posted to Huffington Post) The last couple of days I’ve been soaking in a new white paper “Right to Learn: Identifying Precedents for Sustainable Change,” a document that I think nudges the serious conversation about real change in learning down the road a few steps if not more. The paper, written by Bruce Dixon […](Cross posted to Huffington Post) The last couple of days I’ve been soaking in a new white paper “Right to Learn: Identifying Precedents for Sustainable Change,” a document that I think nudges the serious conversation about real change in learning down the road a few steps if not more. The paper, written by Bruce Dixon and Susan Einhorn of the Anytime, Anywhere Learning Foundation, is the result of the discussions held at the Big Ideas Global Summit in June of 2010 (which was attended by the likes of Christopher Dede, Sugata Mitra, Karen Cator, Milton Chen, Angus King and many others,) and it poses one compelling question to frame the debate as we think about the future of learning: Have we reached the limits of our traditional school system’s capacity to deal with the diversity of learners that come into our schools today? I’m really intrigued by fundamental shift articulated in the paper, a move away from a “right to an education” towards a “right to learn,” a shift that is only made possible by the advent of new technologies to connect us to the resources and people who can help us learn. To do this we need to shift our thinking from a goal that focuses on the delivery of something—a primary education—to a goal that is about empowering our young people to leverage their innate and natural curiosity to learn whatever and whenever they need to. The goal is about eliminating obstacles to the exercise of this right—whether the obstacle is the structure and scheduling of the school day, the narrow divisions of subject, the arbitrary separation of learners by age, or others—rather than supplying or rearranging resources. The shift is extremely powerful… I agree. It’s huge. And it challenges the very basic assumptions that we have about this thing we call school. On many levels, this is scary territory to enter. But it articulates an important choice that has been niggling at me for quite some time in terms of where we should be spending our time and effort at this moment of huge disruption and challenge: We can see an emerging crisis in our schools, while, on the other hand, we see a renaissance for learning. The question then simply becomes: would a completely different perspective that builds on the latter, be a more productive focus for us than the continued, largely unproductive, public debate around the former?… Instead of thinking about buildings and budgets, we think about what learning might be possible. Instead of thinking about student teacher ratios, and high stakes tests, we think about the impact that a child taking more responsibility for his or her learning might have on a child’s life choices. It simply shifts our emphasis, and most importantly, our perspective. As a parent and a former classroom teacher, I for one hope all of the current ideas for “reform” fail, because few if any of them put our kids’ learning lives first. It’s about more standardization in our classrooms, more competition between our schools, and whatever is easiest and cheapest to implement. In many ways, it’s embarrassing the depth to which the conversation has sunk. And I agree with the premise of the report; if we continue to place our energy toward “fixing the system” literally millions of kids will be underserved at best in the process. Instead, what if we put a laser like focus on improving real student learning, not test scores? (And yes, the two are decidedly different.) Let’s start talking about how w[...]



