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Lisa Nielsen

TTT#285 Who drops out? with Nick Perez, Todd Finley, Alex Pappas, Troy Hicks, Lisa Nielsen, Teresa Bunner, Lisa Nielsen 2.22.12


59:59 minutes (13.73 MB)

On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers +Paul Allison +Monika Hardy, and +Chris Sloan welcome many different perspectives on the important question of Who drops out? Why? Does it matter? What alternatives are available?

teachers285

With a wonderful mix of thoughtful people we explore how questions about “engagement”—even what it means—help us have productive dialogues about what good teaching and learning looks like and what might change in our schools. Each of us in this conversation are working to reconsider our assumptions and to recast our questions about student engagement in high school and beyond. Please add to this mix by listening in and adding to the comments below.

Nick found our conversation and had this poignant, detailed response, which I can’t figure out how to excerpt, so here it is in full. Nick wrote to us:

I don’t think high-school is for everyone - just like college isn’t for everyone. This might not be a popular opinion, but I’d love to see more of a focus on alternative forms of education for dropouts, and less of a focus on forcing them to stay in schools where they don’t feel productive. A little background on how I formed that opinion:
I’m a high-school dropout. I wrote my first program when I was ~10 years old, and spent my time coding instead of doing schoolwork. Everyone knew that I was educating myself, but I was still treated like a troublemaker because of my grades. After being placed in a horrible, kind of humiliating special-ed program in middle school (I had someone following me around all day, making sure I was paying attention), I started skipping school because I felt alienated. I’ve never been allowed in a regular high-school classroom (I was in a small program for troubled kids, where it wasn’t unusual for a student to be out for weeks/months due to jail-time), which made me feel further alienated, and motivated me to skip class more often.
So eventually I left. I think there should be more of a focus on our unique needs, and more of an understanding of the fact that “unique needs” doesn’t necessarily equate to learning disabilities or behavioral problems - some of us prefer to work without a standardized curriculum, some of us prefer to work alone, some prefer to work in groups, some want complete guidance, and some just want independent study with extra help on-call.. and yeah, some are stubborn enough to reject any form of education that doesn’t meet their needs/desires/expectations, like myself.
I don’t regret a thing. I love self-educating, because I love freedom and self-accountability. If I fail to learn the things I need to learn, it’s an issue that I deal with on my own, instead of facing disciplinary action, or getting an “F”, or being placed in a box of “bad kids”. I have a job. I pay taxes. I’ve never had issues paying my rent. I’m still self-educating at every opportunity and always will be. Life goes on. I’d love to help other dropouts feel like they haven’t missed their chance.

Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

Teachers Teaching Teachers #267 Wacky Learning Matters: Alex & Phill Pappas, Katherine von Jan, Jodhbir, & Lisa Nielsen 10.12.11


66:57 minutes (15.32 MB)

Here’s a snippet from or by each of the participants in this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers.

Alexander Pappas, Co-founder at HourSchool

HourSchool connects people through their social networks, helping them learn from one another. We call it peer-led, social-driven learning.

Hourschool from HourSchool on Vimeo.

Katherine von Jan, CEO of RadMatter and Managing Partner at KvJ & Company

A couple of years ago VeloCity asked Katherine von Jan: What key accomplishments are you particularly proud of?

My amazing family. Teaching disabled kids to swim and saving a child's life when I was a life guard in my teens. Taking a hiatus from college and moving to Hawaii on my own at 19. Starting my own company at 20. Creating a mobile humanitarian aid prototype to collect war stories in Kosovo and use them to prosecute war criminals at the Hague. Advising the UN on global communications strategies with the former advisor to Gorbachev. Creating a surprising new path for an industry-leading plastic producer. Being the voice of the culture in executive suites across the globe, and reframing consumers as "becomers".

...Most people who go to college don't graduate. If you gave every student in America a full scholarship to college, most students would fail or drop out. Would any other company stay in business if they failed to serve more than 60% of the market buying their product? ... We put students in the center; seeking to serve today’s students in these modern, complex times. Our work revealed unexpected ideas to help students attain a quality academic degree. We called this work "101 Wacky Ideas for Reinventing College". You can see a glimpse of our findings here on CEOs for Cities website: http://www.ceosforcities.org/101_wacky_ideas .

Jodhbir Singh, a computer engineer, empathetic educator and friend of the Innovation Lab , and writer for the Michigan Tech Lode and The Daily Bull

“Michigan Tech Lode” is a window through which Jodhbir expresses his “culture shocks and makes newcomers aware of what should and should not be done. And Jodhbir says that he writes for “The Daily Bull,” as a humour writer. I write about the American culture, people, India, language, student lifestyles, pencil, or anything that is now playing on your mind. I write stuff that should not be taken seriously..... like this description!”

In a recent post at YouthKiAwaaz , Jodhbir writes:

The underlying thing is not to do something extra but to do something different. In a decade of academic inflation when many people are going to college, getting a job is becoming a challenge; it means we should not prepare our students for the future based on present methodologies. We need to bring something new into the system only then we can create a whole new field of competition- like how many companies will be started each year by students at an engineering college.

Lisa Nielsen, an educational technologist for the NYC Department of Education

Lisa is a Google Certified Teacher , International Edublogger , International EduTwitter , and creator of The Innovative Educator blog , website , learning network , and wiki .

