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

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Online Learning Challenges

By Barbara Bray      July 23, 2010 -- 07:47 AM

Designing Online Learning Environments that Engage Learners
(first published on OnCUE Summer 2010 Vol. 32 No. 2 p. 10-11 and cross posted on barbarabray.net)

Teaching online is fundamentally different than teaching face-to-face. The design of effective online learning environments requires rethinking teaching practices. The rapid advances of educational technology encourages the growth of collaborative online learning experiences unconstrained by time and space. Even so, students may not learn from technology alone; they learn with the support of competent facilitators ...   more...

Comments: 1   Last Comment By ibrahim betil  February 10, 2011 -- 11:58 PM

Tread Softly on Their Dreams

By Barbara Bray      May 25, 2010 -- 01:10 PM
Sir Ken Robinson talk explains about doing your passion, doing what you are good at and personalizing learning. It's all the things I've been saying for so long. Not everyone is supposed to go to college. How he puts it is that human talent is diverse. It's the diversity that makes us who we are. School, starting in Kindergarten, is focused on getting everyone into college and follows the manufacturing model. That model is broken. He is so right. We are in a revolution and reforming this model will not make it work. I'm curious what you think of his talk. It's under 17 minutes but I highly recommend ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Khephra  May 25, 2010 -- 03:25 PM

Vote and Sign Petition for 21st Century Students

By Barbara Bray      March 7, 2010 -- 10:00 AM
I just set up a petition on Change.org for 21st Century Students. I looked through all the causes and did not see a cause that mentioned this so I decided to start one. I need your help in getting this cause noticed. Go to Vote for 21st Century Citizens.


Let me know if I need to change anything. Please share and encourage others to vote. The timeline is short. Thanks!    more...
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Technology's Impact on Learning

By Barbara Bray      February 14, 2010 -- 10:14 AM
Technology may not make the difference in how a student learns. What makes a difference is the learning environment: how the teacher designs learning, and how they use and integrate technology appropriately. In some cases, maybe no technology is appropriate. In-class discussions may work better. Think-Pair-Share where students are looking into each othersí eyes works well and may increase their self-esteem. Maybe going outside or on field trips. However, there are wonderful opportunities for technology where there is no access to valuable resources.

Add video conferencing for a field trip ...   more...
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Participating Online

By Barbara Bray      February 10, 2010 -- 06:41 PM
What does it mean to participate online? I asked a few of my teacher friends this who are more of the boomer age category. Many told me they really only felt comfortable with email. Some of them joined Facebook and have added friends. They usually do not comment on status updates from their friends. They send them a personal message.

At first, I thought that feeling comfortable only emailing instead of posting or commenting is only with boomers, but I am finding that people of all ages use different social media and participate in online learning communities for different purposes and in ...   more...
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Ways to Learn Math

By Barbara Bray      October 28, 2009 -- 01:07 PM
Math is beautiful. Anyway thatís what Iíve been told. When I was growing up, I understood numbers and practical math right away. I was able to add and subtract quickly. Times tables. No problem! You should see me count my cards in cribbage. I got some math like recognizing patterns everywhere.  Fibonacci Theory. Yes! I see it.

Then I was exposed to Algebra and abstract concepts. I just didnít get it. If only I had easy explanations like this:



What if we changed school so students taught each other math concepts and used the Internet to connect, share, and publish?    more...
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Reflections on Teams, Learning, and your Digital Footprint

By Barbara Bray      September 23, 2009 -- 12:18 PM
I always tell myself to stop, think, reflect on your day. I haven't done that as much reflecting as I would like. Today, I decided to share my reflections on what I think about school today and what learning means to me.

