13 Jun

cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo shared by Krissy Venosdale 

Today I finally had a moment to watch Jacob Barnett’s TEDxTeen video titled “Forget What You Know”. I had three reasons in taking time to watch this. One reason was this was shared by fellow colleague, Carolyn Jensen with the following bulleted information (her favorite quotes from the video) that excited her:

  • We need to stop (book) learning and start thinking.
  • They took me to special ed which was extremely special because it didn’t educate me.
  • Were Johnson, Newton and Einstein geniuses? No, absolutely not! They made the transition from learning to thinking to creating.
  • There’s probably some therapist watching this who’s freaking out right now.
  • Be the field.

The second reason, was that I have always enjoyed math, loved playing with math numbers and concepts and continue to learn more about thinking like a mathematician. I wanted to see what excited Jacob so much about math and truly about personlized learning. (Yes, I know he says “stop learning”, but if you look carefully at one of his last slides, he clearly indicates that it is BOOK learning.)

The third reason was to connect the amazing things that some of our own PSD70 teachers and students are doing this year in regards to Learning – Thinking – Creating in a different manner that sets up a learning environment where students are encouraged to reach for the stars – to learn, explore and create in different ways, for different lengths of time with multiple ways to express this learning:

  • We have students who have participated in Innovation Week at Greystone Centennial Middle School in December 2012, where middle years students choose their project, planned their learning and directed their own activities. Teachers guided the work, but students were the ultimate planners, thinkers and creators. And, the Principal, Carolyn Cameron reflected on her most inspiring Christmas present ever in regards to this project. The project proved so successful that the school is working on Innovation Week #2 during this month. As well, to share Teacher-side learning experiences, where teachers can take time to be innovators, Greystone staff are opening their doors the day before the official start of the school year on August 27th, sure to be an exciting learning EDventure for all!
  • There are three schools (Muir Lake, Stony Plain Central, Memorial Composite High School) involved in the Bring IT project where involved teachers are receviving professional personalized learning opportunities ineffectively utilizing mobile devices in the learning environment. With the 2Learn Society supporting both the teachers and an Admin member, staff have been receiving instruction in Google Apps for Education tools, engaging students with polling, collaborating and online discussions, Blogging, effective uses of applications and extensions, etc. The sharing of stories of engaged teachers and students, new applications for exisitng technologies and the learning of new resources, tools, materials and strategies are all assisting in changing the traditional classroom environment to one that can inspire our students to be their best in a quickly changing global community.
  • Many more examples from Mystery Skyping, to Videoconferencing to Tweeting and Blogging as a reflective learner are also occuring in various classrooms. If you are on Twitter, check out #psd70 to read and see some of the creative ways that teachers and students are exploring, creating and imagining in new ways.

So, take 20 minutes, stop “book learning” and watch Jacob’s video. You’ll be glad you did!


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