Too Much Tech? Really ? Got Tech??? Sort Of…

Girls learn ... we can do technology, science and math with good teachers.

There was a New York Times article that spoke of too much tech in children’s life.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/30/opinion/can-students-have-too-much-tech.html
It requires a careful reading. There are some very good points in the article but what is too much tech?
What is not spoken of is too little training by teachers who use what technology is available for them to use in the schools.What is not shared is that the IT person sometimes becomes just another administrator instead of a helping hand. Another layer of administration in some schools.

Many people have never achieve access, gotten adequate technology, and /or learned to integrate technology, never mind flipping the classroom.

COMPUTATIONAL THINKING

This is from a supercomputing model at TACC

If you think you can compete with visual media. think again

GOT THIS TECH?

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Many schools do not teach geography. The resources of National Geography are vast and that means content. It’s free.There are alliances, there are projects like BioBlitz, and interactive mapping.

OK Glass!!

OK Glass!!

MapMaker Interactive

http://mapmaker.education.nationalgeographic.com/?ar_a=1&b=1&ls=000000000000

An interactive mapping experience with rich layers of information on the physical Earth, oceans, culture, and more.

http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/?ar_a=1

GOT SCIENCE ON A SPHERE?

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Have You Got This Tech? Cyberlearning?

The NSF 2015 Teaching and Learning Video Showcase: Improving Science, Math, Engineering Computer Science, and Technology K-12 showcases cutting-edge NSF-funded work to improve teaching and learning, and will allow colleagues affiliated with MSPnet, CADRE, CIRCL, CAISE, STELAR, CS10Kcommunity, and ARC to view, discuss, and comment on each others’ work.

It will also allow each project to disseminate their work to the public at large, helping NSF achieve its goal of broad dissemination of innovative work. All videos and discussions will be archived for future access.

The 2015 Teacher and Learning Video Showcase is available from the
http://resourcecenters2015.videohall.com

112 (3-minute) videos from innovative project work conducted by researchers in multiple NSF programs.
http://resourcecenters2015.videohall.com
Over 260 presenters and co-presenters have submitted 112 videos

Do You Know Supercomputing? Most teachers don’t..Some have resources that have been developed for their use in Cyberlearning and in various programs from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

GOT SUPERCOMPUTING? Visualization and Modeling? Big Data?

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Some of us were lucky enough to be a part of the Christa McAuliffe Institute, i.e. there were two groups of us who worked together through the NEA. We seized the ideas of minority technology, and attempted to share what we knew about technology teacher to teacher and region to region. We were minority, male and mostly female and we did workshops and initiatives all over the USA.

The five first chosen were called Christa McAuliffe Educators and we were trained, given professional development with the latest of tools and the best of professors over many months.( Chris Dede and Seymour Papert. and there were others).Yvonne Andres shared Fred Mail, and we also learned from NASA and the National Center for Supercomputing. It was radical at the time.
We did some special programs with the NSF and learned about their outreach as well.

Being involved in transformational education through NASA

We never mentioned the word Supercomputing, we just did it.

At the time there were many NASA programs . We had people who demonstrated astronomy from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Young Astronaut Program.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/main/index.html

Challenger Center for Space Science Education is a nonprofit educational organization with its headquarters in Washington, DC. It was founded in 1986 by the families of the astronauts who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986.

The organization offers dynamic, hands-on exploration and discovery opportunities to students around the world. These programs equip students with the knowledge, confidence, and skills that will help better our national social and economic well-being.http://www.challenger.org

There was also Space Camp . If you look at the information in the link even back then there was awesome tech.

Space Camp was the brainchild of rocket scientist, Dr. Wernher von Braun. Von Braun led propulsion activities that launched the Apollo-era U.S. manned space program and envisioned an aggressive schedule for America’s space-bound pioneers. Von Braun, then director of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, reasoned there should be an experience for young people who were excited about space. Under the guidance of Edward O. Buckbee, the first director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Space Camp was born.

Camps are available for fourth grade through high school-age students. Additional programs are offered for trainees who are blind or visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing and those who have other special needs. Space Camp programs are also available for adults, educators, corporate groups and families. Family programs may include children as young as seven years old. I can’t really list all of the programs then or now. Space Centers helped us to find all of the projects that were available. Some teachers did Moonbase America, and others did project based NASA projects. We learned about raising food in space, basil, tomatoes, and thinking about ways to raise tilapia.

Being a Science Teacher with Outside Resources.. Try these NASA resources !!
We created an institute at Stanford where we invited teachers who applied to share their technology. We also presented our special projects. It was a sharing of the best of the best. We created more ways in which to do STEM which was called at the time SMET.

