What If…. Youth Entrepreneurship and Education

Jennswondering reflects on recent discussions about education. She attended a talk by Dr. Jack P. Shonkoff who wrote From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development and wonders about the greater connections between different entrepreneurial projects that she and her family have been involved with. She looks at the US and wonders about the possibilities of families and communities funding different educational opportunities that encourage both parents and students to develop their employability. She provides examples both in US cities and in developing countries that have opportunities for students to develop

Teach a Man to Fish (http://teachamantofish.org.uk) has created fully sustainable, tuition-free schools in Paraguay, Kenya, Uganda, and Nicaragua and Bolivia, where students run small businesses that fund the school, learning required entrepreneurial skills in the process alongside the traditional academic curriculum. There are also schools in the U.S. combining traditional academics with entrepreneurial programming

In full


My Favorite Math Common Core Resources

Mrs Jill Thompson has curated a list of maths resources that she has researched and shares links to them

Part of my job as a facilitator is to help our teachers understand and implement the Common Core correctly.  In order to help some of our teachers, I go through websites and blogs and weed out the ‘not so good’ and give teachers a list of sites that are worth taking the time to explore deeper. Below is my collection of FREE sites and blogs that I have ‘deemed’ as worthwhile and of quality that support the standards through lessons, performance tasks, strategies and other resources.  (In no particular order)

She has also set up a wiki page where people can contribute any others that they know about

The list


Building Democratic Learning: The limits of Moocs

Fred Garnett writing from the WikiQuals project, mentions how he has been participating in several MOOCs and working on various open projects for several years. He calls the content-driven MOOCs #edspam which refers to the new range of MOOCs that have emerged after the original connectivist MOOCs. He refers to a discussion where commenters have said that the for students following Coursera MOOCs there is limited navigation opportunities. He reflects on the concept of distributed knowledge:

I don’t see that Connectivism MOOCs are creating distributed knowledge either, although they are distributing new practice and asking new questions about learning. The participants seem to be acting more like Wenger’s’ Technology Stewards within evolving Digital Habitats, (who walk at 45 between hierarchies & networks) revealing new ecologies of learning, or at least new Personal Learning Environments and Personal Learning Networks. It is this networked learning potential that is really exciting in the hype-world that MOOCs currently exist in. Sadly the MOOC is becoming a box in which institutions are trying to capture this evolving practice so they can sell it; they are trying to build an e-education service delivery model.

He discusses American educational policies and his own experience teaching in the US, reflecting on Open Access Models and Open Scholarship  and links to a slideshare he created of a recent discussion on education and what is emerging alongside market influences and makes suggestions for how to create participatory democratic education.

School of the week – Davis Aerospace Technical High School

Detroit Public Schools blog feature the school where students learn maintenance and how to fly Cessna aircraft, the program is available to all US public school students

Davis Aerospace Technical High School offers a one-of-a-kind learning experience that engages students in a rigorous college preparatory academic curriculum coupled with a remarkable technical education program that prepares students for careers in aviation, aerospace, science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

In full

Speaking notes from Special Chiefs Assembly on First Nation Education: National Chief Shawn Atleo

via Working Effectively with Aboriginal Peoples™.com, this speech reflects on First Nation Education, the impact of educational policies over the years, looking forward to the future

When our young people do complete high school – they are twice as likely to get a job. When they graduate from university, their earnings triple. AND more importantly, it is these very students that are returning home, starting families and re-building their entire communities to become places of hope, independence and success.

In full


rMolly and Leah – most unlikely principals

Molly and Leah decided to set up their own school this summer, where they are providing opportunities for children with autism that other schools are not able to do:

There are lots of programs in our community for children on the spectrum. But we realized what is lacking is a program that is uniquely tailored to each child. There are so many children falling through the cracks right now. Some are falling behind because they are in a self-contained classroom where the teacher has to teach to the lowest academic level in the room. Others are falling behind because they are in a regular classroom and the work moves at a pace where the children just can’t keep up. Children are being moved along with major holes and skill deficits that are only going to hold them back more and more as time goes on.

In full

Welcome to LAMB School Bangladesh

from Kenthinksaloud – an introduction to the NGO, great photos and a series of interviews with students who have progressed through the school, which originally started as a project with health care clinics providing healthcare and education to people in the local village.

Now we cater for, more or less, all the LAMB staff’s children plus quite a few others from outside too – especially amongst the poor Santal villages lying nearby. Although coming from a particular religious faith point of view, the school welcomes all and we have Muslims, Christians and Hindus in the classes just as we do amongst LAMB staff. Respect for all has always been the key philosophy to our teaching here. We’ve a built a good reputation in the area on it.

He explains the changes throughout the school, the weekly routine and a tour of the school and offers a perspective on examinations and their relevance.

In full



Malaysia launched blueprint for education system ICT reform

Thanya Kunakornpaiboonsiri reports on the recent 2013-2025 blueprint which will provide 4G access and virtual learning platforms across 10,000 schools:

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak unveiled the plan to embed ICT in teaching and learning for teachers, students, and parents through the expansion of 1BestariNet (Wi-Fi) programme to all schools.

Also, the government will increase the number of ICT devices until the ratio of student-to-device reaches 10:1. He added that the ratio can continue to be lowered further subjected to the availability of funds and impact assessment.

In full

gvSIG Batoví, the first gvSIG distribution for Education

Mario writes about the launch of gvSIGEduca which is

a customization of the gvSIG Desktop Open Source GIS, adapted as a tool for the education of issues that have a geographic component. The aim of gvSIG Educa is to provide educators with a tool that helps students to analyse and understand space, and which can be adapted to different levels or education systems. gvSIG Educa facilitates learning by letting students interact with the information, by adding a spatial component to the study of the material, and by facilitating the assimilation of concepts through visual tools such as thematic maps or helping to understand spatial relationships.

The post outlines the collaboration between everyone involved and links to the project

In full

Common Grounds: ‘A Test You Need to Fail’

Ruth Ann Dandrea writes an open letter to her 8th Grade student students, which includes

“Because what I hadn’t known—this is my first time grading this exam—was that it doesn’t matter how well you write, or what you think. Here we spent the year reading books and emulating great writers, constructing leads that would make everyone want to read our work, developing a voice that would engage our readers, using our imaginations to make our work unique and important, and, most of all, being honest. And none of that matters. All that matters, it turns out, is that you cite two facts from the reading material in every answer. That gives you full credit.”

The letter in full