The Dangers of Personalization

Watch this.

Okay, so that should make you think.

Here’s what I’m thinking. I wrote this piece for the Huffington Post last year and so you don’t’ have to read the whole thing here’s where that post relates to the video above.

Our current system and structure fights personalized learning with nearly every new policy and protocol it can generate. The system craves standardization while we desperately need customization. These competing ideals butt heads constantly and for those teachers who do believe in personalizing learning, they live in perpetual frustration……While I’m busy advocating for changes that might support an education that fuels and fosters students’ passions, I worry that we lose sight of what a liberal education is all about. They don’t know what they don’t know. Providing students with broad experiences that invites them to develop a variety of skills, understand and appreciate diverse perspectives and potentially uncover hidden talents and interests speaks to a fairly well accepted purpose of school.

Just like google and facebook, progressive education seeks to find what students are interested in and facilitate learning that acknowledges their passion. I don’t think Google or Facebook has nefarious intentions other than to make your experience “better” … Read the rest

Coaches and Mentors

Watching a recent interview with golf legend Tom Watson, David Feherty asked him what he thought  about the trend in the game today for players to use coaches. He commented on how the range at a PGA tour event is full of entourages for each player that includes swing coaches, mental coaches, fitness coaches who can point you to the best testosterone booster for your needs and more. Watson, now in his 60’s recalled how he is now one of the few players who doesn’t bring a coach with him to tour events. He talked about the advice he was given as a young aspiring golfer: “Go find the best players, watch them and play with them”. He said he found mentors, not coaches who helped him become the great player that he was and brought awareness to the medical cares and special supplements such as using the t-booster

Of course this got me thinking about the two terms and they way not only Watson viewed them but how they relate to educators and more specifically the work I’m doing with Lani Ritter-Hall and PLP. Lani and I and our team of martial arts coaches have had many Read the rest

What does Joy have to do with Learning?

Full disclosure: This post is written at 3 AM as I wake up with crazy ideas and wonder and then feel compelled to write about it. Forgive any in cohernce, stop reading at any point and move on with your life.

After spending considerable hours investing into Alec’s little gift, I’m still feeling quite energized not only with the response of others but the experience of shared joy a project like that elicits. The fact that 75 of us were able to unite and create something of value and as one commenter put it, “ridiculosly awesome” makes me feel similar to being part of a championship team. Overstated? Maybe. Maybe not. 

My own family is quite aware of the time I invest in all kinds of silly little projects but as I’ve mentioned before about my photo of the day year end videos, they too  appreciate, in many ways share the joy of these efforts with me. 

So as is the case many evenings, I spend a good deal of time kibitizing around with my network on twitter.  Last night I referred to this video  which reminded someone of this video. (side note: I can’t tell you how Read the rest