Please introduce yourself, let us know a little bit about you, and where you are from.

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Ah yes, I too once looked at it this way until I entertained the possibility that the fourth does not require the preceding three in order to happen, but perhaps Critical thinking, Problem solving, and Collaboration cannot happen in a way that will prepare students for the world when they graduate from high school unless we provide the opportunity to use technology in learning which allows for new and appropriate collaboration, critical thinking, and problem solving.

As a teacher I was once excited to think my students were using technology when the assignment called for them to use the Internet to research topics for reports they would then present using word processing.

To take our existing curriculum and 100 year old (tried but true) philosophies of education and plug them into technology the way you suggest and the way I outlined is no use of technology as a learning tool, but an expensive replacement for an encyclopedia, paper and pencil, and there is no substantial point to it.

What I am interested in considering is how we can accomplish the first three by the fourth, how we can challenge the last 100 years of public education practices (that worked relatively well up through the 80's and maybe even 90's) and really prepare our students for a world they will live and compete when they leave high school.

Anne, Perhaps this might be a bigger discussion for a side tab? I would be interested in hearing from you and other teachers who get and love technology and learning, and examine how it is working now, and how it needs to work to prepare our students for their future. I am interested in turning the last 100 years of public education on its head and seeing what happens.


Yes, this is a topic for a side list rather than on Introductions. From what I have seen on my first few weeks on here, this is the place to find those who want to collaborate on the future.

One of the advantages to using the Internet for research, is that you can find the most current information. An Encyclopedia is outdated as soon as it is published, boxed up, and shipped to the school. The Internet tends to provide the newest information. In building my website, which is probably more in tune with the "old way" of using the computer, since I feel that we will need that use of the Internet for some time yet, I have learned how many areas, particularly in science and history, have been revisited and updated since I learned "the facts" in school myself. Before I retired, I was doing a demo lesson to show how to use the spreadsheet for 5th grade science, and explored the oceans of the world. I learned that the ocean around Antarctica is not longer called the Antarctic Ocean, but is now called the Southern ocean. When I mentioned this in my demo lesson, I educated a whole panel of administrators who also did not know the ocean had changed names, actually some twenty years ago.

I think some of the solutions of how to really develop the use of computers in education should come from the creativity of the students themselves. Us adults have a habit of looking at a tool in the same way over and over, whereas someone without all that heavy experience, can look at it in a totally new way. I was just writing to a friend, who believed that the reason the people who created those "buy one, donate one" little computers, left off the spreadsheet. He did not see any applications that the little ones could use. So I told him of my experiences using spreadsheets with K-2 students. Excel has s lot of good applicatons for the little ones. They need to learn the concept of rows, columns, and cells anyway, and they can learn it much easier in first grade than in high school. You can insert graphs into worksheets, and as the student enters the values in cells, they can see the effect on the graph. You can also insert pictures and use color in creative ways on a spreadsheet. It could even be used like graph paper (set the columns and rows to equal values), and draw a shape on it and calculate the area by counting the squares, just as was done with us back when.

Right now, Rashmi Khushaboo and I are contemplating how to illustrate multi-digit multiplication in an online game, not manipulating the numerals, but manipulating shapes or other concrete objects. We want to illustrate the concept of a three digit number multiplied by a one digit number to get the kids started. Do you have any ideas to contribute?
I think I hear where you are coming form, and I agree. There are so many great applications available as tools to use in the learning process, and I am not suggesting to reinvent those wheels. Hopefully we can consider how to direct student in a way that allows them to find and use the applications that are appropriate to solve real problems, much like we do as adults in the real world, much like you and Rashmi are doing now to create the online math game. I have a question, Are any students involved in the process of creating this game? Could students learn this concept, perhaps more concretely, and have more of a real world "task" sense in their contributions?

I believe the answer to these questions is, yes.

What I would love to do it work with the two of you to see how we can get kids involved in the critical thinking and problem solving of this by collaboration and using the applications (technology) to do so.

what do you think?

Where should we side bar our conversation, and allow others to jump in?

Hi, Anne, my name is Jason Gallic, and I'm working with Derek as we attempt to reframe the way that education is conducted and delivered. I, myself, bring a background in consulting and progressive technology thinking. But I have always had a heart for education and for the way that kids develop the skills necessary to navigate and excel in the world.

