“You’d better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone, For the times they are a changin’” by Joyce Valenza
Although this blog post is directed to school librarians – there is a lot that can be applied to the classroom. And definitely a lot for our “flat world” /school reform committee to consider. Pay close attention to the sections on “Options for student projects, learning”; “What we know about how learners learn”; and “Typical assessment”.
We are preparing kids for a different world of work. Most workplaces today would not be recognizable by time-travelers from the late 19th-early 20th centuries. And yet – with the exception of the computer on the teacher’s desk and the computer labs down the hall – the classrooms of today are similar enough to the classrooms of yore to allow a time-travelling teacher to appear in a classroom one moment, and start teaching the next.
Case in point…. You probably will not be able to read this post in school. For some inane reason, the school filter blocks anything from Edublogs. It is a site run for educators and only educators, allowing them total control of the content. It has no ads for porn, online diplomas, nor does it promise to enlarge any body parts. And yet – the filter blocks it. Anyway – rant over. It is worth reading this post at home if you can’t get there from school.
tags: school libraries, flat world, school reform
I am part of a wonderful committee in my school. The basic idea is – “If you were redesigning schools – how would you design them so that students are ready for the new economy?” It is fascinating – and very liberating to mentally “toss out” all the traditional restraints. Eventually we will have to deal with realities such as testing requirements, space constraints, budget roadblocks etc. However – if you don’t dream – nothing new will ever happen.
Our 10th grade English Teacher is on the committee and she is very interested in all the “Flat World” concepts. So much so that she wants to change her traditional research unit from the current author study to an exploration of “flat world” & globalization concepts. She wants the students to study the concepts, and also make predictions on what their work world will be like and what they should do to prepare for this new world. She is willing to be quite inclusive with the topics. For instance – She would love for student to explore how the web is expanding outlets for aspiring authors/artists/musicians. She is very open to ideas – as long as they are “futurist” in nature – even if the idea is why a particular idea might not work – or might not be a good thing for society.
So – I am here to tap the collective brain.
Can any of you help me with any of the following things? I plan to gather ideas from this blog and from LM_NET into a future blog post. Thanks as alway for your help. Here are the things to consider:
BOOKS: Can you suggest books that I should order? We already own “The World Is Flat” by Thomas Friedman and “A Whole New Mind” by Daniel Pink. I know about Richard Florida’s books “The Rise of the Creative Class” and the “Flight of the Creative Class”. Do you know of any others? I would be particularly interested in books on globalization and other related topics that are written for middle and high school students.
WEB & DATABASE ARTICLES: Do you know of any articles that would be especially useful? I have several by Doug Johnson on my list right now. We want the students to do some general readings first before they get into their individual research.
SEARCH STRATEGIES/TOPICS: What search words or phrases would be especially useful for locating this kind of information?
PRESENTATION IDEAS: The teacher wants to expand this research project beyond the traditional research paper that she has done for several years. The changes she is thinking of mean the project will take nearly all year. The first part will be a “traditional” research paper – because we have to teach those skills. But – she wants to include a presentation component. This will address the speaking and listening components of the ELA curriculum standards. So – ultimately the teacher wants her students to use their research as the basis of some sort of creative presentation to the class. A video comes to mind immediately. What we don’t want is a ton of boring power-points. We want the kids to create something really engaging. We are open to students working together to create a group presentation. Do you have any ideas for us?