Category Archives: Leadership

EdWeek: Connection between Exit Exams and Prison?


Tornado of Change in Education

An interesting post by Will Richardson (thought-provoking as usual) about the value of a college or university degree. He also points out and questions (as I am starting to) the assumption that university is the best / only / necessary path to take after high school.

Laptop Spying to Combat Digital Distraction?

I stumbled upon this article this morning, which is another interesting piece to add to the puzzle of the role of digital devices in the classroom and the articles I posted yesterday.

By Louise Brown of the Toronto Star:

York University prof enlists student snitches to battle digital distraction

When professor Henry Kim noticed a student this week paying more attention to his laptop than the class discussion, he asked another student to check out the suspect’s screen.



The business professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business quietly asked the tweeter to leave for the rest of the 90-minute class for breaking the pledge his students must take not to use laptops for anything but class work.

And it meant using another new pledge this frustrated teacher had students take this fall; to spy on a classmate’s screen, if asked, and report truthfully what they see.

By recruiting this new breed of screen snitches, Kim hopes to make digital distraction so socially awkward that students will close forbidden windows — Facebook, email, Sikh field hockey matches — and plug into class…




19 Bold Ideas for Change (in Education)

I have been following Will Richardson by reading his articles or his tweets for a few years now and he never fails to

Who is Will Richardson? He is “an outspoken advocate for change in schools and classrooms in the context of the diverse new learning opportunities that the Web and other technologies now offer.”

Here is a quick 5 minute presentation he gave recently. (The slide titles are below.)

  1. Give open network tests — not open book tests.
  2. Roll Your Own Textbooks.
  3. Be Googled Well.
  4. Flip the Power Switch.
  5. Change the World. — Broaden scope of lessons
  6. Don’t “Do Your Own Work.”
  7. Learn First. Teach Second.
  8. No More Workshops for Teachers.
  9. Share Everything.
  10. Ask Questions You Don’t Know the Answers To.
  11. Repeat after me: “I want to be found by strangers on the Internet.”
  12. Unlearn. Relearn.
  13. Resume. Shemesume.
  14. Stop Googling. Get a Network.
  15. Go Free and Open Source.
  16. Create an “Uncommon Core.”
  17. Don’t Deliver… Discover.
  18. Disrupt the System.
  19. SCREAM!

iste-presentation from Will Richardson on Vimeo.

Derek Sivers: How to start a movement

Be a First Follower: “Leadership is over-glorified…If you really care about starting a movement, have the courage to follow and show others how to follow.” Woah.

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

Despite this being directed at business types, I really enjoyed Mr. Sinek’s TED Talk. Indeed, I believe this gentleman has been latched onto by many people  — often people at the top of the food chain –, but thinking about his idea from an in-the-trenches teaching perspective, I think there is some merit in the notion that I, as a teacher in the 21st century, need to be able to tell students why coming to my class fits into their 21st century lives. “Why are doing this?” is actually, perhaps, a very profound question and my pat answer of “Because I said so” doesn’t actually suffice.  In fact, I need to preemptively tell them before we learn why we are doing something in class and, to take it a step further, I should examine what it is I’m teaching to see if it is relevant and appropriately challenging for today’s students.  The Golden Circle thing is a pretty nifty idea that I need to mull over… Also, his mantra, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”  Hmmm… Perhaps “Students don’t buy into courses because of what we are teaching necessarily; they buy in because of why they need to know this for their 21st century journey.” I’m not sure if that works, but maybe… Plus: People followed Martin Luther King not to follow him, but they did it for themselves, because their beliefs matched his own. And he didn’t make the ‘I Have a Plan’ speech; he made the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. Woah.


Eddie Obeng: Smart failure for a fast-changing world

Eddie Obeng speaks very quickly and covers a lot of concepts in a short amount of time, but, ultimately, his idea of “smart failure” and thinking about the real world grossly outpacing the culture of learning is very relevant, I think, to the world of teaching. Which world are we preparing students for: yesterday’s world, today’s or the future world, the one in which they will live?

And I love the idea of “smart failure”, where failure is a powerful learning experience, which connects, for me, back to Rick Wormeli’s video about Redos and Do-Overs.

Eddie Obeng: Smart failure for a fast-changing world