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

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2 Million Minutes

By Barbara Bray      January 28, 2008 -- 11:17 PM
As I Twitter and learn, I came across Wes Fryer’s blog Moving at the Speed of Creativity about a new documentary called The documentary film “Two Million Minutes” highlights stark contrasts in the educational experiences, perspectives, and expectations of high school students in the United States, China, and India. The film’s title is derived from the mathematical statistic that following eighth grade graduation, students have approximately two million minutes to spend until they graduate from high school. The film’s YouTube trailer gives a taste for its focus and main points.


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Becoming a Teacher 2.0

By Barbara Bray      January 27, 2008 -- 11:12 AM
At Educon 2.0, there are wonderful conversations that I encourage you to read, listen, and share. Wish I could have been there but have been part of the conversations via Twitter and checking out the agendas, handouts, resoures. Thanks to the conference planners, contributors, and presenters!

Konrad Glogowski from the  Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto provided resources on professional development and designing communities of practice for teachers that I wanted to share with you. I like the way you can use Voicethread as a collaborative research tool ...   more...
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Open Letter to Next President

By Barbara Bray      January 26, 2008 -- 08:43 AM
James Comer wrote this Open Letter to the Next President in this week’s edition of Education Week:

There is abundant direct and indirect evidence that students from all backgrounds can thrive in environments designed to promote their development. Given the compelling case for the developmental impact of constructive interactions between young people and the adults around them, and the fact that many school people are not adequately prepared to provide these interactions, the obvious place to begin a program aimed at effecting school improvement is in the preparation and support of future and ...   more...
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Joining Conversations Educon 2.0

By Barbara Bray      January 25, 2008 -- 08:19 AM
On Social Media Citizenship, Alicia wrote that comments are great starting points. Many of the same people are blogging and posting. We used to start our conversations at conference. In fact, I used to go to lots of conferences to network and now I twitter and read and comment on posts. Jan 25-27 Educon 2.0 is going on in Philadelphia.



I would love to be there but am not able to go. I’m going to check out what’s going on virtually. What is
Gary Stager really saying? I love when he pushes the envelope. Will Richardson talks about personal learning networks. Kevin Jarrett and Sylvia Martinez ...   more...
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Growing Up Online

By Barbara Bray      January 21, 2008 -- 11:58 AM
Tomorrow night (Tuesday, January 22) on PBS Frontline is showing "Growing Up Online," where they peer inside the world of the cyber-savvy generation through the eyes of teens and their parents, who often find themselves on opposite sides of a new digital divide. FRONTLINE producer Rachel Dretzin investigates the risks, realities and misconceptions of teenage self-expression on the World Wide Web. . Here’s a trailer:




If you watch it or see archived versions, share your comments on teens today.
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Got Pecha Kucha?

By Barbara Bray      January 19, 2008 -- 09:52 AM
Pecha Kucha (which is Japanese for "the sound of conversation") has tapped into a demand for a forum in which people can present, minus boring content. 20 slides each shown for 20 seconds for a total of 6 minutes 40 seconds. Just think of really fast-powered storytelling before the next presenter is up. This keeps presentations concise, the interest level up and gives more people the chance to present. [source]

Go to Pecha Kucha Night to see presentations going on around the world. This was designed in 2003 for designers to show their work quickly. Daniel Pink writes about Pecha Kucha in his Wired article...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Dean Shareski  April 11, 2008 -- 10:26 AM

Empathy: Making Compassionate Choices

By Barbara Bray      January 12, 2008 -- 08:33 AM
Most of us are so busy that we don’t have time to think of another person and their concerns. Do you know how to tune in to another person if you don’t have the time? With all that is on our plates and, especially now with all of our technology, we tend to focus on ourselves and our issues. Daniel Goleman’s talk Why aren't we all Good Samaritans? from Ted.com made me think about how we learn what we do. Maybe it has alot to do with the choices we make.


Educators, as a service industry, are givers and helpers by nature. We want to make a difference. We want our children to succeed. Teachers tend to only learn what they know or what they learned. In the past six years, our focus has been on increasing student achievement scores in reading and math.

Doesn’t it go deeper than that for many of the children at-risk? Children living in poverty have so many more issues to think about:
  • will I eat tonight?
  • will mom come home?
  • why did my brother have to die?
  • how can I understand math when I can’t understand what the teachers are saying in English?
Society blames teachers for poor scores or the parents. Can it be more than that? We may be going into a recession and many more middle class children will be in trouble.

What will we do then?

Social networking should be about connecting and sharing. Is it about showing how many friends you have? Are these real friends? I notice on some of these sites that it is more about who connects to you, who you know. I joined Facebook when I saw you could add causes. However, very few people give.

How do we bring back compassion and really share, help, give? So some questions:
  • How do we help teachers design curriculum that builds compassionate citizens?
  • How do we encourage teachers to share and open their classroom doors?
  • How do we build community service into all grade levels?
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Trying to define community

By Barbara Bray      January 11, 2008 -- 08:00 AM
I find myself in so many different communities that I am not sure what or how you define what a community is. Maybe there are multiple types of communities depending on the purpose and shared vision of the members of that community. I created a presentation about purpose (Learning Communities for Different Purposes) and plan to keep adding to it. Pretty soon, there’ll be more co-authors adding content about different communities, purposes, etc.

Purpose is important but there are many communities that are just floundering without participation.

My family is my main community. I always touch base ...   more...
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Being Innovative

By Barbara Bray      January 10, 2008 -- 08:06 AM
Do you ever feel that you have already seen everything? Then I see what artists and animators can do with their computer and I’m amazed. Here’s what an animator (Alan Becker) created using flash and stick figures. Took him three months but he says it was worth it. Click below:



Animator vs. Animation by *alanbecker on deviantART    more...
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