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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

MRVED Update - March 20, 2019

MRVED Business

Upcoming Meetings

March 27th - Superintendents' Advisory Council
March 28th - Teachers' Advisory Council
April 12th - Title III Teachers


April 18th Common Inservice Day

The spring MRVED Common Inservice Day will be held on April 18, 2019, at the Dawson-Boyd Schools. You will be welcomed with coffee, juice, and muffins to begin your day. The day will consist of attending one session for the entire morning and the afternoon will be time with your district, determined by your administrator. The choices for the morning sessions are: Social Emotional Learning, Teach Like a Pirate, and Structured Unconference. Registration has been sent out and is also available on our website: www.mrved.com

New at this inservice day will be a catered lunch provided by Trish’s Catering. The menu will be pork roast, baby red potatoes, green beans, broccoli grape salad, bar and lemonade. The cost is $10.00 and is to be paid to your district. DO NOT SEND ANY MONEY TO THE MRVED. The last day to cancel your lunch is March 29th by 4:00 P.M. After that date, you will be held responsible for the lunch cost.

Closer to the inservice date, you will receive an email with detailed information including the school's address, which to door to enter, and other information. Please read this carefully. When you arrive, your meal ticket and agenda will be in the commons area at the registration table.

Registration is now open and closes on March 29th at 4:00 P.M.

We look forward to seeing everyone on April 18th!

(Please Note: Districts not participating in the inservice due to a school make-up day: Minneota/Ivanhoe, Ortonville, YME)



MRVED - Did You Know

The MRVED schools are all members of a Flexible Learning Year (FLY).  The FLY allows schools the ability to start pre-Labor Day.  It also aligns 4 common inservice days for the 9 districts.  The first common day is during inservice.  The staggered start dates for the districts allows Brandon and Karen the ability to get into more districts prior to school starting.  Prior to the FLY, it was a race to schedule Brandon or Karen as all our districts had the same inservice dates.  The first date that all our districts have in common is the Wednesday prior to MEA break.  This date has been designated as our "Best Practice" day.  Typically we have a keynote speaker that deals with classroom practices and is completely teacher focused.  January is the annual MELT conference with around 100 breakout sessions.  The spring date corresponds with Easter break and is used as a follow up from the fall or a look ahead to next fall.


Early Care and Education Grant

The Southwest Initiative Foundation is seeking request for proposals for a $5,000 Early Care and Education Grant.  More information can be found at the following link:
https://swifoundation.org/how-to-apply/grants/early-care-education/

PreK-3rd Grade Alignment 
Enhancing the continuity and consistency of learning for children birth to grade 3 through trainings and professional development, resource development, strategy implementation, quality staff planning time or building community-wide approaches.

Social and Emotional Development 
Building resilient communities through the enhancement of existing or development of new trainings, prevention, education and programs that continue to have a far-reaching impact.

Early Care and Education 
Increasing access to and availability of high quality early care and education environments through (including, but not limited to) staff development, curriculum and/or assessment implementation, Parent Aware rating attainment, expansion of number of children in care, provider appreciation, community conversations, etc. 

Funding requests of up to $5,000 will be considered. We expect the project will be completed within 12 months of the grant award date, at which time a final report will be due. 

This is a competitive grant program. It is our expectation these funds will help our region address early care and education. Grants will be awarded in May 2019. 

Questions can be directed to Jodi Maertens at (320) 583-4775 or jodim@swifoundation.org. Applications Due by 5 p.m. on April 26, 2019.


Article - Test Prep Doesn't Have to be Overwhelming

Everyone is probably in some form of test prep mode right now as Minnesota gears up for the MCA tests. Edutopia published a great article by Heather Wolpert-Gawron titled Test Prep Doesn't Have to be Overwhelming.  In the article Wolpert-Gawron provides tips and reminders for teachers as they enter test prep season.  This article is a nice reminder for all of us as we prep our students for any test.


Tech Tip of the Week - MCA Released Items

The Minnesota Department of Education has a database of released items from the MCA test. These items are different than the item sampler many teachers are familiar with. The released items are questions directly from the MCA tests that have been retired out of testing. Educators may choose to use them to better understand how the MCA is aligned to the Minnesota K–12 Academic Standards and how the items are written to reflect the rigor and complexity of these standards. The released content, data table, and rationales can be used by educators to explore examples of questions that evaluate the knowledge and skills expected in the standards.
These questions would make a nice addition to any test prep you do in your course.  There is currently math questions and reading passage sets available.

