"We are living a public life on a global stage, the ones who can express themselves best, will be heard." -Laura Hill Timpanaro, Artist, Author, Educator

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Whatisschool July 24, 2014

Wow! A live chat.

I was as surprised as you to find Steve Sherman communicating with me live on Google hang out. An amazing experience! After a quick problem with my video feedback the chat went smoothly along and was really like nothing I've ever experienced.  What I learned tonight was that live is a great way to learn and I am excited to do this again!  Take a look at our chat if you missed the live feed.  The archive of tonight's #whatisschool is posted below.

Links you might like from Steve Global classroom  Skype in the classroom

Student Engagement In A Global Classroom.

#WhatIsSchool July 24, 2014 7PM EDT

Last week on #whatisschool we began a conversation about teaching in a global classroom. Learning without walls is a concept that many educators have only begun to examine as classrooms continue to expand to include interaction with students around the world.  This week we delve even deeper into the global classroom to examine expansive ways of teaching to large groups of students. Joining us to share his insights and ideas is Steve Sherman, managing Director of an Educational NGO Living Maths, who teaches 4500 students weekly in schools around Cape Town.  I had a chance to ask Steve some questions about how he started his global classroom.

Steve Sherman, Director of Educational NGO, Living Maths

Laura: Hi Steve, thanks for agreeing to join us for #whatisschool Thursday night at 7PM EDT, I believe that’s around 1am Cape Town time.

Steve: Yes, that’s what I got by my calculation. But the middle of the night doesn't scare me.

Laura: We are excited to have you! Last week we featured your Ted Ex talk about building a global classroom, I was curious about what motivated you to begin teaching on a global scale?

Steve: To connect, to create, to learn and to share.  There is something profoundly invigorating when students from 2 or more different countries can exchange ideas.

Laura: But you teach a class of 4500 students, that’s amazing! How do you prepare?

Steve: I used to teach at over 30 schools a week locally and at different schools around South Africa and the world – reaching approx. 4500 in the course of a week.  When one teaches online, audience size that are watching the live stream could be any size.

Laura:  What advice would you give to educators desiring to turn their classroom into a global exchange?

Steve: Take the first step.  Make a connection. There won’t be any desire to turn back! Contact me if you need encouragement.

We have a great opportunity #whatisschool to speak directly with someone who has created a highly successful global classroom.  Please bring your questions for Steve Sherman and join the conversation at #whatisschool Thursday July 24 7PM EDT.  To view Steve's TedX chat scroll below to last weeks questions.

Questions for this week's chat #whatisschool Thursday, July 24 7PM EDT are posted below.

Q1) What is a global classroom?
Q2) How can you create a global exchange between students? 
Q3) What projects have you done, or could you do, that include exchange with students in other countries?
Q4) How could you create a collaborative learning classroom working with a teacher in other country? 
Q5) What technologies or teaching methods would you use to create a global learning exchange in your classroom?
Q6) Pick one country you would like to create a global project with and post your idea, now.

Co-moderated by children's book author and education thought leader Laura Hill @candylandcaper and international educator Craig Kemp @Mrkempnz  Please contact either of us with your questions and ideas, we'd love to hear from you!


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Whatisschool July 17, 2014

TY for making #whatisschool an amazing success!

For the sixth week in a row the answers to our posted questions flew by so fast it was impossible to keep up!  This tells me one thing-you, educators from around the world, are passionately motivated to share your ideas and create a global forum that will translate into a global classroom.  It's exciting to be on the verge of an occasion unlike any education has seen in a hundred years. And as technology continues to revolutionize our world, making it smaller and bringing us closer, it will be amazing to see what we come up with, how we change teaching, and how our students, children and the lives we touch, change learning in ways we can not predict.  The archive is up!  Scroll down to read it.

How Would You Teach If Your Classroom Was Global?

#WhatIsSchool July 17, 2014 7PM EDT

As technology continues to shrink the world the idea of an isolated classroom is virtually obsolete. As we set out to prepare students for jobs that haven’t been created yet, we see more and more students getting their ideas into the world and onto a global stage.  How are we preparing students and ourselves for an expanding global community and instantaneous global exchange? Join the conversation #whatisschool Thursday July 17 at 7PM EDT as we discuss teaching and learning on a global platform.

“I’m enough of a realist to understand that I can’t reach every child, but I’m more of an optimist to get up every morning and try.” –exceprt from TEDx Steve Sherman  Steve Sherman is the Managing Director of an Educational NGO called Living Maths. He teaches 4500 students weekly in schools around Cape Town and now recently, the world.  See how he manages his global classroom.


Questions for this week's chat #whatisschool Thursday, July 17 7PM EDT are posted below.

Q1) What is a global classroom?

Q2) What are the features that would define your global classroom?

Q3) What would be the greatest achievements and stumbling blocks for students and teachers operating in a global classroom?

Q4) What learning strategies would you employ teaching your students and others from around the world?

Q5) What technologies would you use to create a global learning exchange in your classroom?

Q6) What would need to change to make classrooms around the world more global and easily connected?

Q7) What is one thing you could change about a lesson or activity that would make it global for your class?

Co-moderated by children's book author and education thought leader Laura Hill @candylandcaper and international educator Craig Kemp @Mrkempnz  Please contact either of us with your questions and ideas, we'd love to hear from you!


