Monday, March 31, 2014

Creating Innovators

In this groundbreaking book, education expert Tony Wagner provides a powerful rationale for developing an innovation-driven economy. He identifies a pattern in the lives of young innovators — a childhood of creative play leads to deep-seated interests, which in adolescence and adulthood blossom into a deeper purpose for career and life goals. Play, passion, and purpose: these are the forces that drive young innovators. More than a book about innovation, Creating Innovators pioneers an entirely new reading experience. Noted filmmaker Bob Compton, who teamed up with Tony to make the movie "The Finland Phenomenon," has produced more than 60 original videos that expand on key ideas and passages in the book through interviews with young innovators, their parents, teachers and mentors.
-- visit website

The need to bridge another type of Achievement Gap

Leading researchers from Vanderbilt University's Peabody College and other educational thought leaders share real world strategies with educators in hopes of closing the widening chasm that does not permit equitable education for children of various racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.

Overcoming the Global Achievement Gap

Tony Wagner currently serves as an Expert In Residence at Harvard University’s new Innovation Lab. Prior to this appointment, Tony was the first Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, and the founder and co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for more than a decade.
In America today, there is a new Achievement Gap: it is the gap between the new skills that all students need in the 21st century versus what is tested and taught even in our best schools. There is also a Learning Gap between how the Net Generation is learning and collaborating out of school versus what they do all day in classrooms. In his presentation, Tony will help educators understand these gaps and then explore the most effective strategies for preparing all students for careers, college, and citizenship in the new global knowledge society.

"For 25 years we have been talking about failing schools...we have got to get out of the shame and blame conversation and reframe the problem. The problem is not failing schools and the solution is not a few incremental reforms. The problem is a system that is fundamentally obsolete and needs reinventing not reforming"

-- read about his book The Global Achievement Gap

Closing the Skills Gap

Today we would like to start by building a little more on our last post regarding the major disconnect between education and work skills. We feel that this is another important issue that cannot be neglected  in the process of reforming the current educational system.

"Ultimately, potential workers need the necessary training, education and practical experiences to meet the demands of the 21st century workplace. Right now, we’re standing in the way of policy and practice innovation that would better prepare our workers"-- Melody C. Barnes

- click here or on image below to watch video and read more

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Most Neglected Skills

We feel that this is another important issue our society should face, another form of disconnect between education and real life.
"In the United States we have shamefully convinced most high school students that they either need to go to Harvard or they need to go to McDonald's. And the truth is significantly more complicated than that. In the middle are where job growth is, where there are jobs that are not being filled today and too few people in our public policy community are really focused on what students who are going to pursue a career as their pathway out of poverty, for example, really need to be getting from their education -- really need to be getting from the public policy people who are dedicated to creating opportunities for them ... And the sooner we get to the point that we take the career side of the college and career readiness equation much more seriously, the better off our society will be, the fewer young people we will have who are in a position of not being in school or at work and the better off we will be in terms of filling existing jobs requiring high levels of skills for which there are no employees today". -- Jeff Livingston

Friday, March 28, 2014

Education for All Crowdsourcing Challenge

The Education for All Crowdsourcing Challenge is designed to enable people with similar interests to connect and collaborate on ideas to achieve the six Education for All goals. Crowdsourcing refers to an open call to solve complex problems by contributing relevant and fresh ideas through group collaboration. For this challenge, participants post and vote for ideas, as well as contribute feedback and solutions via the Ideas Project online community, powered by Nokia. This project is supported by the Pearson Foundation, together with our partners Nokia and UNESCO. This eight-month initiative aims to collect and reward the best solutions to providing quality basic education for all children, youth and adults through the use of mobile technology.

Clik here or on image below to watch videos + read more about project

Education as a Human Right

We have talked extensively of charter schools and new emerging private schools (like Brightworks and the Ron Clark Academy) that embrace a new philosophy of education which places more emphasis on the learner and fosters kids' creativity and imagination by granting them more independence and ability to express themselves. Although all these efforts are clearly admirable and point towards the right direction, we would like to stress the fact that alternative education can’t possibly be the solution of the problem. In fact it might even aggravate it. We would like to quote an opinion found on Art Practical, an online magazine that enriches critical dialogue for the Bay Area visual arts by providing comprehensive analysis of events and exhibitions.
“Despite funding cuts, the disadvantaged conditions of the families they serve, and the perception created by Waiting for Superman, the reality of public schools is not one of systemic failure. One of public education’s biggest problems, however, is private education. Private schools absorb, not only the money, but also the care, solidarity, and political capital of middle-class parents—and that’s what the public schools need. The core of childhood education is not aesthetic engagement, but social equity. The worst thing you can say about an educational system is not that it is boring, but that it is unjust.” - Dominic Willsdon -- Leanne and George Roberts Curator of Education and Public Programs at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
We think that this argument has an important value to it. We believe that making school more engaging, personalized, less assessment focused and more adapted to the needs of a changing world is crucial to the future of education, but we also feel that this goal should never shadow the importance of education as a fundamental human right and a way to empower kids and give them the key to their future. Not only this right should be accessible to all, but should also grant all kids equal opportunities.

Finnish Education - Equal opportunities for all

Social Equity and Justice in Education - by Pearson Foundation
Click here or image below to watch video

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Reimagining Education/ Engagement-based learning

“We should should stop thinking of education as something that we do to people, and start thinking of people as voracious self-directed learners.”

Another couple of good TED talks by Gever Tulley, an American writer, speaker, computer scientist, and founder of the Brightworks School and Tinkering School.

TEDxAtlanta - Reimagining Education

TEDxBratislava - Secrets of engagement-based learning

Tinkering School

A software engineer, Gever Tulley is the co-founder of the Tinkering School, a weeklong camp where kids get to play with their very own power tools. He's interested in helping kids learn how to build, solve problems, use new materials and hack old ones for new purposes. Gever uses engaging photos and footage to demonstrate the valuable lessons kids learn at his Tinkering School. When given tools, materials and guidance, these young imaginations run wild and creative problem-solving takes over to build unique boats, bridges and even a roller coaster!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Inspiring teachers...Back to the Future

Brian Crosby, an upper elementary teacher for 29 years, guides the learning in a model technology classroom in Sparks, Nevada. Coming from a background in outdoor education and educational technology, Brian fuses his "at risk" students use of technology with field trips, art, hands-on activities and a problem-based approach, to build their schema of the world while at once connecting them to it. Worth watching.

