Influential People

Today, my 8th graders posted several paragraphs to their Online Yearbook that describe people that have influenced their lives here at CES, or have been memorable in some way. Thought you might be interested in reading what they have written… see http://cesyearbook.blogspot.com/

Oh, by the way…they weren’t allowed to use the words “I” or “me” when writing their paragraphs, nor were they allowed to name the person.

CES Yearbook: Visit the Online Journal

I hope you have the opportunity to visit regularly the my students’ online yearbook. My 8th grade class is publishing this online journal as part of their year-long project to document school activities and publish content using various media, including a 64 page print yearbook.  On the online yearbook, you’ll find items that won’t necessarily make it into the print version of the yearbook. The students have posted slide shows, writings and news items with photos to capture some of the happening around school.

The capstone for the my technology program at the school is the school yearbook. Eighth graders apply a variety of creative,and technical skills to chronicle and publish the print and web versions of the school yearbook: journaling, writing, theme development, research, photography, imaging, graphic design, web design/development, and information management. The students learn “real world” business skills, such as collaboration, project management, communication, problem-solving, decision-making, creativity/design, quality control, and integrity.

Students in grade 4 through 7 progress toward achieving the competence and confidence necessary to complet a project at the level of responsibility, complexity, and resiliency that publishing a yearbook demands. Students construct their understanding of technology concepts, and learn how to apply their knowledge and skills in a project-base learning environment that Mr. H’s middle school computer classes offer.

No Longer Just The Old Typing Class…

A recent article published in eSchoolNews hit home to me. It addresses issues that educators grapple with on an ongoing basis, particularly relating to how we prepare our students for the world today and in the future. Those of us involved with educational technology have seen a shift in emphasis in the national standards for technology education during the past several years (see ISTE National Educational Technology Standards), from a focus on lower-level skills to higher-level critical thinking skills (creativity, innovation, problem-solving, decision making). The eSchool News article is food for thought as we continue to review the focus of my school’s’ technology program curriculum and some of the goals that we are working toward in the middle school computer lab.

Here’s an excerpt, with a link to the full article below.

“A lot of people think the skills that students need to learn for the workforce and the skills they need to learn to be a good citizen are two separate sets. But they’re not. What makes a student successful in the global workforce will make a person successful at life…. [Employers] . . .don’t mind training employees in technology–but you can’t teach someone how to think.”

Tony Wagner from Harvard argues for a list of seven “survival skills” that students need to succeed in today’s information-age world, taken from his book The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don’t Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need–And What We Can do About It. It’s a school’s job to make sure students have these skills before graduating, he says:

1. Problem-solving and critical thinking;
2. Collaboration across networks and leading by influence;
3. Agility and adaptability;
4. Initiative and entrepreneurship;
5. Effective written and oral communication;
6. Accessing and analyzing information; and
7. Curiosity and imagination.

Story: http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/top-news/index.cfm?i=56127