Friday, December 13, 2013

Chatting with Alice...

OK. I admit it. My blogging has slacked and now I have no written record of the first semester of my journey in my new position as the Director of CLEO, Collaborative Learning and Educational Outreach. But that doesn't mean (AT ALL) that I am not aflame with things to say and ideas to spread.

Recently, Alice Lin of the Imagination Foundation Google chatted with me about some of the neat things we've been exploring. She and I have connected through Caine's Arcade and the Cardboard Challenge. My school hosted an event which went quite well--will link my NAIS shout out here.

I saved the chat. As my re-entry to blogging I offer it here with live links to our references. Thanks, Alice!

Alice:  hey camela,
 Alice:  quick q for you if you are not in the middle of something.
 me:  Hey there, Alice.
No. About to quit working. Imagine that. So I can dream about work and get up again tomorrow. : )
 Alice:  hahaha. love it.
 me:  What's up?
 Alice:  i'm on a researching binge, up to my neck in 21st century skills and just wondering if there are any really seminal books (articles or even videos) that totally changed the way you see/do things, teach, learn stuff in that vein. i know outward bound rewired your brain, but seeing as that's not so replicable/shareable...
 me:  I love Will Richardson. He has a good short one called Why School--I think it's a short Kindle book for like 2.99 or something. I love him. Also reading Cathy Davidson right now. She's kind of brilliant. Now you See it--is the name of her book. My dad gave me "the smartest kids in the world" by Amanda Ripley over Thanksgiving break. It looks pretty good, but not fully dived into it yet
 Alice:  oh, yeah, i just heard about that one.
 me:  Ripley was on NPR today talking about the miserable PISA scores.
 Alice:  (the ripley book) what was her angle?
 me:  Honestly, I was double tasking and had to go back to read the recap on my phone at my daughter's singing class. Mostly it was saying how nothing has changed in education in terms of our students' performance.
 Alice:  hmmmm, that's sad.
 me:  Wealthy schools are competitive with the best worldwide, but most schools are about as good as those in Poland. Our kids did worst on open ended questions that require critical thinking.
such a great argument for things like Cardboard Challenge.
 Alice:  I was just looking at's framework for 21st century skills and thinking if we could achieve these things in education it would be a coup! (or a good reason for me to go back to school)!
 me:  I heard of a cool project at the FCIS convention last month called Innovation Day where teachers get kids to submit proposals for projects then bring in some experts to act as consultants for the kids. One girl wanted to make perfume. Another a trebuchet. It was so like CC, really, but expanded to other student-driven ideas about learning. I don't know p21. I will look into it.
 Alice:  Here's a ... document I came across. Am hoping to come up with something a bit more accessible. But lots of useful breakdowns. Investigate ...:
 me:  We doing massive curriculum redesign right now at my school. I am hungry for facts to build ideas as courses begin to roll out. Will check it out for sure. Did IC ever get in touch w/ you and Nirvan re. coming back to Summit this summer to present to educators?
 Alice: (lots of heavies weighing in. well thought out learning standards at first read at least. creativity/innovation section overlaps so much with what we're trying to do, so that was nice to see. No haven't heard from IC yet. I think they have all their holiday campaigns to worry about right now.
 me:  Cool. I will look at it for sure. Good timing. 
 Alice:  Innovation Day sounds awesome. I think some of our CC organizers do it as well. I will research more.
 me:  You might enjoy reading some of Kurt Hahn's early work about experiential learning. He was so on the money.
 Alice:  Am trying to develop a couple proposed models for Imagination chapters. Some with tighter curricula and others looser.
 me:  yes, the Innovation Day was a Florida private school Can't recall the name. Are you familiar with ELOB?
 Alice:  In brainstorm mode.... No what's that?
 me:  That's the branch of Outward Bound that's totally concerned with school program design. You might check them out.
 Alice:  I suppose I could google it Oh yes, I will!
 Alice:  How do I save this chat, so I don't lose this treasure trove of info!
 me:  I love their stuff and they have some schools that rely on that design as an essential aspect of the school. A middle school in Portland, ME, I think.
 Alice:  I love google sometimes.
 me:  Some others too.
 Alice:  There are so many amazing programs out there.
 me:  yes. I want to save it too. Where'd you go?
 Alice:  A shame that even with search being this advanced, info is still not connecting to the hungry!
 Alice:  Have you heard of: 1/ homeboy industries
 me:  No. who are they? Did you ever get connected to that group of IC educators in the Google group?
 Alice:  largest gang-related prison re-entry program in the nation
it's based in LA.
 me:  There's lots of interesting chatter in that group. Lots I need to copy and paste into a notes doc.
Hm. Interesting. I'll look into that.
 Alice:  Just wondering b/c the main guy is the incarnation of compassion.
great for empathy stuff. --lots of takeaways
 me:  Those programs are interesting. Sir Ken Robinson was just in a recent TED talk and he said the most innovative work in education is in alternative programs--I guess nothing to lose so folks are willing to experiment. Check out his latest talk on TED.
 Alice:  also consider: RSA Animates: The Power of Outrospection. talks about empathy as seed to real change and revolution. Kind of amazing if paired with giving kids the tools to think and create and act.  Okay, I will! Haha, I think we should start an #edchat of our own.
 me:  Cool. I will look for that. I will try to aggregate a list of goodies from the IC group to share w/ you.
 Alice:  But not limited to 140 characters. Ahhh we'll start with this for now. I love technology
 me:  yes! the beauty of Twitter is its linkability to articles and blogs.
 Alice:  Yes, looking forward to the aggregation and very much appreciate it.
 me:  Do you keep a blog? I always mean to
 Alice:  That's true but I think it gets too pithy and you lose out on the chance for a certain other type of conversations. the nature of chat keeps the word count down, but there more room to free flow.
but perhaps that's b/c i'm not so good at Twitter still.
 me:  Yup. Feels a bit like talking down an echo chamber sometimes. Twitter rocks, but it's a time sucker.
 Alice:  i used to have a blog, but last post was in 2011. starting to feel like i have a moral obligation to share some thoughts
 me:  totally. I know what you mean.
 Alice:  but it's very tiring. i get a bit ocd when writing.
 me:  Does get to be a burden.
 Alice:  haha, i may have to become the first gchat blogger.
 me:  that's the beauty of a chat or Twitter.
 Alice:  this is more my medium. i am a conversationalist
 me:  Hilarious. You may be onto something, really!
 Alice:  by mother nature. hahaha, well then I'm saving this chat for sure. It is surely HISTORIC!
 me:  Cut and paste this into a blog entry. Make the references hot links. Yup. Good one. The Universe is out causing trouble.
 Alice:  this is not a bad idea, camela. heheheh
 me:  I know. We'll be edtech stars and Google will buy us out. We'll have an IPO.
 Alice:  CHORTLE CHUCKLE. I'm already rich thinking about it.
 me:  Ha. OK. I do have to go. Love that you popped in to ask.
 Alice:  Yes, Okay. I will send you chat in case it doesn't save. Later! Thx!!!!
 me:  I am saving this. Might do a prototype blog tomorrow for our new product.
Thanks, Alice!
 Alice:  LOVE IT
 me:  Good night.

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