Released Item Database from MDE


Ditch That Textbook - Section 3, Part 2

We will examine Chapters 27-29 this week.  Again, what follows is my thoughts on the chapters.  This, by no means, takes the place of reading the book.  Ditch That Textbook by Matt Miller is a super-fast read and well worth the time!

Chapter 27 is about classroom management with devices.  This is a chapter that every teacher in a 1:1 environment should read.  One of my favorite lines in the whole book is in this chapter.  "We can't make students use their time wisely; that decision will always have to be their choice".  Miller compares it to a child sitting at a bus stop.  We can't make a kid get on the bus, we can only help them make a good decision.  Miller offers the following suggestions:
  • Circulate frequently
  • Ask questions
  • Develop relationships
  • Set mini-deadlines
  • Keep it engaging
Chapter 28, Jump In and Try!  A teacher cannot be afraid to try new things in the classroom.  Think about how boring life and your classroom would be if you did the same thing every year!  Always have a purpose for what you are doing.  Miller says, "don't use technology for technology's sake".  I fully agree with this statement.  Don't just use the latest greatest website because it looks cool.  Think about how this technology enhances the activity or assignment.  Without a plan in place, we set ourselves us for failure from the start.  But, we cannot be afraid to use the tools.  My second favorite quote is in this chapter, "Inaction is crippling.  Action is empowering."

The last chapter is titled, Don't Use it All.  We all go to conferences or inservice trainings where we see tons of cool, new technology tools.  I present trainings titled 60 sites in 60 minutes or 30 tools in 60 minutes.  My hope when doing these trainings is not for you to walk away with 60 websites you can use in your classroom tomorrow.  My goal is for you to grab one, maybe two things you can bring back and implement into your classroom.  You can't do it all!  Don't try to use them all!  It goes back to the old saying, "It's better to be really good at one or two things, than mediocre at 10".  Take one or two things per year and become really good at it.  Don't get complacent and stagnant and not learn anything new.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

MRVED Update - March 6, 2019

MRVED Business

Upcoming Meetings

March 15th - Principals' Advisory Council
March 27th - Superintendents' Advisory Council
March 28th - Teachers' Advisory Council

April 18th - MRVED Common Day Inservice       *More information to follow soon!*


MRVED - Did You Know
The MRVED financially oversees the Minnesota River Valley Career and Technical Education Collaborative.  The MRVCTEC is a collaborative of Lakeview, RCW, YME, Montevideo, and MACCRAY.  They provide CTE courses for those schools, mostly for college credit.  Bruce Bergeson is the director of the collaborative.  If you have any questions or want further information please contact Bruce (bbergeson@mrved.net).


March Madness in the Classroom

Image result for final four 2019When Dave Burgess was with us this past October, he talked about incorporating March Madness into your classroom.  Here is his blog post that explains the use of brackets.  Let's see your creative uses of brackets on Twitter using the hashtag #mrvedtlap.  March Madness would be a great topic to bring in this year especially as the Final Four is in Minneapolis this year.










Tech Tip of the Week - Chrome Music Lab

Image result for chrome music labThis tool goes under the category of, "I'm not sure how to use this in the classroom, but someone might have an idea".  Chrome Music Lab is a neat website that allows users the opportunity to make music in a variety of fun ways.  You can drum a beat with a couple monkeys, play a piano, or draw music, among other things.  Like I mentioned, I have been trying to think of a way in which to use this in the classroom and have yet to have a great idea.  If you have an idea, let me know on Twitter with the hashtag #mrvedtlap.  In the meantime, you can check out my wicked bad beats.

Example


Ditch That Textbook - Section 3 - Ditch That Textbook

Sections 1 and 2 of Ditch That Textbook dealt primarily with theory and mindsets, whereas section 3 is the ideas for your classroom.  Miller did a great job in sections 1 & 2 laying the groundwork for the remainder of the book.  Many of the theories and mindsets need to be put into practice before these ideas take hold.  Without the prior mindsets in place, the ideas will fail.  Here we will examine chapters 23-26.  Again, this is simply my thoughts and reflection on the chapters.