The “New” Normal

2011-04-25T15:57:45Z

Tim Stahmer’s post “There’s No Normal to Return To” has me thinking this morning. He writes: At the same time we in education are also doubling down on the “back to basics” and on teaching kids how to follow someone else’s instructions. Our leaders, both political and business, want us to think that if we […]Tim Stahmer’s post “There’s No Normal to Return To” has me thinking this morning. He writes: At the same time we in education are also doubling down on the “back to basics” and on teaching kids how to follow someone else’s instructions. Our leaders, both political and business, want us to think that if we just combine greater effort with more standardization that we can recreate the glorious old days where every kid was above average and US test scores topped every other country. The former, of course, is statistically impossible (only in Lake Wobegon) and the later a myth, but we spend large chunks of money, instructional time, and public discourse trying to make it happen. So when do we acknowledge that our current education system, built to support that industrial society, also needs to change? Good question. And even more, past acknowledging the need, when do we make it happen? Most of the edusocialmediaverse sees a compelling need to change…but to what? What is the “new normal” in 20, 30 or 40 years? I have little doubt any longer that it will be a “roll your own” type of education, one in which traditional institutions and systems play a vastly decreased role in the process. That the emphasis will be on learning and what you can do with it, not on degrees or diplomas or even test scores. As I Tweeted out yesterday, my new favorite quote comes from Cathy Davidson: “‘Learning’ is the free and open source version of ‘education.'” I do believe that the emphasis will turn back to the learning process, not the knowing process. And while I don’t think schools go away in the interaction, the “new normal” will be a focus on personalization not standardization, where we focus more on developing learners, not knowers, and where students will create works of beauty that change the world for the better. At some point, we’ll value that more than the SAT. That’s my hope at least. As Gary Stager points out, it’s a pretty dismal moment: The problem with the rehab or resurrection myth was that I never anticipated the chance that American public policy regarding public education was that there IS NO BOTTOM to rise up from. It now appears that schooling and the way in which some Americans treat other people’s children has no bottom. Things can and will get worse, perhaps indefinitely. And that is the scary part, that for most kids, there is no bottom. Over the next decade, we’ll see lots of kids opting out of schools as we know them, many because they feel disenfranchised or disinterested and would rather just complete the same old curriculum online, but some because there will be a growing number of “education providers” who will offer a much more personalized, passion-alized learning experience for those who can afford it. And I’m not talking here about the Amazonification of education where we’re delivered content based on our interests (though that’s coming too.) I’m talking about places both online and off where highly motivated kids will gather to learn under the aegis of any number of different school-type entities that look little like the current brick and mortar spaces most of us send our kids. What concerns me is what happens to those that aren’t well off enough or highly motivated enough to create their own new, better paths to learning. Tim’s post references a Seth Godin post where he writes: It takes a lo[...]



And What Do YOU Mean by Learning?

2011-04-18T21:07:14Z

So, the biggest learning news coming from the Richardson household last week has, as is more often the case than not, little to do with the classroom and everything to do with doing. Two quick stories, both involving my 13-year old daughter Tess: Story 1 Three weeks ago, Tess decided (on her own) to go […]So, the biggest learning news coming from the Richardson household last week has, as is more often the case than not, little to do with the classroom and everything to do with doing. Two quick stories, both involving my 13-year old daughter Tess: Story 1 Three weeks ago, Tess decided (on her own) to go out for the track team, something she had never done before. As soon as the coach saw her walk into practice, saw her thin, 5′ 11″ frame, he pointed her over to the high jump pit and said “have at it.” And Tess started learning how to jump. Two things have “jumped” out at me in the interim. First, her high jump learning life has been made up of 98% failure, something my daughter does not deal with especially well when it comes to athletics. I’ve been trying to point out to her that failure, in some cases lots of failure, is a necessary step to success, especially in getting over the high bar. She’s trying to make her body do things it’s never had to do before (just ask her heretofore non-existent ab muscles), and it’s going to take some time to find the rhythm of the run, the jump, the flip and the landing in ways that make her sail over, not into the bar. But here’s the thing: success will not come just on the strength and the muscle memory she gains during the practice on or off the track. (Read: lots of sit ups.) It will also be dependent on her ability to reflect and learn from her failure. She can’t jump 4′ 8″ until she learns to jump 4′ 6″. And while she gets feedback from her coach, she also gets feedback on every jump from the bar, whether it stays or falls as she tries to go over it. How she makes sense of that in her mind and adjusts her efforts will determine her success. The good news is that I think she’s starting to understand this and, even better, she’s beginning to see those connections to other parts of her life as well. And I love this part: it’s just her. She’s played basketball and field hockey for the last two years, but high jump is all about her. There’s really no team involved. That’s the other thing she’s learning…to push herself for herself. Sure, she wants to do well as a part of the track “team,” but at the end of it, she’s the only one who can make that success happen. No one is holding or adjusting the bar for her. (Side note: Turns out, she’s pretty good. Keeping in mind she’s only in 8th grade, in her first meet last week she cleared 5′ 0″, qualifying her for the district meet, leaving her two inches short of qualifying for states, and tying her for the school record. Think she’s going to work harder?) Story 2 Here’s the second part: Her class took a trip to Washington DC over the weekend and, as luck would have it, they were in the House chambers when the very contested vote was taking place on the budget resolution last Friday. She heard Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner speak, saw a bunch of protesters get arrested and thrown out of the gallery, and got a real slice of what democracy (at least what’s left of it) looks like. On the ride home from picking her up at her school last night, she was talking about all of the monuments, the museums and landmarks they visited, and all of the accompanying stories that she heard around those places. Despite the weather, it seemed to have been a pretty excellent adventure. At one point she said, “You know, I really learned a lot on that trip.” No[...]



