robertogreco + mentorship   43

Solidarities of Resistance: Liberation from Education: Reflections on education, colonization, and freedom | The Dominion
"In today's society, school is sometimes spoken about as a necessity for a happy life and as an inherent good. The concept of education is thought to be synonymous with learning, and separates those who are knowledgeable from those who are deficient. This is true even in radical pedagogy circles, where education is portrayed as a universal need and a means of liberation.

Only at the edges of radical movements are people calling the very concept of education into question, creating a culture of school resistance they say rejects the commodification of education and its connections to state building, and even genocide.

“Education is a concept that co-evolved with capitalist society, which has long been known by dissenters to be a tool for streamlining capital accumulation, with classrooms that resemble factory floors, and bells that mirror the break-time whistles,” says University of Victoria professor Jason Price. In his book In Lieu of Education, Ivan Illich pointed out that the word “education” only appeared in the English language in 1530, at which time it was a radical idea and a novelty.

“Schools have been functioning for some time to create students with obedient minds, rarely pondering beyond the controlled learning habits they promote,” says Dustin Rivers, an Indigenous youth from the Sḵwxwú7mesh Nation.

Before the process of education was commodified, says Rivers, “learning was present everywhere in my traditional culture. Even our word for 'human being' can be deciphered into a 'learning person'.”

Important skills were demonstrated through mentorship, and were inseparable from culture. “Some of these aspects of the traditional culture remain” says Rivers, "but it often does so in spite of institutions like schooling, politics, and occupations attempting to dissuade or direct focus towards lifestyles that don't reinforce traditional ways of life."

A look back through history indicates that the separation of learning from community and the natural world is not only intertwined with the rise of capitalism, but also with the formation of nation-states. “All nation-states practice a continual effort to homogenize, using for this purpose the institutions and particularly education,” writes Gustavo Esteva, author of Escaping Education.

In his book, Esteva notes that of the 5,000 languages left in the world, only one per cent exist in Europe and North America, the birthplace of the nation-state and where education is most prevalent. Thus, says Esteva, where education goes, culture suffers.

A Mexican study shows one impact of education on culture: In San Andres Chicahuaxtla, Oaxaca, 30 per cent of youngsters who attend school totally ignore their elders' knowledge of soil culture, and their ability to live off of the land; 60 per cent acquire a dispersed knowledge of it; and 10 per cent are considered able to sustain, regenerate, and pass it on. In contrast, 95 per cent of youngsters in the same village who do not attend school acquire the knowledge that defines and distinguishes their culture.

Schooling as a tool to homogenize Indigenous youth into national patterns is especially obvious in Canada and the United States, writes Ward Churchill in his book Kill the Indian, Save the Man. In both countries, says Churchill, genocidal policies designed to “compel the adoption of Christianity, reshape traditional modes of governance along the lines of corporate boards, and disperse native populations as widely as possible” were carried out through compulsory boarding schools. According to Churchill, these schools were administered with such vigour that the survival rate of children was roughly 50 per cent. According to the Assembly of First Nations, the last Canadian residential school closed in 1996.

“What came down through compulsory schooling was very harsh, very damaging, and very brutal for our communities,” says Rivers. “It still is to this day, because it is all a part of the assimilation process. There is a responsibility for us to find new paths, and new ways.”

“I have a lot of suspicion about the entire school model," says Matt Hern, a long time advocate for school resistance. "I think pretty much all its basic premises and constructions are suspect—bound up with a colonial and colonizing logic aimed at warehousing kids for cheap and efficient training of industrial inputs.”

School resistance is a movement that attempts to undermine dominant narratives around school, and to broaden the deschooling movement to create new ways of engaging and learning together. “I strongly believe we need counter-institutions, ones that can support people and their passions, assist different types of learning, introduce people to new subjects and experiences, pass knowledge down (and up!), provide meaningful work, pay fair wages if possible, build a community infrastructure, reach out to people from different backgrounds,” says filmmaker Astra Taylor.

There are many people in the deschooling community who are doing just that. Hern co-founded the Purple Thistle Centre with eight youth 10 years ago. Today, the Thistle is a thriving deschooling centre in Vancouver.

“We need to be building alternative social institutions—places for kids, youth and families that begin to create a different set of possibilities,” he says. “Something new that begins to describe and construct a different way of living in the world, and a different world.”

Unschooling is simply defined as life-learning. Unschoolers spend their time exploring, learning and doing their passion, often with rigour and on their own time. Unschooling does not mean anti-intellectual; in fact, according to proponents, it is the opposite. “Unschooling is that very moment when you are really sucked into something, whether it's an idea or project and you just want to study it or be involved in it, master it,” says Taylor.

There is certainly a strong emphasis on deschooling at the Thistle, but that does not mean the centre is only run and used by youth who are unschoolers. In fact, most of the youth are local schooled kids. Of the 25 youth on the collective, five are unschoolers, and a few have college degrees. Out of 200 plus youth who use the space, the ratio is the same.

The Thistle is not anti-school per se, rather it is about creating something new, according to Hern. “We wanted to rethink it all—rather than start with 'school' as the template—let’s start over entirely and create an institution that is for kids, by kids, has their thriving in mind, and takes that idea seriously, however it might look,” he says.

While there are also alternative schools with mandates aimed at undermining and changing conventional school, Hern says they are often part of the problem. “These schools are inevitably lovely, nurturing inspiring places, but if they are providing one more great opportunity for the most privileged people in world history, then they are regressive, not progressive projects. They are making the fundamental inequities of the world worse.”

Even the schools that challenge that status quo in a meaningful way are subject to corporate and government interference, he says. Although Taylor and Hern describe deschooling as a collective, grassroots effort, it is still very much on the fringe of society and social consciousness. The reasons are many; primary is the belief that school is inherently good for us.

“The stigma around drop-outs and incomplete graduations is daunting, and you rarely hear of a positive outlook on leaving school,” says Rivers. Despite this, he left school and became a thriving unschooler who has spent the past few years reconnecting and building his community. He currently runs Squamish Language workshops for his community on his reserve.

Indigenous people face an especially difficult stigma for resisting school. Cheyenne La Vallee, from the Sḵwxwú7mesh Nation, also left school to become an unschooler. “It’s considered shameful if you don't finish high school,” she says. “In my experience, I did face a lot of resistance to the idea of unschooling from family members and friends.”

La Vallee knew that schooling and colonization went hand in hand, but she had never "thought it through that the act of unschooling can be a direct link to begin the process of decolonization.”

“Once I left school I found a deep love for my family and myself, my community and culture, life and my landbase, where I got to actually learn my culture, language and land," says La Vallee. "Going back to my land taught me about how my ancestors lived and I saw that as a way to decolonize.”

“As an unschooler I felt very empowered as a citizen—I volunteered, I wrote a zine, I protested, I read widely, I made stuff—but when I briefly attended public high school I suddenly became a student, my interests were compartmentalized and my sense of agency was dramatically diminished," says Taylor.

Schools can be a barrier to ones own cultures and values. “School does everything in its power to make you feel disempowered and ashamed for being Indigenous, for being a youth, for being alive,” says La Vallee.

But leaving school isn't easy for many to imagine. “Narrowly describing de/unschooling as simply 'getting out of school' tends to privilege those with resources, time and money. Generally, middle-class, two-parent, white families,” says Hern.

The same can be said for homeschooling, says Hern. “I think there are some things that many schools do well and are worth considering and respecting. Schools tend to put a lot of different kids together and when you're there you are forced to learn to deal with difference: people who don’t look, act, think or behave like you do. That’s really important, and often deschoolers end up hanging out with a lot of people who are very similar to themselves.” Which is why he thinks deschooling needs to be a form of active solidarity and activism.

An important … [more]
carlabergman  mikejobrownlee  gustavoesteva  2010  resistance  liberation  education  unschooling  deschooling  vancouver  britishcolumbia  indigeneity  indigenous  society  learning  capitalism  accumulation  jasonprice  ivanillich  obedience  mentorship  culture  wardchuchill  genocide  firstnations  matthern  schools  schooling  purplethistlecentre  alternative  lcproject  openstudioproject  youth  grassroots  decolonization  homeschool  difference  activism  solidarity 
march 2018 by robertogreco
How to Learn Stuff | vextro
"My understanding of a workable, comprehensive goal for education, is something that meets and facilities the needs of students. This has to go beyond surmised vocational preparation. Needs is a semantic to soften the core of education: teaching students survival skills. It’s an obvious mistake to treat kids and students like organic computers for information to be punched into. To condescend is to lose their humanity.

What I mean is, how useful will these menus and tables of arranged factoids be under economic collapse? Or maybe our future is positive: how useful will they be under automation? If the signs can be seen it feels imperative that, in whatever way possible, mentors prepare their mentees for times of crisis. And I think the most crucial element of that is reaffirming their value as a person and an individual, by encouraging and thinking through their perspectives as a collaborative effort. Though not to complicate this rhetoric anymore: anti-capitalist education is anti-hierarchical education.

Honestly I felt a vision of what edutainment together was like playing Learn 100 Words: One at a Time! It’s a deceptively simple game, made for a deviously indulgent glorioustrainwreck’s challenge to make a hundred games. So a microgame per word; play goes rapidfire through a collection of microgames, with various styles of play: quizzes, platformers, find-an-object, each based on vocabulary someone (probably) doesn’t know. It’s good natured and very goofy. Some microgames are obviously jokes, but others are very in earnest, and are surprisingly entertaining!