Miller starts by talking about creating a home for your stuff.  As you start ditching your textbook, you replace that content with something digital.  You will need a home for your digital "stuff".  He suggests using a website to organize and save everything.  Think of your website as a digital file cabinet.  You can put your links, worksheets, printables, etc... here.  Make it as interactive as possible as well.  Use your site to post student work or pictures of your class in action.  Creating a USABLE website for your class is very important if you are going to ditch your textbook.  Without this space, you are going to be frustrated and lost.  Without it, you will come back year 2 and wonder, "what was that video I used to show topic A?".
Image result for student blogging
Once you have your space, you will need content on there.  You will probably start by finding content on the web, but more than likely, you will start to see the benefits of creating your own content.  When you create your own content, you are in control of what the students are learning.  It makes meeting your learning targets so much easier.  Miller provides a wealth of examples in this chapter, of which I am not going to take the time to highlight here.  Don't be afraid to use student-created content as well.  One example from my own teaching, that proves the point of kids being able to grasp content from other kids, is my students made videos of the Epic of Gilgamesh.  I had a group create a phenomenal video.  In fact, it was so good, it was actually better than what I had been using.  So every year following, I used that video and then provided a challenge to the class to make one better.  Kids were extremely motivated to make a better video.  It was fun to see.

In the next chapter Miller talks about having kids write and create utilizing a blog or something similar.  Having kids create their own blog or website is a great way for kids to be able to showcase their work.  It also creates a global audience, versus an audience of one.  Have kids post their work, share their work via Twitter, etc... It creates a powerful learning experience for all.




Wednesday, February 20, 2019

MRVED Update - February 20, 2019

MRVED Business

Upcoming Meetings

February 21 - Teachers' Advisory Council
February 22 - Principals' Advisory Council
February 27 - Superintendents' Advisory Council

MRVED Did You Know

Did you know there are 9 school districts that are members of the Minnesota River Valley Education District?  The 9 school districts are Ortonville, Lac qui Parle Valley, Dawson-Boyd, Montevideo, Benson, Yellow Medicine East, Lakeview, Minneota, and Renville County West.  The MRVED serves over 600 teachers and and 5,800 students.

Science Standards - 2nd Draft & Comment Period

The second draft of the 2019 Minnesota K-12 Science Education Standards is now available. The public is invited to provide feedback on the standards during its Public Review and Comment Period, February 14-28, 2019.  The standards can be found on the MDE Science page (link below the article) and the online feedback form link can be found below as well.  Let your voice be heard.  The standards committee reads all feedback and makes adjustments to the standards accordingly.

Online Feedback Form

Tech Tip of the Week - All Sides

In the political climate of today, showing kids both sides of stories is important.  All Sides allows you to examine news headlines from all sides.  It will even tell you if the article is left or right leaning, or centered.  All Sides can be used as a great teaching tool to show bias in the media, and teaching kids to think critically while they read.  If you are not going to use it with your kids, take a look yourself and see how headlines and stories are spun based upon political bias.

Ditch That Textbook - Ditch That Mindset (Part 3)

This week we will look at chapters 19-22.  Again, this book is such a quick read and full of awesome ideas!  Below is simply my thoughts from these chapters, so please get Ditch That Textbook and read the chapters.  I can, by no means, do the book justice in my short couple paragraphs of a synopsis.

Matt Miller starts chapter 19 by talking about Daniel Pink's research on motivation.  You can see Pink's TED talk on Motivation on the TED website.  I have watched this TED talk numerous times and find something to take away from it every time.  Students need to feel as if they have a choice while learning.  This could be choice in the activities or even how they learn the new material.  Students must also see a purpose in why they need to learn something or do an activity.  If the purpose is simply to get the activity completed, that may not be enough motivation for many of your students.  Show them the purpose, talk about the purpose.  If you can't give them a good reason as to why you are doing something, then maybe you shouldn't be doing it.

Chapter 20 moves into embracing new technology.  Miller gives us a great quote in this chapter, he says, "Technology must be an inalienable right to students" (Miller, 112).  I love this quote and it really made me think.  Miller gives the example of a new technology that comes out in the medical field that can save lives or make surgery recovery quicker...we would INSIST our doctors learn the new technology.  I don't think we would give them a choice if they want to implement the latest device into their practice.  Yet, we do this as teachers.  Our students are INSISTING we use the latest technology to make their learning more relevant.

This idea of insisting we (teachers) learn new technology flows right into the premise of chapter 21.  YOU are your own best PD.  Miller talks about not waiting until the next staff PD day to learn or see how the new technology works.  Dig in and try to figure it out yourself.  YOU have the greatest minds at your fingertips with Twitter, the best tutorial videos imaginable on YouTube.  Not to mention, you probably have a classroom of 20+ "experts" in front of you every day!  YOU have full control over your own PD. YOU.  YOU.  YOU!

