Evolution, in its broadest sense, serves as a force to help humans move towards a better way of living given the current times or Zeitgeist. It follows, then, that the education field should evolve as new opportunities and forces emerge and present themselves. But in general, this is not the case. From the Time Magazine article, How to Bring Our Schools Out of the 20th Century
There’s a dark little joke exchanged by educators with a dissident streak: Rip Van Winkle awakens in the 21st century after a hundred-year snooze and is, of course, utterly bewildered by what he sees. Men and women dash about, talking to small metal devices pinned to their ears. Young people sit at home on sofas, moving miniature athletes around on electronic screens. Older folk defy death and disability with metronomes in their chests and with hips made of metal and plastic. Airports, hospitals, shopping malls–every place Rip goes just baffles him. But when he finally walks into a schoolroom, the old man knows exactly where he is. “This is a school,” he declares. “We used to have these back in 1906. Only now the blackboards are white.”
The evolution of education can be explained from moving from Education 1.0 to Education 3.0. I have discussed Education 3.0 in several blog posts:
- Schools are doing Education 1.0; talking about doing Education 2.0; when they should be planning Education 3.0
- Education 3.0: Altering Round Peg in Round Hole Education
- Education 3.0 and the Pedagogy (Andragogy, Heutagogy) of Mobile Learning
Briefly, Education 1.0, 2.0. and 3.0 is explained as:
Education 1.0 can be likened to Web 1.0 where there is a one-way dissemination of knowledge from teacher to student. It is a type of essentialist, behaviorist education based on the three Rs – receiving by listening to the teacher; responding by taking notes, studying text, and doing worksheets; and regurgitating by taking standardized tests which in reality is all students taking the same test. Learners are seen as receptacles of that knowledge and as receptacles, they have no unique characteristics. All are viewed as the same. It is a standardized/one-size-fits-all education.
Similar to Web 2.0, Education 2.0 includes more interaction between the teacher and student; student to student; and student to content/expert. Education 2.0, like Web 2.0, permits interactivity between the content and users, and between users themselves. Education 2.0 has progressive roots where the human element is important to learning. The teacher-to-student and student-to-student relationships are considered as part of the learning process. It focuses on the three Cs – communicating, contributing, and collaborating.
Education 3.0 is based on the belief that content is freely and readily available as is characteristic of Web 3.0. It is self-directed, interest-based learning where problem-solving, innovation and creativity drive education. Education 3.0 is also about the three Cs but a different set – connectors, creators, constructivists. These are qualitatively different than the three Cs of Education 2.0. Now they are nouns which translates into the art of being a self-directed learner rather than doing learning as facilitated by the educator. Education 3.0: Altering Round Peg in Round Hole Education
Emerging technologies is, can be, should be a driving force of this evolution towards Education 3.0. Information access, communication methods, the ability for creative express is qualitatively different than any other time in history due to technological advances.
The SAMR model was developed by as a framework to integrate technology into the curriculum. I believe it can also serve as a model to establish and assess if and how technology is being used to reinforce an old, often archaic Education 1.0 or being used to promote and facilitate what many are calling 21st century skills, i.e., creativity, innovation, problem-solving, critical thinking; those skills characteristic of Education 3.0. Many look at SAMR as the stages of technology integration. I propose that it should be a model for educators to focus on Modification and Redefinition areas of technology integration. Why should educators spend their time recreating Education 1.0 using technology at the substitution and augmentation levels when there are tools, techniques, and opportunities to modify and redefine technology integration for a richer, more engaging Education 2.0 or 3.0?
The following chart provides an overview of the ideas discussed in this post.
Since I have very strong convictions about what constitutes a “good” education, I am often asked how I got to this place of thinking. I begin my story by relating to my summer camp experiences as powerful learning and my school ones as being a big, long blur. The power of hands-on, experiential, and authentic learning was reinforced during my senior year of my undergraduate studies. I took an outdoor education course. As a requirement for the course, we were asked to be counselors at an outdoor education center, where students from local public schools spend five days at the residential center. My co-counselor, Eric, and I were given a 6th grade group.
