“People need to have the power to solve their own problems” - Kosta Grammatis Kosta Grammatis believes if you provide a person with a mobile device and access to the internet their learning space can be anywhere. Support a person’s curiosity to question, reason and create within whatever space they are in and their learning can become anything. Learners of the 21st century need these things: a space, a device, a connection, a facilitator, a motive. Yet over 5 billion people on this planet don't have internet access.
Within my own community for example, less than 25% of my students have internet access in their homes and there is only one "hotspot" location within walking distance...
This piece is part of a series that highlights the work of IDEA Organizers. Peter Garang Deng was an Organizer during the 2011-2012 school year. Throughout the year, he worked closely with fellow IDEA organizer Dawn Moskowitz.
Peter is a dynamic organizer in Vermont’s New American community. As a member of this community himself and a huge presence, he helps to bring a voice to many of Burlington and Winooski’s newest constituencies. In the last decade these small cities have seen rapid growth within their immigrant and refugee populations, challenging historically homogenous schools to learn to meet the needs of their new students.
This piece is part of a series that highlights the work of IDEA Organizers. Nancy Flanagan interviews Jill (pronounced "Yill") Ruchala, who was an Organizer during the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years.
What kind of work do you do as an IDEA organizer?
A lot of what I do is cross-pollinating, making connections between people and groups with shared goals. The past few years, coordinating the Global Classrooms DC program with the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area, I worked with a team developing hands-on curriculum and youth conferences about shared global problems for DC students and teachers. I bring the ideas of other organizers around the country...
“The most important day of IDEC 2012 is April 1st.”
That date is remarkable because it is the day after the conference is over.
In total, the conference will bring together over 750 young people, educators, community leaders, organizers, academics, and advocates from around the world and across Puerto Rico. But, the most profound accomplishment of conference organizers has happened even before the conference begins. Unlike so many other conferences, IDEC 2012 has been organized to have maximum impact in the lives of young people and communities in Puerto Rico after the international...
It's that time of year again. All of the Christmas decorations are hitting the store shelves way too early; people are propping up trees before the turkey is even killed, let alone cooked; and children are running around after school, sporting their pilgrim hats and "Indian" feathers. War paint, garb, and lines to the latest "First Thanksgiving" play may also be prominently featured during play or bus stop chat.
If there was one single thing that poked the speck of homeschooling sand beneath my wholly public-schooled shell prior to its pearled status in my heart, it was the way we learn about the first Thanksgiving in schools. I can remember the shock and outrage I experienced when I...
Late last week, I was in a conversation with Sheryl Petty where she graciously encouraged me to look at just how much IDEA and my own thinking is impacted by other humans who have put their ideas and love into words.
In support of #blog4idec and today's theme of "Human", I thought I'd try to brainstorm off the cuff (no help from Google) the names of the people whose writing has profoundly shaped my thinking about what real education looks like at the most human level.
Feel free to add your own incredible humans in the comments box.
And yes, I am inviting several moments of, "how could I forget ________, and _____________, and __________ . . ."
It was a classy affair with an attendance of perhaps fifty guests, and I was lucky enough to be granted an invitation to an exclusive screening of The Experimentat The New Orleans Museum of Art.
I walked into the place – a tad bit under-dressed – and filled my hands with an Abita Amber and a flat mushroom-filled pastry, which turned out to be delicious. In the buffet line, I met a well-dressed young man (about 10 or 11) wearing a (fake?) diamond-encrusted cross on a silver chain and questioning me as to whether I’d purchased a ticket.
When I said no, he seemed disappointed, saying, “Man, so they just giving tickets away to anybody?!” I asked if he had paid for one and he told me, no,...
Purpose. It's a word that has been thrown around in conversations I've been in or observed for weeks now. It became most pronounced lately after viewing the movie, Race to Nowhere ; a film directed by Vicki H. Abeles, a mother concerned with the pace of her children's schooling.
The film delved into the world of competitive, even exclusive schooling and the need to always be better, do more, and be perfect. Students in the film spoke about health issues, self-esteem issues, suicides in their communities and their feeling of overwhelming gloom. What was it all for?
However, my close friends and I found ourselves perplexed by the film. It seemed, number one, that the film really...
Spanish, like every other major language, is indeed a crazy quilt of various dialects as there are
countries, regions, and cities where Spanish is spoken. If so, why do we still have all of the academic research in education, and its literature, referring Spanish to us as a “minority language”?
As many agree, education research findings, and the American population at large, should begin
interacting more to further necessary critical awareness if we are to make it out of
the dualistic grip of “reformers” versus “those-who-oppose-this-reform” talking heads (cf. Dana
Bennis' “The Education Policy Debate”), who add more confusion instead of resolution to our dire public schools, and...
I am a teacher in New York City working in a very poor community with mostly youth of color. Every day I see the effects of centuries of racism and class oppression show up on my students' faces. On some days I have hope that we will be able to create a just future and I want their schools to be better. Some days are harder and I think the only way out is for their schools to be destroyed. What does IDEA have to offer me?
Anonymous Teacher - The Bronx, NY
Thank you for the question. First of all, I do not have an answer for you. Your question very much hits home for me, and the best I can do in this situation is to tell you how I have figured out to live with those conflicting thoughts...