In addition to her blog (http://TheInnovativeEducator.blogspot.com ), her work is published in “Learning and Leading,” “Tech & Learning,” and ISTE Connect. An outspoken and passionate advocate of innovative education Lisa Nielsen is also covered by local and national media for her views on "Thinking Outside the Ban" and determining ways to harness the power of technology for instruction and providing a voice to educators and students.

Phill Pappas just published a book, One Page At A Time: Getting Through College With ADHD

Here’s an excerpt:

Class schedules

When I arrived at Michigan State University freshman orientation, we had to choose our class schedules for the upcoming semester. I was paired with a “summer orientation volunteer,” and we began scheduling my classes. It may have been because I was hung over, but I somehow didn’t notice when she convinced me to take a class that would turn out to be pure hell.

“So, you’ve got four classes so far” she said, “Do you want to schedule one more?”

“Yeah, why not” I said.

“Okay. We could de!nitely plug CSE101 in here on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8:00am.”

“Wait, what?”

“A lot of times, it’s better to get classes like this over with during your first semester, just to get them out of the way.”

“I can’t take it any later?”

“Well if you did, you would have to move the Interpersonal Communications course to another semester, and you said that you really wanted to take that class, right?”

“Yeah, that’s true.”

“I mean you can make an eight a.m. class twice a week, trust me.” Sounding like a veteran on the subject she followed up with, “Anyways, 22 One Page At A Time the other days of the week your earliest class is 10:20am, so you can sleep in on those days.”

“Yeah, you’re right” I said. “It shouldn’t be a problem twice a week.

Holy shit was I wrong.


Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

Parents as Partners Episode 45 May 2, 2011 Fix the School not the Child with Lisa Nielsen - Innovative Educator


55:00 minutes (12.59 MB)

Lisa Nielsen aka the Innovative Educator joined Parents as Partners on Monday May 2, 2011 at 9:00 PM EDY (GMT-4) to talk about her free ebook for parents. Lisa Nielsen is an educational administrator and permanently certified teacher with more than a decade's worth of experience working in educational innovation at the city, state, and national level.

Teachers Teaching Teachers #212 - A community of teachers building "Voices on the Gulf" - 08.04.10


41:26 minutes (9.48 MB)

As you will hear on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, we are very excited about the new website, http://voicesonthegulf.org ! On this podcast we are joined by:

We are putting together a team to help us to develop this site — and fast. We've set up the following Community Managers:

David Pulling (Louisiana) - Site Manager
Paul Allison (New York) - Site Manager

Catherine Tibbs (Mississippi) - Art and Humanities
Ellen Steigman (Louisiana) - Art and Humanities
Susan Ettenheim (New York) - Art and Humanities

Paige Baggett (Alabama) - Community and Culture
Suzie Boss (Oregon) - Community and Culture

Jeff Mason (Florida) - Health and Wellness
Andrea Zellner (Michigan) - Health and Wellness

Natasha Whitton (Louisiana) - Money and Careers
Chris Sloan (Utah) - Money and Careers

Alicia Blair (Mississippi) - Nature and the Environment
Matt Montagne (California) - Nature and the Environment

Kyle Meador (Louisiana) - Social Issues and Human Rights
Diana Laufenberg (Pennsylvania) - Social Issues and Human Rights

Stacey Ferguson (Mississippi) - Our Space (K-6)
Margaret Simon (Louisiana) - Our Space (K-6)
Gail Desler (California) -  Our Space (K-6)
Kevin Hodgson (Massachusetts) - Our Space (K-6)

Along with this growing group of National Writing Project teachers, teachers from along the Gulf Coast, teachers in Edutopia’s pblcmp, AND/OR teachers involved with the EdTechTalk/WorldBridges community, we have been organizing (and working with Bill Fitzgerald at FunnyMonkey) to build this site that will do the following:

  1. Provide a place where we can collect, amplify, and engage the poems, stories, and essays that students along the Gulf Coast bring to their teachers this month, as schools open.
  2. Layer these stories, poems, and essays with online sources, including news releases and poetry (such as the poems on Poets for Living Waters).
  3. We don’t know yet! Many of us have been working for some time on building a site like Voices on the Gulf, and we have some idea what directions this will take, AND we want to allow the discussions on the site to help us know how to develop.

The most important item, above is #1 - we are working as fast and hard as possible to get the site out to teachers, and for it to be easy to use. If you would like to add a poem, thought, or anything, please sign up, then once you’ve been made into a member, you’ll see the Add Discussion button. Please go in and write a brief reflection, add  photo, a video, or almost anything — just to see how easy it is to do. AGAIN, THANKS!

Students have been coming back the past couple of weeks in many Gulf Coast schools. A lot of our connections with teachers on the Gulf have happened this summer on a live webcast that we do every Wednesday evening. You may have already been on the show. We would love it if you would come back. We’ve been able to make a lot of invaluable connections. You can see what we mean here: http://edtechtalk.com/teachersteachingteachers

We would love to invite you to join us on Teachers Teaching Teachers every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. Pacific / 8:00 p.m. Central / 9:00 p.m. Eastern. If you use Skype, please email Paul Allison or Susan Ettenheim and let us know your Skype name (again)— just helps us to know who to look for! We hope that you will be able to join us soon on a Wednesday evening.

Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

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