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Showing posts from November, 2015

Unlocking a Learner's Mindset?

"I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn."- Albert Einstein





What do you get when you mix one part Carol Dweck, with one part Will Richardson, with another part George Couros? You get a concept I call the learner's mindset. What is a learner's mindset? Not only is it an inner narrative describing personal growth and fulfillment, I believe possessing a learner's mindset is a crucial element in the true transformation of schools and education.



"I am convinced that the best learning takes place when the learner takes charge."Seymour Papert

“Innovation is not reserved for the few; it is something we will all need to embrace if we are to move forward.”- George Couros,The Innovator's Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity
“learning a passion for learning is more important for your practical success than learning any particular facts or skills.”- Michael Feldstein / Will Ri…

Deeper Learning; Most Likely To Succeed

“Our “leaders”—on both the left and the right side of the aisle—continue to claim that our schools are failing and in need of reform while, in reality, our education system is obsolete and needs reimagining.”― Tony Wagner, Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era

The expression on the 4th grader's face says it all. It's a look I've seen on my own sons' faces, a looks that says, "I have no purpose here. I'm tired of playing the game of school." This is the essence shared in the opening scene of "Most Likely To Succeed", a persuasive film pushing the concept that modern schools should provide opportunities for students to experience deeper, personally relevant, learning. I was eager to catch a screening of this critically acclaimed film, and it did not disappoint in the slightest.



A refreshing, new vision for education is presented by the students and teachers at High Tech High in San Diego, California. Deeper learning is ac…

Classroom Distraction or Learned Behavior?

Jimmy's Charhouse was typically busy this Saturday night. Nearly every table is filled, and there's a short line of patrons at the door waiting to be seated. At this time of the evening, many families are enjoying dinner. My wife and I are enjoying our salads. She looks wonderful, and I want to take her picture. In the background, I notice a family of seven celebrating a birthday over dinner. The parents and grandparents are conversing over a beverage. The teenage daughter is texting on her iPhone while her younger sister plays with the ice cubes in her glass of cola. Their younger brother is playing a handheld video game. 


I watch this scene off and on for the next several minutes. The boy has yet to eat or even look up from his game. It is his birthday being celebrated. My wife excuses herself to the ladies room, and I take this opportunity to look around our dining room. There are ten tables, each with children, having dinner. Each of these parties has, at least, one child e…

"The Martian" is the Ultimate PBL Adventure

"You do the math. You solve a problem. Then you solve the next. If you solve enough of them you can come home."- Matt Damon in "The Martian"

Astronaut, Mark Watney's crew mistakenly leaves him for dead on Mars. His survival is put to the ultimate test in a series of challenges to overcome with math, science, creativity, and perseverance. My first viewing of The Martian was based purely on the film's science fiction entertainment value. However, after reading Amanda Dykes's inspiring post, "Are You Teaching Your Students to be Martians?", I decided to see this captivating movie again, this time, through my educator's lens.



"In the face of overwhelming odds, I have only one option: I am going to have to science the shit out of this." - Matt Damon in "The Martian"


Watney, a botanist, needs to create a food supply. He needs to use available technology to create a means of communication, and he needs to engineer transportation …

What Would You Do With an Extra Hour?

Yesterday, a conversation on talk radio reminded me daylight savings time would be ending early this morning at 2:00 AM. Why is it that turning back the clocks one hour in the fall makes me feel like a kid in a candy store? Could it be time is so precious that the end of daylight savings time, turning the clocks back one hour, is like receiving an unexpected gift, or like finding a twenty-dollar bill in the pocket of your jeans while doing laundry? A tweet from PLN friend MJ Linane confirmed I wasn't alone with my joy.
@robert_schuetz great! Thanks for letting me know. Extra hour this morning makes for a great weekend :) — MJ Linane (@LinaneJr) November 1, 2015There is debate whether adjusting our clocks has any value at all. For me, the time change made it challenging to figure out what time to jump into #aussieEd chat, which begins at 8:30 PM AEST.

What about our perception of gaining an extra hour? Did you sleep a little longer? Did you get to the gym a little earlier? Did you sp…