Susan Cain: The power of introverts | Talk Video | TED

Being a strong extrovert, learning about introverts made me rethink so many of my — and society’s — existing paradigms. What social behaviors do we value? How do we teach kids?

My kids are both strong introverts. My daughter is probably off the charts, although as a teen-ager, she also enjoys being with friends. However, she avoids large events, has a small, tight group of friends, and craves having a full day of time all by herself. A full day of school exhausts her.

Where does this leave her academically? As Susan Cain explains, school now revolves largely around group activities. Even if the work is done on your own, you’re always surrounded by other people – up to 35 or more kids in a classroom.

No wonder she retreats to the safety of her phone in school. It’s one way to be by herself in a sea of humanity.


Understanding Ukraine: The Problems Today and Some Historical Context – YouTube

I love John Green. He talks so fast, I think he gets in twice as much info as anyone else….

I cannot evaluate the content in this video, as I know next to nothing about the situation in Ukraine.

I do know, however, that John Green has nailed how students – and adults – learn. I learned more about the situation in this 6 minute video (which I watched twice) than I have in the last few weeks.

Green makes great use of using history to understand a current situation. There is really no way to understand what’s going on there without knowing the history, but he does a great job moving through the essentials, and demonstrating how history, geography and politics all contribute to the current situation.

Wouldn’t it be great if students were empowered to do this type of assignment? Not only does video production require writing (like a paper), it also requires visual literacy skills. Yeah! 21st century skills!

Professionally, I would love to be able to produce content out this quickly as it relates to current events. I’m not keeping my fingers crossed….


RSA Animate — Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

Daniel Pink’s talk on Motivation doesn’t address education at all. But it should. It applies directly – and it’s all the things we don’t see in the traditional school model.

Pink says three things drive motivation:
1. Autonomy
2. Mastery
3. Purpose

Are any of these three things currently honored in the traditional high school model? Nope. Not in my experience.

Autonomy: kids aren’t even allowed to go to the bathroom when they want. Bells tell them when to go where. they are penalized for not being in a certain place at a certain time. they are heavily penalized for not memorizing the type of content the school tells them they need to know. they often have limited choice of classes.

Mastery: how can you possibly master a subject when you skim over content in a big hurry to get to the next unit? When you teach all of World History in two trimesters, spending 12 minutes on slavery? (My daughter’s example.) When you teach math separately from science, when you teach all subjects as separate entities?

Purpose: Ask any high school student why they’re learning what they’re learning. Is it for the betterment of society? to improve themselves? Nope – it’s likely for a good test score, to get into college, or for those already disengaged, it’s to get through school. Wow. That’s real purpose.

Smart, intelligent, motivated kids get disengaged from school. They are smart enough to see that playing the game of working for a standardized test score isn’t enough. The game of college admissions isn’t enough. We’re making them disengage by forcing them into a setting void of purpose.

Hopefully they make it through high school with enough self-esteem left to find a place that allows them to reach their potential.


The Learning Revolution

I had the honor of hearing Jonathan Mooney speak recently. This is an excellent quick peek at his message of the need for a different look at education. We can no longer define intelligence as just reading, as the good kid is the one who sits still.

Just watch it. It’s only 7 minutes.