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

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Education Candidate? Rethink Issues - Collaborate on Visions

By Barbara Bray      February 28, 2008 -- 10:02 AM
USA Today shared an opinion by Wendy Purlefoy about which one of the candidates is really the education candidate. She lists real issues that need to be considered including:

....candidates should answer these five questions:

  1. Fifteen percent of our nation's schools are overcrowded. As a result, teachers say they spend an inordinate amount of time policing classrooms. Do you have a plan for relieving this overcrowding?
  2. How will you ensure that children attend schools that are places of teaching and learning, not violence and crime?
  3. Teacher recruitment, retention and quality are suffering. ...   more...
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Filling the Gap

By Barbara Bray      February 24, 2008 -- 09:30 AM
Iím a baby boomer. Turning 60 this year. I used to think this was old. Now I feel like itís a new stone to turn over. Problems with getting older is mostly physical. Most of my fellow boomers are ed techies who love this stuff. They blog, comment, connect, and share maybe even more than the next generation.

Like a lot of my friends I started in the 80s buying the first desktop computers. Think I had the first laptop (weighed 20 pounds) and first Apple (cost me $4,200 then). I was so with it. Loved it. Still hooked. With the new social networking tools, Iím just like my kids ...   more...
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Saving our Kids

By Barbara Bray      February 21, 2008 -- 07:53 AM
Have you had enough? I listen and cry. What is happening in our urban schools? The dropout rate is higher than ever and these arenít stupid kids. They are smart - street smart but we dump them because they cannot pass the tests. I bet I couldnít have passed the math test when I was in high school. But thatís not the problem. Poor kids are going to be out - trying to get work - without a degree. What can they do? How can we help them?

Will Olkin wrote They Schools in the New York Times today. He quoted a teacher concerned about the status quo and not doing anything that will make a difference:

ďWe ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By jsteph  February 21, 2008 -- 09:21 AM

Meme: Passion Quilt

By Barbara Bray      February 19, 2008 -- 10:32 PM

Thanks to Barbara Cohen of Independent Thinking for tagging me for this cool Passion Quilt meme.

Directions: Find or create an image that captures what you are most passionate for kids to learn about.



I took this picture from the air of the Hayward salt ponds. What I like about this is how you can find beauty from most anywhere. Patterns on the ground make a real quilt to enjoy. The world looks different from above and now with Google Earth, students can find these patterns and leave a placemark with facts, images, videos, and even create an audio podcast. This picture is in our
eLibrary...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Andrea Hernandez  February 20, 2008 -- 06:18 AM

What happens when a language dies?

By Barbara Bray      February 11, 2008 -- 09:05 AM
Have you ever heard of the Eyak language? With the death of Marie Smith of Alaska, this aboriginal language has died. With the spread of English and suppression of native languages, more will end.

Chief Marie Smith Jones, the last fluent speaker of the Eyak language of the Alaskan Indians, died in January at her home in Anchorage. She was 89. Chief Jones worked diligently to preserve her native tongue and other indigenous Alaskan languages. She was the last person to have learned the language the traditional way, taught as a child from her parents. A tribute in the SitNews.

Her long-time ...   more...

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What is it all about anyway?

By Barbara Bray      February 9, 2008 -- 01:54 PM
I always knew my heart was focused on children. I believe that every child is gifted and special and wonderful. When they are born, they are so innocent and sweet. My first grandchild was born yesterday and I cannot even tell you the feelings I have. First I was relieved knowing the baby is healthy, then that my daughter was okay, that Cali has all of her fingers and toes and is alert. It didnít matter if the baby was a boy or girl. I was anxious, relieved, impatient to meet her, wanting to help in any way.

Meet Cali Ann (born Feb 8th)

Cali will be loved and spoiled (especially by me). She will ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Barbara  February 11, 2008 -- 11:13 AM

Do you have Social Networking Etiquette?

By Barbara Bray      February 3, 2008 -- 08:36 AM
I keep adding myself to more and more social networks. I twitter, post on Facebook, keep del.icio.us tags, connect on LinkedIn, etc. etc.  I know that my children, my nieces and nephews use Facebook daily. Watching what they and their friends post, I wonder if they realize that the world is watching. Alison Miller wrote in her blog Connecting in a Connected World her questions about Facebook and SNet-iquette:

We need to teach people about SNet-iquette (Social Network ettiquette), and the positive and negative effects of their online íbehaviourí, and how they are creating an online ídigital ...   more...
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Proposed cuts in Budget

By Barbara Bray      February 1, 2008 -- 04:39 PM
Oh no! The Federal budget is slashing education - completely eliminating educational technology. Here's a summary:
  • Reading First would be restored to $1 billion. That's the amount it received in fiscal 2007, before Congress whacked it down to $393 million.
  • Title I grants to schools districts would increase $406 million, or 2.9 percent, to $14.3 billion.
  • Special education grants to states ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By small Lisa Dilles  February 10, 2008 -- 01:58 PM