Monday, January 28, 2013

Deleting Yourself From The Internet

I came across this article in USA Today yesterday and thought it was something that might be useful. It gives some hope to those who wish they could take something back, but it isn't going to be easy.

Deleting Yourself From The Internet

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Vine: The Next Thing in Social Media

I just read this article and thought it was interesting to see the newest iteration of social media from Twitter: the 6 second video on a loop. It's called Vine and is now available as app for the iPhone or iPod Touch.

Check out the article here.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Who I am and How I Know It

As part of our new Leadership Program in the Middle School, I teach a 6th grade leadership class. One of more recent assignments, which incorporated a perception of self and perception of others aspect was asking the students to write a two paragraph short essay on the statement: Who I am and How I Know It. 

Below is a student response to the assignment:

Often, by parents, friends, (and in not sometimes the best way) my teachers, tell me that I am a pretty funny guy. I make Burke Sullivan laugh so hard that his face turns redder than his hair. But as I said before, my teachers...they know i’m funny, but that makes me disruptive in class. Burke laughing at me, and teachers correcting me and telling me to not be a smart, you-know-what in class is a good sign that I am funny like I think I am. But, I have other interests besides annoying teachers and making my friends roll around on the floor in laughter. For example, I love Football (not the American kind). I am a keeper and I am often complimented on my skills. Heck, even Mr. Jones called my house complimenting me on a particularly sharp game I had. Also, I love to ride horses. As silly as it may seem, I love horses. Besides my undying love of dogs, horses are the next closest thing to my favorite animal. Other guys might say, “Horses? You, ride horses?! Ha!”. But I have been told that by my parents (that one goes without saying because, well, there my parents!), and summer riding instructors, that I have a thing for it.

And finally, my last case (which may seem even more mushy and odd that the horse thing). I am me. And nobody can be better at being me, than me. Sticking to the title of this short essay, Who am I and How I know This, I must know give supporting evidence to show why I know this. Well, (here comes the mushy bit), my parents, grandparents, and close relatives, tell me that they love me. Which must imply that I am doing a pretty good job of being me, or else they wouldn’t love me as much as I know them to love me. So, one of the biggest things that defines who I am and how I know it, is that I am lovable, and it is shown through the love of my family.

Spirit Week Video

We are in the midst of Spirit Week here at Canterbury and the middle school has just completed "I survived the Mayan Apocalypse" Day. In celebration, the 5th grade made the following movie.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Antifragile or How We Become Fragile

While the book is interesting, the blog post review of it does an excellent job of outlining one idea of what the new perspective for our students should be: embrace randomness and mistakes and it will make you stronger.

Some highlights:

Taleb says antifragile isn’t resilience given his narrow definition of it. It’s more. Resilience survives. Things that are antifragile don’t just survive, they get better with random event and shocks. The opposite is fragile. Though often unintentionally, we tend to make things fragile.

Random events should serve to make you better than before. Rules are fragile. Principles are resilient. Virtue is antifragile. Classroom learning is fragile. Real life and experiential knowledge are resilient. Real life and a library are antifragile. 

Check it out: Antifragile or How We Become Fragile

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The School Cliff: Student Engagement Drops With Each School Year

I love this stuff. Gallup has actually found a way to measure student engagement (they call it their Gallup Student Poll Engagement Index) by how strongly students agree with the following five statements:

  • I have a best friend at school.
  • I feel safe in this school.
  • My teachers make me feel my schoolwork is important.
  • At this school, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
  • In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good schoolwork.
Gallup polls hundreds of thousands of public school students from grades 5 through 12 and has found that for this population engagement declines for every year you stay in school. I wonder how independent schools compare? 

Interestingly enough, we deliver a Student Culture Survey each year that measures student engagement and more and while we haven't used the exact phrasing, we have collected three years worth of data that can be organized to measure our student's engagement. 

The whole goal of implementing 21st century education is to engage our students. It's fundamental. First, mission appropriate - we are a whole child school. It's why we do things like CSI and MDGs. It's why we do experiential education in our 7th and 8th grade leadership classes. It drives our electives program. It was the impetus for our Portfolio Program, Innovator's Challenge, STEM research, the iPad Pilot Program, and more. 

I would say this is a good quick read. Enjoy. 

The School Cliff: Student Engagement Drops With Each School Year