That is one level of technology. Have you considered that there was a synergy of space and Star Wars? The movie propelled a lot to be interested in Science Fiction. The force of interest drove many students to robotics.

Many Children Have Parents to Share New Ways of Learning with Them

This is from Family Days at AAAS.

George Lucas also pioneered Edutopia.Technology Integration examples were shared to help us all
explore new tools and strategies for empowering students to fully participate in a connected, techology-rich society. But this is the problem. At the time we talked of the digital divide. That was before a lot of people had access, tools, training, and/or permission to use technology in schools.

There was not BYOT Bring your own technology , and even with the tools we had there was a content divide. I know that in rural, distant , urban and some tribal areas we have a bigger divide.

Some people are not at the level that we think. There is a lot of tech, but it is not in all schools.

A Wonderful Day on the Chesapeake Bay -STEM Learning for Teachers

On May 2, 2015 a group of teachers participated in a Discovery Educational Network workshop. Teachers learned onsite references to share with their classes from Discovery, and participated in the study of the use of the links.

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We learned the state of the Bay 2014. We were given resources for our classes. But the learning of the state of the bay helped us to learn why we needed to help children learn about the Chesapeake Bay.

The Chesapeake Bay (/ˈɛsəpk/ CHESS-ə-peek) is an estuary lying inland from the Atlantic Ocean, and surrounded by the North American mainland to the West, and the Delmarva Peninsula to the East. It is the largest such body in the US.[2] The northern bay is within Maryland, the southern portion within Virginia, and is a very important feature for the ecology and economy of those two states, as well as others. More than 150 major rivers and streams flow into the bay’s 64,299-square-mile (166,534 km2) drainage basin, which covers parts of six states (New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia) plus all of the District of Columbia.[2][3]

The bay is approximately 200 miles (320 km) long from its northern headwaters in the Susquehanna River to its outlet in the Atlantic Ocean. It is 2.8 miles (4.5 km) wide at its narrowest (between Kent County’s Plum Point near Newtown and the Harford County shore near Romney Creek) and 30 miles (48 km) at its widest (just south of the mouth of the Potomac River). Total shoreline including tributaries is 11,684 miles (18,804 km), circumnavigating a surface area of 4,479 square miles (11,601 km2). Average depth is 21 feet (6.4 m), reaching a maximum of 174 feet (53 m).[4] The bay is spanned twice, in Maryland by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from Sandy Point (near Annapolis) to Kent Island and in Virginia by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel connecting Virginia Beach to Cape Charles. Known for both its beauty and bounty, the bay is becoming “emptier”, with fewer crabs, oysters and watermen in recent years.[5] Recent restoration efforts begun in the 1990s have been ongoing and show potential for growth of the native oyster population.

SOURCE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesapeake_Bay

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s 2014 State of the Bay report presents a mix of good and bad news. The Bay is improving. Slowly. But it is improving.

The great news: Water quality indicator scores have improved significantly. What we can control—pollution entering our waterways—is moving in the right direction.

The worrisome news: Blue crabs and striped bass are not doing well. These metrics indicate a system still dangerously out of balance.

We continue to have polluted water, risks to human health, and lost jobs—at huge societal costs.

The future is just around the corner; 2017—the year when 60 percent of programs to achieve the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint pollution reduction targets are to be in place—is in our sights.stelprdb1046486

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Graph showing improvements in water quality since 1983.

Educate

Students aboard the skipjack Stanley Norman. Photo by Loren Appel
Students aboard CBF’s skipjack Stanley Norman. Photo by Loren Appel/CBF Staff.

CBF Education - Learn OutsideFor 40 years, CBF’s award-winning environmental education program has been one of the cornerstones of our effort to reverse the Bay’s decline.

Teachers needed to experience the Bay so that they could be environmental stewards and be able to share their knowledge.IMG_6985

Teachers learned how to use Discovery Networks resources and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation experiences for students. We planned out lessons, we talked about resources and viewed ways of working and we shared experiences.

The captain of the skipjack escorted us to the dock for our field lessons.

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Opportunities included exploration of local wetlands by canoe or a day aboard a historic, 100-year-old skipjack, our traditional watermen workboats, or modern research vessels. In the heart of the bay.

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We surveyed maps of the Chesapeake Bay, and then we used Secchi disks to check the clarity of the water, we tested the salinity of the water and dredged for oysters.

As we traveled the bay, we learned so much.

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Students at a CBF field experienceField Experiences—We take students out on the Bay and its tributaries for hands-on investigation. (See a field experience in action.)