A Guidebook for Social Media in the Classroom

The myth about social media in the classroom is that if you use it, kids will be Tweeting, Facebooking and Snapchatting while you're trying to teach. We still have to focus on the task at hand. Don't mistake social media for socializing. They're different -- just as kids talking as they work in groups or talking while hanging out are different...
Have you heard of Fakebook, FakeTweet, Edublogs, Kidblog, Edmodo or even "tweets" on post-it notes as exit tickets?
Well, if you are interested in all this read this cool article on the "Education trends" - Edutopia blog

Monday, March 24, 2014

Some links to explore...

Laptops replace books in Norway school
Click on image below to watch video clip and read article on BBC News School Report

Year of Code is an independent, non-profit campaign to encourage people across the country to get coding for the first time in 2014. Through code people can discover the power of computer science, changing the way they think about, and get the most out of, the world around them.
-- click HERE to visit website

Interested in learning how to code?
Check this HERE to visit CODE

Let's teach kids to code

This man is worth listening to, so we are posting also this excellent TED talk by him in 2012.

"Young people today have lots of experience and lots of familiarity with interacting with new technologies, but a lot less so of creating with new technologies and expressing themselves with new technologies. It's almost as if they can read but not write with new technologies". 

"When you learn through coding, [you're] coding to learn. You're learning it in a meaningful context, and that's the best way of learning things".

Coding isn’t just for computer whizzes, says Mitch Resnick of MIT Media Lab — it’s for everyone. In a fun, demo-filled talk he outlines the benefits of teaching kids to code, so they can do more than just “read” new technologies — but also create them. When we first enter primary school, we spend our days creating, painting, building, experimenting creatively with form and shape. But what happens after that first year? Why doesn't the creativity continue? Mitch Resnick, also Director of the Lifelong Kindergarten program and LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research at MIT Media Lab, makes it his mission to help kids keep the exploration going. He and his team develop new interfaces to help students engage with technology, in a way that encourages them to create and experiment the way we did in kindergarten with paint.

More about Mitchel Resnick and new technologies

Mitchel Resnick, Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab, develops new technologies and activities to engage people (especially children) in creative learning experiences, helping them learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. His Lifelong Kindergarten research group developed ideas and technologies underlying the LEGO Mindstorms robotics kits and the Scratch programming environment and online community, used by millions of young people around the world. He also co-founded the Computer Clubhouse project, an international network of more than 100 after-school learning centers where youth from low-income communities learn to express themselves creatively with new technologies.

Creativity can be nurtured and great ideas don't only appear from thin air! As we said Prof Resnick spent many years contemplating how to best educate kids and feed their yearning desires to be critical thinking and creative individuals. Here, he shares his insights into the minds of children, technology, and building a world for outside-of-the-box thinkers.

Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age

Today we will focus again on the urge for education to adapt to the needs of a changing world. We will go as far as posting about the beauty of coding, something which at first sight seems in contradiction with what we are trying to promote - music and art - but which in the end falls within the broad boundaries of creativity and which only reinforces the fact that in today's world schools have to be conceived differently and teaching + learning revolutionized accordingly.
"To me what is really important is that we have to rethink our approaches to learning and education, to fit with the new possibilities of the digital age. With new technologies they provide us with an opportunity to rethink what we learn, how we learn, where we learn, when we learn, who we learn with. But too often people aren’t taking advantage of the possibilities of the new technology. Of course we see some of the new possibilities...we see that computers are delivering more information to us than never before, we have access to more information, but I worry that this is a too information-centric view of education, it is all about delivering information or gaining access to information. In my mind that is not really the way to really transform education for a new age. Education too often has been about an expert delivering information to a learner, and what too often we are doing with new technologies is that we are taking technology delivering information to the learner. We are still holding on to transmission or delivery model of learning as if learning is about delivering information from one person to another or from one technology to a person. And I don't think this is the most productive way of learning...New technologies do hold the opportunity for very different approaches for education. For example, we can treat the technology not as a way to deliver and access information, but as a material for building and creating things in the world. I mean, this goes back to the theories of Jean Piaget, the great psychologist, epistemologist, who talked about learning as an effort of active construction of new knowledge...Technology can change how we learn. It’s not just about delivering information, but learning through experimentation and exploration. We often use the word “tinkering”, that people can learn by experimenting, trying things out to see what works. It allows you to create something and immediately see whether it works or not, and then make adjustments."
Please listen to MIT Prof. Mitchel Resnick on ways to transform education, the Lego Mindstorms, and the idea of constructionist learning -- video by Serious Science

Sunday, March 23, 2014

What creativity is trying to tell you

"Creativity needs mistakes"
" creativity is trying to tell you to get messy, make mistakes, fall down, get back up again, embrace the F word: failure...I haven't heard of anyone that could walk the first day that they were born, so why do we put all these unrealistic expectations on ourselves to never fail?"
"We are all creative no matter what you think"
The creative process is as individual as it is universal. And yet there is a secret that creativity itself is yearning to tell us. Since the age of 9, Jonathan Tilley has performed as a singer, dancer, actor, and gone on to other creative ventures such as a playwright, director, choreographer, author, and voice over artist. Many different titles, one common thread: Creativity. He shares pivotal life experiences that define creativity for him and shows how you can tap into your own creativity on a daily basis, in whatever space and time you have. An inspiring talk about creativity.


We mentioned this British initiative in the previous post but we think it deserves a little more attention...
Future Learn offers free online courses from leading UK and international universities. Their goal is to inspire learning for life. They offer a diverse selection of free, high quality online courses from some of the world’s leading universities and other outstanding cultural institutions and their aim is to connect learners from all over the globe with high quality educators, and with each other. They believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, with plenty of opportunities to discuss what you’ve studied, in order to make fresh discoveries and form new ideas. Courses are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life, rather than your life around learning.
-- Explore MOOC list

Massive open online courses - threat or opportunity?

Can online courses with large-scale interactive participation and open access via the web replace face-to-face teaching in a traditional university setting? Newsnight's David Grossman examines the rise of massive open online courses (Moocs)
-- read  more HERE
-- go to FUTURE LEARN, a new Mooc british initiative

Education of the future?

MOOCs (or Massive Open Online Courses) appear regularly in the news, as technology revolutionizing education. We previously spoke about coursera, and 2U that offers a cloud-based software-as-a-service platform which allows their partners to educate and engage students globally. We spoke extensively about creativity and also posted a great TED talk - A Crash Course in Creativity - by Tina Seelig, Professor of the Practice in the Dept of Management Science and Engineering (MS&E) at Stanford University. At Stanford + Connects she shares the challenges, surprises and opportunities of teaching her class on creativity, sharing some of the assignments and results. This time she teaches a class with more than 44,000 students...

