"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, October 30, 2014

Whatisschool October 30, 2014


Wow, what a fast paced chat #whatisschool tonight!  The ideas were flying so fast they were possible to keep up with and so were the side chats. The ideas and the energy you bring here each week are amazing! You are making a difference not only for yourself but for every educator you meet and pass an idea on to.  Tonight we had some students join us, as my daughters often do. Please encourage everyone you know to get involved in shaping their future, the future of education. Let’s foster a system that nourishes thinkers, creators and doers who will change the world. You are making it happen, don’t stop now. Archives are posted below. 

Who's Pulling The Strings?
#Whatisschool, Thursday October 30 7PM EST

Over the past few weeks we’ve discussed many ways to strengthen student experience using modern methods and technology to build skills for a workforce that doesn’t yet exist. But what if the industry you work in has other objectives?  Are the stakeholders students, parents and teachers or is somebody else pulling the strings?

Thomas Frey, a senior Futurist a the DaVinci Institute, a Colorado Think Tank, had this to say,

Thomas Frey, Futurist
Colleges are in the business of selling classes. Students are in the business of gaining marketable skills. These are two radically different objectives…Business professionals in the future will require twice as much training as their counterparts today, just to stay competitive.  As we move further towards a globally competitive workforce, competition will stiffen, and our need to shift gears will happen at a moment’s notice. We will no longer have the time and place luxuries of waiting for the right opportunity for education to happen”

So how can teachers help students gain the skills they need while working with tools designed to make profits?

Questions For #Whatisschool 
Thursday October 30, 7PM EST

1) How have pre-designated tools helped or hurt your ability to teach students 21st century skills?
2) What technologies have you employed that best suit the needs of building 21st century skills?
3) How can out-of-the-box teaching methodology nurture students to be thinkers and creators?
4) What forces work in opposition to teaching students effectively?
5) What role should budgets and business play in determining what and how students are taught?
6) How can you foster 21st century learning with the tools at hand? What, if anything, needs to change?

#whatisschool is an international twitter forum co-founded by author, speaker Laura Hill and tech teacher Craig Kemp that attracts thousands of educators who come together to re-imagine school in order to give students the skills they need to be leaders, inventors and creators in a global digital/communication economy.  Join us every Thursday night at 7PM EST, questions and archives of each week's chat are posted below.  To bring  #whatisschool to your school email Laura Hill or contact me on twitter @candylandcaper.  I hope you join us! -Laura


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Whatisschool October 23, 2014

Thank You!

Thank you for bringing your amazing energy and ideas to #whatisschool tonight!  This week's topic is especially dear to my heart as I see so many students who get discouraged or feel left behind because their talents and interests don't match the measurements or offerings available.  It's a hard road. To give up class time to help students drill down into their talents, to encourage them and foster an attitude of exploration and excellence can change a child's life. You are amazing! Scroll bellow for tonight's archive.

Which Students Get The Best Opportunities?
  #WhatIsSchool October 23,  2014 7PM EDT

Everyone knows the formula to scholastic success; work hard, create a resume of clubs, sports, activities and charities you’ve led, maintain a 4.0 average, right? Perhaps not. In an interview conducted by The Atlantic this past June, Drew Gilpin Faust, President of Harvard University, had this to say:
“We could fill our class twice over with valedictorians… make your children interesting!”
Drew Gilpin Faust, President Harvard University

So how do you make your students interesting to prospective colleges?  Is there a right or wrong age to start? This week #whatisschool examines the goals behind the goals of learning and how to help students build their portfolios while developing their passions and maintaining the performance records academics demand.
Questions for this week's chat #WhatIsSchool
Thursday, October 23, 2014 7PM EDT

1) Is it more important for students to excel at their passions or excel on tests?
2) What learning styles can you employ to help students develop personal talents while maintaining high grades?
3) How can you implement programs using real world experience to foster multidimensional student experience?
4) What technological tools or experiences can you provide to help students nurture their voice and influence in the real world?
5) How can you increase stakeholder buy-in to implement real world programs that improve your community?
6) What can you do to help make your students interesting to increase their opportunities after graduation?
#whatisschool is an international twitter forum co-founded by author, speaker Laura Hill and tech teacher Craig Kemp that attracts thousands of educators who come together to re-imagine school in order to give students the skills they need to be leaders, inventors and creators in a global digital/communication economy.  Join us every Thursday night at 7PM EST, questions and archives of each week's chat are posted below.  To bring  #whatisschool to your school email Laura Hill or contact me on twitter @candylandcaper.  I hope you join us! -Laura


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Whatisschool October 16, 2014

Thank You! For another amazing conversation.