Teachers learn about the Bay on a Chesapeake Classrooms outing.Teacher Professional Development—”Chesapeake Classrooms” focuses on methods to incorporate environmental education into the core subject areas of reading, math, science, and social studies.

School principals planting grassesPrincipals Environmental Leadership Program —Activities, classroom curricula, and advanced water quality monitoring materials.

Dumping oysters overboardStudent Leadership—Offering students opportunities to expand their knowledge of Bay issues, improve their planning skills, focus on team building, and learn how to lead others to take action to improve water quality in their local communities.

Resources—Activities, classroom curricula, and advanced water quality monitoring materials.

Meaningful Watershed Experiences

All programs are designed to support state standards of education and are based from the official definition for a “meaningful watershed education experience” (PDF, 0.9 MB) as defined by the Chesapeake Bay Program. Programs are supported and created in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and the National Geographic Society.

CBF’s environmental education opportunities link the natural environment and human culture of the Chesapeake. They enable students and teachers to conduct their own research through biological sampling, chemical analysis, and physical measurements. In addition to using critical thinking skills to evaluate the health of the ecological system, participants also gain a unique perspective in the relationship between water quality, fisheries, and economics. Our courses combine many academic disciplines, such as earth science, biology, history, art, English/writing, math, chemistry, civics, economics, government, and responsible citizenship. (See what students and teachers have to say.)

Innovative teaching methods and a knowledgeable, enthusiastic staff have put CBF at the vanguard of the environmental education movement. The result is an exceptionally informed and inspired constituency that values the Bay and its watershed as a living, connected system. Read what people are saying out our education programs.

A Riot? It is the Language of the Unheard !! Can You Hear them Now?

“A riot is the language of the unheard,” the Rev. Martin Luther King said.

If you stand under the momument this is what you will see

What gets lost in translation is the logic that motivates rioters, whose inability to articulate their frustration finds expression in rocks thrown at police, looting neighborhood stores and setting fires. What causes such actions?

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What are some of the reasons that we have riots!

In the history of America social justice and digital equity are a problem. Baltimore is the most recent manifestation of a riot. I remember driving home to Washington DC, with the fires spiraling up to the sky. I had fear, but I knew that the fires would not affect me. There are people who have no choice either way. The riots took place and people suffered even more difficulty because they destroyed the places that served them. I did not live in the ghetto. But I had friends who did.

In case you don’t know about the Washington Riot

The death of Martin Luther King caused the Washington Riot.

By the time the city was considered pacified on Sunday, April 8, twelve had been killed (mostly in burning homes[citation needed]), 1,097 injured, and over 6,100 arrested. Additionally, some 1,200 buildings had been burned, including over 900 stores. Damages reached $27 million. This can be estimated to be equivalent to over $175 million today.
Aftermath from the riots
The riots utterly devastated Washington’s inner city economy. With the destruction or closing of businesses, thousands of jobs were lost, and insurance rates soared. Made uneasy by the violence, city residents of all races accelerated their departure for suburban areas, depressing property values. Crime in the burned out neighborhoods rose sharply, further discouraging investment.

On some blocks, only rubble remained for decades. Columbia Heights and the U Street corridor did not begin to recover economically until the opening of the U Street and Columbia Heights Metro stations in 1991 and 1999, respectively, while the H Street NE corridor remained depressed for several years longer.

Walter Washington, who reportedly refused FBI director J. Edgar Hoover’s suggestion to shoot the rioters,[3][4] went on to become the city’s first elected mayor and its first black mayor.[3]

Baltimore is a tame riot compared to the DC riot.  On Friday, April 5, the White House dispatched some 13,600 federal troops, including 1,750 federalized D.C. National Guard troops to assist the overwhelmed District police force.[2] Marines mounted machine guns on the steps of the Capitol and Army troops from the 3rd Infantry guarded the White House. At one point, on April 5, rioting reached within two blocks of the White House before rioters retreated. The occupation of Washington was the largest of any American city since the Civil War.

We have not just for blacks but for other groups, uneven education and a misinterpretation of the way in which schools must work to prepare students for the future.

The unrest and difficulty with police? It has been a simmering cauldron of hate. Hope has disappeared for many. The chant? We’re young , we’re strong, we can march all night long.

The youth of Baltimore says the Washington Post are worse off than poor youths in Nigeria and India.http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/04/30/heres-one-way-baltimore-teens-are-worse-off-than-poor-youths-in-nigeria-and-india/

Mary McLeod Bethune (U.S. educator and activist, 1875-1955)

What does the Negro want? His answer is very simple. He wants only what all other Americans want. He wants opportunity to make real what the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights say, what the Four Freedoms establish. While he knows these ideals are open to no man completely, he wants only his equal chance to obtain them.
If we accept and acquiesce in the face of discrimination, we accept the responsibility ourselves and allow those responsible to salve their conscience by believing that they have our acceptance and concurrence. We should, therefore, protest openly everything…that smacks of discrimination or slander.

The drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there is a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth.

We have a Prison Pipeline
When did this “school-to-prison pipeline” process start?
Multiple forces were at work producing a perfect storm. Starting in the 1960s working class blue-collar jobs disappeared and vocational training in schools largely ended. During the 1970s economic downturn inner city minority schools became chaotic as a result of cuts in funding that have really never been restored. In the 1980s the crack epidemic undermined families in inner city communities and began to fill up the jails. In a world without work, crime became the main employer. Instead of addressing social problems, our society stiffened laws and stuffed people into cells. Private companies went into the prison business and became hungry for profits and raw materials. In the 1990s a conservative coalition that blamed the victims cut into government social welfare programs that were keeping families afloat and the situation worsened. A new zero-tolerance ideology justified tougher laws, mandatory sentences, and stricter treatment in schools. Following 2001, new police tactics like stop and frisk and new technologies that were supposed to protect the country from terrorist attack were used to systematize the punitive nature of inner city minority schools and school-to-prison connection. Add to the mix curriculum organized around boring Common Core test prep drills. The overall affect was to accelerate the exodus of students of color from schools. Not just blacks, but minorities in general.

HISTORY and Conflict

In history some would say that the choice between W.E.B Dubois who wanted schooling for blacks and Booker T. Washington who had a different viewpoint.They clashed and Booker

For those who do not know history, Du Bois rose to national prominence as the leader of the Niagara Movement, a group of African-American activists who wanted equal rights for blacks. Du Bois and his supporters opposed the Atlanta compromise, an agreement crafted by Booker T. Washington which provided that Southern blacks would work and submit to white political rule, while Southern whites guaranteed that blacks would receive basic educational and economic opportunities. Instead, Du Bois insisted on full civil rights and increased political representation, which he believed would be brought about by the African-American intellectual elite. He referred to this group as the Talented Tenth and believed that African Americans needed the chances for advanced education to develop its leadership.

Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) was an African-American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, Washington was the dominant leader in the African-American community.

Washington was of the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants, who were newly oppressed by disfranchisement and the Jim Crow discriminatory laws enacted in the post-Reconstruction Southern states in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1895 his Atlanta compromise called for avoiding confrontation over segregation and instead putting more reliance on long-term educational and economic advancement in the black community.

The technology revolution has bypassed most minorities.

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We have in rural, urban, minority and distant communities a dropout problem.

Franklin Schargel wrote this ;

” “America’s School Dropout Epidemic By The Numbers” about America’s dropout problem. I would like to add my opinions about why children drop out of school. I am a professional educator who served as a classroom teacher, school counselor and school administrator in the New York City school system for over 33 years. I believe that there are five major reasons why children leave school:

1. The students themselves
They make wrong decisions. They get involved with gangs, drugs/alcohol, get pregnant and commit crimes. Many have a poor school attitude and are frequently bored by school. They are disconnected to their families, school and life. They do not see the reasons they need to go to school. They are not involved in school activities and lack self-esteem. Some have been promoted lacking skills needed for promotion. Some have undergone major illnesses and have missed too many days of school and have been informed that they will be held back. Because of many of the conditions listed above, they have been suspended and have fallen behind in their work and see little purpose of returning to school.

2. The family they come from
There is often a clash between the family values and those of the school. Frequently, their parents have dropped out of school themselves. The students come from families from low socio-economic backgrounds, where there are many other children. Older children often have to go to work in order to supply the family with much-needed funds for basic family needs or need to stay home to take care of younger siblings so that their parents can work. Many children come from non-English speaking homes with high mobility. Single parent homes have become the norm in the United States. Many children are products of divorce, separation or, sometimes, family violence. hey are not being raised by parents, but rather by aunts, uncles and grandparents. Families are not meeting some children’s basic needs of food, clothing and shelter.

3. The community they come from
Many children live on the wrong side of the tracks in places where education is not valued, where drugs, gangs and violence abound. And where schools are low-performing, they often lack community and health support.

4. The schools they attend
The schools are toxic to student learning, students, parents and staff. Students are suspended for minor infractions (such as “talking back to the teacher”), or placed in “remedial classes.” The schools have a culture of low expectations. They lack adequate guidance counseling. The curriculum is not relevant to the needs of the students being taught. Passive instructional strategies are being used without regard to individual student learning styles.Teachers are not trained in the latest teaching/learning/technology techniques. Funding is based on property values so that low-income neighborhoods receive less funding than wealthy neighborhoods. Because some states pass budgets in a less than timely matter, teachers are not hired in time producing over-sized classrooms.

