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August 24, 2006

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Spunky

I continue to be impressed with these kids too. And in a teacher sort of way, not just because one of the founders happens to be my daughter.

Seriously, this type of effort is only possible because this is real life to them. They ask themselves these questions. Not for a grade, or to impress a college, but because it matters to them.

We don't have to imagine what this sort collaboration has on schooling today. This IS schooling today. The schools will come in and try to institutionalize this. But you can't anymore than you can bottle the wind. By the time it's bottled the winds have changed. But the institution cannot move fast enough to change with it. These children working independently without ANY adult guidance can move as the blogosphere and society changes.

That's the inherent beauty of homeschooling and a "real world" education these kids have had.

Thanks for spotlighting Alex and the Regenerate Our Culture team.

Christian

Spunky,

Right out of the gate, you won a fan. Yes, being impressed with them because of the quality of their work/passion (above and beyond any personal connections) is for me the #1 proof that a kid is doig authentic work.

Secondly, I value your statement that "this IS Schooling today" -- how true. A semantic difference, perhaps, but good stuff all the same. But I'll offer that 'home schooling' is merely a matter of using similar language in some respects but not being held back by the literal form of school. Thus, we use 'schooling' as currency in the same way that Alex mentioned that having a degree still has "clout". True, but perhaps we should push past the common word of 'schooling' and head into the deep end of 'learning' instead.

I agree with you. On all accounts. Showcasing Alex was easy because he's doing the right things, as are the others in the magazine and your daughter for helping to found it. But the real power in what they are doing has nothing to do with 'schooling', per say, but in the ever-aggressive desire to learn because life is predicated on learning when it really matters.

My virtual hat off to you for your support of these kids and for taking the time to echo my earlier post. Great to meet you! Best to the kids, as well. Great seeing them on this longer journey of learning.

Cheers, Christian

Andrew Pass

Here's one problem I see with transforming the traditional school system into one in which on-line collaboration is part of the curriculum, not because its neat and fun but because it is central to the way we learn. Many teachers don't know how to use the collaborative technology available on the Internet. Many teachers aren't used to collaborating. The concept of this magazine is truly awesome. It's incredible what we can do with collaboration and technology. However, I wonder if we are going to have to wait for a lot more retirements before schools across America, and the teachers and students in them, use technology as part of the central curriculum. Which leads me back to Alex's question.

Andrew Pass
http://www.Pass-Ed.com/blogger.html

Christian

Fair points, Andrew. But I think the key is not to do an either-or journey. The key is that learning happens. And even if the 'system' stays fairly rooted in the ways-of-old and some 'digital immigrant' teachers can't turn the corner yet, the digital learning and collaboration experience is here to stay. For the kids and teachers and parents that are hungry to learn in every conceivable manner, give'em space...and love their journey. For those who aren't, support them, too, and try to shift their needle slightly more to the needle each day. But an either-or scenario fails to take reality into consideration...and this is much bigger than any set of rules or procedures or even the 'system' itself. This is life. And life is moving forward in a learning sense whether we come or not. Cheers...and as always, great to hear from you, Andrew!

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