Keep in mind: Tina Seelig is now offering an online course on music and creativity—for free! (starting on April 2nd)
-- read more HERE

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Teaching with the World Peace Game

Musician, teacher, filmmaker and game designer, John Hunter has dedicated his life to helping children realize their full potential. He puts all the problems of the world on a 4'x5' plywood board — and lets his 4th-graders solve them. At TED2011, he explains how his World Peace Game engages schoolkids, and why the complex lessons it teaches — spontaneous, and always surprising — go further than classroom lectures can. The World Peace Game is a hands-on political simulation that gives players the opportunity to explore the connectedness of the global community through the lens of the economic, social, and environmental crises and the imminent threat of war. The goal of the game is to extricate each country from dangerous circumstances and achieve global prosperity with the least amount of military intervention. As “nation teams,” students will gain greater understanding of the critical impact of information and how it is used.The game has now been played around the world, on a four-tiered board. It's the subject of the new film World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements. The movie shows how Hunter teaches the concept of peace not as a utopian dream but as an attainable goal to strive for, providing his students with the tools for this effort. The children learn to collaborate and communicate with each other as they work to resolve the Game's conflicts. They learn how to compromise while accommodating different perspectives and interests. Most importantly, the students discover that they share a deep and abiding interest in taking care of each other.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Imagine it!

Imagine It!² weighs in on one of the most important conversations of our time--how to imagine a more perfect world than the one we live in now and then to actually engage in making that happen.
A nice promo for imagination!!! -- from The Imagine Project

Interesting projects..

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." - Lennon, McCartney

The Imagine Project, Inc. was founded in 1992 by Bill Bartlett under the auspices of The Creative Arts Team of New York University. Since then we have worked in over one hundred schools in the New York City / New Jersey area. Bill believes with all his heart in the power of love and art to overcome all obstacles. The Imagine Project was founded on the principle that there exists within each child a creative energy which must not lie dormant. Eventually, as with all sources of power, it must either extinguish itself, excel or explode. Their soul objective is to encourage and guide children to nurture, develop, and when necessary, recapture those innate gifts of childhood which so often are lost by the age of ten, as children begin to ask: "What if I make a mistake? What if they laugh at me?" By envisioning, experimenting without fear of failure, and creating projects which are ultimately performed, often set to music and videotaped, children developed a sense of fulfillment, self-confidence and direction which may serve them throughout their lives.

"When I was a child, I caught a fleeting glance, Out of the corner of my eye. I turned to look but it was gone, I cannot put my finger on it now, The child is grown, the dream is gone. I...have become, comfortably numb." - Roger Waters: Pink Floyd

An Imaginary Thing is a short documentary film that profiles passionate children's theater director Bill Bartlett, and the profound personal and professional challenges he faces when he tries to include children living in a Brooklyn homeless shelter in the cast of his play.

Enabling Innovation in Education

Let's talk again about innovation in education..this is a very passionate talk. We have listened some time ago to the "angry black man", this is a very "angry white man"... :)

"Young people have a remarkable capacity for intensity" -- Leon Botstein
"We can have high standards without standardization"-- Gary Stager
"Any time you are thinking of intervening on behalf of the education of someone else you have to ask yourself is there way to shift more agency to the learner and less from us"-- Gary Stager

Gary Stager is an internationally recognized educator, speaker, journalist, consultant, and founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute. Since 1982, Gary has helped learners of all ages on six continents embrace the power of computers as intellectual laboratories and vehicles for self-expression. He led professional development in the world's first laptop schools (1990) and has taught students from preschool through doctoral programs. This what they said about him is: "Some people think outside of the box. Gary is unaware of the box's existence." (Futurist, Dr. David Thornburg). The June 2010 issue of Tech & Learning Magazine named Gary Stager as "one of today's leaders who are changing the landscape of edtech through innovation and leadership."

Watch also his 2013 TED talk "We Know What To Do"
"Those of us who know better need to do better!"

Gary Stager: My Hope for School
"We don't need to have schools to create winners and losers, we don't have to grade and rank and label kids the way we do. We can create environments where the kids want to be and in fact this is the only future that is viable for schools"

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Taking imagination seriously

Art can be simply mesmerizing.. pure beauty.
We are posting this TED talk as a metaphor for the world of education:
"Fourteen years ago, I searched for beauty in the traditional things, in craft forms. Now I combine them with hi-tech materials and engineering to create voluptuous, billowing forms the scale of buildings. My artistic horizons continue to grow".
We believe education should be viewed in similar ways. Take the beauty where there is beauty, but be courageous enough to leave behind what does not work anymore. Look forward, don't stand still..keep on moving and use creativity to adapt to a changing world. Horizons are limitless as is imagination.
“I create sculpture that makes me feel protected, yet connected to limitless sky”
Janet Echelman builds living, breathing sculpture environments that respond to the forces of nature — wind, water and light— and become inviting focal points for civic life. Exploring the potential of unlikely materials, from fishing net to atomized water particles, Echelman combines ancient craft with cutting-edge technology to create her permanent sculpture at the scale of buildings. Experiential in nature, the result is sculpture that shifts from being an object you look at, to something you can get lost in. Please take the time to watch, it is not a long one...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Putting Kids First

Let's continue talking about community development, education policy and reform.
David Kirp is James D. Marver Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. His work ranges across the social policy landscape. He has been directly involved in policy-making, and between the 2008 election and the Inauguration, he has served on President Obama’s Transition Team. Kids First: Five Big Ideas for Transforming the Lives of Children (2011) makes a powerful argument for building systems of support centred on the kids.
It may "take a village to raise a child," but most American families are struggling, with diminishing social support, to do the job on their own. While parents work longer hours for less and the costs of childcare, healthcare, and college skyrocket, the share of the U.S. budget spent on kids has fallen 22 percent since 1960. More and more children may well not make it to a healthy, productive adulthood. It doesn't have to be this way. In this book, Kirp clarifies the importance of investing wisely in children. He outlines a visionary "Kids First" policy agenda that's guided by a "golden rule" principle: Every child deserves what's good enough for a child you love. And he offers lively and inspiring, on-the-ground accounts of five big cradle-to-college initiatives that can change the arc of all children's lives: strong support for parents; high-quality early education; linking schools and communities to improve what both offer children; giving all youngsters access to a caring and stable adult mentor; and providing kids a nest egg to help pay for college or kick-start a career.
-- David J. Erickson interviews David L. Kirp (Community Development Interview Series)

