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Showing posts from March, 2010

A Response to Diana Senechal

In the latest issue of the AFT publication, American Educator , Diana Senechal writes a lengthy cover article that criticizes progressive reformers and proponents of 21st Century Skills. While I agree that skills such as communication, creativity and collaboration have been around for centuries, including this one, I also believe that whether using oral tradition, a stone tablet, quill and ink bottle, pencil and paper, a typewriter, or blog, students need to learn how to communicate their thoughts and ideas with the tools available to them. I have been assisting with a 21st Century Literacy course in our district the last two years, and involved with a group looking at how the Partnership for 21st Century Skills might work in Minnesota as well. Last year, I cringed when the parent advocate for P21 here told a group that these were, "non-academic skills." To me, they are important skills used by students to demonstrate understanding of the core curriculum, not separate fr

The TEDx Project

Earlier this year, I blogged about The Alice Project , an amazing authentic learning opportunity developed by Texas Educator, Christian Long . Long has developed a new student project, based on TED talks , titled The TEDx Project . This new project, which kicks off April 5, has his students individually analyze 1 TED Talk per week (Students sign up, so ultimately all 600+ TED talks will be analyzed!), publicly defend one of the talks, and create a 5-10 minute talk of their own on something they are passionate about using the theme, “What Matters (to You)?” The students will present their talks "in Ignite or Pecha Kucha style — 20 slides of 15 to 20 seconds each." They will then upload their videos to Youtube and embed them on his blog. Long states, " students will prepare with a ‘global’ audience in mind from day one. " He is looking for teachers to help judge his students work, and is also inviting Middle and High School teachers to submit their own student&#