Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Wishes

Many moons ago I remember asking my Mother what she wanted for Christmas. I received an answer I didn't quite expect.

"What I'd like" she said, " is to sit around a table with all those folks who are no longer with me. I miss their voices, their quirks. I miss the way they laughed. All that time I spent going through the motions, the food, the wrapping, the gifts and how it all seemed stressful seems so foolish now. Too often, I guess I found myself wishing I could just get through the Holidays. I wish now that I spent more time talking to them about how they felt about Christmas, what their memories were, what did this day mean to them. I'd love to hear them tell some of the old stories again. I often wonder how many of those stories I never heard at all. I guess I wished I'd spent more time talking to them about who they were and what they felt when I had the chance. Sitting around the dinner table with all those folks again, that's what I want for Christmas."

Happy Holidays, AP

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Exploring effort and self motivation

Here are a few quotes from a post by Seth Godin called Self Directed Effort is the Best Kind that speaks volumes about the trials of education.

"There's an entire system organized around the idea that we're too weak to deliver effort without external rewards and punishment. If you only grow on demand, you're selling yourself short. If you're only as good as your current boss/trainer/sergeant, you've given over the most important thing you have to someone else."


"The thing I care the most about: what do you do when no one is looking, what do you make when it's not an immediate part of your job... how many push ups do you do, just because you can?"

What makes you tick?

What's holding you back?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Education Revisited: Homework

We've started our exploration Tech Research called Education Revisited. We challenge the perception of school, learning, teacher and student roles, and best of all we ask each student to redesign education.

Surprisingly... the results are similar year-to-year when students redesign education.

Here's one... Students want to 'do' homework differently. Here are a few that come up:
  • Many would like to see homework done in class, where there's more time to work on things, especially together. We discuss the 'flipped classroom'... where lectures go home and collaborative problem solving work is done in class.
  • No homework over breaks. Here's a good video on this one:

  • Some sort of guidelines for planning. Most often what frustrates students the most is the inability to plan day-to-day as to how much homework they'll have.
  • Homework load effects that classes they take. For students who are exceptionally busy after school, looking through the course descriptions and talking to peers about potential homework loads on classes is common practice.
Education is changing. Are we changing with it, actively trying out new systems and ideas... or are we simply saying 'it's always been this way' and / or going on 'business as usual'?

Good questions, indeed.