Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bringing the Heart to Education

I love Angela Maiers. I think I love her because she values what should be valued: the person. Yes, technology is fabulous, and it allows us to do fabulous things, but if we aren't valuing the person, then it's all for naught. I first started following Angela when I saw her "You Matter" manifesto. It resonated. Deeply. Who we are to others doesn't matter until we realize that we have to matter to ourselves. It is a powerfully simple concept. But one which many of us don't take the time to own.

Recently I came across another one of Angela's blog posts that also resonated with me.

The Heart: An Underused Tool for Digital Learning discusses the need to challenge students to "work together to solve problems that break their heart." Can you imagine the impact this approach to education would have? Not only would students find meaning in the work they were doing, but they'd be making an impact on the world. They'd be saying, "Hey, I matter and so do you!" 

So how do we make this a reality? I'm curious to hear from those who are putting Angela's call to action. 

Some quotes from "The Heart: An Underused Tool for Digital Learning":

  • "Students today are technologically savvy. Yet it is too often the case that students, and teachers, are using technology simply to do old things in new ways. When a student submits a PowerPoint file to a teacher discussing an assigned topic, instead of a set of sheets of construction paper, learning is not advanced, and genius remains with its head in the sand."
  • "Nonetheless, teaching students how to pursue a task that matters is essential to their finding their place in the world today."
  • "Let’s be the educators who start with what matters."

Thursday, February 19, 2015

#STUVoice - 2015 East County TechFest Keynote

My daughter, a high school junior, recently keynoted an ed tech fest. Because I feel odd talking up my progeny, I'm going to copy/paste a write-up shared in her district Superintendent's newsletter: "she shared her school experiences with technology and challenged the teachers in the theater to provide a wide array of technology-driven opportunities. She emphasized that students need to be prepared for a digital world and our schools are an essential part in that development."

There was a lot of great feedback from the teachers that participated, but in an effort to make the conversation global, I'd love to hear what you have to say as well.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Engaged Learning Does NOT Look Like This

I came across this posting on a school's Facebook page the other day. Am I the only one who is sad by this photo, and the accompanying caption? I don't see a single engaged student in this photo. On the contrary, I see a lot of body language that denotes the complete opposite of engagement.

What message does this post send to students, parents, community members? What message does it send to you?