Love the idea of interactive badges. This is a fascinating idea that is part of the open badge movement. This article from Earth works describes the concept and gives a mock up. Yong Zhao from the University of Oregon talks about eventually having a system of "microcredits" where you earn small credits for small, discrete things you learn. I see all of these as coming together as part of that shift. School credits and PLU's and CEU's will eventually no longer be in 10 hour increments or hour increments in semesters. The idea of microcredits and badges is evolving and will fundamentally change how we do education. Of course, there are higher order things we teach like thinking that can't be quantified in a badge or something like this and that, as with our testing focus, is where we will likely get in trouble. The commoditization of knowledge and information is likely but some things do require interaction.
Alfred Thompson is right, we need simpler programming languages to use with students and should be teaching and using them as they level up to more complex languages. Great articlel from a man I consider to be the best in Computer Science education thought leadership. Alfred recently left Microsoft so if this is your thing, you may want to reach out.
I have a friend in the food service industry and she says they are scrambling to find suppliers of whole grain everything. If there is a crumb topping, it must be whole grain. She says the guidelines are much more nutritous but are a complete change in the way children have been fed. This article in the Huffington Post confirms that and discusses what has changed. Sadly, this is more important than ever because for many students,this is the only food the children receive. I think something is wrong with this.If we're paying parents to feed their children and they don't, then there should be consequences for the parents. Children need 3 meals a day at least - I can only imagine how teenage boys are, my oldest son eats at least 6 times a day and is never full. The thought of hungry children should make everyone step up and speak out. I'd like to see people get riled up about this. We are teaching for children and should be advocating for their health. Glad to see these changes.
"One in seven people between the ages of 16-24 are not in school or working, a new report finds, and it cost taxpayers $93.7 billion in government support and lost tax revenue in 2011 alone." Disconnected youth cost everyone, but especially themselves. Work has been the most rewarding thing in my life besides parenting.You inherit self respect and self sufficiency. I think there are lessons more important than content that we teach in schools. Showing up. Persistence. Self respect.Honesty. Work ethic. These are all important parts of living life. When schools pass along a student to become someone else's problem it becomes everyone's problem. However, schools are penalized for keeping these disenfranchised students in schools because they often do poorly on tests. You get what you measure, however, the measurements themselves incentivize schoools to cast off those who don't measure up.
A searchable repository of news could be so useful in class. Instead of having students "print a news article"to discuss (what a waste of paper) how about a current events blog where videos are embedded and discussed,or have them create a wiki. There are so many things that can be done with this video. I wish the news organizations would release it for download and reuse in student videos (with proper citation, of course.)
If you love to read (like me) and enjoy science and technology, this list will give you many articles to peruse (or add to Pocket if you're getting ready to go on a trip.) As many of us teachers are expected to have reading across the curriculum, there are fascinating topics you could use in science,history, or even literature. Not all of these are for high school use, but all should be fine for college classes.
Parents of specialneeds children want them monitored via video and yet schools and unions protest. Personally, if someone wanted to video me, I have nothing to be ashamed of except that everyone has a bad day and it would be easy to take what is happening in a classroom out of context. If you want any person long enough, you'll find something wrong. I don't, however, see what is wrong with administratorrs filming classrooms and reviewing if necessary.