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

Good People; The Product of Good Schools

The nightly business reports frequently mention inputs and outputs. Gross National Product (GNP) is a widely recognized leading economic indicator. Widgets aside, what is the product of schools? Some of you want to jump on a table and scream, "children are not products!" Let this breathe a bit as you trudge forward.



In his recent post, Mark Heintz eloquently shares his ruminations to a question being kicked around in our Modern Learners community, "What do we want our children to be?" Credit Pam Moran, Ira Socol, and Chad Ratliff, co-authors of "Timeless Learning; How Imagination, Observation, and Zero-based Thinking Change Schools," for sparking this conversation theme. Timeless Learning provides interesting provocations, inspiring experiences, and compelling rationale for school change.

Like others, my school's leadership team is engaging in discussions about reimagining school to meet the needs of our modern learners. These conversations are seldom e…

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…

My One Word for 2018 is Wisdom

Wisdom, according to Dictionary.com, is "the quality or state of being wise;
knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action;
sagacity, discernment, or insight."


"Any fool can know. The point is to understand."
This quote, often incorrectly attributed to Albert Einstein, provides an illustration of the value of understanding over knowledge. A simple search reveals this quote can be linked to the writing of mathematician, George Finlay Simmons


Narrowing my thinking to one word is an interesting challenge. I have gained a greater appreciation for words and how the combination of words can convey meaning beyond definitions, beyond knowledge.

Where are the resources for knowledge in a modern world? We purchased an Amazon Echo as a gift for my parents. "It's such a smart and funny device," says my mom. Alexa has a seemingly unlimited access to information, music, and jokes, but does she understand? Can robots and computers obtain wis…