Are Educators Doing The Right Thing?

As I watched the following video this morning, I wondered, as an educator are we truly preparing our students for the future or is this young man pointing out just what our education is missing.  This young man named Thomas Suarez taught himself to program in multiple languages and has been creating iphone apps.  Has already become quite successful at his endeavor and begun looking to the future and future projects. Yet as he puts it many of the kids his age have no idea were to look today to learn how to do something like this because it is not taught to students. Is the lack of technology taught in schools going to hinder our next generation? Watch the video below and tell me what you think.

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Do not underestimate them!

Over the past week as I return back to school and and began the grind of finding ways to present information to my students.  As I was developing my lessons I came across a couple of articles that really made me stop and think.  The first article was about a 16 year old boy named Christian Owens.  Chris made his first million by the age of 16 years old by being creative and finding a niche in a market online and filling it with his own company.  This was a new and creative idea that he developed and is what education should be teaching our students today. To read more about Chris check out the article on him called “The First Million Dollar of a 16 Year Old Kid“.

The second article was on Adora Svitak.  She is a remarkable student from Redmond Washington who spoke at TED last year.  If you have not seen her talk of TED about what adults can learn about kids watch it below.  She is 13 now is a published author and now is organizing TEDXRedmond to  create a forum where more students can share their ideas.

Both of these students are remarkable but more importantly they are creative.  Often times when I am developing my lessons I catch myself  developing resources that are very structured for my students.  By doing this I am removing their ability to become creative and really learn to think for themselves.  I guess you would say that I am often underestimating my students ability to learn and be creative.  As educators we must find ways to allow students to be creative, push students to think outside of the box as these two have done.  If we truly want to prepare our students for the 21st century this is how we must do it.  We must above all not underestimate what students can do if you provide the opportunity.

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Student Centered = Student Engagement

Well due to state testing I had to post pone my Augmented reality game until today.  But something happened yesterday that got me thinking and I wanted to share.  During lunch on Mondays a group of teachers meet in our building to watch and discuss a video on an educational topic.  We call it Motivation Mondays.  The purpose of this is to find new and inovative ways to teach.

Yesterday, we watched a video on TED called ” Dan Meyer: Math class needs a makeover.”  Not being a math teacher I contemplated not going to this meeting but I am glad I did.  This talk which you can see below was not just about math but rather about teaching.  He brought up some profound points about having students getting involved in their learning.  Not just by participating but by helping to create the learning process.  This can be done in any subject and creates engagement and a link for students, so that they see the relevance of their learning.  Teachers must get away from the canned approach to learning that has become so previlant in our educational system.  This canned approach often cause student boredom and creates a disconnect with what they are learning.  If students do not see the relevance and purpose for what they are learning they will have a hard time being engaged.  This was a great video. I recommend it at any faculty meeting.  It will bring up some great discussion.   Check it out below.

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