Discouraged but encouraged!

A few months ago I moved my WordPress site from Bluehost back to WordPress. Terrible things happened and I lost the last 10 years of blog posting. Even though the folks at Bluehost and WordPress walked me through the transfer, it did not happen the way it was supposed to. I have been totally discouraged to post anything lately, hence the lack of updates. However, I must move on and reinvent my website.

Well here is my first post in many, many months. I am going to start documenting our wonderful work at iBuild Academy, Inc. A dream of mine was to open a school and reinvent education pretty has come to life. It is not an official school with all kinds of regulations and rules but a teaching environment I have dreamed of for a very long time. I have created an environment of fun, curiosity, creativity, and accidental learning.

In February of 2015, my dream came alive. With a small start-up cost, my dad and I

found a rentable space, about 800 sq feet, and iBuild Academy was born. We offered sessions in engineering, video production, computer programming, and Minecraft. It wasn’t long until we had our first customers and we have been going strong ever since.

In the last 4 years, I have learned so much about the business world, daunting and exciting. We are now a 501c3 non-profit corporation and serving our local population. We are located in a small city in Volusia County, but people have participated in our programs from 30 – 40 miles away. It is true that if you have something good going on people will find you.

We have many volunteers, high school students earning community service hours, seniors donating their time, and we are working on developing community partners.  Currently, we are looking to expand and develop a makerspace for our middle school kids.

Take a look at our Facebook page and follow our journey.

Wicked Problem – Rethinking Education

Wicked Solution

This proposed solution is directed at the wicked problem of rethinking education. Learners today are different than 50 years ago. The premise of the US educational system is to prepare students for the workforce, the assembly line workforce. This does not exist today. As Will Richardson shares in his TED Talk, “We can no longer prepare students for traditional expectations more than a century old.“ Today the US educational system needs to prepare students for a workforce that is yet to be determined. Reading, writing, and arithmetic skills of yesterday have morphed into problem solving, critical and creative thinking, and working in a collaborative environment. No longer is the teacher in the classroom the only source of knowledge. Learners have the world available to them.

The NMC Horizon Report for K-12 education confirms the fact that Personal Learning Environments are here and moving into the K-12 world quickly. It is anticipated that in the next 2-3 years a PLE will be a mainstay for learners. Teachers need to be actively engaged in their own personal learning environments in order to effectively guide their learners and to demonstrate the power of collaborative learning. Learners will have a personalized experience based on their connected space, the people they network with. “The essential idea behind personal learning environments is that students are put in charge of the learning process, with a focus on how they can support their own needs and preferences” (Johnson, Adams, and Cummins, 2012, p. 24).

My proposed solution is to instruct K – 12 educators about creating personal learning environments. I hope to create a conversation about doing things differently, learning in different ways – Personal Learning Environments. I will propose they engaged in learning from the experts, develop a community that provides content for you and you provide for them. We need to see education as something that we create and share, not as something that is simply handed to someone through a worksheet. Downes (2010) shared “we have to stop thinking of an education as something that is delivered to us and instead see it as something we create for ourselves.”

References

Downes, S. (2010, Oct 18). A world to change. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-downes/a-world-to-change_b_762738.html

Johnson, L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M. (2012). NMC Horizon Report: 2012 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium

Richardson, W. (2012). Why school?: How education must change when learning and information are everywhere. (p. 51). TED Conferences.

K-12 Edtech Conferences You Need To Know For 2016-2017 | EdSurge News

Here is an excellent resource for finding upcoming ed-tech conferences. Both charts were created by EdSurge. If you are looking to share your knowledge presenting at conferences is a great way to share information and meet awesome people. Take a look and share it with others.

Source: K-12 Edtech Conferences You Need To Know For 2016-2017 | EdSurge News

Source: Higher-Ed Edtech Conferences You Need To Know For 2017 | EdSurge News

Can technology replace teachers? You asked Google – here’s the answer | Harpreet Purewal | Opinion | The Guardian

This is a question that I hear and get asked a lot. I am not sure why educators devalue what they can do for students. Technology does help us (teachers) do a lot of tasks quicker, create amazing sharable content, and allow students to become good digital citizens. Technology does not and cannot replace the soft skills needed to become contributors to our global society. Technology can think and change direction, there is no “with-it-ness” with the tools, that is a human skill. Technology will not replace teachers, but teachers who use technology will replace teachers who do not.

Every day millions of internet users ask Google life’s most difficult questions, big and small. Our writers answer some of the commonest queries

Source: Can technology replace teachers? You asked Google – here’s the answer | Harpreet Purewal | Opinion | The Guardian