Skip to main content

Summer Learning; Squeezing 20 Pounds Into a 10 Pound Bag

It's a short summer because my district has adjusted our academic calendar to follow a collegiate semester model. Even though little of this if formally organized, I am still squeezing a lot of learning into the shortened summer break. Here's a summary of what I am reading, apps I am using for personal learning, and my favorite learning activity, traveling.


Future Wise: David Perkins asks educational leaders to discuss current curricula to determine how schools will deliver "lifeworthy" learning experiences. "What is worth learning in school?" is the prevailing question raised by this book.

Worlds of Making: Laura Fleming helps me develop a recipe for establishing a maker space in our newly remodeled media center. Particular attention is focused on school culture and addressing the "why" question of recreating learning spaces.

Mindset: When I find myself slipping into patterns of "fixed-mindset-ness" Carol Dweck helps me get my mind right. I'm re-reading Mindset for the 4th time in preparation of supporting a school-wide cultural shift with growth mindset as a focal point.

Innovator's Mindset: George Couros provides thought-provoking questions and suggested activities for closing the relevancy gap for learners, young and old, in our systems. Examples of innovative best practice are shared with the reader. My takeaway, innovation should be internally, and personally adopted before system-wide change can occur.

Launch: John Spencer and A. J. Juliani are helping me learn more about design thinking and how this strategy can be used to create meaningful learning experiences. I'm working my way through this book now. This book comes fully loaded with practical techniques that offer immediate implementation.

Mindstorms: Seymour Papert's book gets frequently quoted by several of my favorite bloggers; I recently purchased a used copy from a local college. Much of the material is beyond my current thinking, but Papert's argument of anyone being able to direct their learning personally under the right conditions is convincing. I would enjoy a book-study course about this material.

Duolingo: After years of talking about it, I'm dedicating a minimum of ten minutes per day to learn Spanish. Will I become fluent speaking a second language? Time will tell. This app is keeping me interested and engaged.

Ultimate Guitar: This app is giving me an excuse to get my guitar out of the closet more often. I've never learned to read music, so the tab system is allowing me to play along with more songs in my iTunes playlist.

Codecademy: My mom sent me a link to Codecademy, so I created an account. I have yet to start a coding course, but the options are numerous, and the process includes differentiation. I will keep you posted on this one.

Like others, I enjoy the adventure of travel. Meeting new people, or meeting people that I've previously only known virtually, enjoying new experiences, and seeing new sights are boosts to my curiosity. Traveling, for me, offers authentic challenges to our perspective and character. Traveling reveals the real me.

As I mature, I am becoming less interested in what people know, but grow increasingly interested in how people become better educated. As you can see, reading, writing, playing, and traveling make up the core of my learning. 

What about you? How are you learning this summer? Comments are welcome - thank you for sharing.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

To Email, or Not

Should current students learn how to use email?


As someone who celebrates a clean email inbox about once every five years, I found it interesting that the topic of student email usage was on the agenda of our recent high school leadership meeting. The focus of this brief conversation concentrated on these questions.



How can we get students to utilize their school email account better? Should we be teaching students how to communicate with email?When and where should email usage skills be taught? Who's responsibility is this?Why do we want kids to check their email? Those around the conference room table agreed with the importance of students checking their email to stay informed about upcoming events and opportunities. Others mentioned it as being an important part of "digital executive functioning." Time was running short when someone said, "Kids don't use email."

This brief statement sent my mind scurrying in several simultaneous directions. 

First, thinking …

Learning that Matters

Originally posted on Fractus Learning - 5.3.16

“Today we speak casually of lifelong learning, but in a few decades, it will likely be so much the norm as hardly to require its own label.” - David Perkins

You’re an educator with your finger on the pulse of what’s relevant to teaching and school. Being well read, you know that educational thought leaders are focusing recent dialogue on learning. Schools have always been places of learning, but few can deny the impact the Internet has on a person’s ability to learn whatever they want, whenever they want. Let’s have some fun by responding with the first word that pops into your mind.

Fill in the blank to complete the following phrase;______________________ learning.

The possible answers are numerous, aren’t they? Is your response included in the table below?


Authentic Problem-based Project-based Individualized Personalized Cooperative Flipped Mastery Community-based

Grammarly Writing Hacks for Better Blogging

Writing is learning. It's taken me about thirty years to realize the metacognitive power of written expression, the same amount of time it took for me to recognize that my writing skills suck. Apparently, time in composition class was spent daydreaming and making silly faces at girls. Today, each post is an exercise of will power, unlearning and relearning prepositional phrases, comma usage, and when to use the ever-popular semicolon. Two hundred posts into my blogging adventure I've picked up a few tricks that add efficiency to my writing, things that make me appear smarter than I really am.


Freelance writer, Jennie Cromie, writing for ProBlogger.net, identifies five ways blogging can make you a better writer. Discover your voiceBuild social connectionsAcquire valuable feedbackBecome self-disciplinedWrite faster and more efficiently
Writing with intent to learn is the mindset to lead with. Using the right tools permits scatterbrains like me to focus on the message rather than un…