Every week when we get together I am surprised and overwhelmed by the amount of passionate educators and concerned people who join the conversation.  These ideas we are sharing are important! Get fired up about how you are teaching, what you are focusing on and how the students you educate will effect the world they will one day join as adults. Your influence could be exactly the inspiration a student who doesn’t fit the mold needs and who knows, that student could be the one whose great idea changes the world! We owe it to ourselves, our students and stakeholders, to re-imagine school in a way that continues to make it evolve, creating a richer and more nourishing environment than ever before.  The archive from tonight’s chat is posted below. 

Homework and Learning, #WhatIsSchool
 October 16,  2014 7PM EDT

Children learn in many different ways, through play, lessons, repetitive drills, critical thinking and problem solving.  But where does homework fit into all of this?  Are the lessons learned in school being reinforced or are we taking away time from personal growth that would lower stress, increase grades and add to family time by providing more opportunity for play, conversation and invention? This week #whatisschool examines the association between learning, testing, homework and play by exploring what works and what doesn’t in schools around the world.

Alfie Kohn, author of thirteen books on education and parenting had this to say…

Questions for this week's chat #WhatIsSchool
Thursday, October 16, 2014 7PM EDT

1)  Do students learn by doing homework? Why is it given?
2)  Would student learning increase or decrease with more time for exploration, play and peer interaction during or after school?
3)  What impact does class size, differentiated leaning and free time have on student success?
4)  How can technology be used in student learning after school?
5)   Does standardized testing help students learn? Does it help teachers teach?
6)   If you could change one thing immediately to increase student success and your ability to teach, what would it be?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Whatisschool October 9, 2014

Join #whatisschool Thursday, October 9 7PM EST
as we tackle the basics of"based learning" 

Looking at education today we can find many teaching styles based on specific teaching methodology, many which begin with a name followed by "based learning." Project based learning, problem based learning, inquiry based learning, game based learning even zombie based learning (yes, that's right) has come into vogue. As we steer our students and classrooms towards a future workforce focused on critical thinking, problem solving and technological solutions it's easy to find yourself wondering, which "base" is best.

Join us this week as #whatisschool explores that basics of "bases," what works and what doesn't and how to create your own out of the box learning base that integrates core competencies and technology to engage and enrich your students.

Here's a look at the Ted Ed lesson that explains the learning behind ZBL, one of the latest bases, which focus' on understanding how geography and the push and pull factors of geographic movement, (ideas, resources, people) can save your life in case of, say, a zombie apocalypse.

Questions for #whatisschool Thursday, October 9, 7PM EST

Q)1What "based learning" style have you tried that made you and your students say "WOW!"
Q)2 How can learning bases be integrated with technology to solve real world problems?
Q)3 What benefits do you reap or see your students gaining from a learning base that is out of the box?
Q)4 Are learning bases something new or just a new way to repackage old ideas?
Q)5 What impact has technology had on the learning base you use the most, how can it be integrated to enhance the experience.
Q)6 What learning base, real or imagined would you like to try? (Pirate-BL, Alien-BL, culinary-BL, Pet-BL...)

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

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Whatisschool October 2, 2014

#WhatIsSchool Is Connected For Learning!
Thursday, October 2, 2014 7PM

What makes parents tick? Get students engaged? Helps teachers foster learning and keeps administrators informed? 

Simple communication that used to be accomplished by a conversation, phone call or meeting isn’t so  simple anymore. As we speed into the digital age parents, students, teachers and administrators have more choices on how to connect than ever before…and in some cases it is making them more disconnect than they ever were!  Join us as #whatisschool celebrates connected educator month by exploring the best, and the worst ways to connect with stakeholders, peers and the ones who rely on you most, your students. 

In our special connected edition of #whatisschool Gold Star innovator Mark Weston and AussieEd founder Brett Salakas will be bringing their expertise and powerhouse connecting skills as guest co-moderators of this week’s #whatisschool chat.  Don’t miss it!

Questions for #whatisschool Thursday, October 2, 7PM EST

1) Communication in a digital age is the most important skill students can learn for success, how can you foster and model these skills?

2) In what ways do you let your students tell their story in the scholastic community and the digital arena?

3) How can students build their communication skills through real life experience tied into the curriculum, will this help them succeed?

4) What benefit does real world feedback provide to students, teachers?

5) How can communication be re-imagined to create beneficial opportunities in the classroom?

6) As a connected community, what tools can we bring to the classroom to best serve each other, parents, administrators and students? 
Mark Weston
Brett Salakas

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!


Read the books I write with my children.