Lean 100 Words is made in Clickteam software (as GT games often are) and I don’t know what version, or what parts come from official asset packs, but I do recognize the buoyant, iconic clipart-esque sprites. Backgrounds are dark, hard gradients, with chunky buttons, reminiscent of web 1.0 or even a Vasily Zotov game. A wall of retro-futuristic, full bodied synth sounds greet on start up. All of the UX has a pleasant shape and exaggerated proportions, which gets me nostalgic for edutainment games of my childhood, and more oddly, the various online classes I’ve taken in my life.

I think it’s the hardest I’ve laughed at a game in a long time too. The game’s tone is just so innocuous from the get. Like the first word (when playing alphabetically instead of randomly) is aal, and I was like, that’s a word? That’s not a word… is this game about made up words? It is a word though, it’s a really technical term that I don’t really understand. But it’s a word! The hint is, “I couldn’t find a textbook definition,” so I slowly scrolled around and eventually clicked on a textbook, and completed the game. Close enough to the real definition? Honestly, sure!

Whether it’s intentional, or a happy accident of trying to do a lot with whatever means, Learn 100 Words is a genuinely hilarious parody of edutainment games. Instrumental to this are voiceovers done by the developer of every word and accompanied hint. They’re off the cuff, not really rehearsed."



"In Learn 100 Words it’s feels fine to hear misspeak, it’s fine for hints to be somewhat mistaken, or trail off, lose their thread, because it still comes back to learning 100 words. The goofs put me at ease, like, I don’t feel self-conscious about the stuff I don’t know. This is a big contrast to the real methodical approach for a standard edutainment game, games that fuss over whether its textbook blocks are working. No matter how vibrant a game like that manages to be, it’s still cut up by a very rigid, very institution-minded push for absolute legibility. A vague, palpable desperation could be felt over their needy hope that this information is getting through to my swiss cheese brain. In other words, capitalist about its use, and condescending.

Further, Learn 100 Words doesn’t shy from expressing poetic game design, like the former microgame for abaton. Maybe the most successful “mnemonics” are associations formed by emotional impact. Getting someone to care is an obvious step to engagement, but there’s a tendency to overthink, overpolish what generates care. There’s something about candidly, simply, presenting ideas, with personality. Concepts are expressive vehicles and are sometimes better expressed by individualistic interpretations.

I don’t think the process to genuine retention, learning, growing, can be calculated. In my lifetime effective education came from mentors who felt invested in my development and were willing to learn with me. I don’t think there’s a combination of software or even other programs that will magically work. Curriculum, which edutainment is, should be about creating environments that can facilitate positive relationships, that can generate a mutual investment in growth.

The coldness of profit extraction will tinge and undermine self-determination. I remember most of the silly, complicated words I learned from playing Learn 100 Words, while I’ve absolutely struggled through other language software (some from my youth, some from the now). My point isn’t that games need to “learn” from this and try to imitate a casual friendliness, it’s that compassion is done, not imitated."
via:tealtan  games  videogames  seriousgames  gaming  play  edutainment  2017  leeroylewin  sfsh  howwelearn  education  capitalism  self-determination  tcsnmy  compassion  relationships  mentorship  howweteach  curriculum  growth  environment  interpretation  engagement  emotion  learning  humanity  automation  hierarchy  horizontality  microgames 
october 2017 by robertogreco
Letter: John Berger was generous with his knowledge | Film | The Guardian
"In 1972, while a student at the London Film School, I directed, with a team of other students, a film based on John Berger’s book A Fortunate Man, for the British Film Institute. Being young and inexperienced, I was extremely nervous about asking John if we could use his book as a basis for a film, knowing how publishers and agents guard their intellectual property. But with just one phone call to John everything was agreed. He maintained that the ideas contained within the book were, in his words, “open to all”.

That was typical of Berger, a generous and open-minded man who encouraged young people to make the most of their opportunities."
open  openness  johnberger  2017  generosity  jeffperks  mentorship  ideas 
january 2017 by robertogreco
Letter: John Berger’s European haunts | Books | The Guardian
"In 1974, at the start of his marriage to Beverly Bancroft, he moved to Quincy, the agricultural village in the Alps that was to remain their family home. I first met John in the same year, as one of the four founders of the Writers and Readers Publishing Cooperative. John was one of several established writers who decided that small publishing, with decision-making in the hands of those who actually made what the industry sold, was a good thing.

He enjoyed collaboration. While he did not put money into the group, he made its financial existence easier by not taking advances when books were published, and was there to advise, finding pleasure in going to meetings when he was in London. I imagine it was a similar pleasure to that he took in being part of the community in Quincy, where everyone participated in haymaking, and John’s table was ever busy with neighbours deliberating on problems or engaging in that gossip which is also storytelling.

Writers and Readers started an art list, republishing Berger’s backlist, including A Painter of Our Time. There was also the brilliant A Fortunate Man – standard reading for all GPs – and his new books. In the way of 1970s collectives, the organisation fell apart in the early 80s. But John and I remained fast friends. We didn’t always agree on politics, but his sense of justice was ever an inspiration and his volcanic laugh a joy. We even went on to win the Scott Moncrieff prize for literary translation together, for Nella Bielski’s The Year Is ’42 (2004).

When I published Losing the Dead (2014), a memoir about my parents’ war and its aftermath, he gave me a drawing he had made inspired by Rembrandt’s The Polish Rider. He was extraordinarily generous, and paid singular attention to young writers and artists, let alone to people needing a hand or a lift. A true listener, he said it was what his storytelling was all about. He listened with an ear for everything, not only what was spoken. And he managed in his encounters and in his stories, as well as his essays, somehow to confront despair and turn it into hope."
johnberger  generosity  publishing  2017  mentorship  attention  listening  lisaappignanesi  collaboration  friendship  europe  politics  hope  despair 
january 2017 by robertogreco
The Minecraft Generation - The New York Times
"Seth Frey, a postdoctoral fellow in computational social science at Dartmouth College, has studied the behavior of thousands of youths on Minecraft servers, and he argues that their interactions are, essentially, teaching civic literacy. “You’ve got these kids, and they’re creating these worlds, and they think they’re just playing a game, but they have to solve some of the hardest problems facing humanity,” Frey says. “They have to solve the tragedy of the commons.” What’s more, they’re often anonymous teenagers who, studies suggest, are almost 90 percent male (online play attracts far fewer girls and women than single-­player mode). That makes them “what I like to think of as possibly the worst human beings around,” Frey adds, only half-­jokingly. “So this shouldn’t work. And the fact that this works is astonishing.”

Frey is an admirer of Elinor Ostrom, the Nobel Prize-­winning political economist who analyzed the often-­unexpected ways that everyday people govern themselves and manage resources. He sees a reflection of her work in Minecraft: Running a server becomes a crash course in how to compromise, balance one another’s demands and resolve conflict.

Three years ago, the public library in Darien, Conn., decided to host its own Minecraft server. To play, kids must acquire a library card. More than 900 kids have signed up, according to John Blyberg, the library’s assistant director for innovation and user experience. “The kids are really a community,” he told me. To prevent conflict, the library installed plug-ins that give players a chunk of land in the game that only they can access, unless they explicitly allow someone else to do so. Even so, conflict arises. “I’ll get a call saying, ‘This is Dasher80, and someone has come in and destroyed my house,’ ” Blyberg says. Sometimes library administrators will step in to adjudicate the dispute. But this is increasingly rare, Blyberg says. “Generally, the self-­governing takes over. I’ll log in, and there’ll be 10 or 15 messages, and it’ll start with, ‘So-and-so stole this,’ and each message is more of this,” he says. “And at the end, it’ll be: ‘It’s O.K., we worked it out! Disregard this message!’ ”

Several parents and academics I interviewed think Minecraft servers offer children a crucial “third place” to mature, where they can gather together outside the scrutiny and authority at home and school. Kids have been using social networks like Instagram or Snapchat as a digital third place for some time, but Minecraft imposes different social demands, because kids have to figure out how to respect one another’s virtual space and how to collaborate on real projects.

“We’re increasingly constraining youth’s ability to move through the world around them,” says Barry Joseph, the associate director for digital learning at the American Museum of Natural History. Joseph is in his 40s. When he was young, he and his friends roamed the neighborhood unattended, where they learned to manage themselves socially. Today’s fearful parents often restrict their children’s wanderings, Joseph notes (himself included, he adds). Minecraft serves as a new free-­ranging realm.

Joseph’s son, Akiva, is 9, and before and after school he and his school friend Eliana will meet on a Minecraft server to talk and play. His son, Joseph says, is “at home but still getting to be with a friend using technology, going to a place where they get to use pickaxes and they get to use shovels and they get to do that kind of building. I wonder how much Minecraft is meeting that need — that need that all children have.” In some respects, Minecraft can be as much social network as game.

Just as Minecraft propels kids to master Photoshop or video-­editing, server life often requires kids to acquire complex technical skills. One 13-year-old girl I interviewed, Lea, was a regular on a server called Total Freedom but became annoyed that its administrators weren’t clamping down on griefing. So she asked if she could become an administrator, and the owners said yes.