It was an amazing, life changing experience for me; and hopefully for the kids in our group. All of the learning activities we did had experiential components. We learned biology by walking through a stream and collecting water samples to view under a microscope.
We learned history by visiting an old, local cemetery to study the family lineage and by making our own butter and ice cream like the pioneers did. I keep thinking how engaging and exciting these learning activities were and continual wondered why public school couldn’t be like this. These were all glorious, aha moments, but the biggest glorious, aha moment occurred for me when we spent an afternoon doing the team building course. The group worked well together as is evident in this photo:
One of the last activities was the porthole. The Porthole is constructed by suspending a tire between poles or trees. The objective is to cross from one side of the porthole to the other. The group must create a plan that takes participant physical ability and size to lift, pass, and spot participants in order to get them through. See http://www.ultimatecampresource.com/site/camp-activity/porthole-low-ropes-course.html for more information.
The biggest challenge of The Porthole is getting the last person through as there is no one to boost that person up to get through The Porthole. Darla was a member of the group. She had some developmental disabilities and was larger, older than the rest of the group. The members of the group didn’t make fun of her, but she was a bit invisible to them. Flash back to The Porthole. Not unexpectedly, the group got every through The Porthole leaving Darla on the original side by herself. One of the smallest kids in the group, Henry, quickly noticed and said, “I can help you, Darla.” He asked the group to pass him back through The Porthole to help her. He then got on his hands and knees and instructed Darla to stand on his back so she could reach The Porthole for the others to grab her from the other side. Henry was half of Darla’s size. I could see the pain on his face as she stood on his back, but he cheered her on as she did so, “You can do it, Darla. Go for it, Darla.” This act of generoisty from Henry was so touching that after the kids finished, I asked to take a moment and went off into the woods to cry.
The epilogue of this experience came in the form of a letter from Darla (with corrected spelling):
Thank you for a great week at Stone Valley. At first I was nervous and scared but I could tell you knew that I was. You and Eric taught me lots of things I didn’t know. You taught use how to play games and find nature right under own feet. You have taught use so much neat things that I can go on writing forever. But the best thing I like about your and Eric is that you are both wonderful counselors and no one can take your place in our family group.
I hate it when we had to leave. I wish our family group can stay there forever, but all have to go sometime.
I didn’t do much over the weekend. The only thing I was doing was thinking about what we did at Stone Valley.
Lots of Love,
. . . concrete evidence of glorious, aha moments experienced by Darla.
The core of my educational philosophy and pedagogical creed is that all educators should attempt to develop the conditions for glorious, aha moments for their learners every time they meet with them. So a simple, powerful question all educators can ask to determine his or her effectiveness in teaching a lesson is, “Did my learners experience aha, glorious moments during the instructional activities?”
Due to the interest of my post The Other 21st Skills, I decided to individually discuss each of the skills or dispositions I proposed that are in addition to the seven survival skills as identified by Tony Wagner. This post focuses on vision for the future.
Having a vision for the future is an natural extension of Hope and Optimism, another 21st century skill I proposed. A vision for the future enhances hope and optimism. To clarify, having a vision for the future is identifying and taking steps toward fulfilling one’s dream. It goes beyond and is qualitatively different than identifying what one wants to be when one grows up or thinking about college. It is about dreams.
The following excerpt was from my post, Dream-Driven Education. . . Seth Godin in Stop Stealing Dreams states:
Have we created a trillion-dollar, multimillion-student, sixteen-year schooling cycle to take our best and our brightest and snuff out their dreams—sometimes when they’re so nascent that they haven’t even been articulated? Is the product of our massive schooling industry an endless legion of assistants? The century of dream-snuffing has to end. The real shortage we face is dreams, and the wherewithal and the will to make them come true. We’re facing a significant emergency, one that’s not just economic but cultural as well. The time to act is right now, and the person to do it is you.
We can teach them not to care; that’s pretty easy. But given the massive technological and economic changes we’re living through, do we have the opportunity to teach productive and effective caring? Can we teach kids to care enough about their dreams that they’ll care enough to develop the judgment, skill, and attitude to make them come true? (http://www.squidoo.com/stop-stealing-dreams)
I propose that educators take a proactive stance to move from a system that may steal kids’ dreams to one that promotes the actualization of learner dreams. I have a dream today and everyday that education can become a conduit through which learners are provided with the time, knowledge, strategies, and tools to make their own dreams come true. We are living in an era that education can be passion-based and dream-driven. In this context, the role of the educator becomes that of dream-facilitator.
