What is the best part of being an educator?

Chris Lehmann says:

The coolest thing about being an educator is and should be that you get to spend your life with amazing young people every single day. And if you do it right, you get to view the world through their eyes and listen as they explain their views of the world to you and to their classmates.

When we do that, we learn about how many different views on the world there are, and that, no matter how smart you may think you are as a teacher, the kids bring ideas and intelligences and experiences that are every bit as powerful and important — and smart — as your own. And when we listen with an open mind, an open heart, and a true excitement for those ideas and experiences, we model social learning in the best possible way – by learning from our students.

Read the full post here at the Practical Theory blog.

Rethinking Ed Tech? MIT Blossoms story at Slate

Ed-tech enthusiasts who think they can do an end run around teachers will find that teachers are still the ultimate arbiters of what’s welcome in their classrooms: Witness the interactive “Smart Boards” introduced with such fanfare into America’s schools, now functioning as so many expensive bulletin boards.

Ed-tech proponents who think that technology can “disrupt” or “transform” education on its own would do well to take a lesson from the creators of Blossoms, who call their program’s blend of computers and people a “teaching duet.” Their enthusiasm for the possibilities of technology is matched by an awareness of the limits of human nature.

Read the whole article at Slate.

A Student is Flying the Plane!

He was actually piloting the plane!

Last week I had the opportunity to fly in the back seat of a small plane flown by one of our high school aviation students. We are making a STEM video focused on aviation careers. I went along to the airport to gather footage for the video. I planned on putting a GoPro in the cockpit and get some b-roll from the ground. When our aviation teacher started adding up the weight of passengers and included me, I was very hesitant. I had never flown in such a small plane, let alone with a student at the controls!

They reassured me that it would be a short, safe flight. Our aviation teacher was there too, but he was hands off for most of the flight. I am very glad that I went along. It was a beautiful day with gorgeous views of Naples. It was also a reminder of the incredible things young people can do when they are focused, motivated, and inspired. I am glad to be a part of this project featuring an incredible young man, who after being in the US for just a few years, speaks three languages, is about to graduate high school, and is very near to gaining his private pilot license.

Here is a short cut of some of the footage from the experience:

Teen Driving Deaths Increase Dramatically During Summer Months

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Photo: LicenseAttribution Some rights reserved by State Farm

I read this interesting article in the Washington Post this morning about how teenage driving deaths double in the summer months. I am tucking it away until next May. Our school year in SW Florida has already ended, but if you’re still in school you may want to discuss this with your high school students. Perhaps being aware of the trends around summer party weekends will cause a few more young people to save themselves. The article points out that many people feel they do not have control of whether or not they are involved in a collision. The data suggests otherwise. Educators, have a wonderfully restful, enjoyable, and safe summer.

Post article:  wapo.st/171vtIk