For a few months, Lea worked as a kind of cop on that beat. A software tool called “command spy” let her observe records of what players had done in the game; she teleported miscreants to a sort of virtual “time out” zone. She was eventually promoted to the next rank — “telnet admin,” which allowed her to log directly into the server via telnet, a command-­line tool often used by professionals to manage servers. Being deeply involved in the social world of Minecraft turned Lea into something rather like a professional systems administrator. “I’m supposed to take charge of anybody who’s breaking the rules,” she told me at the time.

Not everyone has found the online world of Minecraft so hospitable. One afternoon while visiting the offices of Mouse, a nonprofit organization in Manhattan that runs high-tech programs for kids, I spoke with Tori. She’s a quiet, dry-­witted 17-year-old who has been playing Minecraft for two years, mostly in single-­player mode; a recent castle-­building competition with her younger sister prompted some bickering after Tori won. But when she decided to try an online server one day, other players — after discovering she was a girl — spelled out “BITCH” in blocks.

She hasn’t gone back. A group of friends sitting with her in the Mouse offices, all boys, shook their heads in sympathy; they’ve seen this behavior “everywhere,” one said. I have been unable to find solid statistics on how frequently harassment happens in Minecraft. In the broader world of online games, though, there is more evidence: An academic study of online players of Halo, a shoot-’em-up game, found that women were harassed twice as often as men, and in an unscientific poll of 874 self-­described online gamers, 63 percent of women reported “sex-­based taunting, harassment or threats.” Parents are sometimes more fretful than the players; a few told me they didn’t let their daughters play online. Not all girls experience harassment in Minecraft, of course — Lea, for one, told me it has never happened to her — and it is easy to play online without disclosing your gender, age or name. In-game avatars can even be animals.

How long will Minecraft’s popularity endure? It depends very much on Microsoft’s stewardship of the game. Company executives have thus far kept a reasonably light hand on the game; they have left major decisions about the game’s development to Mojang and let the team remain in Sweden. But you can imagine how the game’s rich grass-roots culture might fray. Microsoft could, for example, try to broaden the game’s appeal by making it more user-­friendly — which might attenuate its rich tradition of information-­sharing among fans, who enjoy the opacity and mystery. Or a future update could tilt the game in a direction kids don’t like. (The introduction of a new style of combat this spring led to lively debate on forums — some enjoyed the new layer of strategy; others thought it made Minecraft too much like a typical hack-and-slash game.) Or an altogether new game could emerge, out-­Minecrafting Minecraft.

But for now, its grip is strong. And some are trying to strengthen it further by making it more accessible to lower-­income children. Mimi Ito has found that the kids who acquire real-world skills from the game — learning logic, administering servers, making YouTube channels — tend to be upper middle class. Their parents and after-­school programs help them shift from playing with virtual blocks to, say, writing code. So educators have begun trying to do something similar, bringing Minecraft into the classroom to create lessons on everything from math to history. Many libraries are installing Minecraft on their computers."
2016  clivethompson  education  videogames  games  minecraft  digitalculture  gaming  mimiito  robinsloan  coding  computationalthinking  stem  programming  commandline  ianbogost  walterbenjamin  children  learning  resilience  colinfanning  toys  lego  wood  friedrichfroebel  johnlocke  rebeccamir  mariamontessori  montessori  carltheodorsorensen  guilds  mentoring  mentorship  sloyd  denmark  construction  building  woodcrafting  woodcraft  adventureplaygrounds  material  logic  basic  mojang  microsoft  markuspersson  notch  modding  photoshop  texturepacks  elinorostrom  collaboration  sethfrey  civics  youtube  networkedlearning  digitalliteracy  hacking  computers  screentime  creativity  howwelearn  computing  froebel 
april 2016 by robertogreco
Jean Rhodes - Effective Mentorship Through Shared Purpose and Interest | Connected Learning
"Dr. Jean Rhodes is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston where she serves as Director of the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring. She has devoted her career to understanding the role of intergenerational relationships in the lives of disadvantaged youth. Her interests include mentoring relationships, risk and protective factors in adolescent development, emerging adulthood, preventive interventions, and the role of intergenerational relationships in digital media and learning. Dr. Rhodes is also Principal Investigator of the Connected Learning Research Network project, The Affinity Project, which draws on analysis of youth mentoring programs in order to explore the development of youth interests and the role of shared interest in forging close inter-generational relationships."



"(3:53) The reason that mentorship is so central to the connected learning model is because so much of learning occurs in context of relationships. And when kids are pursuing their interests and going deeper into a topic, having a more advanced thinker...to help them scaffold that interest can be key to whether they go deeper into it or move away from it."
mentoring  mentors  mentorship  teaching  learning  connectedlearning  howwelearn  howweteach  education  jeanrhodes  via:lizette  2015 
june 2015 by robertogreco
King David - The Atlantic
"Carr loved the technology of storytelling and those who wielded it. He was the only person I could sit with and hash over the technical wizardry of This American Life. If you mentioned a great narrative writer in their element—say Gary Smith profiling Pat Summitt—his eyes would perk up like he’d just seen Carl Lewis mid-sprint and he would say, “Oh, he can go.” He once saw an article on how one might incorporate the tools of poetry into nonfiction. He tore out the article and left it on my desk with a note saying something like, “Still waiting to see some of this in your writing.” Another time he left a copy of The New Yorker on my desk—knowing my interest in hip-hop—with instructions for me to read a deeply reported feature on Tupac’s death. He would bring in writers from Vanity Fair and enlist them to break-down our own stories and explain where we were going wrong and how we could make it right. David wanted us always moving faster, always getting stronger, always reaching higher.

Virtually the entire staff at Washington City Paper was liberal. That included David, but he was deeply skeptical of lefty activism concealed as journalism. David had no interest in objectivity, but he always believed that the truest arguments were reported and best bounded by narrative. Narrative was the elegant Trojan horse out of which the most daring and radical ideas could explode and storm a great city. An 800-word column demanding or rejecting reparations is easily repelled. Clyde Ross isn’t."



"David Carr convinced me that, through the constant and forceful application of principle, a young hopper, a fuck-up, a knucklehead, could bring the heavens, the vast heavens, to their knees. The principle was violent and incessant curiosity represented in the craft of narrative argument. That was the principle and craft I employed in writing The Case for Reparations. That is part of the reason why The George Polk Award, the one with my name on it, belongs to David. But that is not the most significant reason.

It has been said, repeatedly, that David was tireless advocate of writers of color, of writers who were women, and of young writers of all tribes. This is highly unusual. Journalism eats its young. Editors tell young writers that they aren’t good enough to cover their declared interest. Editors introduce errors into the copy of young writers and force them to take the fall. Editors pin young writers under other editors whom they know to be bad at their job. Editors order young writers to cover beats and then shop their jobs behind their backs. Editors decide to fire young writers, and lacking the moral courage to do the deed themselves, send in their underlings. Editors reject pitches from young writers by telling them that they like the idea, but don’t think their byline is famous enough. Editors allow older black editors to tell young black writers that they are not writing black enough. Some of these editors end up working in public relations. Some of them become voting-rights activists. Some of them are hired by universities to have their tenured years subsidized by aspiring young writers.

All of that happened to me. And I know that I am not alone, that I am just the tip of what happens to young writers out there. And I know that even I, who am no longer a young writer, do not always wear my best face for young writers. And among the many things I am taking from David’s death is to be better with young writers, and young people in general. Because every single time some editor shoved me down, David picked me back up. It was David who I called at his home out in Montclair, in 2007, with a story to pitch to this magazine. And I asked him who he knew. And he knew James Bennet. And this is my life. It was David I called after an editor-in-chief called me into his office to tell me I did not have “the fire” to cover housing policy and development, and instead ordered me to write a weekly column on “black men.” It was David who told me that the editor did not know what he was talking about, and it was David who confronted the editor directly.

The Case for Reparations is, before it is anything, a reported story about housing policy and development. It is the story that David was urging me to write 19 years ago. The award belongs to him because I would not be a journalist were it not for him. The award belongs to him because I would not be at The Atlantic if not for him. The award belongs to him because he urged me on for nearly my entire adult life—faster, stronger, higher—and his memory will urge me on for the rest of my natural life."
ta-nehisicoates  davidcarr  2015  storytelling  narrative  journalism  writing  mentoring  transformation  life  living  work  howwewrite  mentorship  relationships 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Mu of Zero | ThinkThankThunk
"What happens when you get to the bottom of a slippery slope?

You end up attempting to optimize a system that has no high point.

It began simply: someone, somewhere, said that they knew a few things that they were sure everyone needed to know, probably on East Coast around 1910.

The list grew exponentially [http://www.corestandards.org/Math/ ]. The draws [http://www.jamievollmer.com/poster.html ] on school grew with them, and you end up with an institution designed to be bad spaghetti sauce.

Surely, though, there are some golden pieces of knowledge [http://thinklab.typepad.com/think_lab/2006/03/8th_grade_exami.html ] that everyone must know:

Reading, writing, arithmetic…

Philosophy, theology, personal finance…

Basic biology, abstract thinking skills, algebra…

Cooking, cleaning, candlestick making…

Oh, wait.

Curriculum isn’t an outcome. The fact that no one can agree on the list above, is exactly why trying to make that list is damaging. Damaging to students, teachers, parents, and a society.