The dreams we need are self-reliant dreams. We need dreams based not on what is but on what might be. We need students who can learn how to learn, who can discover how to push themselves and are generous enough and honest enough to engage with the outside world to make those dreams happen. (http://www.squidoo.com/stop-stealing-dreams)
- Vision for one’s own dream.
- Identifying and taking steps to achieve one’s dream.
- Finding and connecting with a like minded community.
- Reflecting on progress towards achieving one’s dream.
One of the first tasks of the educator as a dream-facilitator is to discover and help his/her learners discover their dreams, passions, and interests. The message given to the learners can be something in line with the following:
Visions must be about your deepest dreams of what you want when you listen to you heart. You can’t dream about toys or things we buy that only make you happy for a few minutes. You must use your heart to imagine yourself creating a happy life – what you want to do, who you want to be, and how you can help others. (adapted from http://glad.is/article/create-a-vision-board/)
Some guiding questions to help learners identify and articulate their dreams include:
- Given no restrictions, what would you like to do in your spare time?
- If you could wave a magic wand and be or do anything you want, what would it be?
- In one year from now, 10 years from now, what would you like to be doing that would make you happy?
- What would your life be like if it were perfect?
Learners can be provided with a choice with how they answer theses questions: verbal or written responses, video or audio recording, or a drawing. Erin Little, a 5th-6th grade teacher, had here students blog about these questions. Here are some example blogs:
An extension of this activity might be asking learners to create a vision board (see Vision Boards for Kids and Visions & Values for Kids). Technology could be used for this process by giving students the opportunity to create a Glog or an Animoto of images that symbolizes their dreams.
20% Time or Genius Hour
Classroom time can be set aside for students to spend time with and work towards their dreams and visions. Genius hour and/or 20% time is being implemented in many classrooms for this purposte:
For more information about Genius Hour and 20% time, see:
- Embrace Change in the New Year with Genius Hour
- 20% Time in Education
- Genius Hour Manifesto
- Why “20% Time” is Good for Schools
Student-Driven Personal Learning Networks
Support systems or personal learning networks could then be established based on grouping learners with similar dreams. The group would act as cheerleaders, support-providers, progress-checkers, and resource providers for one another. One of the group’s learning activities could focus on expanding their personal learning networks to include folks with similar dreams who they locate via social networks like Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and other social networks.
Dreams will only come try if actions are taken to achieve them. As such, the educator should facilitate a method for learners to reflect on progress towards their dreams.
- What did you do today, this week to achieve your dreams?
- What obstacles are you having or foresee having in progress towards your dream? How can you overcome your obstacles?
- What resources did you locate that can help you fulfill your dreams?
Blogging or micro-blogging (e.g. Twitter) could be used for this reflective process.
As a parting shot about young people and their dreams, here is a short film by high school student, Sam Fathallah. The asked his classmates to write their dreams out on a transparent whiteboard.
. . . and for those who just want some additional inspiration, Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams . . .
I have been discussing and blogging about The Other 21st Century Skills
Many have attempted to identify the skills important for a learner today in this era of the 21st century (I know it is an overused phrase). I have an affinity towards the skills identified by Tony Wagner:
- Critical thinking and problem-solving
- Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
- Agility and adaptability
- Initiative and entrepreneurialism
- Effective oral and written communication
- Accessing and analyzing information
- Curiosity and imagination http://www.tonywagner.com/7-survival-skills
Some other ones that I believe important based on what I hear at conferences, read via blogs and other social networks include:
- Hope and Optimism
- Empathy and Global Stewardship
This post lists children’s books to help teach children and youth about these concepts. Some are even appropriate and applicable for adults. Children’s books, as they are written and presented as stories, have great potential to explain these often abstract concepts. There is also evidence that the brain processes stories differently and more powerfully than facts and lectures. I discuss this in Storytelling Is Not Lecturing; Lecturing is Not Storytelling
Stories are different. Stories have everything that facts wish they had but never will: color, action, characters, sights, smells, sounds, emotions–stuff that we can easily relate to. We can imagine ourselves doing, or not doing, or having already done, what the story describes. Stories put facts into a meaningful, and therefore memorable, context. (http://www.forbes.com/sites/douglasmerrill/2013/03/08/a-story-about-stories/)
Brain Activity: Lecture versus Storytelling
It’s in fact quite simple. If we listen to a powerpoint presentation with boring bullet points, a certain part in the brain gets activated. Scientists call this Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area. Overall, it hits our language processing parts in the brain, where we decode words into meaning. And that’s it, nothing else happens.
