Great day for Colorado sTUDENTS! This is a great day for Colorado students! HB 17-1201 has made its way through the State Legislature and is now headed to Governor Hickenlooper for signature. ICYMI… HB 1201 […]
This is Roberto Rodriguez, the Deputy Assistant to the President for Education. That title means he has President Obama’s ear on all things education. He is often called the most influential person in American education.
I was honored and humbled to share key ideas from Every Student STEM during our Innovation and STEM Education spark discussion at the White House last week.
Every P-12 student in our schools today is a digital native. From the first moment they interact with any digital device, children begin developing STEM skills. It is the inherent nature of a digital world.
It began with the need…
At West Grand Middle School, student need was not being addressed. Something had to change.
Parents knew it. Admin knew it. Teachers knew it. What they didn’t know was the answer. More importantly they didn’t know the question.
‘We’ve tried X, Y and Z before. They don’t work.’
Change IS Hard
The hardest part about change is that it’s hard. No matter if we are talking about personal or organizational change. Real and lasting change requires sustained dedication to a cause. Quite honestly, that in and of itself, goes against the flow of every fiber of being for those who live in the 21st century. Which is all of us. We are all about instant gratification these days. Sustained dedication is not the normal mode of operation.
Anymore, we are socially/ emotionally/ developmentally and professionally conditioned to resist change. Which on the surface appears ironic, and even untrue, given the outrageous, incredible blur of speed that dictates our everyday pace these days. Looking from the outside in, any stranger might rightly assume we all embrace change in this modern-day whirlwind of a culture. So not the case.
My sister-in-law called in a panic the other day:
Come help me with math! Now!!!
Good thing we are a family of math nerds. Between my husband and myself, we got her covered all the way from long division to calculus and perhaps even differential equations if the need should arise.
No sweat, Mary! We’re on the way!
We immediately donned our superhero capes and raced across town in the Batmobile.
The Answer in the Question
The question should be on every educator’s mind. #ThinkBig
I want to change the world. I want the staff (and students) in my school–and schools EVERYWHERE–to approach education from the same perspective.
A unified change in belief will lead to a unified change in approach.
#DesignThinking in Action
ICYMI.. this is how it all started: HMW start a recycling program at our school?
A fiery group of 7th grade math students want to make a difference at their school, so they have decided it’s time to put the words into action. All it took was a bunch of empty copy paper boxes and some green paint.
We worked through the design-thinking process:
Empathy — Define — Ideate — Prototype — Test.
MindMaps led the way as each student took a turn writing ideas and questions on the whiteboard. After a lot of excited discussion and strategizing, they are ready to test the plan.
Something’s Gotta Give
Educators abound spend 90% of their time prepping students for state exams, and the other half of their time is spent complaining about them (my apologies to Yogi Berra).
The main complaint from teachers (and parents, and some legislators, and…) is that state exams zap too much valuable instructional time. The time spent in testing sessions is draining to students and ultimately results in a loss of class time.
The bigger argument against the way we mass assess our students (and the one that goes largely unvoiced) is that it does relatively little to prepare students for life and their future ahead.
One of the hardest things to figure out from social media is whether or not something is real. And even more important, if what you find is accurate.
Most definitely, there are trusted sources of news and other information that we can turn to for facts and a variety of data. But in the world of internet, everyone has a voice and sometimes that collective voice is loud and overwhelming.
As a teacher, I have no idea how anything I do in my classroom compares with what happens in other teachers’ classrooms.
Why? Because in the social-media-cybersphere, everyone else has brilliant students doing amazing work with unlimited physical resources and enthusiastic support from everyone involved in the educational process.