What Would Schools Look Like, If Students Designed the Schools?

Independent 4 As you watch this video, think about what could happen in schools, if adults got out of the way. 

You’ll hear students say things like,  ”A subject comes up that I don’t know about, and instead of glossing over it,  I truly find myself thinking was is that about? I could learn about it! I’m finding questions in everything.” And “We learned how to learn, we learned how to teach, we learned how to work.”

Of course, it’s easy to discount these kids as atypical. Marginalizing them is far easier than wondering why other high school students are stuck doing worksheets.

For more information on the project and associated lesson plans for students see:  ”Independence Day: Developing Self-Directed Learning Projects


iPad 2 – A Triumph of Capitalism Over Communism

Good morning students, your final exam in economics includes this document-based-question (DBQ)
Study these two images, and discuss how capitalism's capacity to supply consumer goods triumphed over the chronic shortages of communism.
Extra credit: Speculate on how Angry Birds might have impacted the "domino theory" of the Cold War.

Communism 1983: USSR
A queue at the footwear store to buy imported footwear. 
Note: Imports were considered to be bet­ter qual­ity and more fash­ionable ­than Soviet goods.


Source: The Real USSR

Capitalism 2011: USA 
iPad 2 line at Fifth Avenue retail store in Manhattan. (One Week After iPad 2 Launch)
Note: iPad 2 is way better than the HP TouchPad.


Source: MacRumors.com

 Want to know why these people are still waiting?
Read my post "Steve Jobs, You Evil Genius! I – Must – Have – iPad 2!" 


The National Writing Project Needs More Than Praise, It Needs Funding

Seven-valleys On March 2, President Obama signed a bill eliminating direct federal funding for the National Writing Project (NWP), the nation’s leading effort to improve writing and learning in the digital age.

Contact members of Congress and President Obama and tell them why the National Writing Project needs more than praise – it needs funding!

Image credit: The Seven Valleys Writing Project at SUNY Cortland 

Think All Journalism is Migrating to the Web? These Students Publish Hardcopy Newspaper

The-Fowl Or perhaps you think that high school students are unmotivated, unwilling to take on complex tasks and totally disinterested in anything that isn't digital?

Well these kids run counter to all these stereotypes and more.

Students at Bolder High School in Colorado are 3 issues into publishing their own "underground" newspaper. And they're producing "The Fowl" in old school manner – hard copy with hand drawn illustrations. No InDesign processing for them. As one of the student editors says – "People our age don't get heard that often, because we're not seen as that credible. But we have things to say that we're the only credible sources on."

As reported in the DailyCamera,

The eight-page February issue, adorned with a hand-drawn bird on the cover, includes an opinion piece on the real-life superhero movement, a rant about Valentine's Day, an ode to the Absolute Vinyl record store and a story about a new exhibit at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.

…The students lay out the pages by hand, make an initial copy at Kinkos and send it to a Denver printer to print 1,500 copies. They said the hours and hours it takes to produce the paper have been daunting, but worth it.
"It's just students writing for students, without any in-between man," said senior Tomas Hernando Kofman.

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