Thank You!
For making #whatisschool a place of passion and ideas

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Whatisschool July 10, 2014

Reflecting tonight after #whatisschool I am struck by the sheer number of people who are participating. And while I imagine many reasons for this I am convinced that one is true-Educators and concerned persons around the world are finding they want some kind of change.  While there are people eager for radical change and others who proceed more cautiously the fact that we are talking, encouraging and generating ideas shows a thoughtfulness that gives me hope that teacher driven change is not a dream, but instead a matter of time.  Change for no reason is hard to accomplish; but education is changing like it or not, fueled by a surging technological revolution which is in turn changing needed workforce skills and, perhaps, our definition of what is important to learn in order to live a happy and meaningful life.  

What a great conversation we are having and it’s all because of you!  

Your passion and dedication is unprecedented and gives me hope, that great education can be made even greater to the benefit my daughter’s future, your students and the children yet to come.

How Would You Teach If You Weren’t Educating A Workforce?

#WhatIsSchool July 10, 2014 7PM EDT

Globally, focus in education is shifting from teaching students to be part of an industrial work force to building skills they can apply to jobs in a communication based workforce.  As we look at this model one glaring question stands out; are we educating students for the needs of big business or are we educating students to develop their unique talents so they can be thought provoking and productive citizens

What if we weren’t worried about preparing students for jobs? Would school and the way we teach students change? What if our focus was on preparing students to be great thinkers, explorers and creators instead?

This week we shift our thoughts from defining what school is in order to examine more closely the way we are preparing students for the future.

15 year old Jack Andraka discovered a way of detecting pancreatic cancer, as well as ovarian and lung cancer, that raises the chance of survival rate from 5% to over 90% and costs only $.03 (yes 3 cents) to administer.  He did it with passion, determination and the belief of one professor.  How could your students change the world? Find out how Jack did.

Questions for this week's chat #whatisschool Thursday, July 10 7PM EDT are posted below.

Q1) What would you teach if you weren’t 'preparing' students for jobs?

Q2) How would this change your classroom environment?

Q3) What methodologies, real or invented, would you employ to teach students in this new paradigm?

Q4) How would you help students drill down to open up and find their true talents?

Q5) What skill sets would you emphasize that are different than the ones you focus on now?

Q6) What kind of real world problems could you solve with this type of teaching model?

Q7) What can we do today to add some of these thoughts to current curriculums? 

Archive of #Whatisschool July 10, 2014

Join the conversation, re-imagine teaching so your students can change the world.

Co-moderated by children's book author and education thought leader Laura Hill @candylandcaper and international educator Craig Kemp @Mrkempnz  Please contact either of us with your questions and ideas, we'd love to hear from you!


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Whatisschool July 3, 2014

Thank you! For another amazing conversation #whatisschool

Wow! Thank you again for turning up in droves to talk passionately about the future of our schools.  As I think about my own motivation, as an author who writes with kids, as a speaker who inspires students and educators, and as a parent with two children in elementary school and a vested stake in the outcome of these talks, I am humbled and amazed that so many of you give your time, energy and ideas to make school a better place.  Some of your students you will see for years to come but others you may never see again.  That one spark you ignite in them, that one idea, a hope that turns into action can change the course of the world.  I believe we are doing that now, sparking ideas that will change the world.  Put your ideas into action, be bold, be brave! We can do this together.  -Laura

The archive of tonight's chat (July 3) can be found below.

What Jobs Are You Preparing Students for?
#WhatIsSchool July 3, 2014 7PM EDT

For the last few weeks we have been thinking about how we define school and how the scholastic system is changing from an industrial model to a communications model brought about by a rapidly growing technology sector.  The questions I’d like to think about this week focus less on how we define school and more on the type of jobs we see our students doing in the future.  How we can prepare students for the fantastic opportunities they will play a part in creating? What can we do to tweak our lessons, teaching methods and technology to educate today’s students to become tomorrow’s thought leaders?

16 year-old Ann Mavosinski saw a problem in education. Her friend was failing to study for a simple reason, there wasn’t enough electricity to power lights so she could study at night. Anne took the problem into her own hands and solved it. Watch her video to see how.

Many thanks to Regina McCurdy @reginamccurdrp, who forwarded this video to me during 
last week's #whatisschool 

Questions for this week's chat #whatisschool Thursday, July 3 7PM EDT are posted below.

Q1) 65% of the jobs students will do in the future don't exist yet. What do you think these jobs will be?
Q2) How are the teaching strategies you are using, preparing student's for these jobs?
Q3) What strategies, technologies or classes would you add, real or imagined, to help teach skills your students will need?
Q4) Students are already able to solve real world problems. How can you foster these skills in your classroom?
Q5) Think of a real world problem you and your students could solve - share some ideas ...
Q6) Why did you choose this problem, how can your student's solve it?
Q7) How will you support your students in solving this problem using inquiry, trial & error & technology?

Archive #Whatisschool July 3, 2014

Join the conversation, re-imagine what we are educating students to do so they can blow us away with their ideas.

Co-moderated by children's book author and edu thought leader Laura Hill @candylandcaper and international educator Craig Kemp @Mrkempnz  Please contact either of us with your questions and ideas, we'd love to hear from you!



Read the books I write with my children.