By Allan Alach

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

This week’s homework!

Math, Science, History: Games Break Boundaries Between Subjects

Having observed how much my 6 year old  grandson has learned from playing Minecraft, I agree with this article.
Because video games are basically simulations of particular kinds of experiences, or problems, they require a kind of active engagement that simultaneously calls on diverse ways of knowing. Similar to the way most activities in life require using multiple cognitive skills simultaneously, scenarios in the game world can be constructed in such a way that individuals are forced to apply a variety of intellectual tools.”

Schools as Factories: Metaphors That Stick

Reinventing the past:
“Here is what Professor Ellwood P. Cubberley, of Stanford University said in the early 20th century: Our schools are, in a sense, factories, in which the raw products (children) are to be shaped and fashioned into products to meet the various
demands of life. The specifications for manufacturing come from the demands of twentieth-century civilization, and it is the business of the school to build its pupils according to the specifications laid down.”

Is Common Core Creating the Code for a Computerized Education System?

Another thoughtful article by Antony Cody. New Zealand readers - think PaCT as you read this, and then extrapolate.
“First of all, we need a discrete set of measurable learning objectives that everyone agrees are the goal for the K-12 system. We need curriculum and most importantly closely aligned tests that tell us if students have met these objectives. We need devices that students work on capable of recording and transmitting their every keystroke, their every written thought, and everything they have read or viewed on their screen. Then we
need data systems to track the performance of all the parts in the system. We want to know how the students are doing, but we also want to measure the effects of various learning technologies, readings, assignments and, of course, the effect of their teachers. So we need systems to record, store, and analyze all this data.”

6 Scientifically Proven Brain Facts That eLearning Professionals Should Know 

I’d suggest this is relevant way beyond elearning.
“While the content, layout, and navigability of your eLearning course are important; determining how a learner's brain actually acquires and retains information is an
essential aspect of eLearning design and development. Without a firm grasp of how the brain works and the processes involved in learning new concepts, ideas, and skill sets, even the most experienced Instructional Designer will be unable to develop an effective eLearning course.”

Smart People Problems

Ever wondered why supposedly smart people think GERM is the solution?
“We've been asking for years now how such smart people can come up with so many dumb ideas about fixing schools, but I would submit that they come up with these dumb ideas precisely because they are smart people-- smart people who have no idea what it's like to not understand something.”

America’s dangerous education myth: Why it isn’t the best anti-poverty program

The excuse for school reform in many countries is that it is the way to deal with increasing poverty and inequality. This article shoots down that feeble justification.
“The upshot of this lesson is that the fixation on education as a solution to poverty,
Can't see any poverty
inequality or any other distributional problem is totally wrongheaded
. Good and equitable education is a huge plus for all sorts of things, but it doesn’t create an egalitarian society. Those who say it will – a group that includes reformers and their opponents – have no idea what they are talking about and, through their ignorant distractions, help sow the seeds of never-ending stratification and low-end material insecurity.”

Give the Kid a Pencil

What would you do in this scenario?
‘I recently taught a university course in Seattle for graduate students seeking master’s degrees in teaching. In one lesson, our focus was on creating a psychologically safe learning environment for students. It was an issue of managing students and supplies. I posed a question:
“If a student shows up to class without a pencil, how should the teacher respond?”’

Carrots and sticks are wrong way to motivate teachers

Michael Fullan, writing for Alberta, Canada , useful all over.
“You don’t develop a profession or an organization by focusing on sticks and
carrots aimed at individuals. All high-performing entities develop the group to focus collectively and relentlessly on quality work linked to high expectations and standards. If you don’t base policies and strategies on purposeful group impact you inevitably end up with low yield results along with gross distractions.”

Why Sudbury schools don’t [try to] change the world

“Every day, we rely on the natural genius of our students to navigate the world of ideas. They discuss, play with, think about, and consider ideas. They try, accept, and reject different ideas. They build and test models of the world, and ideas about how to live their own lives. Far from minimizing differences between people,  pluralism allows our students to develop into all sorts of different people, and to develop deep respect for one another and those differences.”
This week’s contributions from Bruce Hammonds:

This Is A Video Everyone Needs To See.

‘“This media we call social is anything but, when we open our computers and it’s our doors we shut”… This is one of the most vital messages that everyone needs to hear.’

Digital Learning Futures - 3 things you need to know about
the future of learning.

A slide share from Steve Wheeler:
Bruce’s comment: Great for a staff discussion/ PD. So many quotes we share but ….

A View From the Edge

A slide share from Bruce. Similar themes to Steve Wheeler.