5. The teachers they have
The least-experienced, least classroom-trained teachers are often assigned to the most difficult schools. They enter the field with the expectation that they have been adequately prepared by the schools of education with the skills they need and they haven’t received. (See Arthur Levine, “Educating School Teachers”) They are leaving the field faster than colleges can prepare them. The teacher “dropout rate” is higher than the student dropout rate. Forty-six percent of teachers leave the field within five years. When asked why they leave, a majority state that they haven’t been properly prepared, have had increased demands placed on them because of high stakes testing and are not getting adequate support from their supervisors in dealing with classroom discipline.

Like all generalities, there are exceptions to the information provided above. But, by and large, the statistics bear them out.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/franklin-schargel/the-real-reasons-children-drop-out-of-school_b_4093876.html

The problems of the youth apparently have not reached the ears of the general public except through the riots. Shame on us.

We meet the world on the news , but do students know where in the world the news is coming from?

We meet the world on the news , but do students know where in the world the news is coming from?

Leon Botstein: Are We Still Educating Citizens?

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

This article is a brilliant essay by Bard College President Leon Botstein about the democratic and civic purposes of education.

It begins thus:

The initial motivations for the movement challenging the monopoly of public schools were ultimately ones of prejudice: White parents did not want their children to attend schools that were attended by blacks. This logic was then sanitized by appeals to religious liberty, insofar as parents fleeing integration attached themselves to religious movements. Evangelicals and observant Jews did not want their children to go to schools that idealized acculturation and assimilation into a secular society whose character promoted “godlessness.” The constituencies that wanted to circumvent integration allied themselves with those who resisted the separation of church and state. And no doubt, since school quality is dependent on local property taxes, the poorer the neighborhood, the worse the schools, making a mockery of the idea that public education was…

View original 635 more words

Food, Kids, Nutrition and Culture..What Fun! What Great Learning Adventures!

Bonnie Bracey Sutton614636_10151200814371327_683517969_o

Sometimes I like to say this is about eating our way through Geography and History..children can be motivated by what they are interested in. Food is usually an interest.

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Most people know me because of my interest in science, math , technology and engineering. But lots of people love me for my cooking.  My mother was a great cook. She said to me,if you can read you can cook. But she was from the country and cooked things in season and in a particular routine. She was excellent. She probably regretted that advice when I made bread for the first time. It was nine pans of rolls, but she was patient. I loved cooking in the kitchen with her. Virginia foods, soul foods and she liked to make French pastries ,too.

Recently , I have learned to eat more vegetables and salads. My husband brings a world of eating experience to my table. And he buys me cookbooks.

Sinking your teeth into the accidental science of cooking is fun!

I liked a wider range of foods and was always experimenting with food at home.I love how the Exploratorium calls it ” The Accidental Science of Cooking“.

http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/

On trips around the world I collected cookbooks and spices, but not for school.

I realized that one thing we all have in common was the daily task of eating.

How I Got Started

Once in the classroom during the Cherry Blossom Festival,a teacher came from the Smithsonian. She was Japanese, cute, and was teaching and cooking all at the same time. I was jealous. She had everyone’s rapt attention and even kids who were finicky about foods lined up to eat. That taught me a lesson. She was in cultural dress , talking and rocking her cooking on a hotplate. She was awesome.

My first help with cooking in the classroom was the 4H. They had some kind of recipes that were very good and inexpensive.  My second help, was having a garden in the school that I taught in, which at the time was Long Branch Elementary. in Arllington, Va.

I think I said to a parent , I would like to have a garden.  I was thinking about flowers , but there were strawberries growing in the back of the school near the park. So , all of a sudden parents and I were planning an early spring garden. Who knew it would be such fun? OK, it was also work, but the work was rewarding.

I don’t remember all of the parents, but Mr. Haithcock turned over the soil for us with a tractor , and Nathan Lyon’s family helped me choose plants.Nathan Lyon is now a chef of international status. The Lyon family helped us to get started. http://www.chefnathanlyon.com

Another mother came in to teach me to harden plants before we set them out. Harden? Who knew? I came from a family in Virginia who had a truck farm, but I was of the next generation. I just visited there in the summer. I learned as much as the students did. I learned to eat a lot of vegetable raw.

