Monday, September 30, 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Servant Leadership at Canterbury Kicks Off

Anne-Barton Carter
This year we have embedded Service Learning into the schedule. Anne Barton Carter, formerly of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, has come on to teach a class directed at middle school age children.

Inherent in this is the on-going task of identifying our own God-given gifts through spiritual practice and discernment (the connection to theology and faith explored with Fr. Finnin) and employing those gifts in service to the world (the connection to the skills and understandings developed in Leadership with Tricia Fisher, our point person on leadership at Canterbury). This class is active, hands-on learning that encourages both the exploration of different spiritual practices and the application of personal gifts and call to challenges in our community (the service learning projects).  In part, we will be using the principles of and adapting materials from the Servant Leadership School.

Anne-Barton has organized a series of speakers at our Middle School Chapels (Phillips Chapel, 8:10am - 8:35am) to kick off the work of our students. Our students will be developing their own service projects around the work that these four speakers do with their respective institutions. It is exciting to see the students take on such important work with such unreserved enthusiasm. Here is the schedule for Servant Leadership Speaker Series in the Middle School:

October 2 
Don Milholin
Founder and Executive Director of the Out of the Garden Project 
The Out of the Garden Project addresses food insecurity/hunger primarily through Guilford County elementary schools.  Our 8th grade Servant Leadership group is addressing hunger and food insecurity in a variety of ways.

October 16 
Rev. David Fraccaro
Executive Director of Faith Action International House 
Faith Action International House is a non-profit which addresses the needs of immigrants and refugees in our community.  Our 7th grade Servant Leadership group will be partnering with McNair Elementary ESL 1st grade students.

October 30 
Liz Seymour
Executive Director of the Interactive Resource Center 
The Interactive Resource Center offers a host of day services to the homeless in Greensboro. Our 6th grade Servant Leadership group will be addressing homelessness and visiting the IRC.

November 13
Rev. Buch Cochran
Executive Director of PeaceHaven Farm
PeaceHaven Farm is a soon-to-be residential sustainable farm project designed to provide meaningful work and supportive group housing for adults with disabilities.  Our 5th graders are investigating service learning projects with those who have different abilities.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Implications of On-line Learning

In an interesting TED talk, Daphne Koller discusses Coursera and its platform for free, online course from the best universities in the world. In fact, they recently announced that they would be offering four core classes from the first year curriculum at Wharton School of Business. MIT, Harvard and others are already on board with Daphne's company. Coursera and companies like it, coupled with Khan Academy's deliberate and effective move to use BIG Data to inform personalized learning, issue this challenge to independent schools:

Why pay a premium for an independent school?

Our answer....The value-added of an independent school is in the preparation of a whole child who will be fully prepared to engage in and for their greater community.

First, I still believe our teachers and curriculum are as good, if not better, than anything you will find online. And they're present in real time. Your children will be incredibly well prepared academically.

Second, independent schools, and Canterbury specifically, cultivate a sense of cooperation and partnership among students, students and teachers, and teachers and parents that develops in students highly valued and effective interpersonal skills necessary for the 21st century. You can't get that online.

Third, independent schools, and Canterbury specifically, incorporate experiences outside of the classroom that expose our students to the larger world, outline ways to engage that larger world, and encourage students to serve that world in a leadership role. This comes from the doing - the active and outward engagement through leadership and service opportunities.

I could go on, and much smarter people than me have - particularly the former president of NAIS, Pat Bassett - but I will leave the rest for later blog posts. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be posting a series of posts outlining the programs in the middle school which provide this "value-added" and discuss how we are working to shape whole children to lead our community and beyond.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Leadership from Across the Pond: Sir Alex Ferguson

Sean Pollack
In a recent HBR Magazine article, Anita Elberse and Sir Alex Ferguson break down the famous Manchester United Football Club's leadership approach. In a fascinating combination of theorems and practicality, the two authors outline how the soccer club was able to stay on top for so long. A great read for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Ferguson's Formula

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

PreK and Kindergarten Open House: Come Join Us

We will be hosting families interested in Canterbury's PreK and Kindergarten classes on October 17th at 9:30am here in campus. We'd love it if you would join us!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Resilience: How Skateboarding Can Teach Us How to Learn

I found this video on Twitter and thought it was a great way to think about how important resilience is to learning. Struggle and failure are GOOD things!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Technology and Kids: A GOOD Story

Scott McLeod presented at TEDxDesMoines and gave a great talk about the positive aspects of kids and technology, particularly extracurricular empowerment. Great stuff.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tablet Learning Program: An Update

It’s been a great start to the school year and we are so thankful for everybody's support as we embark on the tablet learning program. We have taken a deliberate approach in these early days spending time identifying changes in process and procedure that are a part of a shift like this, and I am confident this “front loading” of tablet skills will set the foundation for an enhanced learning experience in the very near future.

Remember, we are a mere ten days into the school year, and while it is natural for any new program to hit some bumps in the road, I have been very impressed with the way our teachers and students are utilizing the new tablets. Here are a few examples of what I’ve seen:

  • A new Google Site created as a home base for writing prompts and resources
  • Google Forms used for opening thought exercises
  • Graphic organizers by students from NoteAnytime displayed in a slideshow from iPhoto
  • Notes and highlighting being done directly on e-texts, along with stylus and finger highlighting on interactive e-text maps
  • A test shared through the Google Platform and handed in through the student folders
  • Cloud On being used in Science classes to link multiple cloud based storage spaces and presentations
  • QR code scavenger hunts
  • Former hard copy worksheets scanned and sent out via PDF

We have four goals for the tablet learning program over the next two years:

  1. Go Paperless
  2. Implement Problem Based Learning
  3. Review and Design 21st C. Assessments: Creative, Authentic, Multi-Faceted, and Professional
  4. Increase Connectivity

I'm optimistic that we are off to a great start towards accomplishing these goals.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Emerging Technologies in Education

This article may be underestimating how fast some of these technologies will be incorporated into schools. Fascinating to think about the rapidity of change that we are facing and how we prepare our students for it.

10 Specific Examples of Emerging Educational Technologies

Monday, September 9, 2013

Young Peacemaker: 7th Grader Receives Major Award

Kobi Selby, a 7th grader, was one of 79 Guilford County middle school students nominated to be a Young Peacemaker. This award, offered by Win-Win Resolutions, is a prestigious one for any person, let alone a 11 to 14 year old. Kobi was one of six students to receive the award and was honored at their banquet this past Saturday. You can see an excerpt from his acceptance speech below. It was phenomenal.

At Canterbury we say leadership "promotes learning about self and others, loving across all boundaries, and serving one's community and beyond." Kobi certainly lives up to this description. Great job!

Mobile Devices for Learning

I found this video which outlines some of the projects that can come out of mobile learning. It is a few years old, but touches on some of the things we're trying to incorporate. Thanks to Amy Erin Borovoy at Edutopia for curating it. You can also find it on my What's Influencing Education Page.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Brain: A Look at ADHD
I was perusing my blog reader and saw this article. I was flabbergasted at the statistic in the first sentence: the CDC puts the number of children with ADHD at 25% The Dana Alliance has outlined some of the research over the last ten years on ADHD and its origins in the brain. Interesting read, for sure.

ADHD: Ten Years Later