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

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Building Trust in Online Communities

By Barbara Bray      February 9, 2010 -- 08:10 AM
Mutual trust is a shared belief that you can depend on each other to achieve a common purpose. [How to Build Trust]

Have you joined a lot of online communities? If so, which ones are you an active member? Why? Could trust be one part of it? Each community is designed around a purpose or shared vision. If each member realizes their personal goals are in sync with the goals or purpose of the community or their goals helped design the community goals, then each person will work to keep the community going. When there is no purpose, the community falls apart. [Purpose in Learning Communities...   more...
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Are you blocking creativity?

By Barbara Bray      January 29, 2010 -- 08:45 AM
After reading Brian Clark's post "Do you recognize these 10 mental blocks to creative thinking?", I get it why it takes so long to change education. Clark wrote:

People like to call this “thinking outside of the box,” which is the wrong way to look at it. Just like Neo needed to understand that “there is no spoon” in the film The Matrix, you need to realize “there is no box” to step outside of.

You create your own imaginary boxes simply by living life and accepting certain things as “real” when they are just as illusory as the beliefs of a paranoid delusional. The difference is, enough people ...   more...

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A Whole New Mind about Education

By Barbara Bray      January 23, 2010 -- 05:27 PM
My eCoach’s Book Club
book until 2/15/10.
I just finished "A Whole New Mind" by Daniel Pink for our book club. I’ve participated in conferences, read books, and watched TED videos that talk about bringing creativity and innovation back to the classroom. My last post was about how Piaget explains that schools were designed to train our factory workers and where that model isn’t working anymore. From Pink’s book, Piaget’s explanation, and so many other sources that I am learning about, we are in the midst of CHANGE, if we like it or not.

Educators created a system, just like the QWERTY keyboard, ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By small Barbara Bray  January 25, 2010 -- 05:38 PM

Passive vs Active Education

By Barbara Bray      January 21, 2010 -- 06:43 PM
Today's schools are not much different than schools in the early 1900s. Most schools in the US continue to have a 180 day schedule with almost 3 months off in the summer. Schools are open about 6 hours a day. Teachers usually work isolated in their classrooms behind closed doors. Schools were designed to complement our factory model. We needed factory workers who would follow orders and not think on their own. Anyway, that's what we got: a passive education. A few of us (including me) didn't fit in this model very well. I tried but found that I wanted to go in a different direction or had a better ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Cheri  July 26, 2010 -- 06:33 PM

Linking Data

By Barbara Bray      January 4, 2010 -- 12:58 PM
I’m sitting in the Oakland airport waiting for my delayed plane. Thought I’d post a new blog after listening to a Ted Talk from Tim Berners-Lee about Linked Data. How cool that the airport has free Wifi. Berners-Lee actually is the inventor of the Internet 20 years ago. In this talk he shares what the future of the web will be all about. This talk was almost a year ago yet is still timely. We are connecting, sharing, and uploading pictures (data) all over the web. What does this mean to you, your data, and your future?



I see this happening more with social networks and other types of online communities like Ning and My eCoach. However, our school structure is still built around closed systems. Administrators and those continuing to protect the past state that "the data is to be protected." Students hand in papers to their teacher and no one else ever sees that report. What if the research that a student does solves a universal problem that could help mankind? Will that teacher recognize that the research (data) is valuable and needs to be shared?

How do you encourage teachers to open their classroom doors and let students share? What about teachers sharing best practices? This can be done pretty easily by putting up examples of student work, reflections on the process, short video clips of the lesson being implemented, etc.

Just imagine if students could connect their research and ideas (data) on global warming. Students might even come up with a solution.

After all it is their future.
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Future of Schools 2020

By Barbara Bray      December 28, 2009 -- 08:20 AM
By 2020, I cannot see in my vision our school buildings used in the same manner they are today: 180 days a year open only for students. I read Larry Cuban’s post this morning about his end of year prediction of classrooms in the future. It’s almost 2010 and there has to be more than thinking about what we have today and relating it to ten years from now.

Here’s what I hope to see: schools and public libraries as community learning centers available to all learners open 24/7 supplemented with online courses, professional development, coaching, networking, and publishing. There is even a Federal ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Tommy  January 4, 2010 -- 12:33 PM

What happened to all the cards?

By Barbara Bray      December 18, 2009 -- 08:35 AM
This is the first year I received more holiday greetings by email and Facebook instead of the number of cards I usually get. Yes, there are still some traditionalists (guess I’m one about this issue) who sent out some cards. I have display the ones I receive on my mantel. Am I supposed to print out what I receive online? Just doesn't seem the same. If people are purchasing items online, sending eCards, and Skyping instead of visiting their families, will this affect our economy? Of course!

The economy is affecting how much you spend on holiday presents and cards, but now there are alternatives ...   more...
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Disrupting Schools amid a Revolution

By Barbara Bray      December 17, 2009 -- 04:27 PM
It seems like everything is changing. We’re in the middle of a revolution and many don’t know it. There are many people that want to continue the status quo. So what is the status quo?

A top-down system where teachers teach the set agenda with standards, tests, and text books. Each teacher is assigned a classroom where they usually close the door and teach in isolation. Schools start at 8am and end at 3pm. It is rare that the schools are used before or after schools because of less funding. Students sit in rows, answer questions that are asked of them by the teacher, write papers that only the ...   more...
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DELC Conversations

By Barbara Bray      December 10, 2009 -- 09:20 AM
I am very lucky to have been invited to join the Digital Education Leadership Conference (DELC) for a second year. The invitees come from all over the US and are respected leaders and innovative thinkers. Last year we worked on the Students’ Education Proclamation.

We started with a Kick-Off Dinner with the theme: Careers of the Future. Steve Heard shared a great video trailer of The Futures Channel that helped us brainstorm what the future of education will look like. We were given homework to come up with either acronyms like LOL, proverbs, or a prequel to a movie.

Everyone came up with ...   more...
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Digital Democracy in a Global Environment

By Barbara Bray      December 6, 2009 -- 09:51 AM
Article adapted from my column in OnCUE Winter 2009:

The world is shrinking. Boundaries are fading between schools, organizations, and countries.  The Internet has changed every sector of business and education. Businesses and governments are developing strategies to address how they are using technology in their daily operations, marketing, and future planning. Why not schools?

We are in the middle of a digital revolution. Younger generations are challenging the status quo with the words ’So what?’ ’I’m not so sure about that’ or ’Well that’s one opinion among many.’

In 1995, Don Tapscott ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By Anna  December 30, 2009 -- 10:11 AM

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