Did I mention Kolrabi…. I had no idea what it was. We had the soil tested by the 4H and we had written a grant so we had tools, gloves, shovels, sticks, seeds, and lots of garden resources. http://www.kidsgardening.org

I think the hardest thing was to get the kids and the tools down to the field without injury. I was always worrying about some one getting hit with a shovel, but it never happened. We had buckets too. The hose only reached so far. It was amazing how the children concentrated on the tasks.

Our school was on the edge of  a lovely park . A few of us could sit under the trees when others were digging in the dirt. Immigrant families interested in our work would also come and help weed and water. In the classroom we were raising chickens, hatching butterflies and frogs and doing Bugscope.

We should add Chickscope to the list, but we never ate our chickens. We raised them for the 4H and they would  come and collect our baby chickens. http://chickscope.beckman.uiuc.edu

As I matured as a teacher I learned to incorporate the geography of foods into my work. It started with the geography of a chocolate bar, http://www.iupui.edu/~geni/documents/Worldinacandybar.pdf

The art teacher helped us with the artistic part of it by letting us do still life painting. We visited the National Gallery of Art and saw the paintings of many artists  and we purchased a few copies of the paintings. At the link below you can take a look at some of the still life paintings in the collection and these days they are also available for the IPad.

The history of food, the travels of specific foods to the US reached a wonderful visual mapping from the ” Seeds of Change” which promoted the exchange of foods from around the world at the Smithsonian. It was  the exchange of plants and seeds between the Old and New Worlds following Columbus’s discovery of America in 1492. Themes included the introduction of horses, sugar, and disease to the New World and the introduction of potatoes and corn to the Old World.

No child in the room will forget the sculpture that showed when tomato met spaghetti. You can see that this can be the beginning of  a life long study.

Where in the world?

Here is a way to get started. http://kidworldcitizen.org/2012/08/24/where-in-the-world-is-your-food-from/

http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/education/kids/kids-still.html

Food plays an important role in our culture and relationships. We had a map to study here.http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/seasoning/map/spicemap.html

  • This is the result from our learning about herbs. Mr. DeBaggio started a business. We always got free plants at the beginning of spring for our class.

    This is the result from our learning about herbs. Mr. DeBaggio started a business. We always got free plants at the beginning of spring for our class.

    Tom De Baggio would come into the class and start us growing seeds from herbs. The business is still going strong. From the catalog, you can learn a lot.

Sometimes we inserted food into the curriculum in interesting ways.

Here is art to eat

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http://boingboing.net/2014/06/04/culinary-canvas-a-tumblog-of.html

When we did Shakespeare , we ate using authentic recipes. We learned about sorrel and parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. The stories were fascinating. We did also make dragons with almond toenails. Too cute to eat, right away. Sorry, no picture. There be dragons, but we ate them.

US Russian Exchange… A life changing experience!!!

Welcome to Russia

I have been home long enough to take a reflective look back on the Russian Fellowship. I worked in Samara and Saint Petersburg. I spoke tourist level language. I learned a lot about living in the world. There is even a video that shows the big picture of the projects.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVeGG3q2Ax4&feature=youtu.be

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Video of the Project from the Eurasia Foundation
This short video gives an overview of SEE and showcases some of the amazing 2014 projects.
http://youtu.be/tVeGG3q2Ax4
 
Be sure to watch from minute 3 for the (Education Group)
 Санкт-Петербург- Saint Petersburg, Russia
(once known also as Leningrad) was our first stop)1523887_10152192603016327_265439486_o.

My husband wrote,

VicSutton80By Vic Sutton

At a time when relations between the United States and Russia are cooling – if not cold – an innovative programme of the Eurasia Foundation continues to promote exchanges of professionals from both countries.

The ‘U.S.-Russia Social Expertise Exchange’ (SEE for short) was set up to promote co-operation between civil society leaders from the two countries.

Twelve working groups bring together experts in programme areas that include, for example, child protection, collaborative journalism, gender equity, and ‘rule of law and the community’.

Bonnie Bracey Sutton

My wife, Bonnie Bracey Sutton, is a member of the SEE working group on ‘Education and Youth’, and I had the chance to accompany her to its last meeting, held on 10-11 October in Washington, DC.The working group had a research seminar in March 2015,

Our greatest surprise was to discover that Russia, despite its leadership in areas like space technology, is a poor country. People take home USD 250-300 a month. Of course, prices are lower than in the U.S, so that is not so terrible in terms of purchasing power.

The U.S. Government has said that despite poor political relationships, social and cultural exchanges between the two countries will continue to be funded. We hope so, and we will see what modest support we can provide to contribute to them.

Saint Petersburg 

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I tried to learn the Russian language, but I was not fluent.  Help I received from younger fellows who were Russian Language Majors was excellent.Google Glass helped me us with menu choices, locations and navigation.

