Education 2050 – Neural and Networked

No one wants advice, only collaboration.
~ John Steinbeck(1902 – 1968)

Well this blog is kind of morphing into a place for sharing ideas that will hopefully guide our WiredWednesday conversations.  It wasn’t the vision and it needs more time, but i just don’t have it right now.  I do want to share this though as it is one of the more powerful things i have seen recently:

Some parts i really found provocative:

  • schools exist as a place to send kids while grown ups work
    • a teacher whose students don’t learn will not get fired; but one that allows their students to run around the city would.
  • what will be the mark of a good teacher in 2050
  • building intellectual alloys
  • basic building blocks of Education in the 21st century
  • participatory, personalize, post-national
  • two million minutes
  • writing
    • average writing assignment:  a paragraph to one page and length
  • brain research in 2050
  • if email is outdated; where does that put books and writing
  • choosing which form is more/most appropriate?
    • exactly what Bill and i were promoting with our PBL initiative
  • lifelong vs. k-12
  • long term problems within a “short-term” game (politics)

Knowledge at the End of the Information Age

Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it.
– Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784),
quoted in Boswell’s Life of Johnson

It is another long one; it is (in my humble opinion) very worth it.

thanks to “the bad Mark” for sharing this with me.

some random links…

“Game shows are designed to make us feel better about the random, useless facts that are all we have left of our education.
– Chuck Palahniuk

A couple of random but powerful links came to me this morning.  As is often the case these links came to me from all over the place; some more surprising then others.

The first was sent to me by the elementary literacy specialist here at CMS.  This was a little surprising as she is an admitted technophobe (and my wife).  It was one of the many posts that my NetVibes had marked as unread.  Take a quick look at the “Seven Stupid Mistakes Teachers Make Using Technology” from the always fantastic Blue Skunk blog.

The Second was this video, which i think does a fantastic job of demonstrating what i believe should be our goal in EdTech:

I love the focus on Personal Learning Networks;  I really feel that this is the term that we should all be using.

Finally this video found itself in front of me this morning (found here).  I find it to be a great little motivator if you are in need of a “pick me up” today.

the SMART table

“just when i figured out all the answers, they changed all the questions”
– unknown

The quote above was on a poster hanging in our back entrance way for most of my public school years.  It was brought back to my mind today as I watched this video:

Looks like a pretty incredible piece of technology.  Released as this school looks to further our school-wide plan for outfitting each teacher with the technology and training to integrate SmartBOARDS.  I think that the price tag ($8,000 in the states) will keep it out of our classrooms here … at least until the bugs are worked out.


GoogleDocs & Moodle: match made in heaven

The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.
– Benjamin Disraeli

If you are one of the people who read this blog regularly then you know that i am pretty high on Google Docs these days.  Likewise i am blown away by the things that i see my teachers doing within Moodle.  Then there are the real high flyers (according to Bloom) – the synthesizers.  The ones who have asked, “what would happen if i linked my Moodle directly to my GoogleDocs?”
Would it be like crossing the beams in GhostBusters?  OR would it allow me to continuously modify my documents without worrying about losing information or linking to a previous (outdated) document.  would it allow me to save mountains of server space by hosting the file in a Google’s public area?  would it allow me to link to collaborative student assignments as they develop?  There are so many advantages that i could literally sit here and type them for the rest of my day – something i would quite seriously love to do, but instead i return to budgeting…

img2: custom

4th Grade Bloggers

“Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods.”


Today one of our fourth grade classes entered into the Blogosphere.  The teacher was a little hesitant but i am extremely proud of her bravery.  Luckily she is supported not just by her technology facilitators and me but also by a great group of teachers from all over the world – her classes BlogPals.  This is something that Kim Cofino invited us to from Thailand; we had one teacher leap onboard initially but I am sure we will have many more classes involved in projects like this as this takes off.  Kim’s blog is full of resources on blogging at the elementary level and this post is a great starting point for anyone helping a new elementary class to enter the world of blogging.

Blogging has been at the forefront of my mind recently as i finalize a presentation that i will be giving in San Jose, Costa Rica next week.  In reflection, I proposed the project to the Tri-Association more than two years ago now and the difference in the world of educational blogging between then and now is nothing short of phenomenal.  I don’t know what i would have said two years ago but it sure would have been a great deal different then what i will be saying next week (more on that a little later).

a letter to the parents of the class of 2012…

There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.
– Ken Olsen, President, Digital Equipment, 1977

The Carol Morgan School believes that technology improves student learning. This belief does not lay dormant in the school’s mission statement; but instead is expressed and reemphasized constantly in our actions. Over the past five years CMS has introduced, built, improved, and widened its wireless network – a process that continues. The power of a “wired” student (wired meaning: connected to the internet, their teacher, students in their classroom and those collaborating from all over the world) can not be overstated. When teachers are trained and design lessons to maximize this potential and students are given the tools to realize it – the entire learning process is enriched. Furthermore as our world continues to change with incredible speed laptops allow learning opportunities that respond at this speed. The Carol Morgan School is the most technologically advanced school in the region and spends a great deal of resources to ensure it keeps this distinction. We believe that laptops have a place in education and that they present students with learning opportunities previously unimaginable – with this in mind we are focusing a great deal of our professional development to ensure that teachers are getting the most out of student laptops in their room.

In summary, although not required, we believe that high school students will achieve greater success by integrating laptops into their learning process. It is with this belief in mind that we are offering you the parents of the class of 2012 the following offer:

Dell Latitude D630 – $1448 (plus shipping and handling)
Intel® Core 2Duo (2.50 GHz)
Windows® XP Professional
14.1 Wide Screen WXGA
120GB Hard Drive
8x DVD+/-RW
128MB NVIDIA® Quadro NVS
Wireless LAN
Touchpad with Fingerprint Reader
90W A/C Adapter
Dell USB Optical Mouse with Scroll
3 Year Limited Warranty

I want to be clear, this is not the only laptop that will assist your child, it is simply one that has been identified by CMS as a good student computer. If your child already has a computer they are comfortable with or prefers another model these will equally help them take full advantage of the opportunities presented to them in their high school career at CMS.
Orders will be accepted until the end of May.
Questions or to place and order please contact Mark Picketts at 809.947.1069 or by email

[1]These machines are fully covered by Dell’s warranty; NOT through CMS


May 9, 2008


img thanks to Osiris