Tag Archives: writers

You Should Read… (November 25, 2012)


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Plug Us In

I have been off and on writing this “weekly” post but I think that it is important to recognize some of the great content that I am reading out there that may have been missed in tweets and I like trying to culminate some of my favourite content for others to share in one space.  Here are a few things that I thought were great to share:

1.  Teachers Should Change How They Teach Students Today – There constantly seems to be a back-and-forth about changing teaching practices vs. teaching the way that worked for us as students.  In this great article that was a response to a New York Times piece and then offers a comparison to another article discussing students in an Ethiopian village and how they had learned to hack into a device and do some pretty amazing things:

Kids without schooling, without literacy, HACKED the Androids to turn the camera back on . . . without instruction.  That is a breathtaking example of how learning can happen with new technology if we are open to new ways of peer, community-based, shared learning…What the teachers in the NY Times piece need to take from this Ethiopian experiment–what all of us as educators on every level have to take from this experiment–is that, if we do not think learning is something so dreadfully dull that it has to be regulated, assessed, made compulsory, rule bound, divided into disciplines, and in all other ways “measured out in coffee spoons” (as T. S. Eliot would say), then the potential of kids and all of us to learn is enormous.  I have had to unlearn a lot of my own didactic forms of teaching over the years and have had to learn how to practice what I call “structuring possibilities for openness.”   It means biting my tongue, not solving the problem or coming up with the answers, but providing the opportunities in which students can help one another to learn and having faith that, if I stay back, they will in fact learn because, as humans, learning is what we do, it’s how we thrive.

Has learning changed or the opportunities that make it more conducive and engaging?  Just a question I thought of when reading this article.

2.  The Daily Routines of Famous Writers – I just love some of the quotes and thoughts from this article as that many people are exploring blogs and how we can have students engaged in their own writing.  What I get from the article is that there is not “one-size-fits-all” approach to this but we just have to just start:

“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”

But if we are blogging do students have to write?  Darren Kuropatwa offers a different perspective on what the blogging medium provides and how text is not the only option.  What are some tips that you have to get students and/or teachers to write?

3.  Freedom < —  A Vehicle For LeadershipKristen Swanson refers to a recent Leadership 2.0 session offered by Chris Wejr and shares thoughts on the differences between “Freedom From” and “Freedom To”:

Chris caught my attention by talking about freedom. While everyone wants freedom, some people want “freedom from” and others want “freedom to.”

In unhealthy, fear-based organizations, people want FREEDOM FROM the rules that exist arbitrarily. They want to escape the entire situation. They seek points, credit, dollars, or some other external reward. A leader in this type of organization must constantly monitor the team’s compliance.

In vibrant, collaborative organizations, people want FREEDOM TO innovate, create new structures, and solve problems. A leader in this type of environment simply needs to nurture the ambitions of the team.

So here is my question on this…can a healthy organization have elements of both?  For example, if a leader provides “freedom from” boring staff meetings so that teachers have the “freedom to” spend more time focused on professional learning, is that not what we want?  Kristen discusses this in her own post but what are your thoughts? Is one more important or is there a correlation?

So Star Wars and Disney have created a partnership and I love this “Disney Song” that was created from the movie.

Enjoy!