It seems to me that we ought to at least consider what it might look like to shift the current paradigm. And that means: 1) exploring the integration of technology into systems of knowledge acquisition that are tried and true; 2) re-evaluating those tried and true methods.

In the last 24 hours I've seen in blogs multiple occurences of the following sentiment shared by young high school students: "When I go to school, I have to power down." I take that to mean a variety of things. Here are two of them: 1) These students are having to back away from technolgies with which they have become "handed". In this case, "handed" means becoming so comfortable or familiar with a task that you can do it without conscious consideration. By the time we're 17, for instance, driving has become a handed activity in that we don't have to carefully consider each step -- we just know; 2) Because technology has given them such incredible access to information -- and, consequently, an improved ability to think for themselves -- these students are, essentially, having to dumb down when they walk into the classroom.

Scary. If we're not pushing them to use, for the purposes of education, the tools that occupy so much of their lives, then isn't the education process fighting against the tide of development that's swelling ever higher?
Hi Derek

What kind of topics you will be discussing here or it will be more of a virtual school.



Great question! Honestly it is a work in progress stemming from a realization- Schools in general are not equiping children with the skills to be able to compete and survive in a flattening world. The questions begs to be asked..."what can education look like in order to do this?

I believe we should consider taking the current system and blowing it up to reconsider something drastically different, something desperately necessary. It is a big conversation that will challenge a lot of people, me included, but we need to have it. Care to join in the conversation?

I agree with a lot of what you say, I've discussed the need for some huge changes a lot in this forum over the last few months . I do think technologies can be a value add in education and I agree there needs to be some major changes in today's schools. but as you plan your "new" schools don't forget content. So many times tech people get wrapped up with the tools and forget the need for rigorous, real and relevant content. I'm retiring in a year, so I'm counting on you to carry on!!
Retired in a year? Perfect, you have a year to get ready to jump in fully to the task at hand:)

Content is the medium by which the big four (critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and technology) will be achieved. I agree with you and your concerns, and appreciate you giving CONTENT a shout out.

Funny to use the phrase "tech person" because I would not consider myself a "tech person" HAHA. I am passionate about learning and helping others become better learners.

Your post intrigues me and I would love to talk more about your perspectives and ideas. Thank you for sharing.

Speak soon
For 25 years I've taught gifted kids (K-6) so your Big Four is very familiar to me. I could add a few more. I think we've done some really powerful work, content + technology, over the years including Guardians of Freedom and our latest project CSI:Cemetery Scene Investigation. We're getting ready to study the Titanic using the original database of passengers and crew to answer some big questions like "Woman and Children first--was it true?" You can see the links to these projects as well as all the other stuff we've done and are doing here. Let me know if I can help you in the future.

I think it is important to relate your learning to the environment and also apply them to situations in real-life. This is not happening with the present curriculum. Let me take my own example, i did study "n" no. of subjects but only 10-15% of what i have learned i am actually using. This really bothers me. Why cant we enrich the content with greater applicability without ignoring the lesser important topics. Also i feel if we have to survive in the flattening world, the learning environment should be multi-faceted. This will only make the transition smooth.


Check this discussion out by clicking on the link to the right in the "by area" section that reads philosophy/pedagogy. it continues in there.

Until then, you ask the question, "Why can't we enrich the content with greater applicability without ignoring the lesser important topics?"

Great question! So let's discuss it from this point- Why do we create or even enrich content? Could we allow and direct learners in their own investigative studies, as the content is uniquely built with each step in the process to suit the learner's interests (child centered)? Could we direct and ask strategic questions to allow learners to dig deeper? Could we direct in a way where students reach into the disciplines that interest them and are much more applicable to their future?

As Anne suggested at one point, long division (or similar things) may not need to be investigated because of what you say in your last post, but also, we can get those answers if we really need them from a calculator, or pay someone in another country to find out for us.

See you in the Philosophy/pedagogy discussion group.

Hi Louise!

I grew up in Reading, PA, but moved to Virginia as a young adult.. A cousin still in Reading, has a daugher who teaches in one of the schools. She is now a science teacher, and she has been the one to update the school web ite in past years. I would truly like to find a history discussion list on Pennsyvlania History. I am on one for Virginia and one for New York. I get the newsletter from Berks County Historical Society, and the editor can sometimes answer my questions.

I have recenttly added a Biology section to my website: but it iis tuned more for the elementary students than to high schoolers. I am open to suggestions for additions over the coming year.



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