Global Achievement Gap-Understanding the Situation

Amidst the scathing indictments of our current educational system there is much that is positive. Changes are being made at local levels. In fact as Charles Leadbeater,

Roundtables and discussion groups exchange and explore perspectives

Roundtables and discussion groups exchange and explore perspectives

consultant for innovation in education in the United Kingdom suggests, “Education + Skill training + technology = Hope.”

Educators must however realize that: “Most innovation comes from collaboration. Most effective learning occurs as a result of collaboration. Our current system of education can’t deliver the necessary outcomes with the current teachers and techniques that are in place.”

Systemic transformation will only occur when new attitudes and delivery techniques are universally used to address the needs of the workplace and the motivations of what is now being described as the “Net Generation.”

The current generation of learners is very different from their teachers. They are accustomed to instant gratification. The “always on” connection has resulted in a physical re-wiring of their brains.

They use the web for extending friendships, interest driven learning, self-directed inquiry and view the Internet as a tool for self-expression.

They are constantly connected, creating and multitasking in a multimedia world everywhere except school. Young people aged 8-18 spend 7 hrs and 38 minutes a day using electronic devices. If you factor in multitasking that time increases to 13 hours.

They have less fear than their predecessors. They have less respect for authority and want coaching or mentoring not lecturing. They want and need to “make a difference.”

In order to truly transform education, educators must reframe everything to address the needs of the world and its learners.

Global Achievement Gap-Assessment

Schools at all levels around the world fail to prepare students for the workplace.

This was the clear message from business, government and education leaders of 50 nations participating in the Bahrain 2010 Global Education Conference. The global achievement gap between what industry expects and what education delivers is not caused by a lack of content but of context and practical application.

The basic problem stems from the fact that educational institutions mistakenly interpret rigor as adding more difficult coursework not demanding mastery of existing content at all levels. They are also mired in an archaic assembly line system that fails to deal with the requirements of a knowledge-based economy that is agile, pull oriented, media rich and increasingly accessible.

The result is both business and students are unhappy. Fewer jobs require a 4-year degree but more technical skill. Mobility has increased and students at all levels feel increasingly unprepared to meet the challenges of a 21st century workplace. Continue reading

Golden Rules of Social Media

Social media has become a free form means of delivering personal messages that take many forms. Posts range from useful to vitriolic. It would seem there should be some generally accepted Rules for Social Media. OK so it’s a bit presumptuous of me, but here are some suggestions I picked up from Social Media Consultant Aliza Sherman. Take them for what they are worth.

Respect the Spirit of the Net. It was meant for communication and connection to people and information.
Listen. It will give you a sense of what people are saying and feeling. It will also help you map your social media footprint.
Add Value. Always ask yourself: How is this providing value to the conversation? To the community?
Respond. A quick response is more important than ever. Don’t be a dam in a conversation flow.
Do Good Things. Perpetuate social responsibility in all you do.
Share the Wealth. If you’ve got it, share it, spread it around. Sharing is the rule of a conversation engine.
Give Kudos. Nothing is wrong with self promotion but things really take off when you give others their moment in the spotlight.
Don’t Spam. I just don’t have the time, tolerance or bandwidth to deal with it.
Be Real. Be yourself. You’ll have far better and more long-lasting positive results than if you try to be something you are not.
Collaborate. Social media tools are just that….tools. The real power is people. We are the media.

Video Tips and Tricks

People always seem to make the same mistakes when shooting video.
•Making a subject appear as if they are in the witness protection plan because the background is too bright.
•Positioning a person in such a way it looks like a tree is growing out of his/her head.
•Shooting boring shots of buildings with no action.
•Placing a subject in front of a background that is the same color as their clothing.

We’ve all seen them so why do they keep happening? Here are a few tips to help you shoot better video. Continue reading

High school students cover JEA/NSPA convention

10 of my former Arcadia High School students covered the JEA/NSPA national convention and produced a convention daily online multi-media web site. They each filed 3 news packages and a blog daily. Great job guys. Here is the link: http://stardust.jmc.asu.edu/Phxpost/The_Phoenix_Post/Home.html