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Showing posts from 2014

High Schools Need True Community And Happy Students

Lately I have been asking school leaders, staff members and education aficionados what I consider to be a universal question now for all high schools

Since any or all high school students could choose to leave your school tomorrow for on-line or independent study programs, what are you doing to keep them coming to your school today?
    High school students have more choices than ever before and rightly so.They can choose charter programs, independent study, on-line schools, blended programs and more. So again, with all of these choices, are our schools thinking how to keep them coming to their schools today?
      This is a somewhat new or even foreign idea to many educators.Historically, students, primarily from our neighborhoods or attendance boundaries, just showed up and made up the enrollment or student body. More recently, with more choice type situations being created, we might have seen situations where students are transferring from one school to another.
     Either way, e…

The 8 P's Of Education

I believe in and have used the Four C’s as foundational elements for much of my professional work for years. I love that some educators have added their versions of a fifth or sixth C as well. Whether it’s four, five or six C’s, they are relevant and important. My intent here with the 8 P’s is not to be cute or coy.Rather, it is to pick up where the Four C’s leave off and work towards more specificity and application. So, here we go with the 8 P’s of education:
     If educational success is going to be based on in-depth thinking, producing quality work and having an impact on one’s career opportunities, we need to focus on students’ passions. Passion is somewhat innate, as well as sometimes hard to identify or apply to all educational environments. But that’s why we need to make it a focus. If we read about, write about, speak about and interact with information and experiences related to our passion(s), there is great likelihood for individual buy-in, ownership and engage…

Is High School Ready For A Major Makeover? Think 'Yes' In A Big Way

Disclaimer #1 – I’m not the EduGod, EduCzsar or EduMaster, but I am willing to share any ideas I have about rethinking high school with those that could be.
Disclaimer #2 – The following ideas are not for the faint of heart or stomach when it comes to education. These are downright revolutionary or at minimum seriously lofty. Either way, I realize they are not necessarily realistic given any analysis of our current system (s).
Disclaimer #3 – Good things cost money. Not all good ideas involve money, but many do require investment. As a nation, we have to decide how we can create something new and better. This will require not only innovation, but also investment.
     As learners, we are sometimes challenged (not often enough fortunately) to think big.We are able to ask the question ‘what if’ when looking at a challenge.We are tasked with redesigning, recreating, reimagining or rethinking the entire thing.Maybe these are more 22nd century ideas. Well, when it comes to our high school sys…

Five Things Educators Will Have To Accept & Embrace

The profession of education is going through unprecedented change. Many aspects of teaching and school will eventually never be the same again.And nor should they.Although wholesale and fundamental changeis slow, there are some things that educators will have to accept and embrace (if they plan on being successful and staying in the profession).
These five are:
1)Education is more PUBLIC than ever – I’m tired of the word transparency.And that is really just the beginning of being “public” as an educator in our changing paradigm.We need to showcase our professional work as educators, as well as the work of our students, with larger communities.Venues such as YouTube, Twitter and all Social Media outlets will be a foundational way for us to continue the idea of being public.Whether it’s for parents, administration, district officials, government agencies or others, educators need to fully accept that close doors and private work are gone (as well they should be).Every classroom, school, d…

Education Needs Transformation, But So Does Everything But The Kitchen Sink

For years, I have raged against the many limits of our traditional education system and our inability to truly reform, or even transform into something better or amazing.Whether it’s the pursuit of real world projects, better technology, or more rationale policies, education has always seemed, to me, to be out of step and ultimately behind the innovations and progress going on in the real world.

     Naturally, this would not be a difficult thing to prove or demonstrate everyday in most of our schools in this country.We continue to put our students through a system that was designed decades ago with expectations, skills, activities and systems that are outdated and ineffective.
      A few weeks ago, I had an epiphany.Sadly, it’s really a relatively simple one, but significant to me nonetheless.After my daily annihilation of our educational system, I realized that we are capable of greatness and higher quality in all that we do, but rarely, if ever, seem to be able to fully realize…