Allowing someone the mentorship to discover that a specific piece of content is necessary to create economic and/or social value. That’s an easy package for me to wrap. Much easier than pretending that learning to divide polynomials is the best way to become an abstract critical thinker, whatever that means."
shawncornally  curriculum  schools  education  content  teaching  society  mentorship  2015  workload  breadth  outcomes  lists 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Mozilla Web Literacy — Andrew Sliwinski has recently joined Mozilla as a...
"Andrew has a background in learning, as well as engineering and design. He thinks digital literacy is a ‘huge and valuable thing’ that has shaped is life. The first thing we discussed was that the Web Literacy Map presupposes that the user sees value in the web / technical domain being described. People in Bangladesh or under-served communities in the US don’t necessarily see this straight away. Job One is getting them to care.

Web Literacy is about empowerment, says Andrew - not trying to turn users into anything other than more empowered versions of themselves. This is tricky, as this empowerment is not something you understand before (or even during) the process. Only afterwards do you realise the power of the skills you now have. Also, contextualisation only happens after the learning has taken place. That’s why learning pathways are interesting - but “as a reflection tool rather than an efficacy tool”. Pledging for a pathway is aspirational and has motivational benefits, but these aren’t necessary to learning itself.

Andrew thinks that the ‘creamy nougat centre’ of the Web Literacy Map is great. The Exploring / Building / Connecting structure works and there’s ‘no giant gaping holes’. However, we should tie it more closely to the Mozilla mission and get people to care about it. Overwhelm them with how amazing the web is. One way of doing this is by teaching problem-solving. Get them to list the things they’re struggling with, and then give them the mental models to help them solve their problems.

Getting over the first hurdle can be difficult, so Andrew explained how at DIY.org they used personas. The skills on the site are aspirational titles - e.g. ‘Rocketeer’ - which draws the user into something that gives them “enough modeling to start momentum.” Andrew did add a disclaimer about research showing that over-specificity of roles is not so motivational.

We need a feedback loop for the Web Literacy Map. How is it being used? How can we make it better? Andrew also thinks we should use personas across Webmaker to represent particular constituencies. We could liaise with particular organisations (e.g. NWP) which would inform the design process and elevate their input in the discussion. They would be experts in a particular use case.

We discussed long-term learning results and how subject matter plays into the way that various approaches either work or don’t. For example, Khan Academy is linear, almost rote-based learning, but that suits the subject matter (Maths). It does efficacy really well. Everyone points to DuoLingo as a the poster child for non-linear learning pathways, but there’s no proof it works really well.

Andrew’s got a theory that “the way to get people to build life-changing, amazing, relevant things is to have fun and be creative”. We should build tools to facilitate that. Yes, we can model endpoints, but ensure the onboarding experience is about whimsy and creating environments where the user is comfortable and feels accepted. It’s only after the fact that they realise they’ve learned stuff.

We should start from ‘this is awesome!’ and then weave the messaging on the web into it. Webmaker as a platform/enabler for cool stuff. What are the parts that we all see at the same time that makes the web special, Andrew asked? He thinks one of these things is the incredibly long tail of content, from which comes incredible diversity. This is the differentiator, making the web different from Facebook or the App Store. We don’t see this from an individual user perspective, though. Although we love looking at network maps, we don’t really get it because we visit the same 20 websites every day.

Part of web literacy is about building ‘cultural empathy’, says Andrew - and showing how it helps on an everyday basis. We should focus on meaning and value first, and then show how skills are a means of getting there. What’s our trajectory for the learner?

Andrew believes that we should approach the Web Literacy Map from a ‘personas’ point of view - perhaps building on the recent UX Personas work. These are very different from the Mobile Webmaker personas that Andrew’s team have put together. We should focus on a compelling user experience from start to finish for users to navigate literacies and to create their own learning pathways. For Andrew, the Web Literacy Map is the glue to hold everything together."
andrewsliwinski  2014  interviews  webliteracy  web  online  problemsolving  learning  fun  projectbasedlearning  webliteracymap  mozilla  personas  motivation  duolingo  howwelearn  modeling  culturalempathy  inclusivity  webmaker  roles  contextualization  khanacademy  rotelearning  linearity  efficacy  dougbelshaw  beginners  making  care  lcproject  openstudioproject  onboarding  experience  userexperience  ux  whimsy  sandboxes  pathways  howweteach  momentum  remixing  enabling  platforms  messiness  diversity  internet  open  openweb  complexity  empowerment  teaching  mentoring  mentorship  canon  facilitation  tcsnmy  frameworks  understanding  context  unschooling  deschooling  education  linear  literacy  multiliteracies  badges  mapping  reflection  retrospect  inclusion  pbl  remixculture  rote  inlcusivity 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Jennifer Eliuk - Apprenticeships - I implore you! - Burlington Ruby Conference 2014 on Vimeo
"The increase in web development vocational programs means a steady supply of junior developers, but are we prepared to help them become productive members of our teams?

These programs were created in response to the need for more developers, but I fear without apprenticeships to bridge the gap, we’re simply moving the bottleneck upstream.

In the absence of an established, structured program, I’ve had to figure out what it means to be a software apprentice and ensure I’m building skills and learning best practices daily. Conversely, the senior developers have had to think about how to integrate apprentices and provide purposeful learning opportunities.

In this talk, I’ll share my experience coming from a vocational web development school and the apprenticeship program we’re developing at Democracy Works, Inc."
apprenticeships  education  learning  jennifereliuk  employment  mentorship  coding  ruby  teambuilding  teams  via:nicolefenton  2014  teaching  howwelearn  howweteach  programming  mentorships  intangibles  fulfillment 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Design tutorials: the basics | SB129
Within design education, there’s little shared wisdom about how to conduct a tutorial. The tutorial is the bread and butter of design learning; the main pedagogic object of interaction. But we, the design community, rarely share the nuts and bolts of how to navigate and steer a student through a successful project; how to encourage, provoke, inspire and lead a designer into new and fascinating territories.

In this post, I’d like to outline a few basics. It’s me, stating the obvious, in what I consider good pedagogic practice; how best to support, guide and get the most out of students and their work.

I believe the things I’ve learnt over the last ten or so years are applicable to other disciplines and within the professional context of design. Whether as a Creative Director or a Design Manager, the following points are a good place to start when it comes to directing creativity;

Listening is Key

At the heart of a good tutor is their ability to listen. Understanding ideas, position and intent allows for more connected, meaningful feedback. Asking questions to clarify is key to aiding your understanding. Sometimes students take a long time to get to the salient point, they can skirt around the topic due to a lack of confidence, confusion or perception of expectation, so be patient, let them ‘talk out’, only respond when you understand what’s in front of you. Wait until nerves die down to get to the heart of the matter, then you’ll be in the best position to advise.

Ownership and embodiment

It’s all to common for design tutors to try to design vicariously – to direct a student in a way that they would do the project. This, in my opinion, is a flawed approach. It has a history in the master/apprentice model of education; watch, copy, admire, repeat (where learning is a happy side effect). However, it rarely allows the student to feel ownership over the content and learning experience.

Within Art and Design, intellectual ownership is a tricky subject to navigate. The messy and complex network of ideas become distributed across a number of different references, conversations and people, the genesis of an idea is difficult to locate. Tutors that have a ‘that was my idea’ attitude rarely survive or remain happy and motivated. Intellectual generosity is an essential quality of a good educator. Having the humility to understand and value that the adoption of ideas ‘as their own’ is an important part of learning – it allows for the embodiment of the ideas into the identity of the designer.

Mutual exploration

However, in the age of the Internet, the tutor as gateway to all knowledge is long gone. The ability (or illusion) of a Professor having read ‘everything’ in their discipline is a distant memory. When knowledge is acquired and disseminated in such a radically different manner, it calls for educational revolution. Sadly, the rise of the MOOC isn’t the revolution I was hoping for.

The abolishment of levels and the flattening of hierarchies are at the heart of how I believe education needs to change. Breaking the often fictitious boundaries between teaching and research to allow for the mutual exploration of ideas is a fundamentally different model of education. Sadly, due to financial scalability, this remains relevant only to an elite. But as a tutor, see your conversations with students as a space to explore ideas, be the learner as much as the teacher. Reframe higher education away from the hierarchies of expertise towards mutual exploration of the distant boundaries of your discipline.

Expanding possibility space

It’s important to remember that a tutorial should be expanding the cone of possibility for the student. They should leave, not with answers, but with an expanded notion, a greater ambition of what they were trying to achieve. It’s important to be ambitious and set tough challenges for your students, otherwise boredom or (heavens forbid) laziness can take over. Most student’s I’ve met love being thrown difficult challenges, most rise to the occasion, all learn a great deal. In order to move towards the goal of a self determined learner, the student should control the decisions of the design process. If you’re telling them what to design, not opening up possibilities and highlighting potential problems, you’re probably missing something.

Understand motivation, vulnerability and ‘learning style’

Every student we teach, learn in a different way, have different hopes and desires, react to feedback in a different way. Navigating and ‘differentiating’ these differences is really difficult. Some tutors take a distanced intellectual approach, where the content in front of them is a puzzle that needs to be solved, this is the classic personae of the academic, distanced, emotionally arid, intellectually rigorous. But this doesn’t alway mean a good learning experience. Other tutors operate on a more psychological level; the try to understand the emotional context of the situation and adapt their advise accordingly. Whatever happens, understand you have a individual in front of you, they have lives outside of the studio, they are going through all manner of personal shit that will effect their attention and engagement. They come from different cultures, different educational backgrounds, so their response to your advice is going to shift like the wind, be adaptive, read body language and don’t go in like a bulldozer (I have definitely done this in the past!).

