Teachers Teaching Teachers #267 Wacky Learning Matters: Alex & Phill Pappas, Katherine von Jan, Jodhbir, & Lisa Nielsen 10.12.11
Here’s a snippet from or by each of the participants in this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers.
Alexander Pappas, Co-founder at HourSchool
HourSchool connects people through their social networks, helping them learn from one another. We call it peer-led, social-driven learning.
A couple of years ago VeloCity asked Katherine von Jan: What key accomplishments are you particularly proud of?
My amazing family. Teaching disabled kids to swim and saving a child's life when I was a life guard in my teens. Taking a hiatus from college and moving to Hawaii on my own at 19. Starting my own company at 20. Creating a mobile humanitarian aid prototype to collect war stories in Kosovo and use them to prosecute war criminals at the Hague. Advising the UN on global communications strategies with the former advisor to Gorbachev. Creating a surprising new path for an industry-leading plastic producer. Being the voice of the culture in executive suites across the globe, and reframing consumers as "becomers".
...Most people who go to college don't graduate. If you gave every student in America a full scholarship to college, most students would fail or drop out. Would any other company stay in business if they failed to serve more than 60% of the market buying their product? ... We put students in the center; seeking to serve today’s students in these modern, complex times. Our work revealed unexpected ideas to help students attain a quality academic degree. We called this work "101 Wacky Ideas for Reinventing College". You can see a glimpse of our findings here on CEOs for Cities website: http://www.ceosforcities.org/101_wacky_ideas .
Jodhbir Singh, a computer engineer, empathetic educator and friend of the Innovation Lab , and writer for the Michigan Tech Lode and The Daily Bull
“Michigan Tech Lode” is a window through which Jodhbir expresses his “culture shocks and makes newcomers aware of what should and should not be done. And Jodhbir says that he writes for “The Daily Bull,” as a humour writer. I write about the American culture, people, India, language, student lifestyles, pencil, or anything that is now playing on your mind. I write stuff that should not be taken seriously..... like this description!”
In a recent post at YouthKiAwaaz , Jodhbir writes:
The underlying thing is not to do something extra but to do something different. In a decade of academic inflation when many people are going to college, getting a job is becoming a challenge; it means we should not prepare our students for the future based on present methodologies. We need to bring something new into the system only then we can create a whole new field of competition- like how many companies will be started each year by students at an engineering college.
Lisa Nielsen, an educational technologist for the NYC Department of Education
In addition to her blog (http://TheInnovativeEducator.blogspot.com ), her work is published in “Learning and Leading,” “Tech & Learning,” and ISTE Connect. An outspoken and passionate advocate of innovative education Lisa Nielsen is also covered by local and national media for her views on "Thinking Outside the Ban" and determining ways to harness the power of technology for instruction and providing a voice to educators and students.
Phill Pappas just published a book, One Page At A Time: Getting Through College With ADHD
Here’s an excerpt:
When I arrived at Michigan State University freshman orientation, we had to choose our class schedules for the upcoming semester. I was paired with a “summer orientation volunteer,” and we began scheduling my classes. It may have been because I was hung over, but I somehow didn’t notice when she convinced me to take a class that would turn out to be pure hell.
“So, you’ve got four classes so far” she said, “Do you want to schedule one more?”
“Yeah, why not” I said.
“Okay. We could de!nitely plug CSE101 in here on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8:00am.”
“A lot of times, it’s better to get classes like this over with during your first semester, just to get them out of the way.”
“I can’t take it any later?”
“Well if you did, you would have to move the Interpersonal Communications course to another semester, and you said that you really wanted to take that class, right?”
“Yeah, that’s true.”
“I mean you can make an eight a.m. class twice a week, trust me.” Sounding like a veteran on the subject she followed up with, “Anyways, 22 One Page At A Time the other days of the week your earliest class is 10:20am, so you can sleep in on those days.”
“Yeah, you’re right” I said. “It shouldn’t be a problem twice a week.
Holy shit was I wrong.
20:43:23 Lisa Nielsen: Hi Renny!!!
20:43:37 Lisa Nielsen: Hi Paul!
20:44:30 TimeOutDad: Hi Everyone! Instead of TimeOutDad, I should have entered as Renny. ;)
20:46:20 Lisa Nielsen: It's okay. You can be Renny the TimeOutDad :)
20:48:01 TimeOutDad: Sounds great.
