Sunday, October 23, 2011

Innovative Education and Mind Meister

As I continue delving into innovative education and blending my classrooms, I receive input from many of the people in my network. This morning I received a copy of the NY Times article, "A Silicon Valley School That Doesn't Compute" An article about the Waldorf School in Silicon Valley that is devoid of technology in their classrooms. The author says, "When asked for evidence of the schools' effectiveness, the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America points to research by an affiliated group showing that 94 percent of students graduating from Waldorf high schools in the United States between 1994 and 2004 attended college, with many heading to prestigious institutions like Oberlin, Berkeley and Vassar. Of course, that figure may not be surprising, given that these are students from families that value education highly enough to seek out a selective private school, and usually have the means to pay for it. And it is difficult to separate the effects of the low-tech instructional methods from other factors..."

This article is like to spark many a lively debate about devices and educational reform. I find myself asking - why is it all or nothing? Life is not like that, why should education present a lopsided world? Children need to learn how to use all the devices/tools that are available to them. Is there a benefit to an Encyclopedia that is printed annually v. one that is updated hourly? As an educator I embrace a multiple intelligent approach to a blended and diverse classroom. I think we should offer as creative an environment as possible.

While at Edscape last week, Diana Laufenberg (@dlaufenberg) shared that while students at Science Leadership Academy use many creative and innovative educational methods, they do not have the same experience in college. Reform is needed across the board... but, I digress... let's keep the debate lively, let's keep inspiring our students, parents, administrators, and legislators.

While we work on our ideas for educational reform we can share them on MindMeister. This mind mapping software is available from the Android Market and is an awesome way of sharing ideas with your colleagues. As I am using the product I am finding it very easy to share with other people on my team. We are working together to come up with our new three year plan and this makes it easy to share and shape ideas. Give it a look/see and let me know what you think!

Kathy Schrock put together a Bloom's Taxonomy of Android Apps... (Thanks, Kathy) Check this out because as Android sales continue to grow... and with the release of the Amazon Fire (at $199)... I think you may see more Droids in your schools.