In terms of learning style, without this becoming a paper on pedagogy, understand that your advice need to be tailored to different students. Some (a lot) need to learn through a physical engagement with their material, others needs to have an intellectual structure in place in order to progress. Throughout a project, course or programme, try to understand this and direct your advice accordingly.

Agreed direction

Tutorials shouldn’t just be general ‘chats’ about the project or world, they should give direction, tasks and a course of action. I have a rule: Don’t end the tutorial until you’ve both agreed a direction. This can be pretty tough to manage in terms of time, as I get more experienced, I get better at reaching an agreement within my tutorial time allocation, but I still often can overrun by hours. The important thing to work towards is the idea that you both understand the project, and you both understand how it could move. End the tutorial when this been reached.

Read and respond

It’s really important, in design, to respond to what is in front of you. To actual STUFF. It’s far too easy to let students talk without showing evidence of their work. This is a dangerous game. Words can deceive, hide and misrepresent action. Dig into sketchbooks, ask to see work they’ve done. If they haven’t done anything, ask them to go away and do something to represent their ideas and thoughts. Production is key to having a productive tutorial. Only through responding to actual material evidence of action can a project move forward. At its worst, students can develop the skill to talk about stuff, making it exciting in your mind, but fail to produce the project in the end. But this isn’t the main reason for this section, it’s more about the ideas of design residing in the material production, not just the explication. You can tell me what you believe something does or means, but it’s only when it’s in front of me that I can fully grasp this.

The art of misinterpretation

Another reason why it’s important to dig into sketchbooks and look at work, is that looking at something and trying to work out what it means – the space of interpretation – is an important space of learning. By interpreting and indeed misinterpreting work, you and your student can find out things about the project. If the student intended one thing and you understand something else by it, you’ve at least learnt that it was poorly (visually and materially) communicated. But the exciting stuff happens when misinterpretation acts as a bridge between your internal mental processes (with all references etc) and your students. Your reading of a drawing acts as a way to generate a new idea or direction. This is when there is genuine creative collaboration.

References

One of the roles of a tutor is to point students towards relevant and inspiring resources. In the age of the internet, when student’s roam the halls of tumblr and are constantly fed inspiration by their favourite design blogs, the use, meaning and impact of tutor driven references has changed. Be focussed with reading, ensure students know why they are looking at a particular reference and make sure that you contextualise the work within the ideas that they have."
mattward  2013  teaching  pedagogy  cv  howweteach  howwelearn  design  art  tutotials  canon  listening  ownership  understanding  interpretation  misinterpretation  embodiment  making  exploration  apprenticeships  hierarchy  hierarchies  possibilityspace  motivation  vulnerability  feedback  constructivecriticism  context  empathy  conversation  audiencesofone  differentiation  contextualization  process  documentation  reflection  reggioemilia  emergentcurriculum  evidence  assessment  critique  communication  collaboration  mentoring  mentorship  mentors  response  action  direction  mutualaid 
april 2014 by robertogreco
How Spotify organizes teams: Squads, Tribes, Chapters, and Guilds | Emmanuel Quartey
"It’s always interesting to learn about the internal organization of an organization.

The way a collective is structured reveals its values, and the function it is optimized for.

Two short PDFs about Spotify’s internal organization:

1. Scaling Agile at Spotify with Tribes, Squads, Chapters, and Guilds
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1018963/Articles/SpotifyScaling.pdf

2. How Spotify Builds Products
http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1018963/Articles/HowSpotifyBuildsProducts.pdf "
spotify  organizations  mentorship  teams  tribes  leadership  management  huilds  squads  2013  henrikkniberg  andersivarsson  collaboration 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Zappos is going holacratic: no job titles, no managers, no hierarchy - Quartz
"During the 4-hour meeting, Hsieh talked about how Zappos’ traditional organizational structure is being replaced with Holacracy, a radical “self-governing” operating system where there are no job titles and no managers. The term Holacracy is derived from the Greek word holon, which means a whole that’s part of a greater whole. Instead of a top-down hierarchy, there’s a flatter “holarchy” that distributes power more evenly. The company will be made up of different circles—there will be around 400 circles at Zappos once the rollout is complete in December 2014—and employees can have any number of roles within those circles. This way, there’s no hiding under titles; radical transparency is the goal.



“We’re classically trained to think of ‘work’ in the traditional paradigm,” says John Bunch, who, along with Alexis Gonzales-Black, is leading the transition to Holacracy at Zappos. “One of the core principles is people taking personal accountability for their work. It’s not leaderless. There are certainly people who hold a bigger scope of purpose for the organization than others. What it does do is distribute leadership into each role. Everybody is expected to lead and be an entrepreneur in their own roles, and Holacracy empowers them to do so.”

In its highest-functioning form, he says, the system is “politics-free, quickly evolving to define and operate the purpose of the organization, responding to market and real-world conditions in real time. It’s creating a structure in which people have flexibility to pursue what they’re passionate about.”

Twitter Co-Founder Ev Williams is one of the system’s early adopters; he uses Holacracy to run his publishing platform Medium, which has around 50 employees. Jason Stirman, whose roles include head of people operations and product designer at Medium, says that one of the best things about Holacracy is that it facilitates autonomy. “Ev isn’t the CEO of Medium to have another title for his Twitter bio. He wants the company to operate at the highest level possible, and he recognizes that all the power consolidated at top is great for people who are hungry but it can be a total bottleneck. There are decisions he wants to make and the rest can be absorbed in other areas of the organization.”

Still, Holacracy can feel unnatural, especially at first. Meetings are designed to rapidly process tensions. The focus is on the work, not the people. “It’s not a very human-centric model for things,” says Stirman. “For example, if you’re a junior designer, Holacracy says that you should bring up everything in this forum, but it can be difficult to ask for feedback or mentorship, especially when you’re new.”

Robertson says that Holacracy is meant to address structural issues, and that leaders will respond to the human element in different ways. Medium has created mentorship circles, and Zappos has similar plans. Williams and Hsieh both “have a high capacity to see the complex systems at play in their organizations,” says Robertson. “It’s not linear or a matter of just following the logical argument; it’s seeing the cloud of interconnections and influences, beyond just cause and effect thinking.”

At the Zappos “All Hands” meeting Hsieh said that at most companies, “there’s the org chart on paper, and then the one that is exactly how the company operates for real, and then there’s the org chart that it would like to have in order to operate more efficiently. … [With Holacracy] the idea is to process tensions so that the three org charts are pretty close together.”"
zappos  hierarchy  hierarchies  management  leadership  organizations  organization  tonyhsieh  aimeegroth  2013  horizontality  holacracy  autonomy  mentorship  power  evanwilliams  medium 
december 2013 by robertogreco
The Promise of Deschooling (Matt Hern) | The Anarchist Library
"I believe that deschooling represents a fundamental piece in the construction of an ecological society. To resist compulsory schooling is to resist the other-control of our lives at levels that dig at the very root of family and community at a daily, visceral level. Real communities can and are being built around an opposition to monopoly schooling all across the continent. The most compelling of these movements are those which are rejecting not only government schools, but the cultural and pedagogical assumptions of schooling and education themselves. It is easily possible to envision a society where schools are transformed into community learning centres that fade into a localist fabric, and are replaced by a vast array of learning facilities and networks, specific training programs, apprenticeships, internships and mentorships, public utilities like libraries, museums and science centres. The simplistic monoculture of compulsory schooling is abandoned in favour of innumerable learning projects, based on innumerable visions of human development, and children and adults alike are able to design, manage and evaluate the pace, style and character of their own lives and learning. The implications of schools reverberate throughout our culture, and it is plainly clear that an ecological society cannot bear the burden that schools place on our kids, families and communities. They are crude constructions for a world that has been exposed as unethical and unsustainable. Deschooling represents a tangible and comprehensive site for a disciplined renunciation of centralized control, and a transformative vision, not only of personal autonomy, but of genuine social freedom."
matthern  deschooling  unschooling  1998  anarchism  education  learning  apprenticeships  internships  mentorship  mentors  community 
november 2013 by robertogreco
SCHOOLHAUS
"Schoolhaus is a design studio classroom inspired by our desire to remedy the growing divide between learning and education. While learning is a universal way of life, education is the institutionalization of that way of life— at times to the detriment of learning, and at excessive cost to the student. But there are aspects of both education and learning that are valuable, and not necessarily mutually exclusive. Schoolhaus is Aesthetic Apparatus’ attempt to combine what we consider the best of education (a social community, invested and informed guidance) with the best of learning (self-motivation, one-on-one mentorship) and embed them into a studio discipline (working-world applications with opportunities for invention and entrepreneurship.)

Schoolhaus works like a group-mentorship, held on-site during operating hours at Aesthetic Apparatus. Similar to a studio, each student submits an application or letter of intent for consideration. Enrollment is limited to 12 students at any one time — the size of a comfortable classroom. Schoolhaus can be used as a stand-alone design education or to supplement a previous design education. Anyone of any ability is welcome to apply; beginners, amateurs, even seasoned veterans. Once accepted, students may stay with the Schoolhaus as long as they and the studio feel is necessary. The curriculum begins with the student’s own self-initiated goals for learning. As the studio gains better understanding of the student’s strengths and weaknesses, learning is augmented with suggested and mentored study. Client-based or studio-based projects may be introduced, as well as inter-student mentorships or new creative ventures. The curriculum is amenable, the goal is to create a shared place for human-scale learning.

