Productive and powerful
[cross-posted at the TechLearning
I'm in the midst of reading Clark Aldrich's Simulations
and the Future of Learning. As Aldrich walks me through the process of
developing a leadership simulation, he has a number of interesting things to say
about video game and simulation design. Thanks to Aldrich's clear and engaging
prose, I'm finding myself unexpectedly captivated by the nitty-gritty of the
workflow of simulation production.
So far the statement that has resonated with me the most, however,
pertains as much to education as it does to the gaming industry. Aldrich
The goal of learning in any organization (business, educational,
governmental) should be to make its members more productive (p.
I'll agree with that. And I probably would add to the end of that statement
"... and more powerful." I think that additional phrase takes the edge
off what might be construed as a focus solely on preparation for work and
expands it to include personal empowerment.
Productive and powerful. Isn't that what we want
for the children in our schools? Isn't that we want for the educators with whom
we work? Productive and powerful. I like it.
We have 50 million public school
studentsin the United States. Are the thousands of worksheets that they
will complete in their lifetime making them more productive? Are their countless
hours of individual seat work going to lead to greater personal empowerment? Are
they getting opportunities to be both productive and powerful on a regular
What about our subpopulations? Are socioeconomically-disadvantaged students
often getting the chance to be powerful? Do our students with disabilities or
our students whose primary language is not English have multiple, ongoing
opportunities to feel like they are productive, contributing members of our
What about our 3 million public
school teachers? Are the tens of millions of hours that they spend in staff
development and training each year actually making them more productive? Do you
think the bulk of them feel empowered by their 'learning opportunities?'
Do we regularly ask ourselves these kinds of questions in our school
organizations? As educators, should we?
I have some hard thinking to do about my own graduate classes and degree
programs here at Iowa State...
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It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.
- Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
- A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
- The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.
- Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
- When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
- Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
It could put the American fossil fuel industry on a clear path to extinction.
- A bipartisan group of renowned economists has proposed the U.S. implement a carbon tax.
- The tax would increase until climate goals are met, and all proceeds would be given back to the people in equal lump-sums.
- Recent research suggests that a majority of people would support a carbon tax policy that redistributes proceeds back to citizens.
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