Why This Blog? Why Now? Why This title?

I am no longer blogging under duress. This part remains true: I had a blog once and I lost the password...and then, I gave up. I really am not a giver-upper, but there is a point of diminishing returns to anything that takes energy, passion, and vision and yet, doesn't work out. So, off I go again, wish me luck! AND knock on wood I have had luck. And it is sort of fun.

P.S. Why this title? I read this phrase today 6/16, don't remember where. I liked it. I'm using it. I might change it. It may or may not have relationship to the content.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

QR Codes Finally Have a Purpose

Finally, I can see the point and the possible power of using QR codes ( do you call them codes?) in my professional life...I am going to use them to tell visitors more about my school; The Renaissance Magnet School, an Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound School. I'll build web sites or record explanations of various philosophical pieces of our magnet school and publish the QR code to the website so that vistiors have access. I might put the QR codes close to the object/poster/painting that needs explanation and/or publish the codes in a handout.

I am also going to use them as tools to further explain our "brochure" wall. Let me further explain:) There is a big wall down our main hall way that we use to keep our community aware and engaged with current Learning Expeditions. As crews do field work, or create products, or engage in projects, photos of student learning go up on the "brochure" wall. We (I) call it a "brochure" wall because the detail is in the pictures and not in the text...so it resembles a big brochure "advertising" the ongoing Learning Expeditions. This is where the QR codes come in...I am going to start including QR codes in the display so that visitors can get a bit more information and/or student reflection/explanation if they wish. For example; I will use a QR code to direct visitors to the website detailing the gold mine our fourth graders visited as part of their field work. I think it is exciting to think about asking teachers to video students explaining the learning experiences depicted in the pictures. I'll create a web site or youtube video, and then use the QR code to direct visitors to student's talking about the experiences shown in the pictures. Great idea huh! Like all great ideas this one came from collaboration at a regional tech conference. The QR code session was facilitated by Liz Walhof...thanks Liz!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Rest of the Book

I'm going to take the twitter approach to the rest of the book, "Making Learning Whole" By David Perkins.   I'll take the authors sage advice (pg 219 and also somewhere in the beginning) "do not read this book too closely". I feel that is exactly what I have done, although interesting and through enough, I'll stay true to the sprit with which this book was written and try the 140 character summaries.

I left off at the Chapter; Play Out of Town....Shepard the transfer of learning, ZOPD is real, necessary and effective, learn to do by doing, ask, "where else is today's learning useful?"

Chapter 5; Uncover the Hidden Games....all lrnng has hidden aspects, dimensions, perspectives, 4ex; hidden strategies, causal thnkng, inquiry, powr. Games hide n simplicity,  "good enough", almost unconscious knowledge, readiness, so...empower learners to uncover the games

Chapter 6; Learn From the Team....+other teams, participation structures...including wkshp model. We are social animals, Vygotsky=social scaffolding....rule: "Hardly anyone does anything solo for long." How can paring learners and learning in groups serve learning?

Finally, Chapter 7; Learn the Game of Learning...learn how to learn=putting lrnrs in the driver's seat, avoid the shallow 4 shallow's sake=avoid the passenger seat (i.e just the facts and skills), go for deep=reaching for comp, learning the game of learning=name and label the games as they happen...games accessible to students

In the end I think Dr. Perkin's advice was well taken...even though I read the book closely, trying to stick to the 140 character summary, (and I didn't always make it... ) helped me visualize the big rocks. More advice...pick a place to start...his advice...play the whole game.