I get a little fired up over this topic.  Miller reaffirms many of the same thoughts I have about education, PD, and technology.  We are living in a day and age where we have access to SO much information, almost too much information.  There should be no reason in the world why we can't learn something new to be the best we can.  After all, our kids deserve your very best EVERY DAY!


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

MRVED Update - February 6, 2019

MRVED Business

Upcoming Meetings
February 13 - MRVED Board Meeting
February 21 - Teachers' Advisory Council
February 22 - Principals' Advisory Council
February 27 - Superintendents' Advisory Council

MRVED Did You Know: Why is the MELT Conference in January?

I was recently asked, "Why do you hold the MELT in January?"  The answer is simple, yet complicated.

There are 3 MRVED common days that fall within the school year.  One in the fall, winter, and spring.  The spring date is rather late to learn something new and implement it into your classroom, thus not a great time for an educational conference.  Plus, the SWWC Service Coop hosts their annual technology conference in the Spring and we would be competing for presenters.

The fall date, on paper, seems to be the best option.  Weather is better, it's early in the year, it coincides with MEA, etc...  However, taking a moment to think a little deeper about this date...it's so close to MEA (the day before), that many of the presenters from the cities are already presenting at MEA, on Thursday and Friday.  Also, the process of getting people to present takes about 3-4 months.  Presenters are sought after in September for the January conference.  If the conference was in October, it would mean June/July would be the time to solicit presenters...not really the best time to be contacting teachers :-)  With those two reasons alone, holding a conference in October, would present MANY obstacles to getting people to present.

In a nutshell, January seems to be the ideal time to hold the MELT.


8 Ways Teachers and Schools Can Communicate with Parents in 2019

I came across this great blog post by Kathleen Morris on 8 Ways Teachers and Schools Can Communicate with Parents in 2019.  Not only does the post provide ideas, but it gives actual examples as well.  So, if you are looking for different ways to communicate with your parents, this is the article for you.

Tech Tip - CollabraCam

CollabraCam is an iPad app that allows the user to see up to six other iOS cameras at one time.  It would be a great thing to incorporate into a class field trip or project.  You can then take the footage and edit it together for an awesome video montage.  The app costs $4.99 and is only available on Apple.  There are many uses for this from Kindergarten through 12th grade.


Ditch That Textbook - Ditch That Mindset (Part 2 - Chapter 14-18)

I've said it every week.  Ditch That Textbook is great playbook for your classroom.  Matt Miller provides so many GREAT ideas, not only for your students, but for you as a professional educator as well.  These next five chapters are about a variety of things, so once again, I will provide a short snippet of my learning from the book.

Chapter 14 talks about giving students control.  I love the analogy Miller provides about our students are just like tenants that rent a house.  Tenants simply live in the space and usually do nothing to improve that space, because there is no ownership.  Our students are the same way in the classroom.  They are tenants in our classrooms.  How do we get them to see ownership in the classroom and do something with their learning?  We have to make it real for them.  We have to get them invested into their learning.

Miller then goes on to talk about how we use our time.  He references Andy Stanley's sermon on "Choosing to Cheat".  If you have about 30 minutes, and don't mind a few religious pieces included, I highly recommend going to YouTube and finding the sermon.  In it he talks about how we choose to spend our 24 hours and often times find ourselves cheating the ones we love and care about out of time.  A teacher's' life is hard and busy.  Between teaching, correcting, lesson planning, coaching, supervising, meetings, etc... our hours can fill VERY quickly.  Pastor Stanley states in his sermon that "sometimes we need to give up on the good things we are doing to make way for great things".  Think about that quote for a minute.  It really hit home for me personally.

Miller also talks about being a connected educator and sharing the things that you do.  So often, especially in our small rural schools, we can become our own silos.  There are so many people that are willing to help and share, if you know where to look.  Find a platform for connectedness that works for you.  For many this might be Twitter or Facebook, but there are blogs, YouTube channels, Instagram, etc... for you to take advantage of as well.  If you don't think you have time for it, try it for 2 weeks and see if it works for you.  If you find value in it, you will make time for it.  Once you get comfortable becoming connected, learn how to share.  There is someone out there that can benefit from what you are doing or what you have to say.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

MRVED Update - January 23, 2019

MRVED Business

January 23, 2019  Superintendents' Council
January 25, 2019  Principals' Council - CANCELLED

