A Mom First

In All Things, A Mom First

Transition from “Teaching” to “Learning”

One of the 8 Driving Forces changing education is a transition from a Teaching to a Learning environment in schools, as sited by Thomas Frey on the FutureSpeak.org website.

The Future of Education  (click to go to the website archive and read the full article and 8 driving factors). This one really stands out to me as the problem with current eduction — we have not transitioned to a “learning” as opposed to “teaching” model.

#1 Transition from Teaching to Learning:

Education has traditionally consisted of the two fundamental elements of teaching and learning, with a heavy emphasis on teaching.

Throughout history, the transfer of information from the teacher to the learner has been done on a person-to-person basis. A teacher stands in front of a room and imparts the information for a student to learn. Because this approach requires the teacher to be an expert on every topic that they teach, this is referred to as the “sage on stage” form of education.

While lecture-style teaching has been used for centuries to build today’s literate and competent society, it ends up being a highly inefficient system, in many respects, the “equivalent of using Roman numerals.” For any new topic to be taught, a new expert needs to be created, and this universal need for more and more experts has become a serious chokepoint for learning.

To illustrate this point, let’s look at the example of a new topic that cannot be taught because the expert on this topic lives on the other side of the world. A teacher-dependent education system is also time-dependent, location-dependent, and situation-dependent. The teachers act as a control valve, turning on or off the flow of information.

The education system of the future will undergo a transition from a heavy emphasis on teaching to a heavy emphasis on learning. Experts will create the courseware and the students will learn anytime or anywhere at a pace that is comfortable for them, learning about topics that they are interested in.

In the future, teachers will transition from topic experts to a role in which they act more as guides and coaches.

GOOD NEWS! Van Meter, Iowa is transforming education.

Educational Transformation: The Beginning of the Beginning.

Click on the link above to see the full article about what Van Meter, Iowa is doing to change education in Iowa which could put Iowa back on top. Here is an exerpt:
Through #vanmeter, online and onsite, we all are connecting and learning. Size of school district, economic condition, “labels” and location in the World, old barriers to learning, are quickly fading away. “Welcome to the future

Together we are making this happen. Your participation and continued support is creating energy and a force that is reshaping and transforming current education into a system that empowers students to THINK, LEAD, and SERVE.

You can watch the “Transforming Education” clips of the January 28, 2010 presentation at the capital on Deron Durflinger’s Justin.TV channel.


April 18, 2011 Posted by | Social Media Mom | Leave a comment

How To Get A Real Education

Here is an article shared by my friend, Twitter @hostiowa. It’s a great article written by Scott Adams, the creator of the comic “Dilbert,” for the Wall Street Journal online April 9, 2011.  Forget art history and calculus. Most students need to learn how to run a business, says Scott Adams…

Why do we make B students sit through the same classes as their brainy peers? That’s like trying to train your cat to do your taxes—a waste of time and money. Wouldn’t it make sense to teach them something useful instead?
The article is fun and interesting and brings up the need for students coming out of college to have practical skills that bring value to the work place. Adams seems to be including himself in that group of “B” students. He majored in entrepreneurship at Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y. and feels by the time he graduated he “had mastered the strange art of transforming nothing into something.” He did however go on to receive an MBA from Berkeley’s Haas School of Business which he calls the “fine-tuning” he needed to “see the world through an entreprenuer’s eyes.”
If you want to read the full article, it is great and the beginning is an entertaining story from his college years: How to Get a Real Education. But the end of the article he gives a list of what an education in entrepreneurship should include, and what lessons he learned:
Combine Skills. The first thing you should learn in a course on entrepreneurship is how to make yourself valuable. It’s unlikely that any average student can develop a world-class skill in one particular area. But it’s easy to learn how to do several different things fairly well. I succeeded as a cartoonist with negligible art talent, some basic writing skills, an ordinary sense of humor and a bit of experience in the business world. The “Dilbert” comic is a combination of all four skills. The world has plenty of better artists, smarter writers, funnier humorists and more experienced business people. The rare part is that each of those modest skills is collected in one person. That’s how value is created.

Fail Forward. If you’re taking risks, and you probably should, you can find yourself failing 90% of the time. The trick is to get paid while you’re doing the failing and to use the experience to gain skills that will be useful later. I failed at my first career in banking. I failed at my second career with the phone company. But you’d be surprised at how many of the skills I learned in those careers can be applied to almost any field, including cartooning. Students should be taught that failure is a process, not an obstacle.

Find the Action. In my senior year of college I asked my adviser how I should pursue my goal of being a banker. He told me to figure out where the most innovation in banking was happening and to move there. And so I did. Banking didn’t work out for me, but the advice still holds: Move to where the action is. Distance is your enemy.

Attract Luck. You can’t manage luck directly, but you can manage your career in a way that makes it easier for luck to find you. To succeed, first you must do something. And if that doesn’t work, which can be 90% of the time, do something else. Luck finds the doers. Readers of the Journal will find this point obvious. It’s not obvious to a teenager.

Conquer Fear. I took classes in public speaking in college and a few more during my corporate days. That training was marginally useful for learning how to mask nervousness in public. Then I took the Dale Carnegie course. It was life-changing. The Dale Carnegie method ignores speaking technique entirely and trains you instead to enjoy the experience of speaking to a crowd. Once you become relaxed in front of people, technique comes automatically. Over the years, I’ve given speeches to hundreds of audiences and enjoyed every minute on stage. But this isn’t a plug for Dale Carnegie. The point is that people can be trained to replace fear and shyness with enthusiasm. Every entrepreneur can use that skill.

Write Simply. I took a two-day class in business writing that taught me how to write direct sentences and to avoid extra words. Simplicity makes ideas powerful. Want examples? Read anything by Steve Jobs or Warren Buffett.

Learn Persuasion. Students of entrepreneurship should learn the art of persuasion in all its forms, including psychology, sales, marketing, negotiating, statistics and even design. Usually those skills are sprinkled across several disciplines. For entrepreneurs, it makes sense to teach them as a package.

That’s my starter list for the sort of classes that would serve B students well. The list is not meant to be complete. Obviously an entrepreneur would benefit from classes in finance, management and more.

Remember, children are our future, and the majority of them are B students. If that doesn’t scare you, it probably should.

—Mr. Adams is the creator of “Dilbert.”

April 17, 2011 Posted by | education, Social Media Mom | , , , | Leave a comment

What Makes a Great Mom? Des Moines Register Wants to Know by April 22!

What qualities make your mom a standout parent? Humor? Compassion? Patience?

Or is she amazing because she always knows when to say no, when to say yes
and when to say nothing at all?

Tell us a story about your mom’s best quality for an upcoming article on
what makes a mom.

Send it by April 22 to Register reporter Jane Schorer
Meisner at jmeisner@dmreg.com or The Des Moines Register, P.O. Box 957, Des
Moines, Ia. 50306-0957.

This article was first contribututed by:

KatieKunert Katie Kunert
Graphic Artist | Des Moines Register
(515) 284-8567 | kkunert@dmreg.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/DM_MomsLikeMe
Facebook: http://facebook.com/momslikeme.desmoines

April 13, 2011 Posted by | Social Media Mom | | 1 Comment