disconnect the Russian way

Stalin, Siberia and salt: Russian recluse’s life story made into film

British director to tell the tale of Agafia Lykova, the only remaining member of a family of Old Believers who fled to remote Siberian taiga in 1936

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/12/russia-recluse-siberia-stalin-agafia-lykova-documentary

When I finally met Agafia, what surprised me was that rather than feeling like a primitive situation, it felt like arriving in the future – to a world with no technology, the vast forest littered with discarded space junk. It is an incredible and beautiful place

NCLB is dead

New Education Law Passes, With A Power Shift Back To The States

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/12/09/459067407/the-new-education-law-passes-with-a-power-shift-back-to-the-states

The new version — called the Every Student Succeeds Act — returns much government oversight of schools to the states and curtails or eliminates the federal role in many areas. Critics of NCLB are celebrating its demise.

Critics say there’s no guarantee that states will succeed where the old law failed in two crucial areas: closing the achievement gap and raising the performance of the absolute worst schools.

“The real test is going to be whether there is the political will to take data and turn it into action versus just reporting what they’ve been reporting for the last 15 years,” Wise says.

Austin Ouellette

For heavens sake, there are countries that are getting education right. Why can’t we just look at what they are doing and tailor those methods to suit our needs? Japan, Australia, Norway, Finland, France, Germany are all countries that have some very impressive education systems that WORK!

Americans really need to wake up!

mindfulness and education

Teach Mindfulness, Invite Happiness

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/teach-mindfulness-invite-happiness

Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to present-moment experience and doing so with kindness and curiosity. It is not cognitive but sensory, and so taps into and strengthens different but vitally important parts of the brain that have been neglected by traditional education. One crucial attribute of mindfulness is that it is practiced without judgment. Many of our students are so hard on themselves and their internal critic is so loud that just a few moments of being given permission to not judge can bring huge relief to body and mind. I have seen it bring students to tears.

There is now ample evidence that mindfulness practice enhances positive emotions (PDF).

4 Ways to Refuel Your Gratitude

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/4-ways-re-fuel-your-gratitude-rebecca-alber

Applying Mindfulness to Mundane Classroom Tasks

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/applying-mindfulness-mundane-classroom-tasks-abby-wills

Inquiry, Openness and Trust

How to Design a Classroom Built on Inquiry, Openness and Trust

http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/09/08/how-to-design-a-classroom-built-on-inquiry-openness-and-trust/

Many teachers have likely engaged in some type of inquiry or project-based learning, but with frustrating or dismal results.

Two of the best resources I’ve found for creating an inquiry classroom are Carol Kuhlthau’s work and Alberta Learning’s Guide to Inquiry Learning.

 

contemplative computing, contemplative pedagogy and getting “unplugged”

Mark Zuckerberg’s Sister Published A Book About A Child Whose Mom Takes Her iPad Away
http://www.businessinsider.com/randi-zuckerbergs-kids-book-dot-2013-11#ixzz2jmchiAAf

social media etiquette

unplug

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/03/books/review/randi-zuckerbergs-dot-complicated-and-dot.html

Contemplative Pedagogy and Dealing with Technology
Dan Barbezat, Amherst College; David Levy, University of Washington

https://docs.google.com/viewer?pid=sites&srcid=cG9kbmV0d29yay5vcmd8d2lraXBvZGlhfGd4OjY4MDVkOTRlNGQyODY0ZjY&docid=9ffbca34d1874ac24b0a339bd01f94cf%7Cbeba8a8cdb041811cbd3136e0fdbd53b&a=bi&pagenumber=45&w=800

The accelerating pace of life is reducing the time for thoughtful reflection and in particular for contemplative scholarship, within the academy. The loss of time to think is occurring at exactly the moment when scholars, educators, and students have gained access to digital tools of great value to scholarship. This interactive session reviews research on technology’s impacts and demonstrates some contemplative practices that can respond to them. Contemplative pedagogy can offset the distractions of our multi-tasking, multi-media culture, and show how the needs of this generation of students can be met through innovative teaching methods that integrate secular practices of contemplation.

Topics: Faculty Professional Development, Teaching & Learning

Walking the Labyrinth: Contemplative Instructional Techniques to Enhance Learner Engagement
Carol Henderson and Janice Monroe, Ithaca College

Bringing ancient traditional meditative skills into the contemporary classroom, con-templative learning techniques serve as an effective counterbalance to the speedi-ness and distractions of today’s fast-paced technology-based cultural environment.  Applicable to both faculty development programs and to faculty working directlywith students, contemplative methods create a richer, more engaging learningenvironment by allowing participants to quiet their minds and focus deeply on the material at hand. This interactive session provides instruction and practice in con-templative techniques, offers examples of their use, and supports the integration of these techniques into any discipline or subject area.

Topics: Faculty Professional Development, Teaching & Learning

Contemplative Computing and Our Future of Education

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Stanford University

A generation of educators have spent their professional lives hearing that technol-
ogy is changing the world, transforming the way we think, and that higher educa-
tion must evolve or become obsolete. In case you didn’t get the message in the

1960s and 1970s, with cassette tapes, television and mainframe computers, it was

repeated in the 1980s when personal computers appeared; repeated again in the

1990s, with CD-ROMs (remember those) and the World Wide Web; repeated again

in the early 2000s with blogs and wikis; and recently, repeated once again in the

wake of social media, YouTube and the real-time Web.

This language of technological revolution and institutional reaction is backward. It

gives too much credit and agency to technology, and makes today’s changes seem

unprecedented and inevitable. Neither is actually true. Contemplative computing—

the effort to design technologies and interactions that aren’t perpetually demanding

and distracting, but help users be more mindful and focused—provides a language

for talking differently about the place of technology in teaching, learning, and edu-
cation. We think of today’s technologies as uniquely appealing to our reptilian, dopa-
mine- and stimulation-craving brains. In reality, distraction is an ancient problem,

and the rise of contemplative practices and institutions (most notably monasteries

and universities) is a response to that problem. Abandoning our traditional role as

stewards of contemplative life is as dangerous for the societies we serve as it is

short-sighted and counterproductive. Contemplative computing argues that even

today, people have choices about how to interact with technologies, how to use

them, and how to make the parts of our extended minds; and that part of our job

as educators is to show students how to exercise that agency.