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

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Learning to Change - Changing to Learn

By Barbara Bray      October 13, 2008 -- 09:34 AM
The keynoter for the pre-conference of K12 Online Conference Stephen Heppell shared this video on YouTube.

Iíve been thinking about this for as long as I can remember. Schools have to change to keep up with our students. They use technology everyday and schools ban that technology. I worked with independent study programs where students who may have been at risk worked at home and had jobs. Once or twice a week they met at school to follow-up with assignments and sometimes to work on projects.I like the idea about using school as the place for teamwork and projects. Letting students collaborate online using: text messaging, cell phones, and social networks. Use school for teachers to collaborate. Thatís what weíre doing in eCoach: providing online private and public spaces for confidential issues and sharing best practices. Also having a place for teachers to co-author projects and not reinvent the wheel. We can do it!    more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By small Barbara Bray  October 15, 2008 -- 10:23 PM

Cross-Age Cross-Curriculum Projects Change Teaching Practice

By Barbara Bray      October 12, 2008 -- 10:21 PM
The K12 Online Conference starts with the Pre-Conference on October 13. Each of the presenters are posting their presentations as podcasts 20 minutes or less. I am presenting the findings as an audio podcast and PowerPoint presentation. The teachers and students did all the work. Pat Lusher and Cecelia Nauda are coordinating the EETT grant and provided data, documents, and other information included in the powerpoint or as separate files below. Nancy Kuznicki and Donna Blanton shared podcasts about the projects. This presentation is on Thursday, October 23 (Day 4).


Throwing Away the Box...   more...
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Come join us at the K12 Online Conference

By Barbara Bray      October 8, 2008 -- 09:28 AM
I created several teasers with different tools and decided on a short video trailer for my presentation at the K12 Online Conference. We were asked to prepare our presentation in a 20 minute downloadable format. What might be the best way is to create a website with downloadable presentations, videos, podcasts, and files.

What is my presentation about?

I have been very lucky to work with some amazing people in Pinellas County Schools, Florida with the EETT grant for cross-age cross-curriculum projects. This meant that 109 teachers and eMentors were going to design and implement six  6 week ...   more...
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Rigorous or difficult?

By Barbara Bray      October 2, 2008 -- 04:24 PM
I have been reviewing online and face-to-face courses to determine effectiveness. One thing I did notice is the amount of busywork and difficult assignments in both cases that really didnít meet the objectivess.

Let's rethink how we deliver our curriculum so we donít just give work to make sure our students are doing something. A difficult course may be one that provides endless activities that may or may not be relevant because the instructor wants to make sure they touch on multiple products or ideas.

Is this because the instructor wants ...   more...
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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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