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Will

I can always tell when testing season arrives here in New Jersey as I start getting e-mails from parents wanting to know more about my experiences in opting my son Tucker out of the test. It’s not a deluge, mind you, but one or two a week that I try to reply to with more info and links. Some are more than about testing, however. Some, like the one I’ve gotten permission to reprint below, get to the heart of the larger tension between schools as they’re currently constructed and learning. I’m not saying this is every person’s experience, but when I read e-mails like this, it gives me pause. I think it should give us all pause.

http://willrichardson.com/

The Edge of Tomorrow - Standing on the verge of a technologically educational revolution. Quality leadership is an essential factor for making change in education. Just ask any classroom teacher who has had a particularly good, or bad, building principal, and they will tell you stories. Stories of triumph or tragedy, depending on which of the leaders they were paired with. In Project RED’s study of nearly 1,000 schools involved in a major technology implementation, they state “the principal’s ability to lead change is critical.” Mixed Messages And Simple Truths On Monday, I heard Dylan William say that computers don’t make a difference to learning in the classroom. On Thursday, I heard Gerry White say that technology is responsible for a 12% increase in achievement. Both asserted that their statements were backed by research.

:Roll up your sleeves and get messy “Reading” Sebastien Wiertz Close reading is one of the “strategies du jour”. From the Common Core State Standards in ELA: 1. 2¢ Worth Listen A few weeks ago I worked and attended North Carolina's ISTE affiliate conference. I opened the NCTIES conference with a breakfast keynote address and Marc Prensky closed it with a luncheon keynote the next day. Sadly, I missed the second day of the conference. Futurist Speaker Thomas Frey – Celebrity Keynote, Futurologist, Writer, & Author, of Future Trends & Emerging Technology Author of the 2011 book “Communicating with the Future,” Futurist Speaker Thomas Frey is a powerful visionary who is revolutionizing our thinking about the future. “The greatest value in understanding the future comes from spotting the major cultural, demographic, societal, and economic shifts early and translating them in to viable business strategies,” says Tom. Thomas continually pushes the envelope of understanding as part of the celebrity speaking circuit by creating fascinating images and understandings of the world to come. He has been fortunate enough to headline events along with some of today’s most recognizable figures: Tom Peters, Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohammad Yunus; former CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch; former New York City Mayor Rudy Giulliani; Former President of Colombia, Andrés Pastrana; Prime Minister of Spain, Felipe González Márquez; Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz; Saudi Prince Turki Al-Faisal; and former World Bank President James Wolfensohn.

Schooling the World On Power, Knowledge, and the Re-Occupation of Common Sense photo by Carol Black One of the most profound changes that occurs when modern schooling is introduced into traditional societies around the world is a radical shift in the locus of power and control over learning from children, families, and communities to ever more centralized systems of authority. While all cultures are different, in many non-modernized societies children enjoy wide latitude to learn by free play, interaction with other children of multiple ages, immersion in nature, and direct participation in adult work and activities.

Pedagogy vs. Andragogy Over this last year I have been fortunate to have been sent to many education conferences on behalf of SmartBrief in pursuit of content and guest bloggers for SmartBlog on Education. It is a dream job for a retired educator and an education blogger. The intent is to always keep the educator’s voice on SmartBlog authentic and relevant. In that capacity, I have attended and conducted a multitude of workshops on various education topics. Since I am no longer in the classroom, and have no need to apply what I learn about current teaching methods in a classroom setting, I often attend these workshops as an observer, or even a critical observer in some cases. In conference after conference, and workshop after workshop I have observed successes and failures in the methods employed by presenters to get their material across to their audiences.

Week in the Classroom“Wiki Collaboration Across the Curriculum” Victoria A. Davis Camilla, Georgia, USA Blog: Presentation Title“Wiki Collaboration Across the Curriculum” The Beginner’s Guide to Zen Habits – A Guided Tour By Leo Babauta I know a lot of people who fall into a slump, losing the habit of exercise, procrastinating with work, slipping into a bad diet, and generally not feeling motivated. It’s hard to get out of a slump like that. It’s hard to get going again, to get started when all the forces of inertia are against you. Here’s how to get started, in just a few easy steps. Pick one thing. The Local Internet School Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Yale professor David Gelernter in the Wall Street Journal, lengthy but important: A local Internet school sounds like a contradiction in terms: the Internet lets you discard geography and forget “local.” But the idea is simple. A one-classroom school, with 20 or so children of all ages between 6th and 12th grade, each sitting at a computer and wearing headsets. They all come from nearby.

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