Kid President

Kid President brings you an awesome back to school pep talk

Kid President is one awesome kid.

Back to school is approaching fast, with some even starting as early as next week! In honour of this wonderful period, Kid President brings you some funny pep talk for both teachers and students. As he says so nicely: “It’s time to be more awesome!”. We agree. Head over here for more goodness featuring President Obama and Beyoncé.  🙂

 

The Many Benefits of Using Technology in Education

The Many Benefits of Using Technology in Education

Using technology in education is not a brand new subject. Many studies and reports have been made about the impacts of using technology. But the educational system, being as big as it, and impacting so many people won’t change too fast either. Many policies and regulations need to change in order to effectively implement new ways, because technology is here to stay. However, for too long the education system has been slow, and reluctant to change. If we want to encourage children, all children, to fully participate in education without leaving anyone behind, to teach them problem-solving skills and critical thinking, to improve their social skills and to erase borders, we will have to embrace technology. Already, teachers are creating makerspaces in their classes, giving electronics and coding workshops, and teaching children how to build robots.

Here are just a few of the many benefits of using technology in education.

Benefits of technology in education

(Top picture from: http://www.nerdoholic.com/etc/studying-stimulated-technology/)

Any benefits we might have missed? What do you think about using technology in education? Tell us in the comments!

Why The Maker Movement Matters

Today’s post is from an excellent blog called Venspired from Krissy Venosdale!

I get caught up in things. Informercials. New gadgets. New shades of Sharpie. Every kid I’ve ever taught has said, “You say EVERYTHING is your “favorite thing.” It’s true. Life? It’s my favorite. I grew up, but my internal excitement level has stayed at a five year old’s level. So, I’ll just preface this post with that. I will also say that I’ve held off on writing this. Long enough to figure out if this whole “maker movement” was another “thing I love,” or more. It’s more. So much more.

1.) The Maker Movement is not about acronyms. Life is not an acronym. I’m so tired of the debates on #STEM, #STEAM, and now #STREAM. Let’s just call learning what it is… building connections with the world. There, the whole alphabet? Covered. The Maker Movement isn’t labeling or assigning acronyms. It’s just organically, well, moving. Like learning does.

2.) The Maker Movement isn’t about certified experts or expensive keynotes. You don’t need to be an expert. You need to be willing to take a risk. In life? It’s impossible to know everything. It’s also pointless to try. In the Maker Movement? It’s about the pure-heartedness of neverending learning. The kind where you are invigorated, challenged, humbled, and curious over and over again.

3.) The Maker Movement is built on open collaboration. Make something. Share it. Borrow from others. It’s not about selling or buying. It’s about doing and thinking. It’s about putting our heads together to solve problems and create. It’s what is going to solve those “problems of tomorrow we can’t even imagine yet.” It’s not about sitting alone, trying to bubble in one right answer. Because life? it’s not about that either.

4.) Life is messy. Making embraces that mess and turns it into possibilities. Endless possibilities that unlock parts of the imagination that otherwise gather dust.

5.) Creativity matters in the Maker Movement. In every single thing I’ve done in education, all roads have led to one place: Creativity. It’s what ignites my passion for teaching, learning, and life. Take that away from me? And a part of my soul starts to die, wither, and wilt like a plant without water. The Maker Movement reminds me that creating is a fountain that we can all continue to drink from, that provides the energy that a full life requires.

6.) The Maker Movement is what gifted education has been waiting for, too.  Open ended inquiry, possibilities, creativity, imagination, and learning?  It’s the stuff my gifted edcuation class was built on. Yes, everyone will say, it’s the stuff ALL classrooms should be built on.  You are so right… if we made school more about this, we wouldn’t need labels, nor separate classrooms, we could focus on supporting needs of all students, in one awesome learning environment.  Magical. We could “make” learning right.  Pun intended.

10 years in a public school, 1 year in a private school, and 1 year in an independent school and what have I learned? Squelch creativity. Squelch learning. It doesn’t matter where you teach, lead, dream, or what your role is, the Maker Movement offers something amazing for your students, and for you. It’s about casting aside those plans you’ve made down to the minute and embracing larger goals. Let those goals unfold in the minds of your students and evolve into something better than what you imagined. Because really, everyday we are just a living, breathing iteration of ourselves from the day before. And that? It’s just about trying to improve. Let your students lead and you’ll see exactly what I am talking about. The Maker Movement matters because it’s about pure, authentic learning, problem solving, self-reflection, collaboration, creativity, and removes the limits from our bubble-tested curriculums and one-right-answer-lesson-plans.  It matters because learning matters.  And it’s time.

Kriss Venosdale runs the Venspired blog. Writing about subjects like education, STEM learning and creativity while adding her touch as an educator. Her blog is sure to make you think, and make you explore different perspectives. Her goal? She wants schools to be one of the most exciting places a child ever visits!

5 Great TED Talks About Education Around The World

I find that TED Talks are amazing resources. They bring you different perspectives, embark you into other worlds and discover new things. I always like to listen to their podcasts whenever I can. Narrated by Guy Raz, they’re all regrouped by themes with personal interviews from the speakers. Here are some of my favorite talks from great educators around the world. They’re all fascinating and incredible people, they’re strong, funny, and believe in the power of education and learning. Warning: They will give you chills (the good ones), and maybe even tears.

1. Linda Cliatt-Wayman: How to fix a broken school? Lead fearlessly, Love Hard

As principal of a high failing school, she was determined to change things by three of her own slogans. Bringing students, teachers and parents together, she was able to give a new life and reform the establishment her own way.

2. Rita Pierson: Every Kid Needs A Champion

Another incredible woman! Full of laughs and humour, she focuses on the relationships created between teachers and students and the importance of connections because “kids don’t learn from people they don’t like”.

3. Suki Kim: This Is What It’s Like to Teach in North Korea

Suki Kim spent 6 months teaching English to North Korea students. Sheltered and blind folded from the rest of the world, the students seemed very limited. But as she spent more time with them, she discovered another perspective.

http://www.ted.com/talks/suki_kim_this_is_what_it_s_like_to_teach_in_north_korea#

4. Shukla Bose: Teaching One Child At A Time

The Parikrma Humanity Foundation has a beautiful mission: to focus one child at a time. Even involving the parent’s education, they are changing the future of many child and opening doors to new worlds and possibilities.

5. Christopher Emdin: Teach Teachers How To Create Magic

The energy of Christopher Emdin is truly incredible. He embodies the “magic” he explains in his talk. Linking rap concerts and barber shops to teaching and classrooms, he brings the spark and intensity that can bring education alive.

Bonus: Takaharu Tezuka: The Best Kindergarden You’ve Ever Seen

The place you wish you played when you were a kid. Where kids can have fun, get to be noisy, climb on trees, and run around. Takaharu built heaven on earth, for kids.