My teacher used very formal lessons which worked in very , very formal situations. Later in the trip we had others who facilitated easily.Perhaps because they were Russian ( English Language Teachers) they stayed  in the background except when needed. People were friendly and accommodating. Many people speak reasonable English. There is a respect for age. People give up their seats and they help you. This was a surprise to me.

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I had help from Google Glass for some things. It was like a second helper to me. I could do street signs and use Google translate for menus and programs as well. I could find things in stores, and negotiate the metro. I did not wear it much except in classrooms and in places to dine , since my Russian is at tourist level.It was helpful because it could define areas of the cities to know about , and places that I would like to visit, though I was not there for a vacation.There was little play time. Most helpful was a knowledge of cultural geography, and a refreshment reading of the Ages of Civilization ( Will and Ariel Durant’s history of the world). Internet was always available and fast in the hotels where I stayed. Schools were somewhat conservative in use of technology except in the Institute for Medicine. ( I will explain that later)

Education is very different in Russia.Here are pictures of this wonderful place. It has unusual facilities. https://www.facebook.com/bonnie.sutton/media_set?set=a.10152943058346327.593996326&type=3

Education, Race and Place

Speaking about education in the US is at best complicated, . Institutes have thematic approaches to learning that are integrated and career oriented.

I was warned about racism in Russia. it was not a problem for me.Well, I giggled like a nervous school girls when a student labeled me exotic and talked about reading Anne Rice’s novels.This student wanted to go to New Orleans and eat red beans and rice, and or gumbo. This was on a day when I was thinking to myself, hair I am, that was because I forgot to bring a curling iron or Moroccan oil and the costs of cosmetics from the US, were prohibitive.

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It was then that I noticed that lots of people had blue eyes and straight hair. I never saw another person to identify as of color, except a West African who clearly was enjoying his status in Saint Petersburg as a rare individual. Once someone asked me how old I was. Once a small child kissed me . Always in the Metro, people got up and gave me a seat. That was interesting to observe. The constant rain or snow frizzed my hair on a daily basis.I think I am a weather wimp. I now understand why my part of the world (Washington DC is called the South)and I do have a pair of Uggs..

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Saint Petersburg was very international. People from all over the world were visiting .It is an international city like Washington, DC.

We visited private and state schools which are termed Institutes. Institutes have a theme and students are educated , constantly on that theme so that their talents and skills can be cultivated. No need to “flip” classes, as there are not pull outs and interruptions in the school day from what we observed. The classes, sports, chorus, dance and involvement with museums and other learning institutions is after school and for a sustained period of time. Students in big cities have
access to food, after school care, and resources of a cultural or sports project.

Capital Cities. Washington, Saint Petersburg( swamp cities)

Thinking about going to Saint Petersburg , meant wading through it’s history which I am still absorbing. I was there on the anniversary of the siege of Leningrad, which was it’s name at that time. At first I did not understand what it was all about. Old men with gold medals and people
came to celebrate the breaking of the siege of Saint Petersburg. A bulletin board in a room in a school got my attention. Then I understood. Technology online gave me the story.

This is from the web site of Saint Petersburg.http://www.saint-petersburg.com/history/siege.asp

” This was undoubtedly the most tragic period in the history of the city, a period full of suffering and heroism. For everyone who lives in St. Petersburg the Blokada (the Siege) of Leningrad is an important part of the city’s heritage and a painful memory for the population’s older generations.
Less than two and a half months after the Soviet Union was attacked by Nazi Germany, German troops were already approaching Leningrad. The Red Army was outflanked and on September 8 1941 the Germans had fully encircled Leningrad and the siege began. The siege lasted for a total of 900 days, from September 8 1941 until January 27 1944. The city’s almost 3 million civilians (including about 400,000 children) refused to surrender and endured rapidly increasing hardships in the encircled city. Food and fuel stocks were limited to a mere 1-2 month supply, public transport was not operational and by the winter of 1941-42 there was no heating, no water supply, almost no electricity and very little food. In January 1942 in the depths of an unusually cold winter, the city’s food rations reached an all time low of only 125 grams (about 1/4 of a pound) of bread per person per day. In just two months, January and February of 1942, 200,000 people died in Leningrad of cold and starvation.”
Saint Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia, politically incorporated as a federal subject and was created, like Washington , DC, on a swamp. It was a Russian window to the west.. It is located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. This makes it very interesting in terms of it’s geographic position, and locale.

When I was there it was a frozen city. It was cold I was not prepared for it. I think the
weather was severe for me, but I learned to manage it with the right clothing, attitude and
food. I imagine that people who live in colder climates found my discomfort interesting if not funny.

