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

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What makes a hero?

By Barbara Bray      August 16, 2009 -- 11:41 AM

In these hard times, more people are offering their times and services to others in need. Hereís a few heroes from People magazine who are helping others in their areas:

Cars for Poor Families

Cars for Poor Families
Hal Colston has provied cars to more than 3,000 people for the purpose of getting to work and off welfare.

Free Motel Rooms to the Homeless

Free Motel Rooms to the Homeless
Tim and Nancy Niolai provided free shelter to more than 100 homeless people

Giving a Stranger Shelter

Giving a Stranger Shelter
Marilyn Mock bought a house ...   more...

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Living your Dream

By Barbara Bray      July 22, 2009 -- 09:21 AM
When you have a passion for something, it makes each morning exciting and new. You cannot wait to see what happens next. Doing something you love makes your life have purpose. With the economy in such a mess, especially for our schools and even worse in California, how do many of our educators like me and many of you reading this post, continue doing what you love?

We became teachers to make a difference - for the kids - not for the money. But now, itís starting to hurt. States are in the red and taking money from counties; counties are taking money from cities; cities are grabbing what ...   more...
Comments: 3   Last Comment By small Steven Sanchez  August 10, 2009 -- 04:01 PM

Free Digital Content

By Barbara Bray      July 15, 2009 -- 12:02 PM
The Internet, social networking, and Web 2.0 tools are changing the way we deal with content. In reading Ron Millerís article on the Free Content Conundrum, I can see that publishers like newspapers and even textbook companies are trying to figure out their new business model.

David Meerman Scott states in his books "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" and "World Wide Rave" that the rules are different on the web. He says that good content does it naturally because when people come to your site, the popularity of this content rises, it raises your search engine ranking. Then, even more ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Teresa Roebuck  July 22, 2009 -- 09:49 PM

Is Twitter making Blogging Obsolete?

By Barbara Bray      June 27, 2009 -- 11:16 AM
Are more people coming to your blog via Twitter? Twitter is more of a conversation aggregator. aggregates a connected stream of twitter conversations about your blog post.

I am trying to follow the conversations about this session at EduBlogger Con 09 about Twitter vs Blogging. Iím going to come back and try to make the conversations flow smoother.

Why do you blog? What are you trying to flush out (beginning - middle and end)? You can do this with a blog where with a twitter gets people to learn about your blog. 140 characters is just not enough to reflect on your blog. Twitter actually ...   more...
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Professional Development and Web 2.0

By Barbara Bray      June 27, 2009 -- 06:45 AM
I am sitting with a group of technology integration specialists and professional developers at the Edublogger Con 09 at NECC. First question from Darren Draper was how many of you set up a backchannel at your school.

Liz Davis was hoping are what are some out of the box ideas. What would PD look like if you could envision it in the future?

Boot Camps
Time for Reflection
Teacher Researchers
Building Backchannels

Time - build more time  - Liz shared that independent schools have freedom - and can build this into the schedule. Jeff - you ...   more...
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Encouraging and Empowering Sharing

By Barbara Bray      June 16, 2009 -- 09:47 AM
The new web and social media encourages sharing. Should sharing be by default? When you upload something to Twitter,, or Facebook, you are sharing. But what about anything you post anywhere on the web? I read Wes Fryerís blog and it made me think about sharing.

Hereís a video from Creative Commons Wes shared:

If you use a Creative Commons license on anything you pose, then you are sharing and explaining how others can use your materials. You determine the type of license.

Is this enough for you? I encourage sharing, posting, collaboration. Yet, there still needs to be a secure ...   more...
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Raising Aspirations

By Barbara Bray      June 13, 2009 -- 09:22 AM
School Matters - Raising Aspirations

Prime Minister Gordon Brown shares case studies on the importance of raising the achievements of school children. The video looks at the challenges of closing the achievement gap between the rich and poor with examples like KIPP schools.

Do small schools make the difference? How do we keep small schools in the public school system with the budget constraints?

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Is the Bologna Process what U.S. needs?

By Barbara Bray      May 22, 2009 -- 08:55 AM
The Bologna Process, named after the Italian city in which it was created, allows students and professors to attend or work at universities in the 46 participating countries. European leaders think the process will increase competitiveness and attract top international scholars.

Can the United States benefit from the Bologna Process or is it falling behind Europe?

Universities in the participating countries still have varying levels of quality. Some students are better prepared for college than others. The Bologna Process allows students from any of the participating countries to attend universities ...   more...
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Is Unschooling for You?

By Barbara Bray      April 29, 2009 -- 07:09 AM
My experience with school in the 1950's and 60's left me questioning myself if I was smart. I didn't have confidence in myself in most of my K-12 life. I was an average student, shy. I grew up outside of Washington D.C. where girls were not allowed to wear pants and patent leather shoes. Really! My high school is still standing and looks like every other high school in the area. I know girls wear pants now but the structure, the teacher-centered classrooms - those are very similar to my experience.

It took going to college to realize that a more open-ended structure worked for me. Yet, it still ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By Dennis Imoto  April 29, 2009 -- 10:42 PM

Facebook Etiquette

By Barbara Bray      April 19, 2009 -- 07:54 AM
Since so many people I know are using Facebook, I thought Iíd share some rules when using Facebook with you. Enjoy!

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