Productive and powerful

[cross-posted at the TechLearning

blog


]

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

said:

The goal of learning in any organization (business, educational,

governmental) should be to make its members more productive (p.

3).

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

students

in 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

basis?

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

communities?

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...

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Why are women more religious than men? Because men are more willing to take risks.

It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.

Photo credit: Alina Strong on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • 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.
Keep reading Show less

Steven Pinker's 13 rules for writing better

The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 21: Steven Pinker speaks onstage during OZY Fest 2018 at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on July 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Ozy Media)
Personal Growth
  • 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.
Keep reading Show less

Proposed carbon tax plan would return proceeds to people once goals are met

It could put the American fossil fuel industry on a clear path to extinction.

Photo credit: Roman Khripkov on Unsplash
Politics & Current Affairs
  • 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.
Keep reading Show less