Random Educational Thoughts On Drive To Des Moines #coffeechugPLN

These are ideas I recorded while driving in my car listening to podcasts and thinking.
  • Ideas are no longer enough
  • Teachers: Do we judge thoughts or following directions?
  • Provide the unexpected is the new real important.
  • Knowledge is constantly changing and therefore so should our classrooms.
  • No advantage of knowing more than someone else. (Tony Wagner)
  • World cares more about what you can do with what you know. (Tony Wagner)
  • Teachers need to be A resource, not THE resource.
  • We don’t talk citizenship skills in schools anymore and therefore we are seeing a decline in moral behavior. 
  • Critical Thinking means asking the right questions.
  • How can we expect students to do group work when we as educators don’t do it ourselves?
  • Have to have skill and will
  • “Brand” means to connect
  •  Brand is comes from Norse word “brandr” which means “to burn by fire”
  • Education is not supposed to be easy, but worth it.
  • Educators are selling a life transformation product = education
  • Abundance vs. Scarcity Thinking
  • No such thing as failing, only learning
  • We live in an age of interruption
  • Education is a process, not a place
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Coffeechug Notepad of Ideas: How my blogs and projects begin

Here are some thoughts running through my mind over the last few days and I working on moving towards a blog post or something grander. Not sure where they will lead and perhaps they will not go any further beyond this page.

The reason I share is that when I read something powerful or have an idea I always write them down. I have at least 10 yellow notepads crammed everywhere in my life so I don’t forget.

My blog posts and ideas never just magically appear. They start as a seed with a single line or fact. They continue to grow into several ideas and one day they connect and bond to create a larger idea. When that happens I then blog about it or create a project in my classroom.

So, these are the current notes I am working on. Can you figure out my vision and where I am headed with this?

Have a great day

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Random Thoughts of Goodness

As I continue to sort through my closet, my several notepads, and things and continue to declutter I will continue to share. I don’t want to lose it all so storing it in the digital world seems like a great option.

This is just one piece of paper found among all the stacks of notepads. I don’t know if they are random ideas or part of something I was reading. Regardless, I cannot provide the source(s), but will share anyways because they are good ideas.

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  • What am I here? What is my purpose?
  • The only person you can change is yourself.
  • C.S. Lewis ” If you don’t believe you are self centered, then you are probably very self centered.” For example, look at a family snapshot. Do we not judge the photo based on how we look?
  • Insanity = continuing to do what you have always done and hoping for different results.
  • A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
  • You begin with a choice.
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My 2 ¢ worth about losing Google Reader

The  news is old already about Google shutting down Google Reader.

There have been many relevant and much better and more insightful posts about losing this wonderful service like Chris Betcher and Vicki Davis to name a few.

I feel compelled to voice my concerns.

I am mad. I am very frustrated and don’t know what action to take next.

I will be honest and tell you that Google and Apple are my two favorite companies. I use them 24/7 all day long for everything. I have valued Google because they offer so many great services that meet the needs of anyone no matter their situation, job, or interests.

Google Reader is the cornerstone of my connective learning. This is my go to place to read and search the people that influence me the most. I use all tools, devices, and sites, but Reader is one that is part of my daily life. I always leave about 30 minutes a day to just relax and sift through my Reader to see what my favorite bloggers, sites, and people have to share.

Can I do this with other sites? Yes, I have to begin to search for new ways and tools to give me the same system I am use to. Will it be better? No!

Here is why……My Google Reader flows seamlessly with my Gmail, my YouTube, My G+, etc. All I have to do is simply click one button and there it is. It syncs with everything. So easy. So simple. All in one place.

Now I have to find another system. Another website. Another tool. And leave another tab open to use. Maybe not a big deal to most, but this is huge for me. I don’t want that.

Google Reader is free. Google owns Reader. So, therefore it has complete rights to do whatever. But this leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

They are shutting down iGoogle. I was not happy with that. I was able to move on, but not happy. I could cope because I still had everything in one place. Now this.

Now I begin to wonder if Google is becoming too money hungry. Does it really hurt them enough to just leave it alone and offer it as a service? Really? It makes people happy. Many people use it. At what point do they shut down other services? Do they take away blogger? Maybe not, but how do we know? I never thought Reader would leave.

I feel betrayed. It sounds stupid, but true.

Will I move on? Yes, I have no choice. I am looking at other feeders like Feedly to name one that I will probably move to, but I feel burned. I do. Maybe I am taking it too personal, but you know what….. my Google Reader was personal. It represented who I was and what I wanted to read. It was my escape. It was my life outside of my real life. It connected to my life with triathlon blogs, eating blogs, education sites, jokes, etc. It was an extension of me. That has been taken away and I must adapt. I will. I will move on. But for now I will be bitter until July.

Some other posts about this issue

New Yorker

USA Today

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Coffeechug Notes: Finding Your Zone by Dr. Lardon, Part 1: Dreams

Finding Your Zone – Dr. Michael Lardon

I am going through all my notepads of notes and converting them into a cohesive and organized platform. This series of notes will be based off this book that I read a while back and now am just getting my ideas and notes written down and organized. Enjoy

Lesson One: Dreams

“I dream of the dragonfly who dreams of me.”

1. Suggest that you can dream of anything i.e. goal, new reality, etc. and you give it life
2. Suggests we are not separate from the world.

Everything we do – even dream – helps shape the life we live.

Give yourself a nighttime suggestion and write down what you learned in the morning.

We need to be conscious of our own dreams. Our culture of cell phones and constant distractions lead us to forget the powerful strength.

“Never surrender to self doubt”

You have to have self and belief in your dreams to make yourself a zone-like competitor/champion.

Simple Task – take a moment before bed to think of a question or situation to dream about and record the dream in the morning.

