Sunday, February 13, 2011

So, what should be different?

Been thinking...the tick that tocked was when a lady came to school dressed in a 1910 outfit, and she encouraged us to "make scrapbooks for historical societies to use to learn about the past." I almost lost it. We have so much more than scrapbooks. We are producing mass amounts of internet scrap every second of every day. We know too much about everything in the present. I imagine in 2200 they will have invented some sort of data mining vehicle that can pick through all of this digital detritus to fashion a history that shows we are not ignorant bullies, unaware of the power that so much information represents. What can be done, now?

It's hard to articulate what I want. Let me just say that. This is not meant to be a finished speech but a mind dump. I have these needs, ideas. I have a sense of the whole, but the articulation of the parts eludes me.

I don't want to ever be in neat even rows, that's too much like a cemetery.

I want to know where and how the food I eat at school is grown and prepared. I do want the mandate to come from the state that a percentage of food served must be local. I would love to see a 70% local mandate. THINK ABOUT THAT. This is my hidden passion: nutrition, local food, learning the cycles of food, preparing food as a part of the learning process.

I do want to be in a school that shares all the time in many ways what is being learned. Each class, each home room, each assembly, each meeting. Reflect on learning. Coming back from a conference? Tell us about it. Struggled with the assignment? Let us know. Talk, people. Talk a lot about the learning. Celebrate it. Celebrate that we make mistakes all the time and that is precisely the formula for learning.

I do want to be in a school that has a greenhouse, and gardens, and tree-houses, and a multimedia lab with large screens where kids created the daily information logs that the rest of the school will see. Kids will make movies about their learning, they will be documentarians.

I want to be in a place that understands that social media can be used for great good.

I want to be in a place where the emotional health of the staff and students is nurtured in positive ways. Where there is an atmosphere that promotes individuality, responsibility, personal growth, and civility.

More to come and I hope to come back and tidy these thoughts. Process.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A favorite edublogger: Will Richardson

Will Richardson. Weblogg-ed.

When will we get to the point where enough people feel dissatisfied with the whole school thing and want change badly enough to rise up and say “That’s it! We’re not going to do this anymore!” I know there’s a slim chance that our collective sense of dissatisfaction with the status quo around education will ever match the passion of those people in the streets of Cairo today. But I’m beginning to wonder if there may not be an untapped feeling of frustration around schools that those bigger voices are just not getting. That’s it’s not about improving the current system but, instead, creating a different, better path for our kids. But I also sense that while many people may feel this discomfort, they don’t quite yet know what to do with it.

He's speaking my language.    I've read him for years.  I share practically every post.  He's got it together.  I feel inspired to do something....more to come on that one.


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