Creating Passionate Users tells me that it's okay to shut the computer down and get one last walk with the dogs in before midnight.
I know this because of the "myth of keeping up" that just came across my sightlines, thanks to my own aggregrators (as they recommend). So, here you go, but off I go -- to walk the dogs and to close my eyes for the night!
Do you have a stack of books, journals, manuals, articles, API docs, and blog printouts that you think you'll get to? That you think you need to read? Now, based on past experience, what are the odds you'll get to all of it? Half of it? Any of it? (except for maybe the Wired magazine)
So you let the stack of "things to read" pile up, then eventually when the pile gets to high you end up tossing half of it--or worse, moving it to a deeper "stuff to read someday stack. We have selective amnesia about what we'll ever get to, but mainly because most of us keep feeling like we have to keep up! Keep up with what?
You can't keep up. There is no way. And trying to keep up will probably just make you dumber.You can never be current on everything you think you should be.
Love Hugh and the Gaping Void. Drawings and ideas alike. Daily. Once in a while. Whenever. But always great stuff for the headspace.
He was asked recently what the 'big deal' was with blogging. More importantly, how can you guarantee what sort of audience you get. His answer is a primer for all bloggers today and all bloggers to-be:
PT just asked me the following quetion:
What exactly is the use of blogging if you have no idea often who it is you are talking to? In other words - are they bright? Are thay sane? Are they knowledgable about the things they purport to be? If it is simply an uncontrolled medium through which anyone can say anything then it seems to me it will become no more than a modern day Tower of Babel.
I do however accept that the technology is here - but how to make it really useful?
The short answer is; a blog gets the audience it deserves. If the people reading and leaving comments on your blog are a bunch of losers and idiots, it might have more to do with the quality of what you write, and the vigilance with which you monitor your comments, than any limitations of the media.
You're right, the technology is there. Everything else is up to you.
The DeHavilland Blog speaks to the rising interest in business/education partnerships on a daily basis. This "public wants partnerships" link is a must read if you're on board with Brett's thinking (as I am):
Just came across the results of a very exciting survey the Carnegie Corporation put forth as part of their Schools for a New Society initiative. Conducted by Widmeyer Research and polling, the survey collected data from a nationally representative sample of urban adults, assessing attitudes about public education offered at urban high schools and the role of school districts and other organizations in improving public education.
Carnegie found overwhelming support for the idea of community partnerships in urban education, with groups including local not-for-profits, colleges, teacher unions, local businesses, and parent groups all involved in the call to action. Specific survey results include....
Ask my wife. Even before she was pregnant, I used to say that I was not in support of our future kids going to college as a default out of high school. With Beckett-to-be on the way, I'm still not a big fan of "but you gotta go to college to be worth something".
Reading this in Assorted Stuff tonight, I feel even more vinidicated. Never would have thought that Forbes magazine would be my saving grace. Wonder If I should tell Karla?
In a post a few days back, I ranted about whether we should be preparing every high school student for college.
It’s something of a surprise to get some support for that point of view from a source like Forbes. The online version of their magazine also questions the need for four more years of school by offering Five Reasons to Skip College.
1. You’ll be losing four working years.
2. You won’t necessarily earn less money.
3. In fact, you could probably make more money if you invested your tuition.
4. You don’t need to be in a classroom in order to learn something.
5. Plenty of other people did fine.
When I was a wee one, I managed to do a few "if...then..." statements when mastering basic computer programming. Definitely not the type who went home and 'opened up the box,' so to speak.
But, as an educator and someone who deeply values the 'fire' that is sparked via technology, I was intrigued by this reflection on Slashdot recently as to whether or not kids actually program anymore:
From his journal, hogghogg asks: "I keep finding myself in conversations with tertiary educators in the hard sciences (Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry, etc.) who note that even the geeks—those who voluntarily choose to major in hard sciences—enter university never having programmed a computer. When I was in grade six, the Commodore PET came out, and I jumped at the opportunity to learn how to program it.
Now, evidently, most high school computer classes are about Word (tm) and Excel (tm). Is this a bad thing? Should we care?" Do you think the desire to program computers has declined in the younger generations?
