Pew, Millennials and Bubbles

I really like the Pew Center. They do good stuff. But don’t ya think they ought to change their name? I mean they are just wide open to criticism.

The Pew Center? Their research stinks!

And when I type the word “millennials” into my computer, the little red “speck check” error sign lights up underneath the word.

It makes me think, “When is technology going to catch up with technology?”

Alas, it’s now March. That means we are gonna give a lot of little bubble tests between now and the start of summer.

These, lest we forget, are the bubbles that will shape our future! If my school does good bubbles, we will move off the bubble of being taken over by the state for having low bubbles. If my school does bad bubbles, the bubbly will be popped by all the “consultants” who will get to swoop in with their promises of turning water into wine — getting a fat (dare I say bulbous) paycheck for their efforts.

So remember, Millennials, be good bubblers these next few months! A lot of Pew from ETS is riding on it

Score one for the Ol' Bugger: The Persuasive Composition Still Packs a Wallop!!

As Jim Burke has mentioned – quite brilliantly – writers today (and of the future) will require compositional skills in formats that consist of 3,000 words, 300 words, 30 words, 3 words and no words. (I am paraphrasing here; he’s much more eloquent.) The point is, that literacy is increasingly more diverse than ever and the challenges we face preparing our kids to successfully tackle the demands behind placed upon them are both dynamic and shape shifting.

However, when you look at the word counts above, I get the vibe that many forward thinking people (outside of persnickety teachers… like yours truly) are ready to throw the 3,000 word composition under the bus. They call it antiquated. Outmoded. Academic. 21rst century skill conversations revolve around “digital this” and “socially networked that” but rarely, if ever, pay homage to the value of the good ol’ fashioned long, thoughtful, richly textured essay.

Well, check this story out. If that ain’t proof that the ol’ bugger still ain’t got some life in it, nothing is.

Sorry, but I can’t recall yet seeing a story on how a tweet resulted in such an outpouring of generosity and goodness. I could be wrong, but having only 140 characters may be fun if you want to smarmily talk about the texture of your morning waffle. Yet, if you want to reach the movers and shakers of this world, as the 11 year old girl above proves, you are gonna need some chops with the written word.

Otherwise, all your gonna have is lightweight junk food for your intellectual meal. And man cannot live by smarmy waffle alone.

It's Da Bomb!

Though it’s only been up and running for a few months now, this ning has already transformed my entire outlook on teaching, collaborating, communicating, learning, and sharing best practices.

No small feat, huh?

On one hand, I feel I have a sense of community, a place where I can turn to find thoughtfulness, camaraderie, and like-minded spirits. (Motley as some of you may be, that is.)

On the other hand I feel as if I have been offered a place to give and take, to listen and then share my voice in a manner that is entirely free. (Something not to be discounted in this day and age, for sure.) I mean, whatever “insights” — or out-n-out foolishness — I have to offer, it’s posted at no cost — and then lots of other folks, people I greatly respect, are making some very spectacular contributions as well — also at no cost. Add them all up and there’s a heck of a lot of value here on this ning which is, once again… free. How cool is that?

(BTW, if you’re keeping score at home, I’d say the foolishness might very well be leading the race over the insights right now by a quite a wide margin… but such is life, right?)

I also find myself thinking about this ning more often than I would have suspected as well. Not sure why. Obviously, I am a geek, the type of person who likes to put in a full day of work and then come home and spend more time thinking, talking, and reflecting on, yep, work.

But if you are reading this post right now, I suspect that means that I am not alone.

Actually, I have found that most “good” eduators are like this in a way. I mean we go to parties and what do we end up doing? Chatting in the kitchen talking about school, the kids, or the parents. Face it, anyone who loves education as much as we all do is a dork. I came to grips with this about myself a long time ago. But since I know the difference between the denotation of a word and the connotation of a word — and know that the owner of the word is permitted to apply their own subjective interpretation to the connotative definition, dork, as I use it in this context, is an admirable term, synonymous to what others less-in-the-know might think of a cape-sporting superhero.

(Oh yeah, please don’t ask me what “good” means. Just know that someone is going to define it for us pretty soon and our pay scales are going to reflect their interpretation. And my faith in them to perform this feat with a semblance of fairness and accuracy, BTW, is not what I would call unshakeable.)

And so this ning moves forward. And it does so with tutorials and videos, humor and tragedy, children who make us laugh and others that break our hearts. Yet, at the end of the day, here we are, participating in a variety of age-old dialogues in quite the newfound manner.

I gotta say, this ning thing is da bomb!