Youth speaks

This is a very interesting concept, born in California, Bay area.
Founded in 1996 in San Francisco, Youth Speaks is the leading nonprofit presenter of Spoken Word performance, education, and youth development programs in the country. Presenters of local and national youth poetry slams, festivals, reading series, and more, Youth Speaks also offers a comprehensive slate of literary arts education programs during the school day, in the after-school hours, on weekends and evenings, while providing numerous opportunities for youth to be published and heard. All told, Youth Speaks works with 45,000 teens per year in the Bay Area alone, and has helped create partner programs in 47 cities across the United States. By providing free arts education to youth with limited access, their  programs seek to empower young people with opportunities to discover and develop their own voices. They firmly believe that in order to overcome the difficulties of the circumstances within which they are situated, young people must think of their voices as vital tools through which they can process their lives, shape the world around them, and hone their abilities to envision and create long-lasting impact. They challenge youth to find, develop, publicly present, and apply their voices as creators of social change.
-- for Youth Speaks website

My wish: Once Upon a School

This great TED talk will inspire you to be more engaged with your community and local schools.
"..there's something about the kids finishing their homework in a given day, working one-on-one, getting all this attention -- they go home, they're finished. They don't stall. They don't do their homework in front of the TV. They're allowed to go home at 5:30 p.m., enjoy their family, enjoy other hobbies, get outside, play. And that makes a happy family. A bunch of happy families in a neighborhood is a happy community. A bunch of happy communities tied together is a happy city and a happy world"
"So, the TED Wish: I wish that you -- you personally and every creative individual and organization you know -- will find a way to directly engage with a public school in your area and that you'll then tell the story of how you got involved, so that within a year we have a thousand examples -- a thousand! -- of transformative partnerships."
"The schools need you. The teachers need you. Students and parents need you. They need your actual person: your physical personhood and your open minds and open ears and boundless compassion, sitting next to them, listening and nodding and asking questions for hours at a time. Some of these kids just don't plain know how good they are: how smart and how much they have to say. You can tell them. You can shine that light on them, one human interaction at a time. So we hope you'll join us". 
Accepting his 2008 TED Prize, author Dave Eggers asks the TED community to personally, creatively engage with local public schools. He is a publisher, philanthropist and advocate for students and teachers. In 1998 he launched 826 Valencia, a San Francisco-based writing and tutoring lab for young people, which has since opened six more chapters across the United States. He has extended his advocacy of students by supporting their educators, instituting a monthly grant for exceptional Bay Area teachers.
-- go to 826 Valencia

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Good resources for teachers

BlueHarvest - Managing Individualized Education. "BlueHarvest isn't a gradebook, it's a learning tool. It helps manage the hundreds of conversations I have as I differentiate for every student"
BlueHarvest is the experiment of a high school teacher in Iowa who was fed up with students valuing points and grades above learning. What does BlueHarvest do? BlueHarvest is a website that organizes the feedback that teachers give to students and then keeps it organized by idea for future reference as the student progresses. How much? Your account is free of charge until one year from the day you set it up, at which point it will be $36 per year for each subsequent year.
-- read about it - review by Chris Ludwig

Edmodo is a "social learning platform" website for teachers, students, and parents. It is marketed as the Facebook for schools. Join over 33 million teachers and students safely connecting in online classrooms, collaborating on assignments, discovering new resources, and more!

The Future of Education Without Coercion

"Humans are built to walk, humans create, humans cook, humans tell stories..So, how does school rank? The current model of high school fails every single one of these measures. Are they arbitrary? Maybe, but I’m a blogger and this is my blog...Do we walk, cook, create, and story tell? Regularly? Is your school built to emphasize these parts of being human?.. I’m saying that if you ignore the end users’ requirements for interacting with your system, you’re going to get insanity...I’m just saying that a school that is mobile, centered on creating solutions, allows for sensible food preparation and production, and built on narrative is the only school that I want my kids going to". -- Shawn's blog
Shawn Cornally's tagline to his blog sums him up well: "Dealing with the fear of being a boring teacher." Clearly Shawn is successfully combating this fear. Blogging extensively and generating conversations among educators across the world, Shawn brings us some perspective on how the tools of today can be put to work in the classroom.
-- Visit Shawn's blog

Science should be a story

"I am often so disappointed when people think that I'm advocating a dumbing down of science. That's not true at all. I'm currently a Ph.D. student at MIT, and I absolutely understand the importance of detailed, specific scientific communication between experts, but not when we're trying to teach 13-year-olds. If a young learner thinks that all viruses have DNA, that's not going to ruin their chances of success in science. But if a young learner can't understand anything in science and learns to hate it because it all sounds like this, that will ruin their chances of success".
As we said many times, teachers can make a big difference. Please watch this talk and the one that we will post next by two young inspiring and energetic teachers.
When new friends tell Tyler DeWitt that they hated science classes in school, he doesn't blame them. In this video, Tyler discusses how modern science education has taken a fascinating subject filled with riveting stories, colorful characters, and spectacular demonstrations, and has eviscerated it of its joy, excitement, and intellectual engagement. Science communication should be a narrative, he argues, that draws on analogies, metaphors, humor, and emotional connection. Tyler puts these ideas into action by telling a fun, intriguing story that explains the complex means by which viruses attack their targets. He urges fellow scientists to dispense with jargon, seriousness, and tyrannical technical precision, and to focus on communicating their main ideas through appealing narratives. Tyler DeWitt has taught high school Biology, Chemistry, and English in independent schools in the United States and South Korea, and he has worked as a project manager to develop new K12 science curriculum for the state of Florida. Tyler is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Microbiology at MIT.

A Factory Education (Documentary)

The idea of education as a factory is based on a 1988 article by Dr. Hermine Marshall, which can be found here
-- documentary filmed and produced by NUGENT PRODUCTIONS

Who is BEN?

