Friday, May 10, 2013

Weekly Roundup - Week of May 6, 2013

TED Talks Education - Everybody loves a good TED Talk so it's especially exciting when it is on good old regular TV and that is what we got this week.  I hope you have had a chance to watch it but if not it is currently online HERE.  There were several good speakers including the great Sir Ken Robinson who is legendary for his TED Talk.

True Grit - The one talk that got me really thinking during the TV show was Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth's talk about "Grit".  If you would like to know how "gritty" you are you can take a little survey on her website. Apparently I am grittier than at least 70% of the population.  

Self Directed Learning - Before seeing Dr. Duckworth's Talk on "grit" I have been thinking about and researching the key traits of being a successful self-directed learner.  Grit is one of those those traits.  During my research though I found the following pitfalls to being a good self-directed learner:  bad time management, procrastination, laziness, lack of motivation and misguidance.  I don't know about you, but these seem to be the same complaints I have heard about students from our teachers for the last couple of decades and we still haven't resolved them.

I truly believe we need to have less talk about online classes, virtual learning, MOOCS, gamification, anytime, anywhere, and all these other hot topics and seriously think about how to address these pitfalls.

Capital Factory - On Thursday, May 9, President Obama visited Austin, Texas where he visited Manor New Tech High School and several other startup and tech business.  First, congratulations Manor New Tech, you give great learning!

But, what I thought was cool was his visit to Capital Factory.  Capital Factory is a "factory" of startups located on the top floor of the Omni Hotel in Downtown Austin.  I had the privilege of going to a short meeting and getting a tour during the week of SXSWedu.  It was so cool and is a great example of how work will be different in the future.  What struck me was how much it made sense.  It just. made. sense.

If you go to their website be sure to notice the three menus at the top of the page: work, learn, accelerate.

Google Hangouts is one of my current favorite things - I've had a couple of meetings with fellow NMC K12 Ambassadors over the past month using Google Hangouts.  It has proven to be a great experience.  I have never had the opportunity to work in a group with members from all over the world and I have been worried about how we will build personal relationships with each other but the interaction you can have using Google Hangouts has really shrunk that distance.  I have really enjoyed speaking with and seeing the members of the group at the other end of the line as we discuss and collaborate on our work. The Hangouts are probably some of my most favorite interactions with colleagues in years and I look forward to many more!

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