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.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


What Alan November, in Who Owns the Learning? is really calling for is a revolution. By revolution I mean a change in a socio/political institution. And the institution I am talking about revolutionizing is education, as we know it today. We are in some phase of a revolution already, but it is slow, and cumbersome, and we are fighting, and we are loosing site of the point--purposeful work/learning for school-age children. The revolution calls us to, "use social media, mobile devices, and other information and communication tools to enable kids to make contributions to their classrooms, their communities and across the globe." The revolution asks us to, "take technologies out of the project mold and make them a fundamental part of the learning experience." Take those "thousand dollar pencils" and use them to give kids responsibility for collaboration, contribution, and research in and for  their learning.

Mr. November has a path for that revolutionary change--"by focusing on information systems and the flow of communication, we can define and develop a new educational framework." "Guide students in the complex tasks of innovation and problem solving, and in doing work that makes a contribution to the learning processes of others." Trade the incentives of grades, and other intrinsic and extrinsic rewards for the incentive of meaningful, purposeful work/learning for authentic audiences. Mr. November calls for kids to leave a legacy, make a mark, and that means making school "work"/ learning mean something. All this while still teaching/learning the curriculum with student ownership of experiences that build, deepen, and grow understanding.

So what is standing in our way? Why are we only in a phase of the revolution? Why are we still fighting? Why is the process cumbersome? Why are we in danger of losing the point--purposeful work/learning for school-age children? Well, change is hard--yada, yada, yada. I say giving up control is hard and this revolution is really about who has control, who wants control, who the control should really belong to. We serve to many masters--the nation (the common core, the "Secrete Sixty" people who are writing standards for the nation--haven't heard of this? go to http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2009/07/national_standards_process_ign.htm for an Education Week Teacher blog post) the local district, the local school, the community...need I go on. We have lost site of the one master we should serve--KIDS!

Mr. November has some great ideas for revolutionizing things...I say we drop all these other interests in deference to the one and only interest that counts--purposeful work/learning for school-age children that leads to legacy and global contribution.