Saturday, October 29, 2011

What was Alvin Toffler writing about in Revolutionary Wealth? What is the knowledge Economy? What is the knowable future?

In the knowledge economy, capitalism's two stalwart pillars, property rights and the assumption of limited supply, are crumbling.

Property will become increasingly less tangible, the Tofflers argue, while free-flowing knowledge, upon which new wealth increasingly will be based, won't ever run out.

And, they suggest, America, like capitalism, may be facing a comedown. Although the authors insist that the U.S. is still the nation best-equipped to lead the science-based wealth revolution, they see it facing a challenge initiated by its own multinationals: a transformed Asia.

The most contemporary and compelling chapters in the book may well be those dealing with China, India and Japan.

Foreign-exchange-rich China is pouring money and talent into the sciences - graduating 465,000 scientists and engineers a year.

An America that allots less than 2% of its gross domestic product to science research is bound to come up short against countries funding more dynamic ambitions. In the future, the Tofflers conclude, Asian powerhouses will have the upper hand.
-- Susan Witty, Barron's review of Alvin Toffler's book Revolutionary Wealth
Read the full review

When I share $100 with you, I have to give you $50. When I share a meal with you, I lose half of the food.
When I share information with you, it's win-win. I don't lose anything when I share what I have.
This is the fundamental point of Toffler's "prosumer" economy.

The Future Happened Yesterday. (service mark by Jack Latona)
We used to think of the future as something that was created five or ten or fifty years from now. The future of living longer meant waiting twenty or thirty years for new developments in cancer prevention and life extension.

New bits of information arrive in such abundance that we can't keep up. We might have some time tomorrow to read about what happened today... -- so (for us) the future happened yesterday. by Jack Latona

Notes for students who have a substitute teacher

I'm a substitute teacher and I want to bring in the model of teaching that Dennis Littky advocates.

Here's a draft of the memo that I inten
d to show students (they are ninth graders).

Dear Students

The model for centuries has been "listen to the lecture, take notes, review the notes, prepare for the test."

Some schools want students to take a more active role in the classroom.
Here's what Stanford University offers:

James Zull admits that "sometimes I lapse back to my old style of lecturing and within minutes I see in many students the glassy eyes of the passive learner."

James Zull, (2002) The art of changing the brain: enriching teaching by exploring the biology

Other items to discuss...

Lesson Plan: Biology

Day 1 Weds. Welcome – Thought of the Day - look at the lesson plan…

Explain the rules of conduct to the substitute teacher (let’s see what I don’t know)

Exchange information about “what works in education”

Do any of these methods work?

1. Teacher walks around

2. Teacher presents different bits of information that matter to each student

3. Different lesson plans for each student

4. Drive out fear

5. If there are many ways of learning, why not many ways of showing what we learned? “performances of understanding” can be visual or audio or written

6. Teacher offers extrinsic rewards (outer) and eventually lets the students find the motivation (intrinsic) inside themselves to continue the learning.

7. Teacher avoids lecturing. Classroom is for discussions and for students to explain what they learned the previous day.

Steve McCrea 1958 Princeton University 1978 Nova University 1984-87

Florida Atlantic University 1989-91 US Dept of Energy

Teacher of English to people from other countries 954 646 8246

Editor Electric Car Book steve mccrea GOTS Guide on the side

Goal: How should we use our time? What is your long-term goal? Goal for this week?

What product do you want to create by Friday?

Video poster written paper audio recording webpage blog entry

Content of the product

a) a cool list of reasons why we should study biology

b) a list of cool articles that we want to read over the next year or before we are 20 years old.


Lesson plan for days 2 and 3 (refer to your individual lesson plan)

  1. Welcome
  2. Thought for the day (presented by one of the students)
  3. work on the content and products
  4. write a summary of what we did
  5. plan the work for the next day
  6. prepare the room for the next class

I decided to stop lecturing several years ago and my students have been active and engaged in class ever since. But once in a while I slip back into that lecturing habit, and the minute I do, my students also slip back into that stupor that made me abandon the practice in the first place. (page 127)

If learning is change in neuronal networks, that change might not depend on instruction (learning can take place with or without instruction)....Rather than directing and instructing learning, we teachers should give the learner incentives and support in using what she already has in her brain. She will learn by selecting the right neuronal networks from among those that already exist. If she begins to fire some new networks, that will come by giving her new experience and showing her new things, not by instruction and explaining.

(page 122)

Zull, James (2002) The fine art of changing the brain: enriching the practice of teaching by exploring the biology of learning. Stylus Publishing (2002)

What would happen if students were able to read parts of the books about teaching methods that teachers studied?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Make a link to

I'm in a degree program at Nova Southeastern University and we have an interesting assignment: nominate a pioneer of Educational Technology to the "hall of fame" organized by our department (Instructional Technology and Distance Education, ITDE).

Dr. Abraham Fischler has made contributions in three areas:

Instructional Design

Instructional Technology

Distance Education

His educational philosophy, captured in his trademark signature phrase “Time is a variable,” has driven instructional design innovations. Charter schools use this model in K-12 to personalize and differentiate instruction plans. Dr. Fischler’s testimony in 2009 helped win a chain of charter schools approval to operate in Dade County during a time when there was increasing antipathy toward any program that might take students away from public schools.

His promotion of computer-assisted instruction makes him an advocate of instructional technology. He was president of Nova when the nation’s first online graduate degree for educators was offered in 1982.