This program offers neither an earned degree or certification. We question the requirement of either in the working profession of graphic design. That said, higher education is essential for those who wish to pursue a deeply academic or pedagogical pursuit of graphic design. If this is the case, we suggest attending an undergraduate and graduate degree path at an accredited institution, as is required for future consideration of professorship. What Schoolhaus does offer is intimate, responsive, one-on-one creative guidance within the context of a close-knit group studio in preparation for a creative position in graphic design.

We are now accepting initial applications for an initial 2-month preliminary Schoolhaus starting August 1. The current tuition subscription for Schoolhaus is $500/month."

[Aesthetic Apparatus: http://aestheticapparatus.com/ ]
studiohaus  aestheticapparatus  openstudioproject  certification  design  learning  education  unschooling  deschooling  mentoring  mentorship  openstudio  studioclassroom  schooldesign  via:ethanbodanr  graphicdesign  minneapolis 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Organizing as If Social Relations Matter « Outside the Circle
"What is noteworthy and compelling about the Cooper Union resistance beyond the already-extraordinary sense of a common good embedded in all its slogans it how, when you take freed-up art students and give them a cause they are personally and collectively passionate about, well: watch out! They will unleash their imaginations, in the same way that a plethora of upward spiraling imaginative interventions marked the Quebec spring and summer. Sure, there are the usual sloppily painted signs, sometimes with misspellings, that characterize any US demonstration. And there are protest moments after protest moments, as in today’s rally, designed to be a spectacle of sorts. Yet there also seem to be twists in the cultural production for this rebellious campaign to keep education free, such as transparent banners asking for transparency from administrators even as they reveal how transparent the student, alumni, allied teachers, and community supporters are being in this contestation. Or an oversize Cooper Union student ID for one of the now-deferred prospective early admissions, with a cutout indicating their potential absence come fall 2013 (happily filled in, for a photo-op moment, by a probable current Cooper Union student).

Such creativity, from what I’ve seen, extends to kitschy and silly cultural production for online and social media — not tired memes, but rather faked, funny photos or a humorously false Cooper Union Web site — to wearable artifacts like buttons and “Stay Free or Die Tryin’” patches — to crafty gadgets– such as during their late-fall occupation, to “fly” pizza up the outside of the building to the occupiers via pulleys, ropes, and balloons — to well-written newspaper, communiques, and press releases, to today’s moving testimonials from deferred early admissions students, read by some of those prospects themselves or read for some of the ones from places around the United States. There’s a way in which the spectacle and end-run maneuvers that the administration keeps trying to make just get out-spectacled and out-run by their dynamism of the art students conjuring up new visual, new visions, new strategies — again only underscoring the “value” of free and freeing education.

Perhaps most important, though, I was reminded today of what good organizing looks like. Or to be more precise, I was reminded of what organizing — versus activism — is all about. There’s aspirations, imagination, and also substance backing up these students’ resistance, and the substance is all about both winning and doing so by forging increasingly widening and deeper circles of social relations, and social relations that appear, from my outsider vantage point, to be far more comradely and nonhierarchical than many among social struggles. That’s not to say that this cold afternoon’s rally was large; it wasn’t, attracting maybe a couple hundred folks at most. But as now-deferred prospective student after student got up to read their varied, often-eloquent remarks, or have them read by a current Cooper Union student or an alumni, for upward of an hour, it became clearer and clearer how much work went into finding, educating, involving, and gaining the support and participation of these frequently far-afield potential students. In fact, one of the statements mentioned how current Cooper Union students, faculty, and alumni had reached out to the current higher schooler applying for early admission to explain the deferral (an administration tactic and, as several prospects noted, a “betrayal”) and draw them into this cause — a cause, as several of the prospective students mentioned, wasn’t about them necessarily getting into Cooper Union but about extending the idea that education should be free and available, sustaining people’s self and social exploration in a life of the mind and arts, and thus bettering our world.

Organizing, good organizing, is to my mind the slow, steady, one-on-one building of relations and interconnections that are at odds with how people are treated under capitalism. Instead of instrumentalizing people for what they can give us or do for us, we look to each other as having worth unto ourselves, and for how we can cement relations of sociability, collaboration, and solidarity — as some of the speakers observed today. Expedient activism falls apart under its own flimsy weight; there’s little there to sustain it, especially when the going inevitably gets rough or disappointing. Here, patient and what appears to be joyful organizing might just have a fighting chance of leaving something in its wake: a win for free education perhaps, or if not, a yardstick of how we can reignite our imaginations and rekindle qualitative social relations."
cooperunion  organizing  activism  freeeducation  education  protest  creativity  2013  resistance  caseygollan  cindymilstein  commongood  egalitarianism  culture  culturalproduction  slow  hierarchy  flatness  slowness  relationships  interconnectivity  interconnectedness  interdependence  capitalism  anarchism  socialrelations  socialjustice  mentorship  leadership  nonhierarchical  horizontality  horizontalidad  interconnected 
february 2013 by robertogreco
The Heart Grows Smarter - NYTimes.com
"It’s not that the men who flourished had perfect childhoods. Rather, as Vaillant puts it, “What goes right is more important than what goes wrong.” The positive effect of one loving relative, mentor or friend can overwhelm the negative effects of the bad things that happen.

In case after case, the magic formula is capacity for intimacy combined with persistence, discipline, order and dependability. The men who could be affectionate about people and organized about things had very enjoyable lives."

"Over the past half-century or so, American culture has become more attuned to the power of relationships. Masculinity has changed, at least a bit.

The so-called Flynn Effect describes the rise in measured I.Q. scores over the decades. Perhaps we could invent something called the Grant Effect, on the improvement of mass emotional intelligence over the decades. This gradual change might be one of the greatest contributors to progress and well-being that we’ve experienced in our lifetimes."
dependability  order  discipline  persistence  whatmatters  leadership  happiness  life  aging  georgevaillant  grantstudy  change  psychology  culture  2012  emotions  success  responsiveclassroom  response  socialemotionallearning  socialemotional  intimacy  friendship  mentorship  mentoring  mentors  emotionalintelligence  tcsnmy  relationships  davidbrooks 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Innovation in Education | Fast Company
"Nikhil Goyal, student and author of One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student's Assessment of School:

1. Make cities our classrooms. … projects, apprenticeships, working with mentors, and traveling … community should be our curriculum …

2. Swap pedagogy for andragogy. We need to switch from pedagogy (teacher-focused) to andragogy (adult-leading). In this model of education, children have control, they are motivated intrinsically, and the curriculum is problem- rather than content-orientated. We need to have young people become the captains of their learning. …

3. Hike teacher pay and end market-based rewards. …

Gever Tulley, founder, Brightworks and the Tinkering School:

1. Focus on microschools: Schools don't have to be big. The hyper-local micro-school can compete on a financial basis while delivering a more engaging learning experience.

2. Make room for alternative schools. …

3. Treat education as a regular practice like exercise, not as a phase. …"
pbl  projectbasedlearning  projects  making  tinkering  tinkeringschool  brightworks  pedagogy  process  practice  practices  howwelearn  mentorship  mentorships  mentors  mentoring  apprenticeships  urbanism  urban  cities  cityasclassroom  andragogy  alted  alternative  deschooling  unschooling  2012  teaching  georgeparker  michellerhee  gevertulley  cv  schools  education  learning  openstudioproject  lcproject  nikhilgoyal  from delicious
november 2012 by robertogreco
Field Study | Don't Be Wise. Be Relentless.
"There are no tricks of any trade. There is volume and consistency. There is kindness. That’s it. There might be a few people out there that aren’t good and maybe were never meant to get good, no matter how much work they put in (and I’m not sure that’s true). But you’re not one of those people. You found something that you are pretty good at, and that you care a ton about. That gives you options to create any kind of career you want. Really. Honestly.

Start now by chasing opportunities. Be relentless. Write. Read. Make. Mimic (but credit your sources or course). Just don’t buy into any advice that tells you to be loyal, pay dues, bide your time. Those are truthy sounding old-time wisdom that has no real substance."

[Related: http://muledesign.com/2012/09/i-want-to-start-a-company-right-out-of-school/ and http://www.quora.com/David-Cole/Posts/Startups-and-Studios ]
cv  practice  experience  mikemonteiro  payingdues  hazing  consistency  volume  doing  making  learning  mentoring  mentors  mentorship  advice  careersm  startups  design  2012  kindnes  creativity 
september 2012 by robertogreco
I want to start a company right out of school! :: Mule Design Studio
"If you are serious about a career in design, the absolute best thing you can do right now is to get yourself a job at a studio working for experienced designers who are willing to teach you the parts of the trade you didn’t get in school. A good designer understands that part of their role is to teach the next generation."

[Two responses: http://www.quora.com/David-Cole/Posts/Startups-and-Studios and http://blog.keenancummings.com/post/31480548551/dont-be-wise ]
apprenticeships  design  trade  time  learning  teaching  mentorships  mentoring  mentorship  2012  mikemonteiro  advice  from delicious
september 2012 by robertogreco
Claire Warwick's Blog: Inaugural lecture
"One of the great assets of the digital, and what it encourages and enables is multiple voices entering into a dialogue and creating new knowledge out of conversation and discussion."

