A Haunting Last Day Memory: Now What?

What’s your strongest memory of the last day of school?

Mine happened when I was 9 or 10, and it was one of those quiet cloudy days – a grey cloudy sky, just biding its time with the promise of rain for later, no bright colourful sunshine, just warm and still and oppressive. One of those lost “nothing” days.

I can picture it as clearly as if it was yesterday: school was out for the summer, we’d all run home excitedly screaming our celebration and joy — and after dumping my old notebooks and downing a cold glass of lemonade, I wandered outside to play with the neighbourhood kids.

But on that very still cloudy day, I felt empty inside, and I distinctly remember thinking – “Now What?”

It struck me to the core, that unexpected let-down feeling:  no exciting summer trip to pack for,  no party to go to,  no special activity planned – just school’s out, my classmate’s have all gone away, nothing’s happening….  and….  Now what?

So tomorrow, I wonder how many of our kids will go home from school on their very last day, and wander around feeling empty inside, and asking themselves,

“Now What?”

I hope somebody answers them!

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Growing Up Global: Will it Leave a Mark on the Human Psyche?

Men often hate each other because they fear each other;
they fear each other because they don’t know each other;
they don’t know each other because they can not communicate;
they can not communicate because they are separated.”
~~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

What do you think?

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“Global Computer Networking” courtesy of cuteimage / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When I first read these words, I immediately started wondering: Will our students’ ability to connect and collaborate on a global scale eventually help to dissolve human conflicts and overcome such hate and fear? Will students who regularly communicate and form relationships with students of different cultures and lifestyles become any more tolerant and understanding than those who don’t?

“People Joining Hands” courtesy of Apple’s Eyes Studio / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Our students are clearly ‘growing up global’ in a connected world — where those of us in North America regularly chat with others already in “tomorrow”, where inspiring Korean commercials can be viewed on YouTube around the world, and global projects like the Travelling Rhino project see students in classrooms around the world all working to help solve the very same issue.

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“Global Computer Networking” courtesy of cuteimage / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As educators create and conduct more and more new global activities and projects, and as we invite world-wide student participation and collaboration, what are we learning about the effects they are having on our students’ values and beliefs? Am I just acting on some blind belief or vague assumption that these things are good for my students?? Or is there some solid body of evidence which proves this is true? What can we do to monitor and provide evidence of what is happening as a result of these global connections — if indeed, there even is any change?!?

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“Islamic Prayer” courtesy of tiverylucky / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

They say that when the astronauts sent back pictures of that first human view of Earth from space, it forever changed our collective perception of Planet Earth as “Home”.

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“3D Earth” courtesy of chrisroll / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

And I have to wonder: Like seeing the planet from space for the very first time, will ‘growing up global’ also leave its indelible mark on the human psyche? Will growing up globally connected help to create a new generation who take it for granted that we are all one connected people who must resolve our differences to work and live together as we journey through space and time on this tiny blue planet?

As our population increases and our access to resources decreases, will growing up global and learning in a connected global classroom make any difference at all to the human ability to overcome fear and hate, and to solve problems together?

2416550113_d663e89311_z“Holding Hands” by Kevin under CC License BY-NC-SA

What can we do to help make it so?

There are no magic answers, no miraculous methods
to overcome the problems we face, just the familiar ones: 
an honest search for understanding, education, organization, and action…. 
…inspired by the hope of a brighter future.
~~Noam Chomsky

Please join the Global Classroom Project and #GlobalClassroom Chats if you are interested in discussing and working with others on these issues.

 

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What did You learn today?

Make it short….  that’s what I learned today!

When I posted my 4th instalment in my “Gedding It” Series yesterday, I knew it was still way too long.  In this age of the global information trough, I knew no one would get to the end. So why did I sweat over it so much?!?

A few months ago I saw Seth Godin’s blog and thought: that’s what I need. Short quick posts that don’t need a lot of time to read or write.

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Then the same idea popped out at me this morning in Designing What’s Next in Teachers’ Professional Development by @mpelochino (ironically in a long post worth reading to the end).  Short, quick, 2-minute PD!

And then it came up this afternoon again, in a SimpleK12 webinar on the value of making short chunked screencasts – for students and teacher PD!

OK universe. I finally get the message!! (-:

Make it quick; and get to the point. Provide links for the people who want depth. Don’t sweat the small stuff (except the links).  Imperfect’s better than never done at all.

And that just makes everything a whole lot easier on everyone.

ThatwasEASY

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