The wide variety of choice in Distance Education exists today largely thanks to a legal fight that Nova University (under Dr. Fischler’s leadership) had to wage in the early 1980s.

What is the background of this pioneer?

Dr. Fischler earned his Ed.D. at Columbia University (New York City), taught at Harvard and UC Berkeley and co-wrote an important science education textbook series that did not give answers in the teacher’s edition. Instead of looking at the answers (did the liquid turn red or blue when acid was added?), the teacher had to do the exercise and interpret the results.

He joined Nova University of Advanced Technology in 1966 when the school aimed to become the “MIT of the South.” It was during this time of his career as an administrator that his six principles of guiding a new school emerged. These six key principles stand as check points for any team aiming to start a school today.

Fischler shifted the university’s focus to on an underserved niche – graduate degrees for educators, teachers and principals. Through persistence and by paying effective teachers as adjuncts, Fischler showed that Nova University could afford excellent instructors as needed. Innovative use of technology to meet the needs of the diverse groups of educators internationally led constantly adapting the “classroom.” Nova University became one of the first schools to rent space in hotels to hold classes on weekends, then flying in teachers to cohorts. Later, the school arranged for the professor to transmitting to several cohorts via satellite, with after-class support supplemented with telephone conferencing.

He left the presidency of the university in 1991, got elected to the Broward County School Board for four years and has since then consulted in the reform of K-12 education.

========================================== His blog pushes for the use of computers in classrooms to help teachers differentiate instruction and personalize the rate of the delivery of lessons, continuing his tireless work in promoting instructional technology. Unlike the easier track of “building a charter school from scratch,” Fischer’s vision statement, given in the blog’s first entry (29 July 2006), describes a pioneering program that would place a layer of technology over existing schools, leading to transformation of entire school systems (rather than just one school).

1) His phrase “Let’s make time a variable” is a hallmark of his contribution to instructional design.

2) His advocacy of computer-assisted instruction is evidence of his role as a pioneer of instructional technology.

3) The North Carolina lawsuit in 1982 ensured more choice in education to millions of professionals in the field of education (growing to other professions as Nova has expanded). These are three reasons to induct Dr. Abraham S. Fischler into the ITDE Hall of Fame.

Why not also click on the "like" button for the Facebook page for the blog? facebook

Please also look at the power of adding a link to

Monday, October 3, 2011

Preview a learning process

Your school is ready to listen to you and support you in a fully personalized way.

Wow...  how?

Why not click to subscribe?
The first question might be:  "WHEN DOES THE CLASS BEGIN?"    well, the answer is that the WORKSHOP begins when the individual students SAYS it begins.   ... and each student can begin at their own pace.
This is the R in Relations

I can imagine that some students might want to slide back to the passive Lecture model…  
"What are we studying today?"
Posters on the walls will help guide students.

These are aspects of individual learning

Notice the difference between GUIDED (from the outside) and ORIENTED (from the inside)

Teachers have a new role...  GUIDES ON THE SIDE

You can see the progress through the year

here is how the calendar looks

I like the verb "pursue" = independence

Notice the layout... it is hard to find a "front" of this room

Two types of appointments

The four stages of the workday

I like the difference between OUTSIDE guiding and INSIDE Orientating… When I ORIENT myself, I have some force IMPELLING inside me.   Before I get there, I need OUTSIDE guiding.
(I'm beginning to "get" the vocabulary)…
Where do you feel students have been set up for success?  
1. The vocabulary sets up the expectations for the students to take charge of their learning...  it's a WORKSHOP (not a classroom).
2.  The structure of the workshop goes from GUIDED to ORIENTED to the independent work.
3.  There are APPOINTMENTS, so the students can get reinforcement to move in the direction of independence.

What follow-up discussions and individualized sessions do you feel still need to take place between students and Educators and students and SLMs in order to promote well rounded confidence in learning in an FRE way?  
Discussion need to be held about what happens to homework and classwork.  Students will have assumptions about how homework is handled.
I think it helps to have SLMs to clearly take students through some of the steps to arrange an appointment.  Eventually the students will take the initiative.

I like the wording in the slide about DAY TO DAY learning operations where the verb is PURSUE… this indicates WHO has responsibility.  students will PURSUE appointments.   

There is a balance between FOLLOWING guidelines from the educator and PURSUING appointments ….


Learn what the SLM and Educator are responsible for during FRE Workshop implementation phases. Be able to see how the initial steps of implementation will be accomplished, and feel comfortable with introducing FRE principles to students. 

Be able to verbalize some strategies that would make a classroom-to-workshop transition effective.

Classroom: =  lecture and taking notes
The suggestion in the name of "classroom" is that a class (i.e. lecture for most students) will happen.

Workshop …  making the transition… let's help the students learn to make the transition.

Could CORNELL NOTES be helpful?

This procedure might be a helpful way to guide the student to take steps to organize and collect information….

A tour of the WORKSHOP will be helpful…  I could almost see how the students might re-organize their classroom to turn it into a workshop….  just by moving around desks….

Guidance Appointments  SLM   several times per week.
Procedures, study skills, specific tips…  

PROGRESS APPOINTMENTS Educator for specific subjects   several times a year

The language of START AND END point is beginning to get familiar now.   The KWL
K:  What do I KNOW?
W:  WHAT do I WANT to know?   (This will be part of the End Point)
L:  What have I recently LEARNED during this unit?

That's similar to the END POINT