Wow. This makes so much sense, it’s scary…

Filed Under (Work) by Laura Smith on 06-02-2010

I just subscribed to Seth Godin’s blog, after reading about it on Scott McCleod’s blog:

Seth Godin wrote today that:

People are just begging to be told what to do. There are a lot of reasons for this, but I think the biggest one is: “If you tell me what to do, the responsibility for the outcome is yours, not mine. I’m safe.”

I think another big reason is that most people spent at least 12 years of their life being deeply socialized in the “just tell me what to do” model.We know that schools strongly emphasize compliance in the name of order and discipline. We know that the fact-regurgitation model that still dominates schooling mostly leads to the student mentality of “Just tell me what to do to get a B,” rather than “Inspire me to follow my passions and interests and learn more about this on my own.” We shouldn’t be surprised when our graduates take that mentality with them into higher education and/or the workplace.”

This flips education on its ear.  That’s what schools are all about: The grades.  The tests.How would our students perform if they were not bound by grades?  What would they achieve if they were not limited by percentages?  If “I got an A plus!” was not the measure of their success?

The 1-1-1 Rule!

Filed Under (Work) by Laura Smith on 06-02-2010

I have been trying a lot of new things this year in my curriculum.  Sometimes it goes smoothly and sometimes it feels like my head is going to explode.  Honestly, it is hard to completely re-write your ENTIRE curriculum in one year, as it happens.  I got some work done last summer, but I’m trying to work on the fly, too, and with my teaching duties, Technology Troubleshooting and 1-1 Laptop Program, plus being the Chair of the Maryland Discovery Educator Network Leadership Council and Treasurer of my Homeowners Association, not to mention Mommy to two young children…whew!  No wonder I’m a little stressed!

So I invented this rule for myself, and maybe it will work for you, too.  (I’m sure some other wise person has thought of this, but I never heard of it before, so it’s new to me!)

I call it the 1-1-1 Rule.  I try to do 1 new thing, with 1 of my classes (or subjects, if you’re a classroom teacher), for 1 week.  Don’t try to tell yourself, “I can do more, it’s okay.”  No.  It may work for a while, but you will burn out quickly.

Some Examples: I wanted to try Wallwisher.  Basically, this is a website that lets you create an online “bulletin board,” with virtual sticky notes added by whoever you give permissions to.  You can set it to be public, or give your students a password they can use to access it.  I decided to try it with 2nd grade as an assessment for our Internet Safety lesson.  Because I was able to focus on that one new thing, with that one class, it went very well!

I was also looking to try a backchannel chat during a lesson.  This past week, I tried using TodaysMeet with my 6th graders.  Today’s Meet lets you create a chat room that users can log on without having to download any software or even sign up for membership.  Its simple interface made it perfect for new users.  And, after a few minutes of silly “‘Hi,’ ‘hey,’ ‘wassup,’ ‘lolz,’ and so on, we started to get the hang of it.

So, if you have been wanting to try new things, try the 1-1-1 Rule!  I guarantee it will reduce your stress level.  At least at school.  I’m still working on the other stuff. Lolz.

My bookmarks for February 4th through February 5th

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Steve Dembo on 05-02-2010

These are my links for February 4th through February 5th:

  • 10 Popular Technology in Education Blogs – already read some of these and looking forward to more!
  • Pioneer Woman – Homeschooling – I think this is my new favorite website!  She has everything from homeschooling ideas (I would love to use these with my own kids to supplement their education- I’d go crazy trying to homeschool them myself! Or I can adapt them for the classroom) to dEEElicious looking recipes!  
  • Web 3.0 and Its Relevance for Instruction — THE Journal – what is “Web 3.0?” find out here- and its impact on education. Annotated link

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