The Bermuda Education Network (BEN) is an independent association of organisations offering free supplementary learning opportunities for Bermuda’s public school students. They secure funding for investment in targeted projects involving our member organisations and public schools. For TEENS: academic school year expeditions and summer programs that offer opportunities to develop new perspectives and global skills. For YOUNGER STUDENTS: enrichment programs during school hours and summer camp resources. For TEACHERS: professional development programs for both public and private school teachers using Artful Thinking, a cognitive development program from Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero.
We spoke about Artful Thinking a while back. The goal of this program is to help students develop thinking dispositions that support thoughtful learning – in the arts, and across school subjects.
Designed for use by teachers in any grade and in any subject, Artful Thinking's purpose is twofold: to help teachers create rich connections between works of art and their curriculum and to help teachers use arts experiences as a touchstone for developing students' intellectual capacity.
BEN was the organizer of the Bermuda Conference on Artful Thinking which took place on October 10, 2011, where Dr. Shari Tishman and Bermudian Harvard graduate student Katie Davis moderated the event at Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art.
"Most educators recognize the importance of teaching children to think," says Becky Ausenda, executive director of BEN. "The development of thinking skills is critical to helping children learn complexity and dimensionality." "Since 2010, the Bermuda Education Network has worked with Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art, Kaleidoscope Arts Foundation and the Bermuda National Gallery to create more opportunities for children to have increased exposure to art during their school experiences," says Ausenda.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

More on need for change in education from Will Richardson

"If you want school to be test prep that's fine, but please realize you don't need schools any longer for test prep...(online) kids will get personalized self paced curriculum where they can pretty much get prepared for the test...I understand why we go for better...most of us are products of the system and we can relate to what better means...we have taken the same tests that our kids have taken and forgotten the same answers that our kids are going to forget as they go through school..We know the system...the system worked pretty well for a few decades...but right now this system is KILLING our kids. It is taking all the imagination, all the creativity, all the initiative, all the engagement right OUT of them"
"It is time now we stop trying to do schools better and we start trying to do them differently...schools in the form they were constructed are no longer relevant to our kids' lives in terms of places to get information and knowledge. Information and knowledge are everywhere...we have to reenvision schools for a different purpose and that purpose is more meaningful, more important, more difficult in a lot of ways..schools for our kids have to be places of deep enquiry, where they are solving real world problems because they have a lot of problems that they will need to solve..places where we can help them find their passions and support those passions so that they can become the life long learners in this context that we all want them to be..and none of this is the stuff of test prep, all of that is the stuff of life prep"
"Do we want our kids being prepared for their futures by a system that hasn't fundamentally changes in 125 years?..We have to take back this conversation about education from the businessmen and the politicians..and we have to scream to whoever is listening that test prep and learning are two very different things and one has been lost at the expense of the other right now and this is not acceptable for our kids...The system was built for a world that no longer exists"
Another TED talk about the need of reforming education to adapt to the many possibilities of the modern world by Will Richardson. He has been blogging about the intersection of social online learning networks and education for the past 10 years. He is a former public school educator for 22 years, and is a co-founder of Powerful Learning Practice, a unique long-term, job-embedded professional development program that has mentored over 3,500 teachers worldwide in the last four years. Extremely interesting and inspiring talk, please take the time to watch.

Education Leadership

"There are a lot of people in education that when they hear that the world is changing they don't feel excitement about that..they feel anger, they are not happy about this... and I was saying to them you have to are not a teacher as much as you are a learner with your kids, you are not a content expert as much as you are a master learner who models learning on a regular basis for your kids and asks questions you do not know the answer to because that's the way to prepare kids for a world of abundance. So we have to deal with that anger, maybe even that sadness..grief..we have to feel that and we have to make sure we understand that in the context of the intellectual part of that change. Once we get through that we ourselves have to change, we do have to become learners first..parents, teachers, community members.."
"We need to be articulating the idea that schools still have a huge, huge value in our kids learning wise, but that value has changed. It not a place of content so much as it is a place of learning, collaboration, critical thinking, of making things with kids that can absolutely change the world...It cannot longer be about simply passing the test, it has to be much much more than that..if we really want to be leaders in has to be our job stand up and say that learning is what our kids need to be doing in the classroom not getting ready for assessments that we built for an age that no longer exists."
Will Richardson has spent the past decade thinking and writing about how emerging web technologies can be best used in classrooms and schools. Called 'a trendsetter in education' by The New York Times, Will is author of the bestselling book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, and has spoken to tens of thousands of educators in more than a dozen countries about the value of online learning networks.
This was a free event hosted in the State Library of Victoria's Experimedia room -- a distinctive space where 19th-century grandeur meets 21st-century digital technology in a spacious bluestone-walled courtyard. Around 250 educators came together to explore the theme of Education Leadership. Attendees were encouraged to start thinking about how they can work together rather than in isolation within their own classrooms. The event focused on the changing nature of education and how technology can shape the future of learning which each of the speakers speaking passionately about their areas of expertise. VERY INTERESTING TALK, WELL DELIVERED.

Creating classrooms that work

"Keys to empowering students: TRICK = Trust, Respect, Independence, Collaboration and Kindness..every single class needs that and it should happen in most schools"
Esther Wojcicki has built the journalism program at Palo Alto (CA) High School from one class of 20 students in 1984 to one of the largest in the nation: 500 students, five teachers, and ten award-winning student-produced publications. She has served as an executive or board member of several organizations, including Creative Commons and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
In this heartfelt TEDxBeaconStreet talk, education innovator she shares the simple but powerful formula she used to raise three highly successful children and to build one of the most dynamic and successful high school media studies programs in the U.S. Her method (TRICK) frees teachers to be learning resources, not just lecturers; engages students and empowers them to teach themselves and each other; and accelerates learning-by-doing in a collaborative, hands-on environment that mirrors the real world of contemporary media.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Innovations In Education

"..That's the kind of schools we ought to be aspiring to, places that engage hearts and minds and build knowledge and skills"
Tom Vander Ark was CEO of Open Education Solutions, an organization which provides blended learning services. He is a partner in Learn Capital, a venture capital firm investing in learning content, platforms, and services aimed at transforming educational engagement, access, and effectiveness. He is currently CEO at Getting Smart, a community passionate about innovations in learning. A prolific writer and speaker, Tom has published thousands of articles and blogs. He chairs the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), and serves on the board of LA's Promise and Strive for College. Tom received the Distinguished Achievement Medal.
In cities such as Delhi and Nairobi around the world children have a passionate desire to learn, but little opportunity. Here at home, we face problems a well: a third of kids don't finish high school, and another third graduate unprepared for college or employment. We can do better. So far when we've taken technology to schools, we've layered the technology on top of the way we've always organized schools. Educators are now shifting delivery to online learning and a blended learning approach. When we teach kids in the right way and with the right modality, they learn more per hour. Personal digital learning is the next wave in education, and will allow us to customize the learning experience, motivate students and equalize opportunities for learning.