When we are being told a story, things change dramatically. Not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated, but any other area in our brain that we would use when experiencing the events of the story are too. (http://lifehacker.com/5965703/the-science-of-storytelling-why-telling-a-story-is-the-most-powerful-way-to-activate-our-brains)
Here is the list categorized by the skill or attribute:
- The Little Engine That Could by Walter Piper
- Horton Hatches an Egg by Dr. Seuss
- The Dot by Peter Reynolds
- Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
- Wilma Unlimited by Kathleen Krull
- Oh, The Places You Will Go by Dr. Seuss
- Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
- Zagazoo by Quentin Blake
- Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
Hope and Optimism
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- On That Day: A Book of Hope for Children by Andrea Patel
- The Little Hope Book
- When Pigs Fly by June Rae Wood
- Mister Magnolia by Quentin Blake
- Live Now: Artful Messages of Hope, Happiness & Healing by Eric Smith (not quite a children’s book)
- Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
- Ruby’s Wish by Shirin Yim
- Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
- Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream by Deloris Jordan
- Possum Magic by Mem Fox
- My Mouth Is a Volcano by Julia Cook
- Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
- When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry… by Molly Bang
- I Lost My Bear by Jules Feiffer
Empathy and Global Awareness
- Stand in My Shoes: Kids Learning About Empathy by Bob Tomson
- Is There Really a Human Race? by Jamie Lee Curtis
- The Hating Book by Charlotte Zolotow
- One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street by Joann Rocklin
The entire list can be found on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/lm/R2VU5OSVB73GOX/ref=cm_lm_pthnk_view?ie=UTF8&lm_bb=
Here are some suggestions for a few of the skills identified by Tony Wagner:
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Curiosity and Imagination
I was excited to have Sieva Kozinsky from Study Soup contact me to discuss my views about educational reform. I appreciate his style of interviewing and his write-up/posting of the interview and the highlights. As such, I am reblogging it from http://studysoup.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/education-reform-with-jackie-gerstein/.
Note: It is really difficult for me to watch and listen to myself as well as put myself out there like this but I promote educators using their voice for reform. This is a way to practice what I preach.
Education Reform with Jackie Gerstein
Time is precious, and school is stealing time away from our students.
Our guest today is Jackie Gerstein, Boise State, Walden, Western Governors, and American InterContinental Adjunct Professor and founder of User Generated Education. She has also produced over three dozen Slideshare presentations outlining her views on the student driven classroom. In this talk, Jackie highlights the role of the teacher in the new age classroom, as well as her summary of education 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0.
Her MOTTO is:
I don’t do teaching for a living, I live teaching as my doing, and technology has AMPLIFIED my passion.
Noteworthy moments you should pay attention to:
6:05 – Summary of education 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0.
8:40 – A teacher’s role is no longer to provide information or content. The role of a new age teacher to provide expertise in the process.
14:50 – Become a connected educator, get on Twitter!
10:05 – Jackie discusses her point of view on teacher agency. There are a lot of choices out there, but also a lot of restrictions. What can teachers do? Stand up for your freedom as an educator, and become a connected learner!
17:00 – All of your students should be blogging, creating and engaging in the learning process.
Mentions of Technology
- Twitter - It’s a teacher’s responsibility to be a connected educator, which is the first step towards student driven learning.
- Worpress.com and Tumblr.com – Free blogging platform for students.
- Minecraft - A social building game.