Monday, July 18, 2016

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.

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