The design of the classroom from 1750 to today

The Design of Childhood: How the Material World Shapes Independent Kids by Alexandra Lange  The design of the classroom is a technology, and you can interpret that in a lot of different ways. Architects can make that look more, and less, typical. But the point is the instruction, the interaction in the classroom, not that it looks […]

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Bottoms up

Attention works like a loose gate. We can’t always control what information sneaks in, nor can we parse the data so it makes sense coming out. We grind away at the information life throws at us, some of it tangible and worthwhile but most it nonsense. Like a Google search, the stuff worth keeping is […]

U.K. schools dismiss the traditional clock face

The U.K. is eliminating analog clocks from student classrooms because kids can’t read them. Says one professor from the Times Educational Supplement newspaper: “It is amazing the number of students I am coming across in year 10, 11 and in sixth form who do not know how to tell the time. We live in a world […]

Why some children struggle to hold pencils

According to doctors, you can blame tech for children’s inability to hold pencils. Apparently all that screen time is doing nothing to strengthen their thumb, index, and middle fingers which work together to form one’s basic writing technique. Generation thumbs Having grown up with perpetual swiping and speaking in images and emoji, the next generation is […]

Life is not a contest

They say that the best way to learn anything is to teach it to someone else. But the teacher, often a parent, pushes an agenda that demands high achieving results. As a result, children sprint into adulthood without having explored all their curiosity. Parents could benefit more from their children’s sense of wonder. Children remind […]

‘Sitting is the new smoking’ 

On the contrary, sitting is not the modern plague. It’s just the scary metaphor health practitioners use to remind us to get up and move every once in a while. They recommend standing up 5-10 minutes for every 45 minutes we’re sedentary. The tagline caught on because doctors grew concerned that people weren’t active enough, […]

How was your day?

If you ask someone how they’re doing, they’ll usually provide a short answer like “well, thanks,” even if they’re having a bad day. No one wants to go into detail about their present state because of the length of time it would require to explain all the details. The truth may sound something like “I […]

People need widgets

People need widgets in order to meet other people.  The widget can be a dog, a beer, or a coffee, anything that increases the likeliness of people talking in a social setting.  People feel more confident and more engaged when they’re holding on to something and have a reason to be there. It’s easier meet […]

Thinking Wordlessly

Words lack meaning without an image. That’s why language is so hard to learn. Learning leans heavily on layers of reference and emotional connection. To truly understand something new it has to have an attached value. You’ll want to use it for something meaningful. Just trying to remember something to pass a test never sticks […]

Slow Learners

We often define “smart” at how good someone is at memorization, learning, and standardized tests. But the real world requires alternative intelligence, and most importantly, meaning. What motivates you? Is it the grades, money, the autonomy, the ease or challenge of the job? Passion pushes intelligence to a level beyond knowing what everyone else knows. […]

Teaching to the test…

undermines knowledge and education.  Memorization kills creativity. Information is just one step one in doing the work.  The most valuable knowledge comes through random experimentation.  What if? Not every question needs a right or best answer.  Life is much more complex than the SATs.   Pre-programming is for robots.  Think beyond gathered information.  Rise above the […]