Dreams provide the potential energy to make our realities transform into something greater.

Steps/Goals to Record Dreams

  • First goal to remember one dream every night
  • Prime yourself each night to dream about something in particular
  • Record your daydreams
Wonder if we create the dream, or if the dream creates us?

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Misc Thoughts From Coffeechug

I was too tired to run this morning. My 3.5 hours of sleep yesterday caught up to me. I felt run down so I slept in and rested. Looks like four days of running in a row coming up.

1. No bishop appears in Through the Looking-Glass.

2. I need one day to type up blog posts and book reviews. I  have notepads of thoughts and ideas and reviews that I need to write up.

3. Thoughts on homework in education? I am writing up a piece about homework and looking for other perspectives to include.

4. If you remember cassette tapes, then stay tuned as I am putting the final details on a new challenge: Cassette Tape Mixtape Challenge.

5. I am in need of a new image for my blog. Last year I had some fantastic artwork submitted(one became the main logo, coffeemug, and t-shirt…thanks Amanda Matthews!). I need some new artwork to spice up the blog. Send your artistic visions my way.

6. What are you reading right now?

7. I am obsessed lately with how cell phones and apps make education so great. Currently digging the new EasyBib app. Can life get any easier? What apps can you not live without that I should try?

8. Never forget the delicious flavor and aroma of coffee in the morning. The only thing that comes close is drinking orange juice with morning breath. Sounds gross, but so good. HA HA! ☺

9. Can you tell that my brain is all over the place this morning! I leave you with this picture from my kitchen. Sometimes Amanda deals with four kids when I act like a 6 year old myself…hence the word on the chalkboard. Yes, Aiden and I laughed and laughed and laughed.

Peace Out ✌ and look forward to your comments, thoughts, and ideas!

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A Story About How An Email From Borders and Amazon Lead Me To Thinking About Education

The other day I received the email that I am sure many of you also received from Borders about them closing up for good and thanking us for being customers over the years. Reading this letter really bummed me out as it made it a reality that one of my favorite places to go to get away will no longer be around. I can get lost in a bookstore for hours if you let me. Let me buy a coffee in the winter and let me escape to the rows and rows of books wishing I was loaded with money to buy them all.

As I finished reading that email my next email was from Amazon talking about their latest Kindle book sale where there are over 900 titles up for sale for the Big Deal sale. It was just a few weeks ago when they had the Sunshine Deal where I purchased a ton of books for $3 or less. Here was another batch of books up for sale very cheap.

Talk about contrasting business ideas. One type of business can no longer sustain while the other is thriving. How does a store compete when a major business can sell the same merchandise for much cheaper? We are in a pivotal moment in history as we change from one technological age to another. We are seeing, living, and breathing firsthand the effects of the world changing due to technology. Just as people had to transition in life from Copper to Bronze to Iron. You either adapted and upgraded or you were lost in the shuffle. This is happening now. In some ways scary because for the first time I actually feel part of a major historical movement and in some ways cool to see how things evolve. The effects are also in the economy as we are all well aware of as many jobs that sustained families are no longer needed.

I think back to my job as an educator. We are in a more pivotal moment of teaching than ever before. Prior to us teachers knew the job market. You farmed, worked factory, went on to accounting, etc. Today we are prepping students for a job market that nobody knows what is needed or what the job market is going to be. To make matters worse, we have people running education forcing us to teach the same and incorporating methods of assessment to gauge the learning that don’t work. They are forcing us to be robots and uniform when that system is no longer needed. The future depends on people creating new jobs, new ideas, new ways to problem solve. No longer is filling in bubbles and memorizing a few facts needed. Why even memorize facts when I have Google at my fingertips at all times in my life?

The point of this post is this – the time is before us where we need to change. We cannot teach the same way in which we were taught(unless we had an unbelievable teacher). We cannot teach the same uniform way because the world is far from uniform. We can no longer rely on things always being there for us(Borders how I miss you already) because it can serve no purpose from one day to the next.

We must teach our students to be advocates for themselves. We must teach the value to constantly educate themselves to stay on the frontier/cutting edge. We must teach them to be problem solvers(even when they have no clue about something they must acquire the skills to engage and learn).

There is the Hebrew Proverb that reads, “Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.” This sums up our current state of life and education. Teachers must be innovative and think of new ways to teach. We must force ourselves to think differently and approach education in new ways.

Dr. Medina presented at a conference this year and he made the following statement(found this on David Warlick blog)

“The human brain is designed to solve problems related to surviving in an unstable outdoor environment and to do so in nearly constant motion.”

Then he said something to the effect of, “If you wanted to design a learning environment that was directly opposed to the way that the brain works, you would design a classroom.”

Here I finish typing my little rant staring at the massive pile of books and magazines I purchased at Borders before they closed to hang on to my lasting memories of a great bookstore. I look back through my post and realize that another school year is approaching. This will be my chance to help several hundred students work to acquire the necessary skills for a future yet undetermined. To think that this all stemmed from two emails from two companies.

How are you going to approach your classsroom this year? What will you do to engage students and help them be successful in their lives?

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Plugged back in and time to refocus

First time on the computer since Thursday. Playing single dad(wife had a weekend with the girls in Chicago) really makes one appreciate the few moments you get to yourself when you have someone else to help with the kids. Honestly, this is the first time since Friday at noon where I have had 10 minutes to actually sit down and look at a computer or book.

I have a major blog post or two to type in today. So many thoughts to share.

Plus I had a complete eating like a slob breakdown the last two days and must talk about minor setbacks to achieving our goals.

Happy Father’s Day and hope everyone enjoys their day with family.

And at this point I must attend to a crying baby and two other children with a list of demands.

Look for posts later about Getting It Done and training for a marathon.

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