Category Archives: Podcast

Failure is Your Friend

I am a big fan of the Freakonomics Podcast. This week, they highlighted the power of failure. In the new educational environment of high stakes testing, the ability to fail has been taken out of the game. This is fundamentally problematic as the greatest way to learn in life is through failure! In fact, many of the most influential people in history attribute their success to learning from failure. This esteemed list includes the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Abraham Lincoln, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison!

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

This week’s podcast tells us that not only should failure not be stigmatized, it should be celebrated!

I always tell my students — fail quickly. The quicker you fail the more chances you have to fail at something else before you eventually maybe find the thing that you don’t fail at. – Levitt

You can listen to the full podcast on their website here or download it from iTunes and Subscribe!

The 3 Most Important Words: “I Don’t Know”

I love listening to podcasts! In fact, I hardly listen to the radio any more. Instead, I plug in my SmartPhone and cruise listening to an episode about comedy, literature, history, technology, and the broader world at large. Most recently, I listened to this week’s Freakonomics Podcast (published for free). If you are unfamiliar with Freakonomics, it was a a popular book in 2009 “Freakonomics: A Rogue Economists Explores the Hidden Side to Everything.”

Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool?

What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?

How much do parents really matter?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to parenting and sports—and reaches conclusions that turn conventional wisdom on its head. 

Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They set out to explore the inner workings of a crack gang, the truth about real estate agents, the secrets of the Ku Klux Klan, and much more.

Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, they show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing.

The popular book resulted in a lot of conversation about how the world around us works and resulted in several more book as well as a popular website, blog,

Freakonomics, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Freakonomics, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

and radio show. What I love about it is that it’s not just about money (although I’m sure I could use that advice as well), but it explores hidden cause and effect. As a historian, this is my bread and butter.

This week’s topic focused on the power and our inherent fear of “I don’t know.” In fact, they argued that these three words are the most difficult words for people to say. In fact, in our own world we stigmatize a lack of knowledge and, as such, people are hesitant to admit when they do not know information – even when confronted with an unanswerable question! This behavior starts in childhood.

In the world of learning, we know that exploration, challenge, and even failure are our most important tools. As Levitt says, “There’s only one way to learn, and that’s through feedback.” If you think you already have the answers, then you don’t go looking for them. Instead, you must admit when you don’t know something and then work to find the answer! In fact, if you refuse to admit your own lack of knowledge, the consequences can be both financially and emotionally expensive. By refusing to acknowledge a lack of knowledge, we then forgo the process of exploration and learning.

You can listen to the podcast below:

Check out the podcast here or subscribe via the iTunes store here. Next, admit when you don’t know and encourage your students to do the same. After that, “work like a dog to learn.”

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Digital Parenting 101: An iTunesU Course For Parents

Jennifer Carey:

Great resource!

Originally posted on Hooked On Innovation:

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Digital Parenting iTunesU course

Part of having any type of success in a school is to have the support of parents.  While some schools can overcome a lack of parent involvement or support, most depend on the idea that “it takes a village” to raise a child.  The same is true of any successful mobile device initiative.  I’ve had over 50 talks/discussions/trainings with community members and parents in our district since the launch of the LEAP iPad Initiative in Fall of 2011, and that’s still not enough.

We’ve hosted panels of parents discussing their concerns and values with technology use.  We’ve brought in experts on cyber-bullying and internet safety.  We’ve even had back-to-school nights where we’ve invited parents to see and use the device as a child in the classroom would.

Knowledge is a powerful thing and lately, many parents are looking for more and more materials on what to…

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Free Webcasts for Plagiarism Education Week (April 21-25)

Plagiarism Education Week is April 21-25. Turnitin.com is hosting a series of free webcasts to highlight methods to combat plagiarism from pre-emptive education, structuring assignments, and addressing the issue after the fact. Topics include:

To learn more about Plagiarism Education, enroll, or participate, visit their blog post here.

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Flipping your Professional Development

This past weekend, I had the privilege of being an invited guest of Dr. Will Deyamport on his weekly podcasts, “The Dr. Will Show.” The subject of the conversation was flipping your professional development. I recently wrote an article, “Flip your PD for Greater Flexibility and Support.” Our conversation was excellent – we discussed the role that flipped pd plays in training faculty and supporting them in their professional development. You can see the full video below:

I also encourage you to check out Will’s blog for more resources on educational technology.

MIT Open Courseware: STEM Concept Videos

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 12.16.38 PMThe MIT Open Courseware project has released a new class on iTunes U: STEM Concept Videos.

“The Concept Vignettes are a series of videos produced by the Teaching and Learning Lab (TLL) at MIT, for the Singapore University of Technology and Design (STUD). Each video is designed to help students learn a pivotal concept in science and engineering.”

As all iTunes U courses and MIT Open Courseware, content is entirely free and can be downloaded here. You can also browse other MIT Open Courseware options on their website

iTunes U – Civil Rights: Voices of a Movement

 

Martin Luther King, Jr. - Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Martin Luther King, Jr. – Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

American RadioWorks, a subset of American Public Media, has published 10 free iTunes U episodes “Civil Rights: Voices of a Movement.”

“For much of the 20th Century, African Americans in the South were barred from the voting booth, sent to the back of the bus, and walled off from many of the rights they deserved as U.S. citizens. Until well into the 1960s, segregation was legal. Hear the voices from the heart of the Civil Rights revolution describe life before, during and after Jim Crow, Freedom Summer and Brown vs. the Board of Education.”

The accounts include transcripts, recordings, and other important artifacts of the Civil Rights movement. You can subscribe for free here.