20:54:42 TimeOutDad: Going to read a bedtime story to my boy. Be back soon!
20:57:45 Lisa Nielsen: Hi Jerry!!!!
21:01:20 Paul Allison: Welcome. Is the Livestream on?
21:01:38 amanda: it is
21:03:44 Lisa Nielsen: Hi Amanda! So glad you joined!!!
21:04:00 amanda: thankyou lisa
21:05:19 josepopoff: hello everyone, excited to be here!
21:05:31 amanda: hi jose
21:06:17 amanda: :)
21:06:59 Lisa Nielsen: Life is "Rad." Make it "matter." I like that!!!!
21:07:15 josepopoff: ha, was typing that....
21:08:13 amanda: lol
21:09:49 Jodhbir: Nice idea!
21:09:53 josepopoff: like the movie theaters idea! Wouldn¬¥t that be pricy?
21:10:06 Lisa Nielsen: Teacher's colleges are also often empty during the day!
21:12:36 josepopoff: I asked my school admin to buy Lisa's book! Got a yes!
21:12:43 amanda: wow awesome
21:14:16 Lisa Nielsen: Ohhhh!!!! So excited to hear that @josepopoff. I am available to come to your school via skype or in person as well :)
21:14:32 Norman: hi
21:14:41 Norman: hi Lisa!
21:14:59 josepopoff: Wow, seriously!!! Thank you Lisa, I¬¥d be honored.
21:15:20 josepopoff: Skype would be an option, I¬¥m in Honduras, C.A.
21:16:33 Norman: just tell them to take them out
21:16:38 Norman: and turn them on
21:19:06 amanda: challenges not chores love it
21:19:14 Norman: it is a cliche
21:19:31 amanda: how so ?
21:19:41 Norman: all buzz words
21:20:24 Norman: why do we have to be credentialed at all....
21:20:31 Norman: do stuff
21:21:22 Norman: Lisa credentialing is so un innovative
21:21:49 Lisa Nielsen: Norman, I agree, but for many jobs there is a degree requirement to get in the door. Ridic!!! but necessary for now :(
21:21:59 Lisa Nielsen: I don't believe in taking notes!
21:22:02 amanda: :p
21:22:19 Norman: you were just trying to learn the rules
21:22:39 Lisa Nielsen: teachers should give students notes
21:22:50 Norman: did you ever ask yourself what you wanted to learn
21:23:00 Lisa Nielsen: I think he knew how to learn, but traditional school isn't learning
21:23:14 Norman: yes that is true
21:23:21 Norman: it is credentialing
21:23:21 Lisa Nielsen: There is a livescribe pen
21:24:20 amanda: i love that
21:24:24 Norman: students and teachers create learning together
21:24:50 Norman: the lecture method should be killed
21:25:01 Jodhbir: Agreed!
21:25:07 Norman: before we all die of powerpoint
21:25:20 Jodhbir: :D
21:25:44 josepopoff: could we rather transform lecture method into something more interactive instead?
21:25:54 Norman: without a doubt
21:26:07 Norman: dont allow the teacher to leacture
21:26:14 Norman: ask questions
21:26:19 Norman: butt in
21:26:19 Lisa Nielsen: BTW...so glad you were able to join us Norman!!!
21:26:55 Norman: my four years of undergraduate costs 800 dollars
21:27:03 Norman: it can be done
21:27:11 Norman: and it was SUNY
21:28:06 Norman: i was never bored in college
21:28:19 Norman: nor am I now
21:28:22 Lisa Nielsen: Norman, for me worse than the cost was the waste of time
21:28:29 Lisa Nielsen: I was always bored in college
21:28:37 Norman: I was lucky that way lisa
21:28:39 Lisa Nielsen: bored, bored, bored to death
21:28:42 amanda: i agree lisa alot of school is just busy work
21:28:49 Lisa Nielsen: I wish that the work I had was real
21:28:50 Norman: because I met wonderful teachers
21:28:56 Lisa Nielsen: It was almost always fake
21:29:08 Lisa Nielsen: Norman, did you get to do real world stuff?
