Friday, January 25, 2013

Children in Peru write their own history on Wikipedia

I've heard about a lot of teachers who don't let their students do any research on Wikipedia.

This video shows how children in the Amazon jungles of Peru teach each other to use their little laptops, and to learn about the world through them.

They are fascinated by all the knowledge on Wikipedia - and then do their own research, photography and writing for a page about their village of Palestina, Peru.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Continuous improvement through observing scientifically

Critique and Feedback: The Story of Austin's Butterfly from Expeditionary Learning on Vimeo
This is a fantastic story about learning through observation, and making many drafts before you are through.
The class we see in the video are as fascinating to watch and listen to as the iteration of drawing they are looking at. As you can see, there are many language learners in the class - there are many Somali refugees in Maine - but there is no difference between their activity and the native Mainers.
This is from a charter school that gives children the opportunity to learn the way they learn everything else. Through repetition, self correction and help from their friends.
I'd love to teach this way.
It makes me think about the Japanese culture of "continuous improvement" which is used in quality systems in businesses, which I've read a lot about in business classes.
But teachers in Japanese classrooms also use "continuous improvement" to do "Lesson Research" while developing lessons where children learn the best - as I've been reading about in a slightly older book, the Teaching Gap, which I highly recommend! In the book, we read that education and educational methods are part of our culture, which only changes / can be changed very slowly. The Japanese evidently used their culture of "continuous improvement"from business to improve their schools. a little bit at a time.