"I was lucky enough to be taught by some of the greatest international authorities yet it was never assumed that their voice in the conversation was necessarily more important than mine. Far more important than who was talking was the quality of thought expressed and the nature of knowledge that emerged from the dialogue, and I think that's quite right."

"DH is…a collaborative field. We have to learn to work together and understand the different languages that are spoken by different partners in the dialogue: geeks, humanities scholars, information professionals, technical support people & indeed the public. In that sense, therefore, the voice of the DH scholar is of use as an interpreter between different languages & cultures. But interpreters cannot, but the nature of their job, exist in isolation."
information  mediadiversity  communication  diversity  complexity  email  affordances  gender  curating  curations  digitaldiversity  publicengagement  blogging  blogs  mentorships  mentoring  community  collaboration  socialmedia  facebook  twitter  socialization  media  context  understanding  meaningmaking  meaning  makingmeaning  hierarchy  dialogue  dialog  knowledge  lectures  2012  digital  discussion  conversation  learning  digitalhumanities  ethnography  education  teaching  academia  clairewarwick  mentorship  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
Diversity Conversation: Ta-Nehisi Coates - YouTube
"GRCC English professor Mursalata Muhummad interviews journalist and author Ta-Nehisi Coates. Presentend by the Bob and Aliecia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center at Grand Rapids Community College."
ta-nehisicoates  experience  writing  2011  journalism  storytelling  education  parenting  mentorship  learning  voice  audience  self  identity  influence  dungeonsanddragons  childhood  adolescence  geekdom  fiction  history  dropouts  boys 
november 2011 by robertogreco
dianakimball/mentoring - GitHub
"the opportunity to offer guidance from experience is a gift…"We don't describe ourselves as 'bursting with pride' over our own success, but we do for others…" … reward requires commitment: "to generate the emotional reward of naches, we have to throw ourselves into the act of mentoring."

As we live and work on this electric frontier, it's important to build and renew our own traditions. My goal with /mentoring is to encourage people to believe in one another, and to make it the easiest, most natural thing in the world to express and welcome that belief."

Examples:
http://blog.dianakimball.com/mentoring
http://revolution.is/diana-kimball/
http://geemus.com/mentoring
http://nickd.org/mentoring/
http://www.michaelgalpert.com/mentoring
http://kvans.squarespace.com/mentoring/
http://adambrault.com/mentoring
http://trash.davidcole.me/mentoring
http://patrickewing.info/mentoring

[Twitter @mentoring and Wiki at: https://github.com/dianakimball/mentoring/wiki ]
mentoring  dianakimball  networkedlearning  networks  education  unschooling  deschooling  learning  pride  naches  gratification  gamechanging  generosity  growth  mentorship  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
Caldera
"…started as a summer camp in the mountains. The idea was to bring kids w/ limited opportunities, both from the city & country, together to make art. Turns out it was a pretty good idea. Kids who said they couldn’t draw found out they were artists. Students who were at risk of dropping out of school kept w/ it, graduated from high school, won college scholarships & came back to work at Caldera.The artists who worked w/ the kids found the experience made them better artists, so we invited them back during the winter to work on their own projects. & because art isn’t just for summertime, we started working w/ students every week, expanding our activities into their schools & communities in Portland & Central Oregon. Today, we work year-round w/ thousands of students, & we invite artists from all over the world for month long residencies at our arts center near Sisters. Caldera’s mission is to be a catalyst for transformation through innovative art & environmental programs."
residencies  oregon  portland  sisters  wk  wieden+kennedy  lcproject  education  art  writing  youth  teens  srg  edg  glvo  caldera  creativity  arts  expression  learning  apprenticeships  mentorships  danwieden  mentorship  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Between the By-Road and the Main Road: An Alternative to High School: Humanities High School
"There are three concepts that frame the thinking in the development of Humanities High School (HHS): equity, leveraging learning everywhere, and rhizomatic learning…

At HHS, learners, teachers, and community-based mentors work collaboratively to provide students with the occasion to compose a cohesive liberal arts education that privileges the arts, humanities, problem solving and problem finding. HHS is committed to preparing students to be global citizens positioned for career and college choices."
maryannreilly  education  lcproject  alternativeeducation  teaching  learning  unschooling  deschooling  schools  schooldesign  2011  tcsnmy  globalcitizens  arts  humanities  community  mentoring  mentorships  problemsolving  rhizomaticlearning  learningeverywhere  humanitieshighschool  hhs  gillesdeleuze  guattari  deleuze  vygostgy  davecormier  mentorship  félixguattari  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
The Future Of College: Forget Lectures And Let The Students Lead | Co.Design
"The technological power of the "cloud" as an aggregator of global knowledge & social network capital combines w/ natural tendency to learn through sharing & playing to create a multidimensional, interconnected network that solves complex problems. Simply put: Purpose & play drive learning.

These students help us discern what is valuable about higher-ed learning & what needs to be shed to save it from complete ossification. The insular nature of academia could lead to its demise, but these students also see tremendous value in its ability to incubate. Unis become testing grounds where students can find mentors, receive funding, & iterate initiatives with real-world consequences. The design community can debate where innovation comes from, but we can no longer look to authoritarian, top-down dictation to drive societal change. If the blossoming of this pattern doesn’t point to a new trend in education, then it at least represents what these higher-ed institutions must become."
unschooling  deschooling  hierarchy  trungle  highereducation  highered  colleges  universities  organizations  education  learning  mentoring  mentorship  apprenticeships  problemsolving  criticalthinking  realworld  entrepreneurship  lcproject  johndewey  life  sugatamitra  peterthiel  via:lukeneff  play  purpose  academia  networkedlearning  networks  cloud  socialnetworks  authority  authoritarianism  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
LA Review of Books Blog: Better to Light a Candle than to Curse the Darkness (Cecil Castellucci)
"putting the right book in the right kid’s hands is kind of like giving that kid superpowers. Because one book leads to the next book and the next book and the next book and that is how a world-view grows. That is how you nourish thought."

[via: http://berglondon.com/blog/2011/06/16/superpowers/ ]
cecilcastellucci  books  teens  youth  ya  youngadult  reading  readiness  teaching  mentorship  nourishment  superpowers  2011  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Leigh Blackall: Our epistemology, and entrepreneurial learning
"The sway that the subject of technology has over discussions about education and learning, is giving me increasing cause for concern. Absent from the explanations of new understandings of knowledge and learning, and their arguments for change, is some balance to the largely utopian ideals. The sub headings in the 'entrepreneurial learning' article for example, read like evangelical slogans, without a single word for caution or circumspect (that I could see by scanning). What would one include to strike a balance? Most obvious would be Postman, in particular his warnings in Technonopoly, but their could and should be many others. Surely we agree that technology gives potential to all traits of humanity, not just the bits we'd like to pick out."
leighblackall  comments  technology  howardrheingold  johnseelybrown  maxsengles  technolopoly  google  goldmansachs  allwathedoverbymachinesoflovinggrace  adamcurtis  florianschneider  gatekeepers  mihalycsikszentmihalyi  darkmatter  gregorysholette  institutions  education  learning  power  neo-colonialism  networkedlearning  networkculture  internet  connectivism  society  socialmedia  2011  2008  informallearning  informal  mentoring  mentorship  pedagogy  self-organization  self-directedlearning  unschooling  deschooling  fachidioten  humanism  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
New Caledonian Crows Owe Their Toolmaking Skills to a Nourishing Nest - NYTimes.com
"So how do the birds get so crafty at crafting? New reports in the journals Animal Behaviour and Learning and Behavior by researchers at the University of Auckland suggest that the formula for crow success may not be terribly different from the nostrums commonly served up to people: Let your offspring have an extended childhood in a stable and loving home; lead by example; offer positive reinforcement; be patient and persistent; indulge even a near-adult offspring by occasionally popping a fresh cockroach into its mouth; and realize that at any moment a goshawk might swoop down and put an end to the entire pedagogical program."
crows  corvids  parenting  criticalthinking  problemsolving  newcaledoniancrows  animals  birds  nature  nurture  teaching  patience  modeling  mentoring  mentorship  love  stability  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change by DOUGLAS THOMAS and JOHN SEELY BROWN
"The 21st century is a world in constant change. In A New Culture of Learning, Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown take up the challenge of understanding how the forces of change can not only be managed, but how they inspire and invite us to imagine a future of learning that is as powerful as it is optimistic. This is a book that looks at the challenges that our education and learning environment face in a fresh way.

By exploring play, innovation, and the cultivation of the imagination as cornerstones of learning, Thomas and Brown create a vision of learning for the future that is easily achievable and that grows along with the technology that fosters it and the people that engage with it. It is a guide book for arc of life learning that shows us why we neither need to fear nor resist change, but how we can learn to embrace change as a way to follow our passions and make sense of a world that is constantly growing, evolving and changing."
education  books  learning  johnseelybrown  douglasthomas  internet  informal  informallearning  play  innovation  creativity  future  unschooling  lcproject  tcsnmy  deschooling  connectivism  apprenticeships  mentoring  mentorship  change  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Caterina.net » Tinkering as Learning
"John Seely Brown…has a new book coming out soon, The New Culture of Learning…download first 3 chapters from the site.

