Dear Blake Families:
After a rapidly paced first week back after vacation, I hope that you everyone enjoyed a nice weekend, staying warm as we prepare for some more winter weather. Our weekend was a good one and relatively low-key - always welcome in the Vaughn household! A highlight was attending the ScienceFest at our children's elementary school on Saturday morning - so great to see our kids excited by the displays and presentations!
This week I am keeping it brief and simply highlighting a few posts that directly relate to the technology in education and adolescent development. As we continue to make advances with thoughtful integration of these tools, it is important to keep the dialogue present and ongoing in our minds and curricula.
by Bob Lenz in Edutopia
"Technology alone is not worth the hype, but technology along with innovative pedagogy and applied change knowledge can transcend the hype."
by Vicki Davis in Edutopia
Kelly C. shared this article with me last Thursday evening and I found that it highlights in a nice manner the paradigm shift and mindset shift that we are currently experiencing and working to embrace.
"Social media is here. It's just another resource and doesn't have to be a distraction from learning objectives. Social media is another tool that you can use to make your classroom more engaging, relevant and culturally diverse."
by Elizabeth Blair in MindShift
Blair's post references Danah Boyd's work studying teenagers and their social media behavior and her book, It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens.
This past Friday Kelly C. and I visited with a former colleague of Kelly's and the meeting was a tangible reminder for how important it is to take a step outside of the normal routine and reflect. This reflection process (focusing on our mission, values, who we are, what is important to us) allows open thinking and is critical for staff and students alike. The brief post below from Angela Maiers provides some questions that are worth visiting and revisiting with our students, ourselves, and one another.
post by Angela Maiers
"As lifelong learners, our growth should never cease – least of all our growth in knowledge about ourselves. Without fully knowing ourselves, self-acceptance and change are all the more difficult...Self-awareness provides us with a system of checks and balances that equips us to understand ourselves and to make conscious choices and deliberate decisions about the direction and quality of our lives."
I so enjoy this work with students, staff, and the greater community, as we review our practices in conjunction with the implementation of new tools to help shape the individual learning process for our entire community of learners.