Times they are a’changin

Janice Friesen (who I met online but lives here in Austin) has some interesting observations on her blog Texas Malahini about how our students think differently than previous generations.   She observes that: “My mother’s generation thinks that it is OK not to know something and that there is a lot that is unknowable. They do not value asking questions. They are VERY protective of their private information. My son’s generation thinks that EVERYTHING is knowable and that there are no secrets really. In any conversation when there is a […]

21st century questions

 I’ve been trying to assimilate some themes in what Will Richardson talked about on Tuesday and things I heard at the TCEA conference as well.  Some reflections in no certain order–   How our students learn is changing.   How we learn is also changing. (In a presentation at TCEA, Ysleta ISD called it “PJ PD”—Pajama Professional Development—because you can take professional development courses online in your pj’s.)  Will Richardson shared MIT’s Open Coursewhere, where every course at MIT  is available online.  The Open Courseware Consortium site links […]

Journalism, the web, and Molly

  I was fortunate enough to hear Molly Ivins speak at the University of Texas in November, when she won the Mary Alice Davis Distinguished Lecturer award.   Her concern that night was the future of journalism; specifically, the future of newspapers.   I have thought of her insights often the last few months. She was aware that because of the instant availability of news online, that newspapers were going to have to change, and she felt that because large conglomerates have been purchasing many urban newspapers, […]

Drivers versus passengers

 We just got my son a new/used car today–a VW Beetle.  While we were waiting to pick up the car, a sign in the dealership caught my eye. “On the road of life, there are passengers and there are drivers.  Drivers wanted.” It struck me that this is a perfect analogy for web 2.0 tools.   They allow each of us to be drivers, not just passengers;  active participants, not just observers. Don’t we want all of our students to be drivers instead of passengers?

Connecting the dots (pt two)

  Home for yet another ice day, so I am catching up on my reading! Another item in the Columbia Journalism review article I mentioned yesterday struck me as interesting for research.  As one effort to change the Times-Herald paper, “When (editor)Levine took over, his paper began a ‘sourcing project,’ designed to force reporters to avoid ‘going to the same three or four sources [for] every story.’ More and more diverse sources, the theory goes, should improve story ideas and stories, and help reporters know […]

21st century skills in the workplace?

Text messaging while in class, listening to an iPod, and skimming through Google links, the behaviors our students are demonstrating in the classroom are the ones they are also carrying into the workplace. This post  on Assorted Stuff drew my attention to the Pew Internet study, Digital Natives Invade the Workplace, (among other studies on Pew’s site).  The study summarizes five ways in which our multi-tasking, ever-“on” students are changing the workplace. All of these have relevant implications for the classroom. First, video games–over 70% of teens and almost […]

What’s in for the New Year?

 To ring in the New Year in a very traditional way, here’s a look at last year and predictions for this year.  Google Zeitgeist keeps track of what we have been searching for the last year.  (I’m amazed at how many of the search terms I have never heard of, by the way, so don’t feel alone in that!) And predictions for next year, from my own observations and articles around the web?  Portable computing continues to get more portable, smaller, and more multi-functional.  We don’t want […]

Where are we heading?

This article in Time on graduates of the future  is such important reading I am posting it again!  (free online if you watch an ad…) It’s about changing the education conversation away from the basics to a broader conversation and it identifies some strategies our students will need.   Very interesting in terms of our schoolwide discussions–I’d be interested in your comments and thoughts!

Searching, info literacy and commercialism

While watching tv tonight, I saw a commercial for gifts.com, which allows you to enter a profile of the person you are shopping for, and then the site selects and recommends gifts you can purchase and the online stores that sell the gifts.  A great idea–a customizable, personal shopper online. All of which made me recall the book I’m currently reading–The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed our Culture, by John Batelle(editor of Wired Magazine).   Batelle posits that […]

Book recommendation

Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink is one of those books that I want to share with everyone! HIs premise is that due to outsourcing and our material abundance that students of the 21st century will need different skills, like creativity, design, play, empathy, etc.  and that the world looks to the U.S.  for that “outside of the box” thinking.   He really builds a convincing case for the importance of design and creativity in the future.   What convinced me was his description of the Michael Graves’ designed toilet […]