While at ISTE13 I had three young ladies introduce themselves and their project to me during the SIG Open House. I was so impressed with them, their ability to articulate their project, and willingness to ‘go forth and gain supporters’ that I want to highlight their Global M & M Project in this post. The girls, Ashley Kitzerow, Bailey Williams and Izzy Andrews explained to me that the project is about the Law of Large Numbers: This theory states that the more times you perform an experiment, the closer you will get to the exact average. The idea is to have classes all around the world conduct a color distribution analysis of a bag of M & Ms. Classes all over the world will be joining this project for the 2013-2014 school year, why not your students? What a great way for students globally to prove this law, as they explore mathematical thinking!
If you check out their website you will see they are also creating lesson plans to go with this project. This project has all the components of success: global collaboration, math and chocolate. Who could ask for anything else? Don’t forget to sign your class up, or if you are a building leader tell your teachers about it. If you have any questions I’m sure the girls would be more than willing to answer them (see their emails above on their bio pages). Classes need to sign up by September 16, 2013.
Find more information about this project and other ways to stretch learning for all at:
This is more than just the fourth post in a series stemming from my participation in the Courageous Schools Conference on May 18, 2013 in NYC. It is the bridge from Courageous Schools to ISTE 2013, which I just came home from.
As a recap, my big ‘ahas’ from the Courageous Schools Conference on May 18 were:
Passion is where I am bridging from Courageous Schools to ISTE13 in San Antonio. In the next couple of weeks I will be digesting and planning to facilitate many of the ideas I took away from #ISTE13. I will also be writing here about many of the learning ideas I brought home with me.
With the deform of education that is happening currently we can’t forget the passion that we have in our hearts that made us what we are today. This has been very evident to me this past year, as I saw many dedicated educators start to lose hope. I will continue to say: We, as a profession cannot lose hope. We need to continue to remember our students and celebrate the learning minds we help facilitate every day. Now, more than ever, we need to come together and answer the following questions:
- What is the purpose of schools?
What is the core definition of why schools exist?
and probably the most important question asked at ISTE13 by Jackie Gerstein:
Why are we letting others define why schools exist?
I was honored to be in the same room with many of what I believe are the educational learning leaders of our age. These are the bloggers and tweeters I follow in my PLN. Steve Hargadon, founder of Classroom 2.0 (@stevehargadon) convened a panel of experts to discuss School 2.0: Where Are We Headed? The panel included Brian Crosby (@bcrosby), Julie Lindsay (@julielindsay), Jackie Gerstein (@JackieGerstein) and Tom Whitby (@tomwhitby). The audience included even more amazing educators from around the world who Steve also brought into the discussion.
The main message that came out is that we (READ: passionate facilitators of learning) need to push back, empower our students and teachers and continue to push to make sure our students are at the core of everything we do. Notice: not tests, not data, not corporations, not politicians, not driven by money, not passive… I think you probably get it… NOT the state of affairs in the recent, and past deform.
Here are some of my highlights from the session:
If we expect students to be agents, shouldn’t we be providing teachers with that as well? We want our students to be motivated, engaged and the ‘drivers of their learning’. We should also want our teachers to be that as well. Leaders need to model, support, and offer opportunities for our educators to be ‘drivers of their learning and growth’. This includes helping them build their local and global PLN (Personal Learning Network).
Julie Lindsay mentioned that as she walked around the Exhibitor’s Hall at ISTE 13 she noticed that most of the products are still teacher centered. This turned the discussion to one thing I have always said, the tools should not drive the learning… good pedagogy drives learning. A great analogy come up, putting new shinier tires on an old car doesn’t change anything. (ie putting shiny new technologies in an old lesson doesn’t change anything…) I also loved the following quote:
New technologies, new bells and whistles but same pedagogy means nothing new.
So, why are we letting others define why schools exist?
We, the passionate facilitators of learning, should be defining and reforming the direction of learning.
I urge you to:
Be leaders in change…
Be ‘the change you wish to see in the world’ (~Gandhi).
Be yourself, and believe in yourself.
Tags: inspiration·iste 2013·ISTE13