Showing posts from March, 2017

FAST FORWARD - Activating Global Citizens

Rachel Gibbs (@RachelGlass88) at Heritage Elementary School in Madison, AL reveals and explains a long-term project dedicated to activating global citizens in a 5th grade gifted classroom. She and her students elegantly combine the four primary categories of growth of the Forward Team to make an impact on the world: highly meaningful technology integration, global participation, project-based learning, and accomplishment-oriented assessment. The giant misconception in education is that activities of this nature are reserved for gifted classrooms or electives. We can do this every day, everywhere.

Anything You Can Teach, YouTube Can Teach Better: Why Being A Good Teacher Is More Than Just Content

Most of us have heard the song made famous from the Annie Get Your Gun musical. In this cute little number, a man and woman are competing to see who can do a task better than the other.

This is pretty reflective of the world and culture we currently live in. Women and men competing against each other about wage and domestic responsibilities. Athletes competing against other athletes for bragging rights and trophies. Celebrities competing against other celebrities for sold out shows or box office numbers. Students competing against other students for scholarships and highest honors.

Everyone is, seemingly, vying to be number one and in order for that to happen, one must be better than the other. And if that’s going to happen, one must be highly skilled.

Enter YouTube.

YouTube has become the technological Rosetta Stone for anything that needs deciphering, from fixing a garage door to learning a skateboard trick to understanding a religion. YouTube even has something for the couple that’s t…

Change Happens

“We were doing things fine before, why change now?” “These kids are always on their cellphones. When I was in school, no one even had a laptop.” “I feel pulled in too many directions--I can barely keep up with grading--how can they expect me to teach all of this material and help with extracurriculars?”

As teachers, there is always a list of complaints. While some are genuinely valid, most of the time griping about a policy change or workload is not going to positively affect the outcome. In fact, the “whiners” can often be loudest, but they usually are the ones who are overly attached to the job. Being attached may seem like a positive quality, but too much attachment leads to change resistance. Living in the 21st century compels us to change -- personally and professionally.

The other day my husband mentioned, “5 years ago, I never would have thought I’d be purchasing practically everything online.” Yet we have found online platforms to be more time-efficient and, oftentimes, more af…

FAST FORWARD - A Mean Green Screen

Madison Elementary School, Madison, Alabama:

Beth Woodard and Bonnie Howard team with their plant manager, David Gray, to create a large green wall to replace the older cloth green screen. This video explores WHY you might benefit from this type of green screen wall and HOW you might choose to do it for very little money.

Edited by James Clemens High School student, Christian Arnsparger. 
Hand-drawn animation: Mollie Bounds.

Council of the Future

Alvin Toffler published Future Shock in 1970. I'm convinced we were not ready for this book until much more recently however, as the infamous "accelerative thrust" to which he frequently refers has become hyper-driven by the advent of the internet.
Let's begin with an introductory quote from Future Shock's "The New Educational Revolution":

Taking quotes regarding education out of the immense context of Future Shock may very well not have the impact I hope. This, perhaps, may only be remedied by the reader reading the whole book. But I'll risk it and just accelerate toward the punchline:

So who will generate these assumptions...then define, debate, systemize, and continually update them? The most compelling and realistic solution I can currently imagine is outlined in great detail immediately following.

Toffler even mentions Huntsville specifically in the game plan, especially in regard to community partnership in this endeavor. But these councils should…