Schools of the Future: Time to Develop Your Metaphor

Jack McManus has been involved in education at the high school and university level for the majority of his life since 1961. He is currently professor of education at Pepperdine University, where he has worked since 1979. After more than 50 years in education, Jack feels that he is finally "getting the hang of it" in teaching. If you want to learn research, you do research; if you want to learn public policy, you do public policy. Why is the obvious so hard to discover?
Changing the way schools operate is a necessary, but foreboding, task. The reality is this: schools are so large and so entrenched that it may not be possible to change them in any significant way. What to do? Tim Magner suggests a critical first step is for leaders to change the way they look at their schools and develop a new operational metaphor for each school or each set of district schools. The ideas, language, and implications of this new metaphor can serve as an inspiration for schools to be transformed. Possible metaphors for schools include: shopping mall, hospital, space ship and technology research center.

A 21st Century Education

As part of their continuing investigation into the approaches that support and extend next-generation-learning, Nokia and the Pearson Foundation launched a film series in 2009 that profiles and share thoughts of leading, innovative educators. The Mobile Learning Institute’s film series “A 21st Century Education” profiles individuals who embrace and defend fresh approaches to learning and who confront the urgent social challenges that are part of a 21st century experience. The series is meant to start, extend, or nudge the conversation about how to make change happen. The series is comprised of twelve films in three categories: Technology and 21st Century Learning, Student-Centered Learning and Social Equity and Justice in Education.
-- view all videos HERE
-- click on IMAGE below to watch video

Blended learning

Frank Baxter has been an enlistee in the US Air Force, CEO of an Investment Bank, Ambassador to Uruguay, inveterate non-profit Board member. Since 1986, Frank has been an activist in improving K-12 education for low income students. Since the 90′s he has been a supporter of charter schools in Oakland and Los Angeles. In 2004, he was one of the founders of the Alliance for College Ready Public Schools, a high performing Los Angeles charter management organization which now has 6 middle schools and 15 high schools serving 9,500 inner-city students. He has served as Chairman and Co-Chairman since. In 2010, the Alliance started a transition to blended learning, a model which integrates teachers with 21st century technology. Now seven schools are BLAST (Blended Learning Alliance School Transformation) schools. The students are learning much faster and are much happier than in the traditional vintage 19th century model.

We haven't heard from him in a while...

"Technology on its own does not do much it is what you do with it....the technologies we have available in schools don't make the great education, but great educators can make something great of them"
Sir Ken Robinson is an internationally recognized leader in the development of education, creativity and innovation. He is also one of the world's leading speakers with a profound impact on audiences everywhere. The videos of his famous 2006 and 2010 talks to the prestigious TED Conference have been seen by an estimated 200 million people in over 150 countries. He works with governments in Europe, Asia and the USA, with international agencies, Fortune 500 companies and some of the world's leading cultural organizations. In 1998, he led a national commission on creativity, education and the economy for the UK Government. All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education (The Robinson Report) was published to wide acclaim in 1999. He was the central figure in developing a strategy for creative and economic development as part of the Peace Process in Northern Ireland, working with the ministers for training, education enterprise and culture. The resulting blueprint for change, Unlocking Creativity, was adopted by politicians of all parties and by business, education and cultural leaders across the Province.

More pedagogic change in 10 years than last 1000 years

"Does technology shape education? That is empirically true. It does, it is only a matter of degree. My argument is you can ignore it, but resistance is futile"
Donald Clark was CEO and one of the original founders of Epic Group plc, which established itself as the leading company in the UK e-learning market, floated on the Stock Market in 1996 and sold in 2005. Describing himself as 'free from the tyranny of employment', he is a board member of Ufi, Cogbooks, LearningPool and the Brighton Arts Festival. He has been involved in major film, games, simulations, social media and mobile projects. He is an evangelist for the use of technology in learning and has won many awards, notably the 'Outstanding Achievement in e-learning Award'. Search, links, media sharing, social media, Wikipedia, games, open source etc. are ground breaking shifts in the way we learn, says Donald Clark. Unfortunately, they're not matched by the way we teach. The growing gap between teaching practice and learning practice is acute and growing. Institutional teaching, especially in Universities is hanging on to the pedagogic fossil that is the lecture. The true driver for positive, pedagogic change is the internet.
Very entertaining talk. Great accent :)

Disrupting Class

Today we will focus again on technology, education and the idea of blended learning.
"Our education system is built to measure and reward the wrong end of the student". 
Michael B. Horn is the cofounder and Education Executive Director of Innosight Institute, a non-profit think tank devoted to applying the theories of disruptive innovation to solve problems in the social sector. He is the coauthor of Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns. Tech&Learning magazine named him to its list of the 100 most important people in the creation and advancement of the use of technology in education.
His mission is to create a student-centric education system so that all children have an education that allows them to find their passions and fulfill their human potential. Today's education system doesn't do that; it's modeled after a factory and is built to standardize the way we teach and test. The problem with this is that every child has different learning needs at different times. If we hope to educate each child effectively—an imperative in today's society—then we need a system that can customize to meet each child's unique needs. With the growth of online learning—a disruptive innovation—we stand at an unprecedented moment in human history where education is being transformed. If we leverage this innovation properly, over the next decade, we will be able to deliver a high-quality, customized learning experience to all children no matter their circumstances and transform not just the delivery of education, but the hopes, dreams, and realities for all children.
GREAT TALK, worth watching.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Blending technology and classroom learning

"..or we can figure out a way to make zip codes irrelevant to a child's ability to learn, to realize their learning potential, and I believe in doing so realize their human potential. I am very excited about the future of learning because I think it rests in the promise of blended learning..learning that combines the traditional face to face classroom experience that all of us perhaps grew up with, with new innovative technologies that have the power in my mind to democratize learning"
-- Jessie Woolley-Wilson
"If children do not learn the way we teach we must teach the way they learn" 
-- Margaret Mead
Jessie Woolley-Wilson is an eLearning leader who has served as President of LeapFrog SchoolHouse, Blackboard, and now as Chair, President and CEO of DreamBox Learning, creator of the Intelligent Adaptive Learning platform that teaches students at any level of understanding how to become better junior mathematicians. Excellent talk.

Can Technology Change Education?

"Even in today's world we are pretty much delivering learning just like we did when we did not have computers, nothing really much has changed. What's needed is.. we have to tear down the walls, we have to tear down the walls of the classroom and we can make that possible with technology. We can use blended learning to deliver a mix of different types of learning to kids"
Raj Dhingra is a twenty-year veteran of the technology industry with an extensive track record of building strong, sustainable and profitable industry leadership positions in new and emerging categories. Raj brings entrepreneurial drive and success, and a rich depth of corporate experience across general management, business development, product development, sales and marketing functions. Prior to joining NComputing in April 2011, Raj was VP and GM at Citrix where he led the company's desktop virtualization business from zero to half a billion dollars growth in sales over a 3 year period. As well as his leadership role in global virtualization companies such as Citrix, Dhingra has held executive leadership positions in public companies such as McAfee, 3Com, SonicWALL and startups such as IntruVert Networks (acquired by McAfee) and PortAuthority Technologies (acquired by Websense).

