Why I spent 10th grade online by Sophia Pink

One of the authors that I love to read is Daniel Pink. It is fun to be able to be able to follow someone whose work you enjoy. Not just when they write a new book, but when they post a blog, podcast, or yes when they tweet. Recently, Dan tweeted this article about his daughter, Sophia. I have enjoyed watching a number of videos she has created. I really enjoyed this very level-headed look at online learning.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-i-spent-10th-grade-online/2013/08/22/f2001640-ed8a-11e2-bed3-b9b6fe264871_story.html

New School Year!!!

Welcome back!

This is an interesting cartoon and in a sense will be what this year’s blog will be about: the impact of technology on education. This year I will be delving further into technology not only in the classroom, but in our lives as learners. Looking forward to your comments, questions, and anything that you are willing to share.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you look at the cartoon above?

One Man’s Dream: Build a School in the Cloud

There are many conversations going on about the future of education. Here is a man with a plan! This is an amazing, thought-provoking talk by Sugata Mitra on his dream of building a school in the sky.

One of my favourite quotes: “That’s the first time, as a teacher, that I had ever heard the word ‘teach ourselves’ said so casually.”

I would love to hear your comments. Enjoy!

What Success Really Looks Like!

Paulette Vermette suggested this graphic on “What Success Really Looks LIke”. Paulette is a balcony person; someone who continually uplifts other people! Thank you Paulette!

One of the most interesting aspects of this diagram is that all the fun , learning, growth, and enjoyment (and frustration) comes out of the squiggly part. Life is funny like that!

Knowledge as a Tool

“Are you using knowledge, or is knowledge using you?” This thought-provoking question was directed to him by don Miguel Ruiz Jr.‘s grandmother. It ended up, twenty years later, being the basis of his book, The Five Levels of Attachment. In it he explains that as our level of attachment to a belief or idea increases “who we are” becomes directly related to “what we know”.

In a number of recent posts, I have discussed the value of tools: mentors and coaches, books, videos and audios, and so on. However, there is a danger that we become ‘attached’ to these tools and the information they provide. As don Miguel Ruiz Jr. puts it: “who we are” becomes directly related to ‘what we know’.

In the introduction, he tells the following story that really hits home:

“Though she spoke no English, my grandmother gave sermons and lectures across the country. My apprenticeship began with translating my grandmother’s lectures from Spanish to English. For many years, I awkwardly stumbled over her words, and my grandmother would just look at me and laugh.

One day she asked me if I knew why I stumbled. I had all sorts of answers: you are speaking too quickly, you don’t give me a chance to catch up, some words don’t have a direct translation…She just looked at me silently for a few moments and then asked, ‘Are you using knowledge, or is knowledge using you?’

I looked at her blankly. She continued, ‘When you translate, you try to express my words through what you already know, what you think is true. You do not hear me; you hear yourself. If you are looking through life and translating it as it goes along, you will miss out on living it. But if you learn to listen to life, you will always be able to express the words as they come. Your knowledge has to become a tool you will use to guide you through life but that can also be put aside. Do not let knowledge translate everything you experience.’

I nodded in response, but it didn’t dawn on me until many years later what my grandmother was truly talking about. Throughout life, we constantly narrate, or commentate on, everything we do, say, see, touch, smell, taste, and hear. As natural storytellers, we continuously keep the plot moving forward, sometimes missing millions of subplots that are developing on their own. It is like taking a sip of wine and saying, ‘It’s a bit dry; it has definitely aged well, but I can taste the bark. I’ve had better.’ Instead of simply experiencing the joy and flavours of the wine, we are analyzing the flavour, trying to break it down and fit it into a context and language we already know. In doing this, we miss out on much of the actual experience.”

An absolutely wonderful book, with a great message for me! Listen to life!

More Quotes from English 9 + 10

“A sensible man watches for problems ahead and prepares to meet them. The simpleton never looks and suffers the consequences.” Proverbs 27:12

“You can’t always control circumstances, but you can control your own thoughts.”Charles Popplestone

“Love is something you do for someone else, not something you do for yourself.” The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman

“A hungry ego is a mean ego. To make a happy ego you need to feed it with respect. People without respect have a mean ego.”  How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People, Les Giblin

“Gentle words cause life and health; griping brings discouragement.” Proverb 15.4

What are some of yours?

 

Non-Fiction Book Study Grade 9 + 10 – Quotes

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the Grade 9 + 10 English class are reading a non-fiction book (or two). There has been some great sharing, as well as a little jockeying to find the right book, which is part of this learning experience.

The students are exploring various ways to internalize some of the ideas and concepts from the books we are reading. So in the past week we have started a quote wall, where students can share some of the best quotes from their books.

Here are a few:

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” Walt Disney

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Albert Einstein

“Without conflict there is no growth, and the most challenging conflict is within ourselves.” Brio in the Ant and the Elephan

t”The law of nature is: Do the thing, and you shall have the ^power; but they who do not the thing have not the power.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Repeat anything often enough and it will start to become you.” Tom Hopkins

“There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their lifeis bound in shallows and in miseries.” William Shakespeare

“Small actions compound over time. That means they grow in size and impact and lead to much bigger things.” Success for Teens