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Backwards Thinking = Backtracking

“The challenge we face is nothing less than transforming our schools from assembly-line factories into centres of innovation,” said the city’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, who warns that the US school system is falling behind international rivals.

Education is a mirror into where our society is going. As of now, our public schools are saying that we are a 1950’s society and backwards. With bans on technology and social media, innovations that businesses are using and that international countries are using, in the classroom, our students and our society is being left behind by international counterparts who are using technology and social media to innovate their classrooms and challenge their students to think differently.

We need to think bigger.

We need to zoom out and look at what we value as a society.

New York is trying their best:

They’re being told to find new ways to provide a more individualised education, to change the shape of the school day, explore what technology can offer and even ask whether pupils need to be in school at all.

If we don’t speak up, our priorities won’t change.

If we don’t change the focus of our educational system from standardized based, paper and pencil tests, we will only end up with students who know how to bubble their answers and frankly, there aren’t so many opportunities in society to bubble the right answer.

Subscription Teaching

[Q]uestions about how we should reform our nation’s schools have now entered the public consciousness in a very real way. The global financial crisis and our economic woes have collided with increased mainstream coverage of our failing educational system.

Education Week gets it.

They know that print resources are dead.

Look at their site!

They tease their readers with just enough of the article that you want to read on and then offer three different options of subscription to read the rest of the article.

$2.95 for the rest of the article if you just like this one or start a subscription. Sounds a lot like…

iTunes.

Watch the preview. Did you like it?

Buy this episode or the whole season.

What does this mean for teachers?

It means that soon we will be individually contracted out to families, schools or companies for teaching services.

Are you ready?

Making Beautiful Later

The New York Times has jut released the eulogy that Steve Jobs’ sister gave. I was struck by these words:

Steve always aspired to make beautiful later.

He was willing to be misunderstood.

I always considered myself to be a detail person, but as I began my teaching career, I realized I could see ahead. I could see how something beautiful later.

Steve was humble. Steve liked to keep learning.

In every teaching position that I’ve held, I’ve had to learn something new. I’ve had to prepare for a new grade level or a new subject or a new culture.

And now I find myself here. Learning again.

About affiliate marketing.

About blogging.

About podcasting.

Learning something new every day.

Hoping to make beautiful later.

Hoping to be able to say:

OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.

First Impressions

I’m standing on the edge.

Again!

Today I started another new adventure: I’ve registered as an affiliate marketer. As I am beginning to understand the network that surrounds affiliate marketing, I know it’s important to choose programs that match not only my interests, but also offer quality services or products.

How do I choose?

First impressions make all the difference.

What do I want my first impression as an affiliate marketer to be?

Just whenI start to panic that I will make the wrong choice and as a result the wrong impression, I remember what I always told my students:

Read critically. Read carefully.

Don’t you hate it when your own teaching comes back to reteach you!

Who’s the teacher?

One of the aspects I miss the most about being outside of the classroom, is students teaching students.

I was a technology teacher last year and was in way over my head. I was trying to set up student blogs and give my students exposure to google apps with a little bit of podcasting sprinkled here and there.

The best resources I had were the other fifth graders in the class. They blew me away with their ability to navigate, investigate and articulate what they had learned.

I’m always on the lookout for teachers who are letting students have teach other students. Check out what Joshua Rosenberg is doing with his students!

Embedded Methodology

In the midst of my reading for divinity school, I encountered the term “embedded theology,” which is

A theology deeply in place and at work as we live

The discussion distinguishes between embedded theology and deliberate theology or a chosen theology. Embedded theology is often not questioned, but causes us to make decision. If that embedded theology goes unchecked or unquestioned often we are making decisions based on assumptions or beliefs that we haven’t challenged since high school.

Now the theology might not be interesting to you, but if you have worked in a school for any length of time, you realize teachers also hold embedded methodology.

In other words, teachers are making decisions about what kind of assessments, who talks and who listens in the classroom and even decisions about the physical layout of their classroom based on their embedded methodology. If this embedded methodology isn’t changed into deliberate methodology or chosen methodology, then the teacher will ride every wave of top-down program and “new” ideas that float his/her way.

So why does it matter?

If, as teachers, we can’t articulate why we are doing what we are doing in the classroom, then we have no chance of becoming the decision makers of our own profession.

It’s time to challenge and question our embedded methodology.

It’s time to choose deliberate methodology.

Getting Started

I am getting started in affiliate marketing at a perfect time. There are so many resources available to help me learn the in and outs of affiliate marketing. There is also an incredible network of affiliate marketers.

PayPerTrends Affiliate Summit and ShareaSale have been great starting points, but thanks to Jim Kukral’s tweet, I’ve found Missy Ward and a group of female affiliate marketers who are pros.

It’s hard making the jump from being a teacher with a regular schedule to zoom out and see that teaching doesn’t just happen in a classroom.

Looking forward to what’s ahead!