The Future of Education

"Waiting for Superman... Spiderman, Batman and the whole Justice League...The task of every teacher – create engaging lessons that speak to the diversity of learners in a given class – is a heroic one. But we don’t have enough of these superheroes..."
"Technology, when placed in the hands of willing teachers, helps to facilitate students’ learning by moving solely from up-front lecturing to include more side-by-side facilitation. This shift can stimulate the kinds of exponential leaps in student achievement that we have longed believed possible but have not been able to achieve. The country that incubated Apple, Google and Facebook must now apply those same scaling talents and technology in the classroom.  It is time to help the 3,500,000 Clark Kents already out there learn how to fly" - from Matchbook Learning website
Sajan George is the Founder & CEO of Matchbook Learning, a national non-profit school turnaround management organization that has designed and implemented a unique blended model of school, the only one of its kind targeting turnaround (ie bottom 5%) public schools that blends face-to-face and virtual instruction. They started working in Detroit to bring their teacher-centric blended model of school to turnaround some of the nation's most neediest schools. Their blended turnaround model design has won numerous national awards and recognition. Interesting concept.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Inspiring Teachers

The CAA Foundation, a generous supporter of Teach for America, is sponsoring 8 teachers in 8 cities across the world. Here are some of their stories...

Kevin Steger is a 2010 Teach For America corps member teaching 5th grade in St. Louis's Normandy School District. He graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2010 with a BA in economics and a minor in history. Lulu Meraz is a 2009 Teach For America corps member teaching pre-kindergarten in Los Angeles. She is a 2009 graduate of the University of Notre Dame where she majored in sociology and minored in Latino studies. Watch other stories here.


Dream. Rise. Do.

Fifty years ago Martin Luther King, Jr. charged Americans to take radical and urgent action towards a very basic dream--equality. Equality attained not just by changing hearts and minds, but by transforming the societal structures at the root of injustice into the very genesis of equity. It's a dream unrealized for past generations, but for our children, it's not far from reach. With the power to see it through are:
- Teachers, who will help our children DREAM beyond all perceived limits
- Teachers, who will help our children RISE to every challenge
- Teachers, who will DO whatever it takes to prove to our children that a dream can be more.
-- visit Dream. Rise. Do

Amazing speech

Today we will focus on teachers and their potential to make a difference in young people's life.
"Everything that I am it is because a couple of teachers like you saw through all that mess and all my faults and saw the potential deep down inside me, that I could not even see for myself. And it is this type of teachers that made me into the man that I am today, a man that has extreme love for people. So I tell you again that you can do it because I am the living proof of it, you can pass the torch to these kids so they change their communities, they change the world. Believe in you, be determined and don't give up."
A summer intern at Teach For America Baltimore, Elijah Miles delivered this inspiring speech to a group of incoming teachers at institute. Wise well beyond his years, we think Elijah's words are a great reminder about why we do the work that we do -- uploaded by Teach for America
THIS IS A MUST WATCH, please do so.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The urge for equal opportunities in education

Teach For America (TFA) is an American non-profit organization whose mission is to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting high-achieving recent college graduates and professionals to teach for at least two years in low-income communities throughout the United States. Their motto is "One day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education". TFA corps members and alumni are helping lead an educational revolution in low-income communities across the country.

Let's use video to reinvent education

“Personal responsibility is not only undervalued but actually discouraged by the standard classroom model, with its enforced passivity and rigid boundaries of curriculum and time. Denied the opportunity to make even the most basic decisions about how and what they will learn, students stop short of full commitment.” 
Salman Khan is the founder and faculty of the Khan Academy, a not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing a free world-class education to anyone, anywhere.  It now consists of self-paced software and, with over 1 million unique students per month, the most-used educational video repository on the Internet (over 30 million lessons delivered to-date).  All 2000+ video tutorials, covering everything from basic addition to advanced calculus, physics, chemistry and biology, have been made by Salman.
In this TED talk he talks about how and why he created this amazing tool. He shows the power of interactive exercises, and calls for teachers to consider flipping the traditional classroom script -- give students video lectures to watch at home, and do "homework" in the classroom with the teacher available to help. And now 3 years after his talk Khan has been busy reimagining the education experience and wrote a book that digs deeper into his idea – a landscape where teachers work in tandem with technology to foster the best learning environment for each student.
-- His book: The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined
-- read interview here


The 100,000-student classroom

Today we will continue focusing on new forms of learning. Online this the future of education?
".. to me, the most exciting part of it is the data that we're gathering. We're gathering thousands of interactions per student per class, billions of interactions altogether, and now we can start analyzing that, and when we learn from that, do experimentations, that's when the real revolution will come. And you'll be able to see the results from a new generation of amazing students". 
Peter Norvig is a computer scientist and expert in both artificial intelligence and online search. Currently the Director of Research at Google Inc., Norvig was responsible for maintaining and improving the engine's core web search algorithms from 2002 to 2005. Prior to his work at Google, Norvig was NASA's chief computer scientist.
In the fall of 2011 Peter Norvig taught a class with Sebastian Thrun on artificial intelligence at Stanford attended by 175 students in situ -- and over 100,000 via an interactive webcast. He shares what he learned about teaching to a global classroom.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Studio School - an interesting concept

The Studio School is a new concept in education, which seeks to address the growing gap between the skills and knowledge that young people require to succeed, and those that the current education system provides. Studio Schools pioneer a bold new approach to learning which includes teaching through enterprise projects and real work. This approach ensures students' learning in is rooted in the real world and helps them to develop the skills they need to flourish in life. They are government-funded state schools for 14-19 year olds of all abilities.
Some kids learn by listening; others learn by doing. In this TED talk, Geoff Mulgan gives a short introduction to the Studio School, where small teams of kids learn by working on projects that are, as Mulgan puts it, "for real." Geoff Mulgan is director of the Young Foundation, a center for social innovation, social enterprise and public policy that pioneers ideas in fields such as aging, education and poverty reduction. Geoff Mulgan has held various roles in the UK government including director of the Government's Strategy Unit and head of policy in the Prime Minister's office, and he was the founder of the think-tank Demos.

Creative & Media Studio School - NLC Media from Studio Schools Trust on Vimeo.