I work at home. All of our eCoaches either work at home or after their regular jobs. That's what's so cool about working online. You can do this anywhere at anytime. Schools are still designed around the agricultural model and we seem to be stuck with it just like we're stuck with the QWERTY keyboard. I type fast. I'm used to this keyboard but it was created in the late 1800s to ...   more...
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Each Day is a New Day

By Barbara Bray      August 30, 2009 -- 10:41 AM
Iím learning something every day. I moved this weekend. Iím learning that it is okay to
  • make mistakes
  • not lift a box that is too heavy
  • get rid of stuff
  • appreciate family and friends
  • not do anything
  • take naps when I need them
  • meditate
  • garden
  • play with my dog
  • go for a walk
I know this sounds like something that I should already know and do, but I am a multi-tasker. I was born that way. Actually, it is very difficult for me not to be busy. Thatís why I love blogging, writing, networking, creating projects in My eCoach, and reading. I plan to not plan on some days and be more spontaneous. Each day is a gift. ...   more...
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Living your Dream

By Barbara Bray      July 22, 2009 -- 09:21 AM
When you have a passion for something, it makes each morning exciting and new. You cannot wait to see what happens next. Doing something you love makes your life have purpose. With the economy in such a mess, especially for our schools and even worse in California, how do many of our educators like me and many of you reading this post, continue doing what you love?

We became teachers to make a difference - for the kids - not for the money. But now, itís starting to hurt. States are in the red and taking money from counties; counties are taking money from cities; cities are grabbing what ...   more...
Comments: 3   Last Comment By small Steven Sanchez  August 10, 2009 -- 04:01 PM

Is Unschooling for You?

By Barbara Bray      April 29, 2009 -- 07:09 AM
My experience with school in the 1950's and 60's left me questioning myself if I was smart. I didn't have confidence in myself in most of my K-12 life. I was an average student, shy. I grew up outside of Washington D.C. where girls were not allowed to wear pants and patent leather shoes. Really! My high school is still standing and looks like every other high school in the area. I know girls wear pants now but the structure, the teacher-centered classrooms - those are very similar to my experience.

It took going to college to realize that a more open-ended structure worked for me. Yet, it still ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By Dennis Imoto  April 29, 2009 -- 10:42 PM

Bring Play back into the Classroom

By Barbara Bray      March 19, 2009 -- 11:16 AM
Something really got to me today. I received this report on Play Disappearing from the Kindergarten Classroom. What happened? We ask our children to grow up way too fast and then life comes hurdling toward them full speed. They have to be able to test well. Why? Whoís test?

A good friend of mine who was a Kindergarten teacher quit - retired after 25 years. She couldnít stand spending hours on hours teaching children how to fill in a bubble on the test sheet. She had to cut down on reading time, cut down on play time, cut down on singing, dancing, art. I even think this is starting to happen ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Linda George  March 19, 2009 -- 12:37 PM

Challenge for our Future

By Barbara Bray      March 12, 2009 -- 09:19 AM
Today teaching and learning is changing before our eyes. This is the crucial time to design what learning will look like. I challenge you to come up with ideas for our children and grandchildren.

Take a look at most schools today They usually are placed centrally in a community. They start at 8 and close at 3. Very little happens before or after school now because of funding issues. It is a closed campus so community members are not allowed on campus. Students move from grade level to grade level. Teachers manage the classroom. Principals manage the teachers. Teachers tend to be isolated in their ...   more...
Comments: 6   Last Comment By Carlotta  March 26, 2009 -- 08:30 AM

Watch a baby learn and laugh

By Barbara Bray      November 26, 2008 -- 06:54 AM
Since the holidays are coming up, lots of families are taking time to enjoy each other. I am spending lots of time with my 9 month old granddaughter and am amazed at how much she is learning each day. I took Cali out to a local park and a father and son were flying remote control airplanes. We were watching. Next thing I knew Cali started talking and laughing.

The weird thing is that this laugh is the laugh I had when I was young. My daugher Sara, Caliís mother, had the same laugh. Are laughs genetic? In any case, I wanted you to have a good laugh and enjoy Caliís Laugh.


Caliís Laugh
RSSSubscribe Podcast: http://my-ecoach.com/podcast.php?rid=42912


   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By small Sara Zimmerman  February 23, 2009 -- 04:06 PM

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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