Weekly Learning Links (January 22, 2012)

The one thing that has always been lost on me with the Internet, is how AMAZING articles or blog posts tend to have a huge impact, and then just disappear.  That is why I love using a service like Diigo to bookmark some of my favourite links and categorize them so I can come back to them later.  This week, I wanted to share some great articles that I have found recently and in the past.

1.  Students vs. People – This is a great blog post that really emphasizes the importance of realizing that as teachers, we are not dealing with ‘numbers’ or ‘test scores’ but we are dealing with people every single day.  We need to always be cognizant of that and this is a great reminder of this important fact.

That’s it, they’re people, like the rest of us. They have problems, I have problems. They are individuals, who will do some things well, and other things terribly. I’m really good at playing video games, but I can’t throw a ball all that well. What a lot of people don’t realize about that is that I’ve dislocated my right shoulder nine times, so if I throw a ball too hard, it’s possible that it will come out again. I have a subtext of background information that people need to know if they want to fully understand me. The same goes for my students, my people, that I try to teach everyday.

2.  The Creativity Crisis – This is a great article talking about the importance, but loss of creativity in schools.  There is a focus on creativity not only in North American schools, but all around the world

Around the world, though, other countries are making creativity development a national priority. In 2008 British secondary-school curricula—from science to foreign language—was revamped to emphasize idea generation, and pilot programs have begun using Torrance’s test to assess their progress. The European Union designated 2009 as the European Year of Creativity and Innovation, holding conferences on the neuroscience of creativity, financing teacher training, and instituting problem-based learning programs—curricula driven by real-world inquiry—for both children and adults. In China there has been widespread education reform to extinguish the drill-and-kill teaching style. Instead, Chinese schools are also adopting a problem-based learning approach.

As Sir Ken Robinson says, ““Creativity is as important as literacy”, and we need to recognize its need in our current world.

3.  If Doctors Were Treated Like Teachers – I think this is a powerful article for anyone that says the teaching profession is not important in our world.

4.  Top 10 Ways To Improve Student Achievement and Create Learners – I am not sure that these ‘top 10’ reasons would be my top 10, but they are definitely a good starting point for what can be done in schools.  Here is a sample:

Share a Vision — Review your school’s Mission Statement. Your new vision should be tied to your district’s Mission Statement, but build up on it. The vision should describe why it is important to achieve your mission statement while looking to the future. It should portray what will be achieved if the school is successful in achieving its goals. Everyone should be invested in the vision with a total buy-in from the entire school. You have to keep your eye on the prize and never veer from your vision.

I hope that you have found something useful in these links.  Have a great week!

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by edtechworkshop

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