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Cut Craft Create the Future

Yesterday, I wandered through these difficult times and wondered:
And now that we're "learning remotely, digitally," what will we keep and what will we throw away?  What could education look like as we move forward?  A Vision of Education
It's a question that all of us are wondering-- What's working? What isn't? What would make "it" work? What will we do if we can't go back to "school?"

We've been dodging this technology issue since the turn of the century-- an issue that is not about technology, but about the pedagogy of learning, minus the unfortunate misadventures of testing-- a pedagogy of learning enhanced by technology to insure student voice and choice with meaningful feedback to grow and learn together.

Of course, this morning my Twitter feed provided some useful suggestions by some who understand education. From the @writingproject, suggestions for teachers by  @John_Merrow:

His post is a wealth of ideas on thinking through our curriculum-- what is working and what isn't and how to perhaps mold our new paradigm by thinking in different ways about teaching.

Merrow suggests that schools that succeed will be those whose culture is one of collaboration, respect for teacher professional development, and expectation of exploration with technology.

Two ways to not succeed he suggests are:
  • ...districts that either are technology-poor or habitually use technology for control (counting and measuring) rather than exploration and production.
  • The current model of teaching in most American public schools is one of ‘Crowd Control,’ and not teaching and learning.  ~ Merrow
 It's a good read with ideas that help stretch those districts who have not leveled up technologically in teaching or in devices--- a way of thinking through today for tomorrow.

In my email, I received a link from "Learning Personalized" from Heidi Hayes Jacobs. Her team has started a series of posts to guide schools. Here's an important one:
 It is not necessary to start from scratch.  For example, many school communities and have crafted descriptions of  what a Portrait of a Graduate  should demonstrate/look like. These descriptions are in the spirit of what McTighe and Wiggins call “transfer goals”—goals that will be important not only within the life of school but also in their lives well beyond school.  ~ Heidi Hayes Jacobs and Allison Zmuda
They include suggestions for rethinking learning goals and strategies strategies for getting to a better plan than the rush that March Madness forced schools to make this year.  I especially love these questions:

  • Could you cut out unit(s) of study to make room for deeper investigation and development of key concepts and skills? 
  • Could you cut back each unit of study significantly? 
  •  Could you consolidate based on units of study and personal learning progress during the remote learning time? 
These are but a few ideas, and there are many.  Just look for Twitter conversations on #remotelearning #digped #FutureEd #edchat #WritingMatters #literacies #OER #openpedagogy #openaccess

Mostly I hope that education focuses on student and teacher agency-- on exploring and expanding our voices with knowledge we glean from our own inquiries. Inquiry. Connections. Collaboration. Documentation/Sharing of learning. [See Silvia's Documents for Learning for the last one]

As I was about to finish, this Tweet intrigued me:

What is important in learning? That's the focus. Not a test, a fear of student cheating, or control of content and conversation, as may learning management systems infer.

So Jesse Stommel 's question and reflection adds these as important to our thinking:

We are not data assets. And the work of dialogue depends on that. It begins when we:
• build a community of care
• ask genuine, open-ended questions
• wait for answers
• let conversation wander
• model what it looks like to be wrong and to acknowledge when we’re wrong
• recognize that the right to speak isn't distributed equally
• make listening visible
Jesse Stommel, Love and Other Data Assets 

At the top of his post, this reminder:

“Love first, design later.” — Maha Bali 
What is your hope for the future of education, and where do you find conversations that inspire you?

Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness... Reflect curiosity and wonder... Live to make the world less difficult for each other. ~ George Eliot


  1. I am so glad I read this post, Sheri: Maha's quote there is my favorite. I am going to start using that one was a watchword everywhere. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and thank you so much for sharing all these blog posts. :-)

    1. Thanks, Laura. I thought so too -- it's a powerful quote; it's an important guideline; and it is a truth about education. Stay safe!


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