Making higher education accessible to all

"College is a place where a professor’s lecture notes go straight to the students’ lecture notes, without passing through the brains of either" -- Mark Twain
"The mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting" -- Plutarch
"Maybe we should spend less time in universities to fill our students' minds with content by lecturing at them and more time igniting their creativity, imagination and problem solving skills by actually talking with them" -- Daphne Koller
"So to summarize, if we could offer a top quality education to everyone around the world for free, what would that do? Three things. First it would establish education as a fundamental human right...Second, it would enable lifelong learning...And finally, this would enable a wave of innovation, because amazing talent can be found anywhere." -- Daphne Koller

Daphne Koller is enticing top universities to put their most intriguing courses online for free -- not just as a service, but as a way to research how people learn. With Coursera (cofounded by Andrew Ng), each keystroke, quiz, peer-to-peer discussion and self-graded assignment builds an unprecedented pool of data on how knowledge is processed. Coursera is bringing courses from top colleges online, free, for anyone who wants to take them.
-- Daphne featured on Time Magazine among the 100 Most Influential People in the World

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Look what we found...

Young Israeli star Liel Kolet singing "Imagine" with President Bill Clinton and a choir of 40 Israeli children, and 40 Arabic children for Shimon Peres's 80th birthday.

Arts Education

"There are direct academic correlations between music and art instruction, and what we often call the essential academics... Creativity is really going to drive the future economy..."
We spoke about this award winning documentary, CLASS ACT, some time ago...
This is an excerpt from it. Michael Huckabee is an American politician who served as the 44th Governor of Arkansas. He has always been a strong supporter of arts education in schools.
-- read more on the

The Value of Music Education

This video presents a powerful argument for the inclusion of music in the elementary school curriculum -- uploaded by the Children's Music Workshop

Student Spotlight

"Music is important in my life because I think it is a good way to express without words pictures, you can get like a feel of hope, joy..." -- Wonder
A few students from All Schools Elementary Honor Orchestra are featured in the following videos.
Wonder is 11 and plays the trumpet. Sonia is 10 and plays the violin. Spencer is 11 and plays the trumpet. Brendan is 10 and plays the violin.
Different backgrounds, different opportunities, but all have in common the love for music.
-- upload by the Children's Music Workshop

All Schools Elementary Honor Orchestra

All Schools Elementary Honor Orchestra at UCLA. Under the direction of Larry Newman they performs the Finale from Beethoven's Fifth.

Once again let's hear it from them

Today we will focus on music, and the way it benefits our kids. We will listen to their stories and the experiences they share. Music not only impacts academic achievement, it also shapes the way our students understand themselves and the world around them. Let's think beyond the bubbles and educate the whole student.
-- video uploaded by the National Association for Music Education as part of atest advocacy venture, 'Broader Minded: Think Beyond the Bubbles'

Saturday, March 08, 2014

And let's talk about Peace

Jeremy Gilley is an actor turned filmmaker, who in the late 1990s became preoccupied with questions about the fundamental nature of humanity and the issue of peace. He decided to explore these through the medium of film, and specifically, to create a documentary following his campaign to establish an annual day of ceasefire and non-violence. In 1999, Jeremy founded Peace One Day, a non-profit organisation, and in 2001 Peace One Day’s efforts were rewarded when the member states of the United Nations unanimously adopted the first ever annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence on 21 September – Peace Day. Peace One Day’s objective is to institutionalise Peace Day 21 September, making it a day that is self-sustaining, an annual day of global unity, a day of intercultural cooperation on a scale that humanity has never known.
Since 2012 Peace One Day and Lennon Bermuda work together to promote peace and unity throughout the world.
-- Peace One Day website
-- The Day After Peace
-- Jeremy Gilley visits Bermuda

Let's talk about Happiness for a change

Did you know that the International Day of Happiness is celebrated throughout the world on March 20th? 

"On this first International Day of Happiness, let us reinforce our commitment to inclusive and sustainable human development and renew our pledge to help others. When we contribute to the common good, we ourselves are enriched. Compassion promotes happiness and will help build the future we want." -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (Message for the International Day of Happiness, 20 March 2013)
The International Day of Happiness was established by the United Nations General Assembly on 28 June 2012.  It recognizes the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings.The United Nations invites Member States,  international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day of Happiness in an appropriate manner, including through education and public awareness-raising activities.
-- Day of Happiness website
-- Action for Happiness website | Action for Happiness on Facebook
-- The world first 24 hour music video - Pharrell Williams
-- Happy Bermuda page
-- We Are Happy From website

Happy (Homeless People Dance Video) -Music by Pharrell from Inhabitants of Burque on Vimeo.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Why we need art in school

A nice project made by some teachers to emphasize the importance of art in education. Not professional quality, a few mistakes, but the message is still loud and clear.

Reimagining Learning

"There are a lot of challenges that we face in education today, but we have the tools right now to solve all of them, we have the tools right now to solve all the educational challenges if we find a way to close this gap, and we have to do it now and we have to do it fast because our students deserve it and cannot afford to wait any longer".
A teacher by training and innovator by inclination, Richard Culatta works to leverage technology to reinvent learning. In this interesting TED talk, Richard identifies 3 major challenges with our current approach to education and suggests how a shift to personalized learning is the key to the future of education in America. To make this shift, we must close the digital divide between those who can leverage technology to reimagine learning and those who simply use technology to digitize the status quo. Interesting talk about the need to change the way we learn.

Kids, take charge

"I uncovered that if learning is embedded in real-world context, that if you blur the boundaries between school and life, then children go through a journey of "aware," where they can see the change, "enable," be changed, and then "empower," lead the change. And that directly increased student wellbeing. Children became more competent, and less helpless". 
"..But we had parents who said, "Okay, making our children good human beings is all very well, but what about math and science and English? Show us the grades." And we did. The data was conclusive. When children are empowered, not only do they do good, they do well, in fact very well.."
In 2001, Kiran Sethi founded the Riverside School in Ahmedabad, designing the primary school's curriculum (and its building) from the ground up. Based around six "Beacons of Learning," the school's lesson plan focuses on creating curious, competent future citizens. The school now enrolls almost 300 children and has franchised its curriculum widely. Sethi's latest project, is called AProCh -- which stands for "A Protagonist in every Child." Fighting the stereotype of modern kids as rude and delinquent, AProCh looks for ways to engage Ahmedabad's children in modern city life, and to revamp our cities to make room for kids to learn, both actively and by example.
In this inspiring TED talk Kiran shows how her groundbreaking Riverside School in India teaches kids life's most valuable lesson: "I can." Watch her students take local issues into their own hands, lead other young people, even educate their parents.
-- read more about Kiran here