Before the president spent 45 minutes with students showing off Project Based Learning, I got to engage in a conversation with him about the kind of innovation taking place in 100+ public school districts across New Tech Network.
I've come to understand that the term "engagement" needs to be unpacked before addressing issues of management in the classroom. If you ask an educator, "What does engagement look like?" responses will surely vary.
It was 10 years in the making, but when the Applied Technology Center opened its doors in 2011 to high school freshmen, it had been entirely funded through a local bond because the community saw the value of the school and supported it.
There is no shortage of opportunities to attend conferences, read blogs, review new research or just visit schools to see what is working in education and to also get reminded of what is not working well.
Many teachers are being called to teach these skills, and don't know how to. I've done many workshops with teachers to arm them with these skills. However, there is one issue that seems to be a roadblock for true implementation: assessment.
It's empty phraseology designed to sound like we are preparing for the future when we are already living in that future; and no one believes that what passes for a typical classroom today will be the classroom experience even 10 years from now, let alone for the next 87 years.
Watching high school freshmen navigate a collaborative project for the first time is a delight, or should I say watching them cross the "finish line" is a source of pride for all involved. Think of it like teaching your child to ride a bike, only this is a tandem bike built for six.
During June, July, and August, I heard the same question asked in many different ways: How do we expect our students to compete in today's global economy when we are teaching them as if they're living in yesterday's business world?
It's summer, and school is out. For many that means vacations, barbecuing and relaxation. But for a group of highly energized teachers who are themselves "learners" at heart, summer is anything but time off.
Take a look at the Lady Gaga parody,"Snakes Are Born This Way," created by second graders and their teachers at Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston for a smile and a reminder of what learning and high quality student work can look like.
Every mathematical skill, procedure, or technique I learned over six years at university is now essentially obsolete from a US market perspective. If we cannot compete, then we need to play a different game.
The culture of learning we have in the U.S., and have now introduced in Australia, focuses not only on knowledge attainment, but also on the development of work ethic, teamwork, presentation skills and literacy skills.
There was something about Steve Jobs that speaks to students on the edge of finding their own glow. For each kid dreams of being their own Wonka one day, and Jobs was the embodiment of those dreams attained.
Time and again, the case is made for more technology (computer-based) in the classroom. But there are a few limitations to the reliance on computer-based technology as the solution to our classroom problems.