Students are living in a world where imagination to product is quite a reality.  They are able to think of a script idea and turn it into a movie within days, they can write music, produce it, and publish it in hours, and they can write an article that gets referenced on nightly news in minutes.  The awesome affect of idea to reality is quick.  But is being the first mean being the best?

Obviously not!  Teachers need to teach design, evaluation, collaboration, and redo in their courses.  Students need to learn to evaluate their work, sources, affect on others, and overall quality in their deliverables.  Students need to see what they are creating and ask advice from potential viewers and/or share their music in testing phases to see what their potential audience might like to hear.  Students need to learn to self evaluate, slow down a little, and test their potential markets.  Students need to see what others really want.

While I am not advocating that students stop creating, developing, and producing, I am advocating design, evaluation, testing, and redesign.  There is much potential in a generation that creates great work quickly, but there can also be potential damage to others, history, facts, intentions, relationships, and potential coexistence.  Yes, we need maker spaces, but we also need logical evaluation and design.

Thank You, I am older and wrote this article quickly based upon experiences, past classes, and gained knowledge.  If you don’t approve of these writings then why are you still reading?

July 2nd – John Adams – What a brilliant failure?

With great enthusiasm for the event and an accurate understanding for the significance of the event, John Adams wrote that the July 2, 1776 approval for independence would be celebrated for years to come.  Off by two simple days, many might call this a failure.  However, I tend to view this proclamation to his wife as a clear understanding of the times and a brilliant prediction.  I also think he continued on as a great reminder of what America would become.  I think he was successful.

So then why do we continue in education to look for the discrete facts and tiny moments to evaluate success?  Why are we so involved with demonstrable test taking and fact memorization?  Is that what the future world needs from its workforce?  Is that where innovation begins?  Is this what the world is going to remember?  Do your most successful leaders have 4.0 or higher?

I think we need to find ways to incorporate project based learning into the classroom.  I think we need to lessen the rigorous approach to test taking.  I think we need to design projects that increase skills that are defined by the workforce.  Finding the right answer, reaching a consensus on the right answer,  debating an approach, presenting the circumstances around that answer, and evaluating your success in communicating the answer are much better predictors of success.

So to my ISTE 2015 friends, I am sorry that I went to Philadelphia two weeks prior to the conference, and I was unable to participate in the demonstration of project based learning through technologies. You might call that a failure since I missed it by two weeks. However, as I am listening to the great presentations and feedback you gave on YouTube, I sense that I am a small part of a growing movement.  I predict one day we will have digital learning that analyzes skills rather than content and produces wonderful citizens rather than “know it alls”.  Ouch, Happy Independence Day!