February 1, 2019    Title III Teachers
February 13, 2019  MRVED Board (6 p.m.)
February 21, 2019  TAC
February 22, 2019  Principals' Council
February 27, 2019  Superintendents' Council

MELT Recap
Once again we couldn't fully escape the cold and snow, but overall it was a great day of learning.  Around 650 educators participated in the day and great collaboration occurred all day.  The MRVED would like to once again thank Lac qui Parle Valley for being such a great host.  The custodial staff does a fabulous job in preparing the building for 650 people and the kitchen staff prepares a wonderful meal for everyone.  Dave works hard to make sure all the technology is up and running not only throughout the day, but spends a couple hours the weekend prior getting everything ready.  Thank you to the administration and staff for allowing all the educators in your building.  It's not easy coming back into your classroom at the end of the day to see it torn apart.  The MELT committee thanks everyone and even those not mentioned.

MELT Evaluation
The MRVED hopes that all your MELT experience was a great one.  There were some awesome sessions presented throughout the whole day.  Please take a moment to fill out the MELT 2019 Evaluation.  Any and all feedback is appreciated.  The MRVED Teacher Advisory Committee (TAC) looks over the evaluations and makes adjustments to the day based upon the feedback.  The MRVED Principals and Superintendents also look over the evaluations.

MELT Evaluation

Rethinking Time in Schools

This past week I read a Tweet that asked the question, "What if our schools rethought the idea of time and scheduling?  What would it look like in your school?"  This really made me think and I started researching alternative scheduling in schools.  I came across this article on Reimagining the School Day by Meg Benner and Lisette Partelow from the Center for American Progress.  The article provides examples from elementary, to middle school, to high school.  I also stumbled upon this interesting resource as well. unlockingtime.org.  I think school schedules would be a neat PLC topic to investigate.  How do schedules impact student learning?

Testing 1,2,3 From MDE

Testing 1,2,3 is created by the Minnesota Department of Education as a resource to help district better utilize the data they are given.  The quote from the website is this:

"Test data is an effective tool for informing instruction. This website is designed to help teachers harness that data by providing helpful ways to understand, interpret and ultimately use test data in the classroom."

A quick browse through the website will give you a better idea of what it is all about.  This site has been in the works for the past couple years and brings many different aspects of MDE's website into one spot.  Bookmark it today!


Tech Tip of the Week - Tilt Brush by Google

In the "this is unbelievable" category, the Tilt Brush by Google is AWESOME!  The Tilt Brush allows you to paint in 3D.  The Tilt Brush itself is not too expensive, but the 3D goggles can get to be a bit expensive.  Check to see if your school has a pair of 3D goggles and then you will want to check out and purchase a Tilt Brush.  Imagine putting this in the hands of our kids and the things they can create!





Ditch That Textbook - Part 2 (Chapter 8-13) Ditch That Mindset

Last time we looked at the first part on "Why Go Digital" in the book Ditch That Textbook by Matt Miller.  If you still have not gotten the book, I highly, highly, suggest it!  There are SO many great ideas in this book, it really can help you transform your teaching.

We will now look at chapters 8-13 in the section titled "Ditch That Mindset".  Miller talks about a variety of things in these chapters so I'll do my best to summarize my learning.

Miller talks about making learning personal for kids.  Find a way to connect the content to something relevant in their world.  There are many parallels we can make in almost every content area.  Think about events in their worlds such as, birthday parties, prom, homecoming, jump rope for heart, etc...  Anytime you can personalize learning and connect real-life to content, kids tend to retain that information better.  It also makes learning interesting for kids.

Chapter 9 talks about making learning fun. Miller mentions the works of Dave Burgess, which the MRVED had the awesome opportunity to see this past fall.  Basically, do what you can to involve your kids in the learning and make it fun for them.  Think how boring life would be if school wasn't fun!