What We Need is a “Prep” Rally

2011-04-15T19:40:08Z

(Cross-posted at Huffington Post) First, let me say that I’m not specifically picking on the teachers and kids at Emerson Elementary in Pennsylvania, who put together this 12-plus minute video of their Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) pep rally for the state standardized tests, and posted it to TeacherTube a couple of weeks ago. […](Cross-posted at Huffington Post) First, let me say that I’m not specifically picking on the teachers and kids at Emerson Elementary in Pennsylvania, who put together this 12-plus minute video of their Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) pep rally for the state standardized tests, and posted it to TeacherTube a couple of weeks ago. Do a search on YouTube and you can find dozens of similar efforts. I am, however, picking on a culture of schooling that feels the need to pump up students for test-taking with chanting and dancing that, on some level, makes me actually shudder as a parent. Take a look. (Skip to 3:07 if you want to get the gist of event.) width="500" height="375" src="http://www.schooltube.com/embed/42f98e34a550612bdffe" frameborder="0"> You have to wonder, is this really what we’ve come to in schools? That we have to remind kids that they are “bigger than the test” and show pictures of kids with captions like “6th Grade: Not Afraid” in an effort to steel their nerves? That showing what they’ve “learned” in schools is something they have to mentally prepare themselves for instead of just naturally exhibit? Really? As I said, Emerson is not alone in this pep rally effort. But I wonder what the parents of those kids at Emerson think of this. Sad to say, most of them probably are just going along with the flow, missing the whole point of what their kids are really learning by going through this exercise — that the test is what we do school for, and that it’s something to be conquered. It’s not the test that parents and kids should fear. It’s the loss of real learning that these kinds of assessments cost them. To summarize my ranting TEDxNYEd talk from last month: If all we want for our kids is to pass the test, we really don’t need schools any longer. Just load ’em up with a computer, an Internet connection and some test prep guides, and send them to Khan Academy or any number of other similar sites, and let them go crazy. But here is why we don’t want to do that. In that type of interaction, we lose all the beauty of learning, the passion behind it, the motivation for it, the engagement that comes with the process of thinking deeply about things we care about, asking big questions and finding big answers together. And, most importantly, putting those answers to good use by applying them in ways that add to our collective knowledge, not just end up as filled-in bubbles on the test. I know what those teachers at Emerson and other places are trying to do. They’re trying to help their kids be successful because this is how the politicians and businessmen and 100 years of tradition have defined success. But don’t miss the point: the tests have little to do with learning. The tests we give our kids aren’t assessing their learning; they are assessing their knowledge. At the end of the day, the PSSA won’t show one thing about what kids can actually do with any of the stuff they’ve spent countless hours of test prep getting ready for. Ironically (or maybe not so ironically), some parents in Pennsylvania are saying “ENOUGH!” They’re going to their legislators and educating them on the reality of the current testing culture that is harming kids and leaving them worse off as learners. They’re pulling their kids out of the test to make a statement, one that is a personal statement for now but,[...]



TEDxNYEd Talk

2011-03-26T19:24:56Z

From the Shameless Self-Promotion Dept. comes my TEDxNYEd Talk that I gave a few weeks ago. It was a real honor to be asked to do this talk, and I hope I did it justice. I found it incredibly difficult to say everything that I wanted to say in 15 minutes or less, and as […]

From the Shameless Self-Promotion Dept. comes my TEDxNYEd Talk that I gave a few weeks ago. It was a real honor to be asked to do this talk, and I hope I did it justice.

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I found it incredibly difficult to say everything that I wanted to say in 15 minutes or less, and as I reflect back on it now, I feel like a lot is missing. When I first started thinking about this talk, I wanted to speak more to parents than to educators, but I think I veered away from that a bit. And given the nature of TED Talks in general, I think at points I went too much into the moment as opposed to sticking to the bigger themes.

But overall, some rhetorical issues aside, I’ll take it. The best part? I learned a lot in the process. I definitely felt pushed by the experience, and it’s given me a great deal of valuable feedback into my own speaking and thinking. It made me consider deeply the ways in which we can now craft our messages and offer them up to the entire world for inspection. Scary on many levels, but motivating on many others.

Now, if I can just get this down to under three minutes to really appeal to the short-attention-span culture that we find ourselves in…