Finally, I accepted that it would snow every day and learned to walk on snow over ice. Hood, hat, scarf and thick boots. I also drank lots of hot tea ate oatmeal, rice porridge and wonderful soups.

DNA of Cultural Components

If you think food, shelter, clothing, music, schools, transportation and communication.
Russian culture has a rich history, strong traditions and influential arts, especially when it comes to literature, philosophy, classical music, ballet, architecture, painting, cinema and animation. In a museum there is a complex outreach to students in the region.

Some museums are completely supported by the state, no outside funding needed or wanted.
That was a surprise to me.

What is CyberLearning and Why Should we Care?

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by Bonnie Bracey Sutton

K-12 Teacher and Consultant

Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFIk34PHPqs

A group of more than 150 research-based leaders in learning and technology participated in Cyberlearning 2015, a meeting sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). For two days in Arlington, Virginia, attendees collaborated to chart future directions for cyberlearning, a field that examines how new advances in the sciences of learning can integrate with new technologies to broadly and deeply advance  opportunities for learning.

– See more at:

Definition

Cyberlearning is about designing new kinds of applications and technology rich experiences, learning how to use them well to foster and assess learning, making the experiences work for particular disciplines and populations, and putting them in place in the world in ways that make a difference.

The cyberlearning research community includes people from a variety of disciplines working together to design and develop innovative learning technologies that deeply relate to, and inform our understanding of, the processes of learning. At its best, cyberlearning is grounded in research and theories on how people learn, reflects deep content expertise, seriously involves practitioners in the design and research, and focuses on learning activities (rather than, say, interactive features or media assets).http://circlcenter.org/about/

Here are some projects that may be of interest.

http://informalcommons.org/

I have some favorite projects that I learned about , you may discover a lot of others in the commons.

Connected Worlds: Understanding Sustainability Through Discovery and Play connectedworldsStephen Uzzo Cyberlearning DIP Project: Interaction Research in Complex Informal Learning Environments. Groups of museum visitors are able to formulate common goals, take on different roles and responsibilities and solve problems … Read more

Distance Learning through Game-Based 3D Virtual Learning Environments: Mission Hydro Science mhs-screenshotJames Laffey The Mission HydroScience (MHS) project seeks to design, develop and evaluate a game-based 3D virtual learning environment (3D VLE) for teaching and learning in blended or distance education. MHS … Read more

RALLe: Robot-Assisted Language Learning rall-e-and-autumnLewis Johnson The RALLe project is investigating how to design simulation-based learning experiences for language learning that optimize learner motivation and promote conversational skills. We are doing this by developing a … Read more

An online game that allows players to build their own moon and sculpt its features has won big praise in science art competition.

The game, called “Selene: A Lunar Construction GaME,” measures how and when players learn as they discover more about how the Earth’s moon formed and, by extension, the solar system. It received an honorable mention in the 2012 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge, the journal Science announced today (Jan. 31).

As players experiment with the game, they learn more about one of the easiest heavenly bodies they can study, Selene developers said.

“The moon is the only body in the entire universe that we on Earth can look at with the unaided eye,” Debbie Denise Reese, principle investigator of the overarching Cyberlearning through Game-based, Metaphor Enhanced Learning Objectives (CyGaMEs) project, told SPACE.com. “When they look at the moon, players are seeing what actually created those features.”

No longer are the dark plains and overlapping craters a mystery.

“It makes moon observations more meaningful,” Reese said.

You Can Build Your Own Moon!!

Named for the Greek goddess of the moon, Selene works in two parts. In the first round, players aim asteroids of varying sizes, densities, and radiations so that they collide with one another. Too much force, and the rocks ricochet off one another. [How Earth’s Moon Formed (Video)]

But even if you overshoot your target, the gravity of the growing moon may tug just enough to pull the new piece into the pack, giving participants a chance to watch accretion in action. The developing moon is constantly compared to the real-life one, and players strive to make as close a match as possible.

After all of the small asteroids have melted together to form a smooth new moon, it’s time to scratch up the surface. Players can aim asteroids of varying sizes at the body, and select areas where lava breaks through the crust. Again, the time range is compared to Earth’s moon, with spikes and dips in bombardment and lava flow that the player must work to emulate.

“Playing Selene could be tied to eyeball observations of the moon at night,” Charles ‘Chuck’ Wood, Executive Director of the center for Educational Technologies at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia, told SPACE.com by email.

This is a great free game for project based learning. Find it and videos here.

http://www.space.com/19573-moon-formation-online-game.html