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

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Check out the K12 Online Conference

By Barbara Bray      September 14, 2008 -- 09:56 AM



The K12 Online Conference 2008 invites participation from educators around the world interested in innovative ways Web 2.0 tools and technologies can be used to improve learning. This FREE conference is run by volunteers and open to everyone. The 2008 conference theme is ďAmplifying PossibilitiesĒ. This yearís conference begins with a pre-conference keynote the week of October 13, 2008. The following two weeks, October 20-24 and October 27-31, forty presentations will be posted online to the conference blog for participants to download and view. Live Events in the form of three ďFireside ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Ken  September 15, 2008 -- 08:38 PM

Making Movie of Project for Teaser

By Barbara Bray      September 13, 2008 -- 10:02 AM
I am learning different programs to create a teaser for my presentation at the K12 Online Conference on Cross-Age Cross-Curriculum Projects from Pinellas County Schools in Florida. This presentation will be sharing how these projects were developed, impacted student achievement, and new projects they are starting this year. Hereís one I made this morning with Animoto. Each of the presenters will probably create one or more teasers for their presentations. Iím still learning so will probably make a few more with different programs. Any feedback is welcome!


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School Should Not Be Boring!

By Susie Johnson      September 12, 2008 -- 06:30 PM
I cringe when I hear anyone say that school is/was boring!  Isn't it time we put our (really) best practices back in school?    School reform has brought about many changes through the years, but the one area that has really been catching the joy of learning again is career technical education and regional occupational programs (CTE/ROP).  Students that do not pass a high school math class are required to repeat it.  Ugh!  No wonder a student can feel bored if he or she is forced to sit in the same seat and hear the same curriculum and still not understand ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By small Barbara Bray  September 13, 2008 -- 10:22 AM

How did the birds do that?

By Barbara Bray      September 9, 2008 -- 09:22 AM
I was just in Portland and went with my son and niece to watch the Vaux Swifts funnel into a chimney at Chapman Elementary School. There must have been over 50,000 swifts flying in formation, diving at the chimney, and then flying off again for 2 hours. It was a beautiful dance where the audience (thousands of people) would ooh and ahh as the birds got closer to the chimney and then flew off again.

Then they somehow knew it was time to swirl and funnel into the chimney.

Vaux Swifts RSSPodcast: http://my-ecoach.com/podcast.php?rid=37671

How did they know when to group together and fly as a funnel?
Why ...   more...
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Joy in Learning

By Barbara Bray      September 9, 2008 -- 08:40 AM
How many times have you heard from students "School is boring?" That doesn't have to be the case. I read Joy in School in the latest Educational Leadership and it all made sense especially now with the emphasis on testing. We need to bring back Joy and an excitement about what people learn. Not just memorization. My take on the points in this article:

Make Learning Pleasurable
When you were young, why did you learn? Not what you learned in school, but outside of school. Most of the time it was because you were excited about something. You wanted to learn how to ride a horse - not because it was ...   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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Death of the Credit Card Economy

By Barbara Bray      September 1, 2008 -- 09:31 AM
I read this article on Slate after finding a link to it on Twitter. Maybe this article is a little disheartening but I am finding that I am and others in my family are spending less. Iím relearning all the things I learned when I was a little girl (long ago) that "a penny saved is a penny earned."

Credit made life too easy. See an outfit you need, buy it. So what if you donít have any money, charge it. Want to go on a trip? Charge it. Pay for it later over several years. It got too easy for all of us and now itís coming to back to us. We became too greedy and wanted stuff. The best cars. A bigger ...   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 Utechtís post on preparing our students for the 21st century to be global citizens. Postman & Weingartnerís 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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