I work as a facilatator and consultant and am passionate about Appreciative Inquiry, education and working with other like-minded folk to help make this a better world for our children and young people.
Skype in the Classroom is a website taking advantage of the global reach of Skype to connect teachers around the globe!
As the site explains:
Skype in the classroom is a free community to help teachers everywhere use Skype to help their students learn. It’s a place for teachers to connect with each other, find partner classes and share inspiration. This is a global initiative that was created in response to the growing number of teachers using Skype in their classrooms.
Once teachers create a profile that sets out their interests, specialties and location, they can create projects. Projects are a way for teachers to find partner classes, partner teachers or guest speakers for a specific learning activity. You can browse through projects or even search by keyword, which makes it easy for teachers to share expertise and collaborate on projects even when they don’t already know each other.
Teachers can also browse through a members-only directory to find teachers who can offer them help, or whom they might be able to help. Once teachers find someone they’d like to connect with, they can add that person as a Skype contact. There’s also a directory of resources to help teachers share inspiring videos, links and tips around using in their classrooms.
While there is a lot you can do on Skype in the classroom, there are also a few things you can’t do. This is a community for educators to work on education-related endeavours. It is not a place intended for personal projects or for anything from which you might make any commercial gain.
Using their Skype accounts, teachers can collaborate on projects, connect with other teachers around the world and discover new inspiration for their classrooms.
The site is young – it was launched at the end of March, so is only two months old. But at time of writing, you can already find over 12,000 teachers, 500 projects and 450 resources on the site.
It illustrates … literally! … the concept of “Hip Hop Genius” – a way of viewing the transformation of education.
As Sam says on the Vimeo website:
.. Drawings were done by Mike McCarthy, a student at College Unbound , a school that exemplifies many of the values espoused in the film. the entire video was shot in College Unbound’s seminar space, where Mike has built a studio for his company Drawn Along .
The end sequence was shot by Graham Wheeler, a recent graduate of the East Bay Met, a high school that also embodies many of the principles of Hip Hop Genius. Graham and Mike edited the whole video as well.
The beat at the end was made by DJ Tek, who worked with me at the AS220 Broad Street Studio back in the day… our work there was the genesis of much of my thinking about Hip Hop Genius. Several of the young people in the video are or have been affiliated with that program.
In a universe of wunderkinds with exceptional talents, there is one child whose story deserves to be read and shared.
It is the life of a prodigy born with a gift that was neither inherited nor developed until after it was fully appreciated by his family. It is the story of a child whose love of a game in addition to his parent’s devotion is helping him enjoy a life that could have been lost.
Little Kyle Lograsso was 18 months old when his parents discovered him imitating a golf swing he had seen most likely on television. First he used the TV remote as his golf club and later brought in sticks to more closely imitate what he had seen.
His parents watched his progress and enthusiasm with awe since they neither played the game nor demonstrated prior interest. They were never certain what it was he saw on television that inspired him to practice. His father searched for a coach who was able to demonstrate by a comparison video that Kyle had a swing that was significantly like Tiger Woods.
However, by the time he was 2 years old, a white speck on his left eye was subsequently diagnosed as retinoblastoma. Without surgery, the little pro would die within months. He survived the procedure and now wears a prosthetic eye which he has used with comic effect to tease his sister.
This child is a beautifully poignant example of how someone so young can prevail over daunting challenges in his pursuit of who he is meant to be.
This is the introduction to an article by Jeff Fifield, Curriculum Facilitator at Colegio Maya in Guatemala, which was published in NewsLinks:
Coming Together – Targeting Success was the title of Colegio Maya’s (American International School of Guatemala) Strategic Planning Summit.
It captured well the objectives for the innovative and dynamic event to generate dialogue in bringing the learning community closer together to set future targets for school improvement.
Utilising an Appreciative Inquiry (AI) approach, which aligned to the school’s culture, allowed the school’s stakeholders to engage in a meaningful and energized experience to begin creating the shared vision for school improvement.
The truly magical mix included students, teachers, administrators, parents, Board Members, as well as former members of the school community.
If you’ve not watched this graphically recorded talk by Sir Ken Robinson, then you’re in for a treat. In it, he presents a cogent argument for a new paradigm in education with his customary clear reasoning and sharp wit.
Sir Ken Robinson is a British author, speaker and international advisor on education in the arts to government, non-profits, education and arts bodies. He received his knighthood in 2003 for services to education.
Thank you to Natalie Shell for the ‘heads up’ on this presentation.
A new resource is available for those working with classroom teachers and school leaders. Written by Bob & Megan Tschannen-Moran, Evocative Coaching: Transforming Schools One Conversation at a Time (Jossey-Bass, 2010), incorporates the principles of Appreciative Inquiry into the process of one-on-one coaching for personal and professional development.
The Evocative Coaching model works with Story Listening, Expressing Empathy, Appreciative Inquiry, and Design Thinking to move educators beyond old ways of thinking, doing, and being. It inspires and invigorates educators with the passion for making schools better, one conversation at a time.
David Cooperrider had this to say about the book: “If you could choose only one inspiring and resource-filled book on coaching, what do you suppose it would be? For me the answer is right here. Evocative Coaching is a gem; it’s something that should be read by anyone involved in a helping profession—and that’s everyone!”