I often hear people talk about the drastic changes needed in education to prepare students for their future. However, I tend to believe that the right people to do the job are already in our schools. To respond to the needs of the 21st century student we need subtle shifts in thinking and pedagogy. These subtle shifts will lead to transformational results.
Just. Like. Skydiving.
I had the opportunity to go indoor skydiving with a couple friends in Chicago recently. Our experience in the immense wind-tunnel was a pure adrenaline rush. Although the skydiving took place indoors the speed and force of the air blasting upwards was very real.
Indoor skydiving wind-tunnels are capable of blasting air that reaches speeds of 175+ mph. I found the mechanics of this high octane sport fascinating. The air speeds are so intense that super slight adjustments to body position can lead to jolting movements.
When I was in the standard neutral belly position (chin up and arms out) a subtle adjustment of my hands could have propelled me into a 360 degree rotation. This subtle shift in my wrists would have been indiscernible to the casual onlooker, but it could have had me resembling a human helicopter blade!
Understanding the impact of subtle shifts is critical in skydiving; it’s critical in education too.
The proper subtle shifts can lead to a transformative experience. Be sure to watch the two minute video of our indoor skydiving adventure that’s embedded above. (The end of the video contains raw footage of our highly trained instructors applying the principle of ‘subtle shifts’ that led to a jaw-dropping aerial acrobatic show.)
What subtle shifts do YOU think our students deserve?
Share your thoughts in the comments section. I started with a few subtle shifts in thinking that will serve our students well:
- How can I enhance the frequency and depth of collaboration in my classroom or school?
- In what ways can I give up more control so that students truly own their learning?
- How might we tap into the transformational power of technology to move beyond the prevailing belief that an interactive whiteboard is the pinnacle of technology integration.
- Am I teaching a lesson or facilitating a lasting learning experience for students?
We’ve got an NAESP National Panel planned with some spectacular surprises. Join us for a conversation about innovation and connectivity in education. To get to know the presenters before the conference, simply click on the image above or download the DAQRI augmented reality app on a mobile device. (Just hover over the flyer while in the DAQRI app to launch into a 4D experience!)
Date: Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Time: 2:00pm – 3:15pm
Location: Long Beach Convention Center, Room 201B
Can’t travel to NAESP in Long Beach? Watch for a Periscope link via Twitter to join us virtually!
Each year our school displays several “Literacy-O-Lanterns” in the Media Center for students to enjoy. Armed with only a Sharpie and some acrylic paint, I decorate the pumpkins with characters or cover art from popular children’s books. This year’s crop features some new titles and old favorites. Our ultimate goal is to foster a genuine love of reading, and to get kids talking about their favorite books.
How many of the characters & books represented on the pumpkins can YOU guess?
- One of the pumpkins above is connected to the 2014 Global Read Aloud created by Pernille Ripp. Check out the hashtag on Twitter #GRA14 and be sure to follow @PernilleRipp for more global literacy opportunities for students.
- One of the pumpkins features a boy named Wendell (who also happens to be the world’s worst wizard). The title is also part of the #WorldBookTalk project. The book’s cover is a trigger image powered by Augmented Reality. Huge shout-out to John Spencer for co-authoring this enchanting read! Be sure to follow @EdRethink on Twitter to catch all of John’s blog posts too.
- One of the pumpkins pictured above is part of a series that my daughters LOVED. With more than 100 titles, the series kept them reading, and reading, and reading…it was awesome!
- One of the books below was written by my friend, Todd Nesloney. The message of the book is that we all have something important to offer the world. You can read more about the book, Spruce and Lucy, in this blog post.