"Thank you for the opportunity to speak this evening. My name is Erika Schneider, I have taught in PPS since 2006. I have a Masters degree in Education, 11 years of teaching experience in low-income and diverse schools and I am bilingual in English and Spanish.
What the L.A. times called chaos, the Washington Post called tech-savvy - but at the end of the day one thing was clear: the young people getting iPads in LAUSD would have been the best people to pay and consult to effectively roll-out the devices across the district.
This story got me thinking about an excerpt on page 43 in Reinhold Niebuhr’s Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic:
In one sense modern civilization substitutes unconscious sins of more destructive consequences for conscious sins of less destructive consequences. Men try consciously to eliminate the atrocities of society, but meanwhile they unheedingly build a civilization which is more destructive of moral and personal values than anything intended in a more primitive society.
The connection is a little abstract, I admit, but the point is that often the biggest mistakes are made from errors of omission and ignorance rather than the conscious destructive acts of people.
Which of course gets me thinking about school reform. I’m often challenged to think about whether, when, or how to ascribe intent to what’s happening in ed reform. I do think there are, in Niebuhr’s language, “conscious sinners” but for the most part I think the last thirty years of education reform mirror the roll-out of the iPad in LAUSD. People with good intentions attempting to do something of value but not understanding the world and the users they are acting in, and not taking time to think through the impact.
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BATs (Bad Ass Teachers)
IncitED is a crowdfunding community created for anyone with an education project that is in need of money. Whether you want to create an after-school program, develop new educational technology, help disadvantaged learners, establish a scholarship fund, or acquire classroom supplies, the possibilities for great education projects is virtually limitless. IncitED makes it easy to build compelling grassroots fundraising campaigns to help make those great projects a reality.
"We want to see if a group of high school students, Oregon National Guard soldiers, teachers, parents, and community members can take a gas-powered Chevrolet S-10 and transform it into an electric vehicle that runs smoothly and efficiently without gasoline."
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
Sometimes this is what teaching little kids feels like….
I need your help - please visit my indiegogo page to know more or read on: Every time you share this page, donate a book or contribute some money, you are helping deliver inspiration.
Hi, my name is Salina and I have a dream.
My dream is to live in a free thinking society where people explore new ideas, talk about innovations, where people believe that success is determined by what you have done and achieved and not how much money you have amassed and I find no better way to achieve this than by promoting education.
In third world countries like mine education has been incredibly misunderstood. I grew up myself being taught and believing that a degree was my only ticket to a good marriage, a good life and respect in the society. In all my life as a student, I hadn’t met a single person who was actually passionate about what they were studying to become including me but that was what we were always taught – Innovative thinking has been made an expensive luxury not many can afford . Grades were all that mattered in fact the teachers expected nothing but a memorized answer from the book. I never had the courage to ask my teachers and elders if one can truly be called educated merely because one has studied in a college and acquired a degree?
There was always a societal and family pressure to me to follow without asking any questions and I never did because I never saw the wrong in it and neither did anyone else I knew. What I was passionate about never mattered, all that mattered was if there was any scope of reputation and money in my passion and I wish I had stood my ground but I didn’t know any better, I didn’t have enough resources to educate myself or them – the nearest library was 20 kms away and the school library only had few books and we had the slowest internet in the world and there were frequent power cuts so I just never bothered – nobody ever does. And now that I think about it if I had an access to a better internet connection, a more resourceful library nearby or a more informative and helpful counselor I probably would have been able to pursue my dream career and so would my friends but let’s let bygones be bygones and focus on the now for a better tomorrow.
We need the $500,000 for business registration, books, equipment, infrastructure, salary and maintenance. If unfortunately we are not able to achieve our pledged goal, we will use whatever money we receive to buy books and supplies for the libraries in India that desperately need it.
Your old books are more valuable to us than money, if you can please send us your old books. We will update and address once we secure a location.
After a careful observation, I have found that most children and adults spend most of their spare time either at a café or at the mall just hanging out with friends so I plan to build and spread a concept of a Book café throughout India and across the borders. Libraries that have cafes, leisure centers and able counselors to help children and young adults find their true callings. Here are some of the things I want to develop –
1 - A reading culture.
2 – A book café concept businesses throughout India and across borders.
3 – A place for students to seek help. Cases of academic consultants robbing unsuspecting students of huge amounts of money to send them abroad with the promise of a better education are not uncommon in India. These students many-a-times don’t even know the scholarships they were eligible for in their own home country and abroad and that the consultants are always compensated by the University they admit a student into so that a student never has to pay anything but they end up taking out huge loans in hopes that they’ll get a degree from reputed Universities and land a good paying job but what really happens is they end up dropping out, working below minimum wage in a foreign country and ruin their lives. A free service at our libraries could not only help Indian students but foreign economies as well.
The concept of a book café will create a huge impact in my society. People normally go to café just to pass time more than they do for the coffee, if we can give them an additional option of picking a book and read it with their coffee, not only can this incite a reading culture in the society, it’ll incite inspirations. It is said that people make a country, not the government and if that is true which I believe it to be, my people aren’t doing a very good job. It’s high time someone shook things a little bit.
After the contribution amount is acquired, we will be able to provide everyone with an address where you can send us your old books – remember, books are of value to us more than the money.Finally, I would like to thank each and every one of you who has contributed to this cause and your help will always be remembered and appreciated.
Plan for a computer-based classroom for the 21st century, circa 1990.
What types of teaching and learning does this layout support?
In this classroom, has the personal computer replaced the teacher? The classmate? Do those roles deserve a re-definition after the introduction of the personal computer into the classroom?
How has technology affected classroom design since the 1990’s, when computers were mostly stationary?
In communities around the world, a story is unfolding of young people, educators, networks, and communities generating solutions to the challenges of today’s complex world. That unfolding story is the story of democratic education.
Democratic education is not a type of school or research-based practice. It isn’t one kind of learning program or philosophy. It is a frame. It’s a way of gathering together a vast set of ideas, resources, and visions so that a powerful story can be told that reclaims education for people and communities. There are thousands of people and organizations around the globe engaged in democratic education. Many have similar values but di‑erent definitions. IDEC 2013 is for all of them.