Sunday, January 26, 2014

What if? Blogpost- What if our nation had a patriotic zeal for education? #GoTeamUSAEducation

#GOTEAMUSA   #GoTeamUSAEducation

Today, I read with interest "Biggest Lugers" ( the  +ESPN  article written by +Chris Jones @Mysecondempire. I think that Tucker West, @TuckerWest1 US Olympic Luge team member, is blessed with a father who believes in the Olympic dream.  As a former college athlete, each Olympic season rekindles the thrill of patriotic zeal. Today, however, I pondered more deeply. WHAT IF?

WHAT IF parents/guardians spent as much time and money concentrating on the education of their students as they do on their recreational activities? I do realize that often it is the college athletics that can keep a college afloat due to the perception of a great athletic dynasty. Athletics adds fun and spice to any school. BUT...

WHAT IF parents/guardians/administrations cared more about the academic outcomes of their students?

WHAT IF students cared more about their academic outcomes than about the Friday night game, or what dress they wore to homecoming, or who would be homecoming queen?

WHAT IF diversity in school was more about the diverse schools to which our students were accepted, than about the race of the students in the school?

WHAT IF more parents/guardians/administrations were willing to extravagantly invest their time and money into academic outcomes as Brett West invested in creating a backyard luge?

Somewhere along the educational pathway in the USA, athletics and other non-academic activities became the way to keep students in school. National educational mandates now force accountability for test scores and graduation rates. Hopefully, we'll see our nation expressing patriotic zeal for #teamUSAEducation

What are your what ifs?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

EdcampHOME and Paleo/Primal are tied together?  YES! (at least in my mind)

There is a certain primitive feeling to the education sphere currently.  It is a certain undeniable desperate feeling.   There are the defenders of #commoncore and the #edureform movement that seem to be battling each other when we should really be working together for the good of all of our students.

The Edcamp format is about teachers having choice and voice. EdcampHOME is an online Edcamp format that harnesses the power of Google through G+ and Ghangouts. Participants post their ideas for discussions/session ideas. The sessions were voted upon by the members and then moderators created a hangout for participants. The technological aspects can be a bit bewildering to those new to the power of Google. I, myself struggled-but still managed to ask questions in an On Air segment about Rebellion in education, and Hangout with a fellow curriculum director in my state. Huge shoutout to the organizers and moderators of @EdcampHOME!

So, how does the Paleo/Primal part tie in?  Great question!  As educators were scurrying about hunting and gathering connections and hangouts- the primitive met the 21st century. This year, I've noticed that a number of educators in my local sphere and my virtual sphere like @twhitford and @JessicaMPitts are on the Paleo/primal bandwagon.  These educators are powering their bodies with densely packed nutrients. I've also realized that these same Paleo/Primal educators deeply desire the best for their students and are willing to go the extra mile. It is this primal educational feeling that empowers Edcamps.  I find it strangely akin to our first one room school house teachers. They did it all! They did not sit passively waiting for someone on high to provide curriculum, supplies, or professional development on classroom management. These one room schoolhouse teachers were primitive, but knew how to help their students achieve.

As educators, we need to reach back to our primitive roots in the one room schoolhouse and make the connections within our community to power our classrooms and our profession.  Let's be Paleo/Primal educators!

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