Monday, October 3, 2011

Things That Have Me Thinking This Week...October 3, 2011

There are so many thought-provoking articles and blog posts that I come across each week, I thought I would share a few favorites.


Number 1

How Did The Robot End Up With My Job? - Thomas Friedman

In his Op-Ed piece in the yesterday's Sunday New York Times, the man best known for his book The World is Flat discussed the continuing evolution of the world in which we live. Friedman described our world as one that has changed quickly from "connected" to "hyperconnected" and he discussed the implications for schools as follows:
 "In the hyperconnected world, there is only “good” “better” and “best,” and managers and entrepreneurs everywhere now have greater access than ever to the better and best people, robots and software everywhere. Obviously, this makes it more vital than ever that we have schools elevating and inspiring more of our young people into that better and best category, because even good might not cut it anymore and average is definitely over."

Number 2

Lifelong UNlearning - Will Richardson

In this article for District Administration, Richardson discusses the importance of students being able to think beyond some of the things that they always believed and build new understandings.  Like Friedman, Richardson expresses concern for our classrooms and a shift that needs to happen to ensure that our students will be able to compete globally.
"...the students in our classrooms need to be adept and agile unlearners, as well. At a moment when knowledge is expanding at an ever more rapid rate, much of what they “learn” from us will be obsolete or irrelevant in short order. They’ll need to be constantly able to unlearn and relearn using the technologies of the moment as part of an ongoing interaction with knowledge."

Number 3 

20 Things Students Want To Know About Education - Lisa Nielsen

NBC learned quickly during its Education Nation series what many of us in schools already know and that is if we really want to get to the heart of an issue then we should get input from our students.  Why don't we do this more often?

Below is the list of comments by students from the segment about school that Lisa shared on her blog:

  1. I have to critically think in college, but your tests don't teach me that.
  2. We learn in different ways at different rates.
  3. I can't learn from you if you are not willing to connect with me.
  4. Teaching by the book is not teaching. It's just talking.
  5. Caring about each student is more important than teaching the class.
  6. Every young person has a dream. Your job is to help bring us closer to our dreams.
  7. We need more than teachers. We need life coaches.
  8. The community should become more involved in schools.
  9. Even if you don't want to be a teacher, you can offer a student an apprenticeship.
  10. Us youth love all the new technologies that come out. When you acknowledge this and use technology in your teaching it makes learning much more interesting.
  11. You should be trained not just in teaching but also in counseling.
  12. Tell me something good that I'm doing so that I can keep growing in that.
  13. When you can feel like a family member it helps so much.
  14. We appreciate when you connect with us in our worlds such as the teacher who provided us with extra help using Xbox and Skype
  15. Our teachers have too many students to enable them to connect with us in they way we need them to.
  16. Bring the electives that we are actually interested in back to school. Things like drama, art, cooking, music.
  17. Education leaders, teachers, funders, and policy makers need to start listening to student voice in all areas including teacher evaluations.
  18. You need to use tools in the classroom that we use in the real world like Facebook, email, and other tools we use to connect and communicate.
  19. You need to love a student before you can teach a student.
  20. We do tests to make teachers look good and the school look good, but we know they don't help us to learn what's important to us.

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. I love the students' comments, they are great. If only we learn how to do all that! Thanks for sharing them, Patrick

  2. This is a great post which I've been reading, rereading, pondering, reflecting and evaluating since I initially saw it on the blog. It is poignant and truly has the student's best interests at heart, especially for today. Thank you. I feel that I'm addressing some of these areas in my pedagogy, but I can certainly do even more. Thank you for the challenge!!