Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Come quickly: I am tasting the stars.

This New Year's Eve I'm rereading The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. 

I just got to the champagne part…

A sturdy young waiter with wavy blond hair appeared. He was maybe even taller than Augustus. "Do you know," he asked in a delicious accent, "what Dom PĂ©rignon said after inventing champagne?"
"No?" I said.
"He called out to his fellow monks, 'Come quickly: I am tasting the stars.'"

Have a happy new year! 
Best wishes "tasting the stars" 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

the future

The single most important thing we can do…

This short documentary on the future of learning had me inspired to look at education in a new way. 

Then, I was lucky enough to read Who Owns the Learning? : Preparing Students for Success in the Digital Age by Alan November. This book is inspiring. It is full of practical tips, wonderful questions, and engaging stories for transforming education. All educators - at every level and ability - should read this book. 

I loved it!

I highlighted more of the book than not. Here are some of my favorite bits:
"The power of purpose and meaningful contribution has been missing from our classrooms and our youth culture for some time. While life outside our schools has changed dramatically over the past century, we cling to an early industrialized classroom model that often fails to encourage collaboration, innovation, a global work ethic, or critical problem-solving skills."

"The essential skill of the 21st century is knowing how to ask the most interesting questions."

"Today, very little of the work we give students in school provides them with a sense that they are making a contribution to anything other than their own educational progress toward graduation."

"High-performance workers need to be self-directed and interdependent. Learning how to learn is an essential lifelong skill. Global empathy is a critical skill for anyone hoping to identify global opportunities and secure foreign markets and customers."

 The parts of the book on 'Student Scribes', 'Student Researchers', 'Global Communicators and Collaborators', and 'Learning the Grammar of Online Search Engines' is not to be missed.

Read this book!

Then, after you read it, watch Alan November's Prezi.

This book beautifully illustrates that teaching our students to fully leverage 21st century skills in information and communication technologies extends beyond introducing them to new tools. When students are given the opportunity to have purpose and ownership in their work, amazing things will happen. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Monday, December 2, 2013

Some people have thick skin and you don't.

Last night I read Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair by Anne Lamott. It's a sewing metaphor for taking life stitch by stitch. "We live stitch by stitch, when we're lucky." It's a lovely little book and would make a wonderful gift for all Anne Lamott fans.

"As far as I can recall, none of the adults in my life ever once remembered to say, 'Some people have thick skin and you don't. Your heart is really open and that is going to cause you pain, but that is an appropriate response to this world. The cost is high, but the blessing of being compassionate is beyond your wildest dreams. However, you're not going to feel that a lot in seventh grade. Just hang on.'" 
-Anne Lamott, Stitches