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Posted by on in Teaching Strategies

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The Internet is the single most disruptive and creative force in the history of human kind. It changed our lives. While not the only things, digital products are things we buy now. Product consumption is undergoing a revolution. The nature of work will never be the same. The middle men are constantly being cut out. The innovation in how various services are provided has had an even greater impact on global society and economy.

Google is 19 years old and it's difficult to imagine life without it. 14-year old Facebook analyzes your behavior to provide you with a catered online experience. Amazon was formed 23 years ago and Apple has been around since 1976. There aren't many people in the world unaware of the Big 4.

And how about a few game-changing squirts who have yet to reach the ripe age of 10? 8-year-old Uber is valued at $40-70 billion. I recently rented a cabin in Wisconsin using the 9-year-old $30-billion hotel industry disruptor Airbnb. And even though it was acquired in its 5th year of existence by Unilever in 2016 for a cool billion, I still use the Dollar Shave Club razors to keep my melon clean and shiny.

Those are the heavy hitters many of us know but there are many other innovative companies and start-ups that have been changing the way business is done around the world. Some are being formed right now as I'm typing and as you're reading. At the same time the old guard is being replaced or is shaking in its boots as jobs and trends of yesteryear are disappearing. 

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Posted by on in Project-Based Learning

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First, we kill our students creativity. Next, we ask them to be creative and wonder why they have such a hard time.

We always aspire for our students to move away from fact regurgitation and move toward higher level thinking and deeper understanding. When we ask students to brainstorm and generate ideas, provide solutions to problems, or to think and reason critically, we are really asking them to be creative. The sad truth is that by standardizing education we often kill creativity. The hope lies in the fact that creativity is an acquired skill that can be improved.

If we make a conscious decision to change things up in our classrooms, to change the way we educate our students, we can increase their creativity. With increased creativity they can innovate and be more successful.

The human brain is composed of gray matter and white matter. Gray matter stores knowledge and is used when we think. White matter is tissue through which the brain transfers and connects information. Scientific studies show that extraordinarily creative individuals have more white matter than others. This is good, because it proves creativity is something we can get better at.

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

Voicesmatter

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It’s thinking ofyourself less.”

– C.S. Lewis

 In our school district we take pride in the words and actions ENGAGE, INSPIRE, EMPOWER. We aim to do this each and every day with and for each and every student, staff member, and the community! Since July 2013 our Big 5 have been driving our actions and initiatives:

Common Core State Standards (a/k/a Illinois New Learning Standards), Next Generation Science Standards
Teacher Evaluation – Charlotte Danielson Frameworks for Effective Teaching
Technology
Organizational Culture
Superintendent’s Task Force for Middle Level Education

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Posted by on in General

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There we were on a lazy Saturday morning. At the breakfast table, enjoying pancakes, bacon and a cool iTunes mix. When all of a sudden a song by One Direction came on. My son looked at me and said

 

Daddy, can I dance?

I thought to myself, why is he asking permission? Just get up and let loose little buddy. Of course I immediately said yes. And he proceeded to dance a jig as only a four year olds could. I wanted to snap a picture, but doing so would have caused the song to stop playing and I wasn't about to interrupt this.

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