Friday, December 07, 2007

Students Speak are you listening?

Students from around the world have gotten together and are speaking out with their new network Students2.0. The Students 2.0 blog will feature content written by both staff writers and guest contributors. From Hawaii and Washington, from St. Louis and Chicago, from Vermont, New York, Scotland, Korea, and other points on the globe, these writings will be united in one central aspect: quality student writing, full-voiced and engaging, about education.

Why are they doing this...?

I think it best to use their own words...

For decades, students have been put in classrooms, sat down at desks, and told how to learn and what to learn. For a time when students were expected to become widgets for the vast machine of industry, this model of education was highly effective. However, we are now entering a new age: an age where thinking is more important than knowing, where the thought trumps the fact. Borders are melting away; project teams collaborate across the globe and intelligence is being continually redefined. The world’s information is at our fingertips and anybody can publish their thoughts for virtually no cost.

Everywhere, we see changes: in how business operates, in how people interact and success is accomplished. That is, we see changes everywhere besides the closed bars of education. The system continues to “stay the course” upon a falling ship. Yet, the widgets within the machine are no longer content to grind away. Ideas are popping up everywhere, across the globe. Students are continually redefining their own lives and how they want to learn and interact.

Adults and teachers talk about education and students, but rarely invite students into these discussions. Fortunately, this blog plans to change that by offering an authentic student voice upon education. This is not a gimmick, there's no puppet master: we're intent upon confronting the issues of modern education, never backing down from a challenge. Students 2.0 is challenge for leaders and teachers alike: are you willing to listen to students

Pretty powerful considering it was these students drive alone that developed this idea. Do you know a student like this in your class...or 2 or 3...? How do you engage a student who is so driven? I know I will be tuning in to see what they have to say!

Students 2.0 Launch Teaser from Sean on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Cooking with Jeff and learning Chinese from Shanghai

Wednesdays have gone from "hump day" to my favorite day of the week...
WHY? Cooking with Jeff of course
Each Wednesday evening in Shanghai, Jeff Utecht's wife has her Chinese lesson while Jeff cooks dinner. Through twitter, Jeff changes his avatar to a chef and folks from around the world follow along as Jeff outlines the steps to his evening meal. Mind you, I am following this at about 5 am EST as I am getting ready to start MY Wednesday...and when the meal sounds good, I stop at the store, pick up the ingredients and "cook along". This morning Paul Harrington actually suggested Jeff live stream the preparation. streaming a "cooking show" from China.....

Sound silly? Sure it does. Until you stop and think about the implications. How cool would it be to look into the kitchen of someone in China as they prepare their evening meal. To have that lesson recorded so that as I am preparing the same meal, I have something to follow. Or better yet...let Jeff continue to "tweet" his prep....I'd love to "sit in" on his wife's Chinese lesson via or some other application. To be able to enjoy the accent, the culture of a learning experience from another part of the world.

And speaking of how things are different around the world this conversation was floating around my network today...

Lots of school closures today in America! Let it snow let it snow let it snow!

Why has your school closed? My list: snow, earthquake, typhoon, terrorism, King died, water pipe breakage...what's yours?
Your list is more interesting than mine. Snow, power outage, gas main break.
chemical spill in the science lab...that's a new one. :)

Yes, my eyes have really been open to the way things are around the world and while I have physically visited very few places outside of the US,
my network has REALLY caused me to think about the world, world issues, and the future in different ways.

Now, If we can start to do that for our kids...

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