21:29:15 Norman: yes
21:29:24 Norman: it was the sixties:)
21:29:45 Norman: I wrote newspaper articles
21:29:50 Lisa Nielsen: I was a sprinting trooper. I did everything fast and graduated at 19 having no idea what to do next
21:30:01 Norman: read my poetry at coffee houses
21:30:07 Lisa Nielsen: Oh...I did get to write a couple real articles. That was cool
21:30:16 Lisa Nielsen: Norman, that sounds great too.
21:30:19 Norman: i worked in a steel mill to understand Marx
21:30:26 Lisa Nielsen: I was late 80s. It sucked :(
21:31:02 Norman: i met Bernadette Devlin
21:31:19 Norman: and marched with Caesar CHavez
21:31:24 amanda: at risk of showing my age who is that?
21:31:24 TimeOutDad: Innovation requires work. Would you say that most students prefer to be bored or lazy?
21:31:40 Lisa Nielsen: Ha. I don't think many people experience these things today Norman.
21:31:47 Norman: no human being wants to be bored
21:31:54 TimeOutDad: It's easier to just follow than to lead.
21:31:58 Lisa Nielsen: No one is lazy when they get to focus on passion
21:31:59 Norman: and we are not lazy
21:32:11 Norman: everyone has a passion
21:32:14 amanda: i think neither one they dont want to be lazy or bored
21:32:29 Norman: right on amanda
21:33:17 amanda: ;)
21:33:22 josepopoff: constructivism?
21:33:35 Norman: unrepentant here
21:36:44 Norman: learning is a conversation
21:37:08 Norman: between experience and those seeking it
21:37:19 amanda: learning is living and not sitting at a desk
21:37:37 Norman: there is no classroom!
21:38:16 Norman: gee where did i hear that?
21:38:47 Norman: Lisa join in, do not let these folks dominate
21:39:34 Norman: YES!
21:40:25 amanda: i agree i didnt learn anything in school either
21:41:59 amanda: i agree my child has these spelling words and what the pint of them its dumb
21:42:07 amanda: point i meant
21:42:27 Norman: read Writing Down the Bones
21:43:20 jeffmason: learning v.s. education
21:43:57 Norman: slmebody asks them what they want to know
21:45:03 josepopoff: my country has 18 states only and still don¬¥t know all their capitals!
21:45:15 Norman: sounds like she had a helicopter mom:)
21:45:52 amanda: no she had a mother who cared
21:46:09 josepopoff: teachers never made sense of HIstory to me..
21:47:53 Norman: ask them what they want to know?
21:47:56 csansing: How do you build a learning system rather than a teaching one? A negotiating system rather than a prescribing one?
21:48:29 amanda: if you give kids what they are passionate about they will learn
21:49:05 csansing: Exactly; how do we create a system that does that?
21:49:38 amanda: we step down from so much authority and ask the students what would help you
21:50:16 csansing: I think that's the classroom solution; I pursue it; I wonder about how to transform a school system and public education, in general.
21:50:30 Norman: just say no
21:50:35 Norman: rebel
21:50:38 amanda: love it norman
21:50:41 amanda: yes just say no
21:50:49 Norman: you might get fired
21:50:53 Norman: i did
21:50:59 TimeOutDad: If everyone rebels, there's no longer order, right?
21:51:02 Norman: but it is what you have to do
21:51:10 Norman: that is right
21:51:23 csansing: My saying no works for us, and I'm fortunate not to be fired for how differently I teach, but my exit from the system doesn't change the system.
21:51:39 Norman: did you know what they were lisa?
21:51:59 csansing: Sadly, I have to go. I hope y'all will contribute these ideas to #occupyedu at occupyedu.tumblr.com & occupyedu.tumblr.com/submit.
21:53:09 amanda: i think the public school doesnt want to be changed
21:53:48 Norman: why did you stop living on the beach:>
21:55:42 TimeOutDad: We blame the system, but then we need the system, too.
21:56:23 TimeOutDad: Let's say you're sick, matter of life and death. Wouldn't you want a doctor who went through the system with credentials?
21:57:00 amanda: depends on which dr
21:57:19 amanda: even with credentials i have found i will not go to certain ones
21:57:58 Norman: chances are 50-50 your doctor was in the bottom half of his class
21:57:59 TimeOutDad: Definitely. But you have choices because of the system.
21:58:27 amanda: somewhat choices or the illusion of choice
21:58:30 Norman: that is a great question
21:58:35 Lisa Nielsen: TimeOutDad, doctors, get to go to real hospitals and do real work. Most credentialing doesn't include that
21:58:36 amanda: which is what the system wants us to believe
21:58:46 TimeOutDad: Love it.
