Thursday, April 26, 2012

Trust the Students

Last night I had the wonderful opportunity to see John Hunter's film "World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements" at a theater in Manhattan. The viewing was followed by a Q&A with John, film producer and director Chris Farina, and The Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence sponsor, Jamie Baker. 

Much like Montessori education, John's message, which came through loud and clear in his movie, was: Trust the students. You can click on my previous posts to learn more about this amazing man.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

5 Misunderstandings About Bullying

You'll want to read Dr. Danah Boyd's excellent article from the Wall Street Journal about bullying. Here are the beginnings of the five misunderstandings:
  1. Bullies usually aren't the source of the problem . . . 
  2. Not all meanness and cruelty is bullying . . . 
  3. "Cyberbullying" has become an unnecessary distraction . . .
  4.  When a child has been hurt, people want someone—or something—to blame . . .
  5. Most anti-bullying assemblies are ineffective . . .

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Between Now and Feed

Technology keeps exploding daily with amazing, new ideas. I think about the evolution of textbooks (printed, e-texts, and publish your own); music (vinyl, 8-track, cassettes, CDs, and MP3s); home movies (8mm, VHS, Flip HD cameras); and telephones (rotary, wireless, cellphone, Smartphone). You get the idea.

Will we ever get to what M. T. Anderson writes about in his futuristic, young adult book, Feed? I think so.

In case you have not seen Google Project Glass, click here to read and view the amazing video, "Project Glass: One day . . ."

From desktop computers, to laptops, to Smartphones, to glasses, to eventually a direct feed to our brains?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

9-Year Old?

If you are not one of the 1.6 million (as of this posting) viewers of "Caine's Arcade" and you love seeing talented 9-year olds, check out this beautiful video. It's worthy of viewing at a faculty meeting. There's more info about Caine Monroy at his website.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


There is a lot of hype regarding the documentary film "Bully" that will premier this Friday. Part of the rise in publicity is the rating it received from the Motion Picture Association of America. The R rating was assigned because of the real-life profanity used by children in the movie. Filmmakers struggled with the MPAA on whether to release their film as "unrated" or PG-13.

Having spent many years in middle school education, there is no doubt about how preadolescent/adolescent children can treat each other. Check out my July 11, 2009 post on bullying.

I suspect that the film will have an impact on educators and parents but may leave our children continually mired in the pitfalls of growing up. Here's the trailer . . .

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Inspiration for Students, Teachers, & Parents

So, you say you've had a bad day? When that happens, click on the video below to see and hear Rohan Murphy's story.