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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.

Teachers Teaching Teachers #265 - Seven Teachers from Seven States have a Conversation about Conversations - 9.28.11


60:52 minutes (13.93 MB)

On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, these seven teachers:

meet in a Google+ Hangout to talk about our classrooms, about http://youthvoices, and more! Monika Hardy also talks about the BIF Summit http://businessinnovationfactory.com/bif-7 that she recently attended with students as well as developments at the Innovation Lab.

Enjoy!

Teachers Teaching Teachers #261 - Monika Hardy and colleagues discuss Lab: a plan of disruption to redefine school - 8.24.11


68:03 minutes (15.58 MB)

For this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, Monika Hardy @monk51295 invited a few of her colleagues:

  • Thomas Steele-Maley @steelemaley
  • Roberto Greco @rogre
  • Mary Ann Rielly @MaryAnnRielly
  • Amanda Judd @venueX
  • Amy Lewark @fat4thought

to join Chris Sloan @csloan and me @paulallison to introduce why we need lab spaces to disrupt and redefine school (Lab Connections). The goal is to facilitate self-directed learning. Here’s how Monika and others introduce their work in an in-progress book they are writing:

Students in Loveland, CO crafted a four year plan of disruption to redefine school. We are just beginning year two. Year four has community/life as school, with the city as the floor plan. Who, what, when, where, how, and with whom you learn, per choice. The premise… nothing is for everyone. We’re redefining success per individual/community. We’re respectfully questioning everything, especially what public education deems as normal. Imagine if the 7 hours a day we currently call school would/could awaken indispensable people. It’s a quiet revolution.

There has been plenty of theory/research invested in what we are doing, and that will be ongoing. But mostly, we have had the privilege and delight to indulge in experimentation/failure/prototyping/etc. The following is our best attempt to capture the key elements learned from key failures. If you are so inclined, shuffle along with us. It’s a kick. You might just fall in love with it.

For more history of the lab, see this video set/documentation (reverse chronological order):redefineschool.tumblr.com

For current updates/info on the lab, see labconnections: http://labconnections.blogspot.com/p/about.html

This was a first, exploratory conversation, and one that we hope will inspire you to join as well. We'll be continuing our conversations with Monika Hardy and her colleagues in the coming weeks on Teachers Teaching Teachers. Join us every Wednesday at edtechtalk.com/live where you’ll hear and see a Livestream broadcast of our conversation, and be invited to chat and ask questions as well.


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

Teachers Teaching Teachers 247 High School-College Transition and the “Framework for Success in Post-secondary Writing” 5.18.11


66:16 minutes (15.17 MB)
On this week’s Teachers Teaching Teachers, we have some of our current and former students on the podcast to talk about the high school-college transition. We are also joined by a couple of National Writing Project teachers who have been involved with the “Framework for Success in Post-secondary Writing” that came out a few months ago. These frameworks include this amazing list that we invite you to explore:

Habits of Mind

The Framework identifies eight habits of mind essential for success in college writing—ways of approaching learning that are both intellectual and practical and will support students’ success in a variety of fields and disciplines:

  • Curiosity: the desire to know more about the world.
  • Openness: the willingness to consider new ways of being and thinking in the world.
  • Engagement: a sense of investment and involvement in learning.
  • Creativity: the ability to use novel approaches for generating, investigating, and representing ideas.
  • Persistence: the ability to sustain interest in and attention to short- and long-term projects.
  • Responsibility: the ability to take ownership of one’s actions and understand the consequences of those actions for oneself and others.
  • Flexibility: the ability to adapt to situations, expectations, or dema157118nds.
  • Metacognition: the ability to reflect on one’s own thinking as well as on the individual and cultural processes used to structure knowledge.

Our guests on this podcast include:
What is College Readiness in Writing? and How Do We Get There? 

Every year, we have far too many students like Ian. They aren’t the AP kids (though they might be), and they aren’t the students who fail our classes. They do OK, even sometimes receiving excellent grades in our high school classrooms. But when they get to college, they place into Developmental English classes, or worse (like Ian) they crash and burn and drop out of college. They fall off the bridge between high school and college. This site is devoted to local efforts to help more students graduating from high school place directly into college level writing classes, and importantly—do well in freshman composition. It is meant both as a resource and a professional community of practice dedicated to doing more to prepare our students for college and for helping these students do well once they are in college, for “college readiness” and “student success” in college are really two sides of the same coin.

  • Kirsten Jamsen whose affiliations include being the co-director of the Minnesota Writing Project. Kirsten 278172presented on the “Frameworks for Success in Postsecondary Writing” at the National Writing Project’s Annual Meeting in November, where she discussed the statement’s purpose, and recounted the process of composing it. We’ll ask her do some of that again. We’ll also use some of her questions from that session to guide our discussion on Wednesday evening: “What is your response to the statement? How might you use it to promote effective writing instruction at your school? How could this statement help you design thoughtful professional development?”

  • David Pulling whose students at Louisiana State University, Eunice, have been posting Musique+de+Bayou+Techeon Voices on the Gulf this year. David is the Director of Continuing Education at LSU Eunice, and will share his insights into what it takes to be a successful college writer as well. David is also an active member of the The National Writing Project of Acadiana.

Enjoy!

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


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