Tag Archives: What I’m Reading

The Inevitable Let Down Or Taking A Day

Our MyrtleI just needed a day, I think, to do not much after months of doing, doing, doing. I had planned to travel today for a last bit of holiday vacation  but slept badly last night and woke late feeling low, not prepared for a long car drive even with a decent book to listen to. I messaged my old friend who was lovely and supportive; thank goodness for old friends, indeed. We’ll meet up tomorrow at an annual get together of other old friends, mostly women I worked with at my first teaching gig in the late 80s, and then spend a few days recuperating from it all with sales shopping and binge watching and at least one movie theater movie, probably Mary, Queen of Scots. I look forward to this annual trek and know it will be restorative, but I just needed a day to make the transition.

One thing I did do was set up my feed reader as part of my general goal of being better connected. I emptied it completely and decided to just start with the people Jen Orr mentioned in her blog post. I recognized all the names as thoughtful people who were doing good work around creativity and equity. It is a good start, I think, and I am trying to keep things sustainable. I plan to have this group as a core of regular reading because I know they will connect me with a wider community and then I can add others to the core list. I hope it is a better strategy than filling the feed with every person I might possibly read and then being overwhelmed by the number of posts.

My organizational efforts  were immediately rewarded with this beautiful prose poem by Sherri Spelic reflecting on the holiday and the coming year, what we bring with us, what we leave behind, what we look forward to.

What I’ve Been Reading

Tim Stahmer’s blog post, It’s Not Pearson’s Fault, led me to the Forbes profile of the education giant. As Tim noted, it was worth the read. Two statements from Pearson executives stood out for me. In the very first paragraph, we see how difficult it is to pin down educational concepts. Jennifer Rheinfold writes of Pearson’s goals: “The goal is not merely to build a more successful and sustainable business—an imperative as Pearson’s traditional print operations shrivel—but also to improve the lives of millions of people throughout the world.” But the quote that follows from CEO John Fallon shows an interesting take on improving lives when he comments, ““What we’re trying to do is the same thing—to help improve learning outcomes.” Which translates to test scores. 

Sir Michael Barber, Pearson’s chief education advisor, wrote a report on Pakistan in which he refers to his education philosophy–standards and accountability–as “deliverology.” The image of education invoked by this word is a traditional, teacher- and curriculum-centered practice where students are the recipients rather than the participants.

The Man With 26 Million Students refers to Zach Sims, the founder of Codeacademy. Coding is the foreign language of our era. Fluency allows you greater creativity as you have more control over the development environment. But programming is more than that: it has a logic and syntax that requires critical thinking and deeper learning is often experienced through failure rather than success as Tom Woodward suggests in his post, Rookie Javascript Mistakes.  I’ve been playing around with the Kano I bought and going through the challenges for students that help them grasp programming concepts. I “learned” to program the way Tom did, by thinking about what I wanted to accomplish and finding bits of code that allowed me to do that.  Working through tutorials are helping solidify my understanding. After I finish this post, I’m going to try out this weekend’s pizza challenge.

#28daysofwriting from Oliver Quinlan describes Tom Barrett’s project to blog 28 minutes for the next 28 days. I’m in and hoping that the commitment, one I’ve tried before, will indeed kickstart this blog. I’ve signed on officially and this is my first post.



During Trying Economic Times, Some Small Towns Turn To Their Own Currency

I am intrigued by these small town currencies as a way of encouraging people to buy from local businesses.


PS I’m experimenting with feedwordpress to aggregate some of my Diigo links. I’ve been feeding the whole list to the site as a widget but realized that a dump is not always a good thing unless you’re in the market for a peach cobbler recipe or information about inoculating pigs along with the education stuff I post.