Enabling a radical

Clay Burell is a man of action. I’d call him a radical. More than just about any teacher I’ve connected with recently, he thinks out loud, shares everything and then does stuff.

Clay’s been exploring “unschooliness” for a while and has taken me along for the ride. When he posted his quick chat with Chris Craft, it immediately resonated with me. “Quick in, Quick out” (this is one of many catch phrases Clay is responsible for). While I totally admire the work of projects like the flatclassroom, liferoundhere, 1000tales and such, I know the work involved and I also know that my personal network does not revolve around a project; it just revolves around learning…and socializing. Clay isn’t someone willing to think about this, he attempts to make this a reality in his classroom. I’m all ears and eyes.

So although Clay resides in Korea, he keeps some odd hours as do I so we are able to quite easily connect and on this occasion he did tell me he was recording but I soon forgot that and hopefully didn’t say anything too silly but I’m sure I did. Anyway, head over to Clay’s blog. *Warning, if you’ve never been to Clay’s blog before, I dare you to attempt a “quick in and quick out” there. His posts are filled with insights on some really interesting stuff.

Clay definitely has a good sense of design, even as podcasting goes. Audio design, is something I need to explore more as in “did you see the audio chapters he used?’. It helps that Clay has a voice meant for radio, but better than that his ideas are meant for teachers and all that is “unschooly”.


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  • Me, radical? Maybe in the sense that, I dunno, Galileo was? Copernicus? Groucho Marx?

    Really benefited from the talk, Dean. And you knew I was podcasting, blast it. I have it on tape!

  • Dean,

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Clay’s edgy ~ if you know what I mean. In a good way he defines the geography of learning, explores the edges for himself and shares his insights by shaping a learning environment for kids at the KIS (Korean International School) in Seoul, South Korea.

    ~ Take the time to listen to what Clay has to say about the PLN (Personal Learning Network) elective he’s teaching.(See podcast link below)
    ~ After that, the real treat is to read the posts of his students over time, and you will explore the (these are my words, not Clay’s or the kids’!) edges of learning theory and collective intelligence.
    ~ Don’t forget to leave a comment on one or two of the student posts.

    Podcast & Post: This is What You Can Do Too: From Twitter to Skype to Your Blog about YOUR Interests: http://tinyurl.com/35bcn5

    Nice service to our CIC (collectively intelligent community), Dean.

    TY, Dennis

  • Dean,

    I enjoyed listening to you and Clay deconstruct, then reconstruct our attitude towards education.

    Clay seemed taken aback by the “edgy” tag, but I think it’s very apt if you define edgy as ” cutting edge; having a bold, provocative, or unconventional quality.” In many respects you both fit that description.

    Your discussion of Natural Collaboration and learning with baggage gave me a lot to consider. I’d like to be one of those teachers who can just connect the students, then step back and watch the learning happen, but I know that it is not an easy or spontaneous process. Since I’m a K-12 teacher/librarian, I can move down grade levels and try to influence younger students.

    The earlier we introduce and encourage communication and collaboration skills, the more likely it is that they will become lifetime habits.

    Thanks for giving me food for thought on an icy Snow Day!


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