He talks a lot about one of my pet subjects, Community Mentoring, the apprenticeship model of education:

"Where traditionally mentoring was a means of enculturating members into a community, mentoring in the collective relies more on the sense of learning and developing temporary, peer-to-peer relationships that are fluid and impermanent. Expertise is shared openly and willingly, without regard to an institutional mission. Instead, expertise is shared conditionally and situationally, as a way to enable the agency of other members of the collective."

as well as a dozen other favorite topics of mine: play as a means of learning, constraints as a stimulus for, rather than an inhibition of, creativity, and so on. I wish I could figure out how to get my hands on the whole book. There is a great page of resources on the site as well, for further exploration."
johnseelybrown  caterinafake  tinkering  learning  mentoring  mentorship  creativity  inhibition  education  books  toread  collective  collectivism  sharing  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject  community  apprenticeships  newcultureoflearning  online  web  internet  change  peer-to-peer  peers  relationships  informallearning  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
More Educator Luddites Please | The Compass Point
"The educator luddites I have in mind are people who have always understand school to be more than test prep and who see themselves as far more than the agents of a standardized testing industry. I see them leading the way to create inquiry driven schools where students and teachers are not too busy to think. Schools where the technology serves the learning rather than drives the teaching and where the demand for original work is a collaborate effort to solve compelling problems to which no one present knows the answer. In such a school, the curriculum is not driven by the textbook, the flow of information is not unidirectional, learning is networked and students and teachers work together across the boundaries of age and experience as active seekers, users and creators of knowledge. In this rosy picture, individual schools form a kind of globally aware and networked cottage industry of creative learning."

[via first comment at: http://weblogg-ed.com/2010/the-new-storywhos-doing-it/ ]
education  learning  educatorluddites  unschooling  deschooling  apprenticeships  mentorships  autodidacts  progressive  cv  tcsnmy  technology  internet  web  hierarchy  organizations  toshare  topost  gamechanging  whatmatters  michaelwesch  neilpostman  charlesweingartner  maxinegreene  elizabetheinstein  socrates  literacy  citizenship  civilization  society  standardizedtesting  student-led  participatory  crapdetection  mentorship 
july 2010 by robertogreco
YouTube - JP Rangaswami - 2020 Shaping Ideas
"JP Rangaswami is chairman of the social enterprise School of Everything. In 2020 - Shaping Ideas he talks about how the educational institutions of the past have overlooked our human urge to feel free and to participate. In social networks and the open source movement he sees the potential for a whole new approach to learning."

[Also at: http://www.ericsson.com/campaign/20about2020/jp-rangaswami.html#video-4 ]
jprangaswami  learning  learningbydoing  tcsnmy  change  schools  socialnetworks  opensource  lcproject  mentorship  apprenticeships  2010  relationships  schoolwithoutwalls  toshare  topost  communication  teaching  wikipedia  cheating 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Facebook and the Enterprise: Part 5: Knowledge Management – confused of calcutta
"Knowledge management is not really about content, it is about creating an environment where learning takes place. Maybe we spend too much time trying to create an environment where teaching takes place, rather than focus on learning."

[This + part 6 + http://bit.ly/b04OaH have me thinking about Tumblr and other online tools at TCSNMY, and how we use it to learn, model, and observe.]
knowledgemanagement  2007  jprangaswami  collaboration  learning  lifelonglearning  socialnetworking  facebook  knowledge  social  sharing  bookmarking  socialsoftware  tcsnmy  progressive  mentoring  time-shifted  place-shifted  searchability  archivability  retrievability  retrieval  search  transparency  mentorships  mentors  teaching  unschooling  deschooling  learningbydoing  letmeshowyou  modeling  lcproject  online  internet  web  hierarchy  experience  enterprise  business  organizations  leadership  management  administration  toshare  topost  mentorship 
july 2010 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: Returning School to Humanity
"we expect students to be "on time" not because it is educationally important [NBIIEI]...but because we are training workers to be on time. We create "standards" for each grade level NBIIEI...but because we are teaching single-tasking & work conformity. We test individually, blocking collaboration (which we call "cheating") NBIIEI...but because we are manufacturing workers for assembly line.

While people worry about testing averages, about whether schools should be run as public goods or for corporate profit, about number of school days, about what topics to emphasize, the real question, as the 21st Century rolls on, needs to be the very designed structure of our schools. They were created by a certain kind of society for a certain kind of economic reality. Whether that was ever good or bad is a question for another time, but for today I believe we need to begin to return our schools back to the "natural humanity" of the time before the assembly line began to rule our lives."
irasocol  schools  prussia  us  history  industrialization  education  learning  tcsnmy  change  reform  unschooling  deschooling  policy  progressive  individualized  standards  standardizedtesting  cheating  collaboration  factoryschools  factories  apprenticeships  mentoring  mentorship  hiddencurriculum  curriculum  rules  grades  grading  gradelevels  purpose  taskoriented 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Formal vs informal education - Joi Ito's Web
"[My sister an I] were discussing formal learning vs informal learning & how I probably survived because I had the privilege of having access to smart people & mentors, support of an understanding mother, an interest driven obsessive personality & access to the Internet. I completely agree that improving formal education & lowering dropout rates is extremely important, but I wonder how many people have personalities or interests that aren't really that suited for formal education, at least in its current form.

I wonder how many people there are like me who can't engage well w/ formal education, but don't have mentors or access to Internet & end up dropping out despite having a good formal education available to them. Is there a way to support & acknowledge importance of informal learning & allow those of us who work better in interest & self-motivated learning to do so w/out the social stigma & lack of support that is currently associated w/ dropping out of formal education?"
joiito  mimiito  formal  informal  informallearning  informaleducation  networkedlearning  formaleducation  tcsnmy  support  lcproject  learning  unschooling  deschooling  mentorship  apprenticeships  learningstyles  learningnetworks 
february 2010 by robertogreco
CreateHere | Culture | Plugdin
"Companies big and small use internships to gauge if they want to hire young people. Internship programs and their purveyors are invaluable tools in cultivating and retaining a pool of talented professionals locally.

But young people also use internships to try on a career while building a resume. We want to see these individuals meet their perfect professional matches, and their best case scenarios, by providing them with a community that is as engaging as it is formative.

Plugdin is a citywide residency program that reaches Chattanooga’s interns across disciplines, engages work- and off-hours, and cultivates leadership skills. We’re not a discipline-specific program: field training is a matter best reserved for the workplace, no?"
lcproject  internships  careers  mentorship  apprenticeships  learning  training  unschooling  deschooling  chattanooga  tennessee 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Harold Jarche » Learning is the Work
"One of the most effective mechanisms for knowledge transfer which has emerged in human history is the apprentice scheme. via @snowded: "Highly ritualised in medieval times with the apprentice walking the boards once they had reached a certain level of competence to become Journeymen. Then, for some the execution of the master work to become one of the company masters. Dress changed at each stage as did obligation. The educational model was also community based. Journeymen also educated apprentices and were often better able to do so than the masters. While in the early stages of knowledge transfer there was a degree of rote learning, increasingly the apprentice learnt by practice and by tolerated failure. They did not copy the master, they adapted with variance and as such the body of knowledge progressed, it was not transferred as a static entity – something all too common in most KM [knowledge management] programmes – but as a living, breathing and changing practice.""
mentorship  apprenticeships  education  middleages  medieval  learning  unschooling  deschooling  teaching  schools  lcproject  tcsnmy  management  rotelearning  haroldjarche  history  schooling  alternative  rote 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Weblogg-ed » No More High School–Play Along
Will Richardson needs to get out a little more: "So this might totally fall flat on its face, but I’m wondering how all you out there who are deeply invested in social learning spaces might respond to this unlikely but hopefully compelling scenario:

Imagine for a moment that high schools as educational places vanish from the earth. How would you go about educating the 14-18 year olds in your lives? What resources, programs, strategies, assessments would you use? Or what would we need to create in order for them to become “educated” in the current sense? What would that world look like?

Could it even be done?"
willrichardson  education  schools  schooling  parenting  mentoring  mentorship  teaching  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject  tcsnmy  2010  apprenticeships  explodingschool 
january 2010 by robertogreco
The College Issue - The Thinker - NYTimes.com
"Jolley says he thinks of his relationships with his students less as teacher-student than as master-apprentice. His goal, as he sees it, isn’t to teach students about philosophy; it is to show them what it means to think philosophically, to actually be a philosopher. When the approach works, the effect can be significant. Several years ago, a student named Zack Loveless wandered into one of Jolley’s classes and very nearly dropped it after the first day. “I was expecting a survey course, and in walks this big scary guy, using words I’d never heard before, talking about Hume as background for Kant, telling us how hard the class was going to be,” Loveless told me."
teaching  apprenticeships  education  universities  colleges  philosophy  mentorship  pedagogy  auburn  lcproject  learning  students  modeling  via:TheLibrarianEdge 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Hut with a heart / At a tiny shop on Pier 40, Victor Veysey fixes bicycles, helps troubled teens and dreams big
"past 5 years has managed Bike Hut...With full-time staff of 2 & bushels of volunteers, he repairs & rents bikes. Perhaps more importantly, he trains young people from impoverished neighborhoods in bike mechanics & by default, in social graces."
activism  bikes  youth  social  society  via:javierarbona  lcproject  informal  learning  education  mentorship  apprenticeships 
february 2008 by robertogreco

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