If so, what reasons might you cite as the cause?
And should I be jealous that Slashdot is now reporting on "Vocation Vacations" as I did last month? [My original link can be found here] Or is this simply a matter of a good story finally getting out there? (he smiles)
Curious, though. Do these self-professed 'geeks' also read People magazine, where the original cover story came from? Mmmm?
If you had the opportunity to start a school from the ground up, what would be the underlying principle of the experience you offered your students/faculty? And if someone asked you to carve out the underlying 'essential questions' that would drive your entire curriculum (while also matching state expectations), would you have an answer?
Chris' first 9th grade class will begin at the soon-to-open Science Leadership Academy in Philly this fall (which you'd undoubtedly heard me talk about on "think:lab" before). Sitting with his founding faculty, they are using the following as their 'non-negotiable.' Truly inspired, truly common sense. And I have no doubt that the 'micro to the macro' will unearth much greatness along the way:
We have reached the point where we have defined our essential questions that will be the foundation of our inquiry next year. We built these questions starting with the "micro to macro" lens for our Integrated Biochemistry science class next year. We looked at that lens and then asked ourselves, what does "micro to macro" mean across all the discplines, which is what led us to these questions:
1) Who am I?
2) What influences my identity?
3) How do I interact with the world?
An excerpt of a post that goes into much more detail; of particular note are the various sites that are blocked out-of-the-gate in China, and the comment that criteria seems to be vague at best:
Not sure where I first saw the report that Technorati was blocked in China, but I did go test it out, and sure enough on Wednesday it was blocked. Today (Saturday April 29, 2006) it is back working again. The Technorati blog posted on Wednesday that people were complaining, maybe those complaints were heard in Beijing, or maybe it was blocked by accident.
It’s TechForum 2006 in Chicago, and Hall Davidson is doing the keynote. The speech title is “The World is Shrinking”. He just said that one thing that is definitely shrinking is the distance between imagination and reality. This is so true, and I’ve thought about this a lot. But I’ve never heard the idea expressed so succinctly.
He also says that it’s pretty cool to be an educator right now. We are more in touch with the future than anyone else, because we are in daily contact with the people who will be inventing the future. We (many of us) know what podcasting is. Most corporate workers do not! Not sure that’s true, but I believe that the idea is correct. We work with the future.
I’ve heard this address before, and I’ve blogged it before. But one thing that suprised me was when Hall asked what web site gets more than two and a half times the traffic of Google. The answer was Myspace. In MySpace, children are important. Learning is important. How do we make learners just as important?
Wow! Discovery now has a home version of streaming video, called Cosmo. No surprise, bound to happen. But a school in Evanston, Illios will be selling it to homes as a fund raiser. Kids selling media, to raise money to learn. To cool for school!
Sounds like a heck of a conference.
But that last nugget of kids and media really grabbed my attention. The MySpace stat has been floating around out there for quite some time. Not new. But David makes the larger point (as George Siemens did recently in his weekly newsletter -- see post below for the link) that MySpace gets the traffic/love because 'kids feel valued' there.
Figure out how to do that in school, and maybe something transformative will take place between 8 and 5, too!
While Karl and I work together daily on behalf of global school design teams, he's also a great source for blog content.
I was vaguely familiar with this student-voice-centered school in Massachusetts from my past life in that part of the country, but I had missed this recent Boing Boing nod to the idea of a truly 'radical free school':
This YouTube video is the trailer for a documentary called "Voices from the New American Schoolhouse," which chronicles the radical education practiced at the Fairhaven School in Upper Marlboro, MD. Fairhaven appears to be a classical free-school, in which kids self-govern, design their own curriculum, and tutor their peers. I went to publicly funded schools like this from grade four to graduation, and they were the most important factor in the way I conduct my own adult life. Attending schools like this teaches many kids to run their own lives, blazing their own trail, inventing their own careers, and trying anything. Useful skills in a world where any job that can be described is likely to be outsourced.
Update: Mike adds, You can buy the full length version of 'Voices from the New American Schoolhouse' at the Fairhaven website."