Rethinking Learning
conversations about the future of teaching and learning
Barbara Bray
be creative, innovate, take risks, unlearn to learn

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Come join us at the K12 Online Conference

By Barbara Bray      October 8, 2008 -- 09:28 AM
I created several teasers with different tools and decided on a short video trailer for my presentation at the K12 Online Conference. We were asked to prepare our presentation in a 20 minute downloadable format. What might be the best way is to create a website with downloadable presentations, videos, podcasts, and files.

What is my presentation about?

I have been very lucky to work with some amazing people in Pinellas County Schools, Florida with the EETT grant for cross-age cross-curriculum projects. This meant that 109 teachers and eMentors were going to design and implement six  6 week ...   more...
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Can kids teach themselves?

By Barbara Bray      September 2, 2008 -- 09:17 AM
Watch this video from Sugata Mitra from the Lift Conference about his "Hole in the Wall" theory and the absence of formal teaching:








20 minutes but worth watching if we are part of the global society and want to reach our at-risk students. He shares his "Hole in the Wall" experiment. Can kids teach themselves?    more...
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Are schools ready?

By Barbara Bray      September 1, 2008 -- 08:03 AM
Scott McLeod in his post Dangerously Irrelevant responded to Jeff Utecht’s post on preparing our students for the 21st century to be global citizens. Postman & Weingartner’s quote McLeod shared from Teaching as a Subversive Activity is as applicable now as it was in 1969:

What students do in the classroom is what they learn (as Dewey would say) . . . Now, what is it that students do in the classroom? Well, mostly, they sit and listen to the teacher. . . . Mostly, they are required to remember. . . . It is practically unheard of for students to play any role in determining what problems are worth studying or what ...   more...

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State of Schools around the US

By Barbara Bray      July 17, 2008 -- 07:23 AM

I live in California and work around the country. I am appalled about the state of education and how we are leaving more children behind then we ever have before. The focus of "No Child Left Behind" was framed so people thought that we were going to fight for all children. Actually, what has happened is that "Every poor, disadvantaged, learning disabled, at-risk, and minority child is left behind." What kind of country is this that we do this to our future. In today’s SF Chronicle, the headline is 24% of high school students will dropout.

Where are they? What are these dropouts doing now? How ...   more...

Comments: 2   Last Comment By small Mrs. Shannon Riek  July 24, 2008 -- 04:56 PM

No Significant Impact of Reading First Program

By Barbara Bray      May 4, 2008 -- 08:32 AM
President Bush’s Reading First program has had problems from the beginning. There are charges of conflicts of interest, budget fights, and now  the Department of Education finds that it doesn’t work any better than approaches already in place. There was no difference in comprehension scores between students who participated in Reading First and those who did not.

"There was no statistically significant impact on reading comprehension scores in grades one, two or three," Grover J. "Russ" Whitehurst, director of the Institute of Education Sciences, the Education Department’s research arm, ...   more...

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What does understanding mean to you?

By Barbara Bray      April 26, 2008 -- 08:51 AM
In redefining what learning in the 21st century means, I reflected on what learning means to me. I see each day and moment as a learning opportunity. I just came back from a long walk in a beautiful park where the birds were chirping. It was so peaceful and a great place to reflect. I stopped at a bridge over a lake and stood quiet for ten minutes just looking around and taking everything in.

I saw a colorful male mallard duck with his mate. Some questions popped into my head (even though I already knew some of the answers):
  • Why are male birds more colorful than ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By small Roxanne Clement  April 29, 2008 -- 05:26 PM

What does assessment look like to you?

By Barbara Bray      April 12, 2008 -- 07:07 AM
Just read Accountability, Yes. Teaching to the Test, No by Patricia Deubel and have some thoughts. Deubel wrote that before NCLB, many teachers closed their doors and taught what they wanted. There was little accountability on what was taught. However, with NCLB, the pendulum swung way to teach what is taught on the test. She also mentioned teaching to the state standards.

Since I work in multiple states and have most of the standards, I see many inconsistencies between states where some are more rigorous. All have too many standards that touch on content that may or may not be relevant. Historical ...   more...
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