Miller continues to talk about building relationships with kids.  He mentions that some days you do need to be a kids friend because you are all he/she has.  Building positive relationships with kids really does make everything else in the book so much easier.  If kids respect and trust you, they will take risks with you.  They will help you when you fail.  They will encourage you, much like you encourage them.
The last part to these chapters talks about integrating the technology.  Chapters 12 & 13 go hand-in-hand with what I have been talking about the past five years.  Choose task over tool and utilize the SAMR model.  I compare the task over tool portion to the "Golden Why" by Simon Sinek with the learning objective in the middle as the "why" the tasks in the second ring as the "how" and the tools on the outside as the "what".  Lesson plan from the inside out...What is my learning goal?  Then, what task do I need to do to accomplish that goal?  Lastly, what tool will I use to accomplish both.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

MRVED Update - January 9, 2019

MRVED Meetings

January 11, 2019 - Title III Paras
January 21, 2019 - MELT
January 23, 2019 - Superintendents' Council
January 25, 2019 - Principals' Council

NOTE:  Gloria Stotesbery has resigned and Mary Brown will be filling in until we rehire for the position.  Should you have any questions or needs, please email Karen Jacobson (kjacobson@mrved.net) or Brandon Raymo (braymo@mrved.net).

MELT Information

The MELT will soon be here.  An email will be sent in the next week with all of the details of the day.

MRVED Region Map

Someone recently asked a really good question; "How big is the MRVED?".  Below is a link to a map of the MRVED region as well as a spreadsheet that provides information about distance between the MRVED school districts.

MRVED Region Map
Spreadsheet of Distance

MRVED region - Google My Maps

MRVED region

Tech Tip of the Week - Microsoft Translator

It's been all Google the past couple years, so it's time to take a look at an innovative piece of technology from Microsoft.  Microsoft Translator is a website and app that does exactly what it says, it translates.  The technology in the translator website/app is really amazing and has awesome reviews.  If you are in need of a translator, or teach a foreign language, check it out and let me know how well it works.



Ditch That Textbook - Part 1, Why Go Digital

If you have not picked up your copy of Ditch That Textbook by Matt Miller yet, do so today.  It is a great read and one that you will find picking up time and time again.  There are so many great ideas in this book that you will want to keep it close by when lesson planning.  Matt Miller also has a blog/website for Ditch That Textbook (DTT) that has even more great ideas!

My synopsis, by no means should take the place of reading the book.  These are simply my thoughts, ideas, and questions about the chapters as I read the book.

Part 1 of the book is a super-quick read and lays the groundwork for why we need to change the way we "do" education.  It's also the reason why we need to "ditch the textbook" and go digital.  I won't go chapter by chapter through part 1, but will share my thoughts over the whole part.

The question that I kept asking myself as I read this part was: Are we really preparing our kids to be successful in the world in which they are going to work?  Our industrial model of education needs to change.  There is a disconnect from what our kids are going to do for work/life and what they are learning in school.  I'm not talking about the content we are teaching our kids (math, science, social studies, reading, etc...), I'm talking about the disconnect with other skills.  Miller says it best, "A disconnect exists between what the workforce wants from graduates and what schools teach them to be and do.  Math, science, social studies, and English are important, but employers are also looking for communication, digital literacy, problem-solving, and creative-thinking skills (Miller, 43).

Miller also made me think when he talks about comparing our educational experience as a child to that of the children we are teaching.  Even a 1st year teacher, fresh out of college, had a vastly different elementary experience than that of our kids today.  Miller talks about, and I can vividly remember, taking the walk to the computer lab for your 45 minutes of computer time for the week and playing Oregon Trail, Number Munchers, or printing large banners on an archaic word processor.  Our kids today don't have to leave the classroom to go to the mystical world of the computer lab.  They don't even have to have "computer time".  They can pull out their device right in the comfort of their own classroom and access a million times more information than we could have even dreamed of during our 45 minutes of "computer time".  Stop and think for a moment about everything our kids today have access to that we didn't as kids.
Kids today can:

  • Video chat with an astronaut in outer space
  • Watch actual footage of the JFK assassination or the moon landing
  • Research any question they have within seconds
  • Create multimedia presentations in a day
This list could go on and on and on.  Sure, we had access to actual footage of the JFK assassination, but think about what it took in order to watch it.  We would need to go to a library, look up where the video is located in the library in the card catalog, locate the video, locate a player and TV that could play the video, then rewind or fast forward to the part we wanted to see.  All this is assuming our library even had a video on the JFK assassination, because if they didn't, we would have to request it from a neighboring library.  Then we would have to wait at least a week to get the tape.  Our kids today can go to YouTube and find the actual footage in less than 30 seconds.  Think about that access and what it has done in how we can educate our kids.  Amazing!

 I'm really looking forward to reading the next couple chapters as Matt Miller will fill our toolbox and arm us with ideas to teach the kids of today.  Come along on the journey with me.  In the next update, we'll look at Part 2 - Ditch That Mindset, chapters 8-13.