21:58:57 Lisa Nielsen: I know students that graduated with marketing degrees, but never worked on a real marketing campaign
21:59:40 Norman: learned the essence of capitalism doing my paper route 12-15
22:00:06 Norman: that job is gone forever
22:00:15 josepopoff: This is so good, unfortunately gotta go now...:(
22:00:28 josepopoff: Thank you all for a great discussion!
22:00:30 Norman: like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates
22:00:42 Norman: that is easy
22:00:46 amanda: ty jose
22:00:48 Norman: you have to eat
22:00:58 Norman: the body supports the soul
22:01:34 Norman: what was your major lisa?
22:01:42 TimeOutDad: I guess we need a system in order to rebel from it. :)
22:02:01 amanda: :) :D
22:02:03 Norman: we just need to say no TOD
22:02:28 TimeOutDad: I would love to, Norman. But, I have a five year old that I need to feed. ;)
22:02:36 amanda: if the system would listen to us
22:02:39 Norman: @amanda where are you
22:02:55 amanda: where are you ?
22:03:01 Norman: Wash DC
22:03:12 amanda: missouri
22:03:26 amanda: where are you located timeoutdad
22:03:43 TimeOutDad: NYC
22:04:10 Norman: that is the state that issued the Mormon Extermination Order in 1839 and did not repeal it until 1976
22:04:20 amanda: awesome internet can connect us geographically
22:04:31 TimeOutDad: Definitely.
22:04:34 amanda: which state
22:04:41 Norman: Maryland
22:04:55 Norman: Missouri is the order state
22:05:09 amanda: order as in
22:05:09 Norman: I live in maryland just outside dc
22:05:33 Norman: [Norman] that is the state that issued the Mormon Extermination Order in 1839 and did not repeal it until 1976
22:05:45 amanda: i annoy our school system and the system in general
22:05:58 Norman: how long have you been at it
22:06:02 Norman: teaching
22:06:11 amanda: i dont teach
22:06:16 amanda: other than my child
22:06:17 Norman: oh what do you do
22:06:27 amanda: im a domestic engineer
22:06:35 Norman: i like that:)
22:06:39 amanda: ty
22:06:43 TimeOutDad: Hardest job, amanda!
22:06:55 amanda: defintley my child has autism
22:07:06 amanda: and i advocate for her as much as i can
22:07:07 Lisa Nielsen: Amanda is a great learning advocate!
22:07:09 TimeOutDad: Thanks, everyone!
22:07:13 amanda: aw thanks lisa
22:07:28 amanda: ty tod
22:07:35 amanda: and norman
22:07:37 Lisa Nielsen: True, true!!! She is fearless and doesn't let the system bully her or her daughter!
22:07:42 TimeOutDad: Thanks, Lisa for recommending this! ;)
22:07:47 TimeOutDad: Keeps me on my toes.
22:07:48 amanda: yes lisa ty
22:07:48 Lisa Nielsen: Amanda also fights for play time for her daughter!!!!
22:07:53 Lisa Nielsen: Yay Amanda.
22:08:07 Lisa Nielsen: Thanks for joining TimeOutDad
22:08:10 Norman: dont miss lisa's book!! Teaching Generation TExt
22:08:23 Lisa Nielsen: Ha. Thank you norman
22:08:33 amanda: ty lisa yes my child hasnt had any recess taken away any more
22:08:37 Lisa Nielsen: If folks are interested, you can find more info on my blog at
22:09:00 Lisa Nielsen: http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com
22:09:18 Norman: Jane McGonigal Reality is Broken is wonderful too
22:09:20 amanda: i love your blog lisa
22:09:22 TimeOutDad: Yes, the Epic Win! :)
22:09:27 Lisa Nielsen: Thanks Amanda :)
22:09:32 amanda: your welcome
22:09:40 amanda: :D
22:10:21 Norman: I will
22:10:45 Norman: or amazon
22:11:32 Norman: lets occupy school!!!
22:11:46 amanda: i say unoccupy school
22:12:06 Lisa Nielsen: You can get Alexander's book at www.HourSchool.com
22:12:21 TimeOutDad: Thanks!
22:12:32 Norman: bye\
22:12:36 amanda: bye