I wanted to capture some of the events, stories, and efforts that struck a chord, or otherwise impressed me recently in education. Here are six of my recent finds. How about you? What struck you recently in education?
Do you like project learning? See this project of a dad and his (6 yr old?) child sending a camera up to space with a weather balloon to get footage of the earth’s curvature. Note: Place a pillow or other soft object on the floor to protect your chin; it will likely drop.
This was a big month for education policy. One of the big stories was Adrian Fenty’s Mayoral defeat in DC, interpreted by some as a referendum on the policies and practices of his selected chancellor, Michelle Rhee. Here, Michelle talks about her tenure and here is Diane Ravitch’s (starkly constrasting) take on it.
Have you challenged your 6th graders to write a proposal? The Power of the Pen in 6th grade Teaser: "I asked if Turner Construction could build us a playground," Triston said Wednesday in a break from his sixth-grade class at Colonial Middle. "They responded by sending $50,000." See how Triston got it done.
Do you like to get "all sci-fi" about online learning? I do. Here’s a New York Times piece about online learning. The closing paragraph reads:
For better or for worse, imagine a near future in which your avatar can attend high school in a Second Life-like environment, your body no longer required to sit quietly in a row and your mind no longer obliged to settle for what the local district can offer. You won’t need a locker, and if you realize with swooping horror that there’s a big test today and you’re not ready, you can stop time and study until you are. And your avatar’s skin is clear. And you can fly.
Sign me up! A teacher makes a strong case for students to blog. This stood out for me: “Of course, blogging is a blast, after all, how often do kids beg to write more over the weekend or groan when time is up? Yet blogging is so much more than that; it is writing for an actual audience, not just the teacher, it is learning how to engage in a written conversation, how to constructively criticize writing, as well as appreciate other people's skills and abilities.”
Elevating the Education Reform Dialog: If you haven’t reviewed this yet, on October 5, there was a great discussion with a most distinguished panel on educational reform. Panelists included: Diane Ravitch, Deborah Meier, Sir Ken Robinson, and more. You can listen to, or watch the whole dialog here.