Archive for the 'Education' Category

Cardigan Season

Friday, October 12th, 2012


A little over a week ago I wore a cardigan for the first time in several seasons. To me it symbolized the arrival of Fall, the most fashionable time of year. Putting on that Cardigan also reminded me of Mister Rogers. I loved to watch Mister Rogers growing up, and his cardigan sweaters left an indelible mark on my sense of fashion. He did a great deal for young children over the course of many generations. I hope that children today and in the future have the opportunity to watch and learn from his timeless program. Above, the greatest television intro of all time. Below, a classic example of Mister Rogers, and his magical ability to interact with children.

Microsoft Sustainability: Productivity, future vision

Friday, June 24th, 2011


Last night I attended the 2011 Chicago BDPA Education Banquet. I had the opportunity to meet Cameron Evans, Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft Education who was the keynote speaker for the night. He had several profound things to say on the state of education in this country. I was blown away on the ideas he expressed and the realistic perspective he took on how this country can improve. Check out this video from Microsoft on where technology is going.

North Carolina School Transitions to All-Digital Learning Tools

Saturday, April 9th, 2011


I caught this segment on PBS about a school that is transitioning from textbooks and other printed materials to all-digital learning tools. I stumbled upon the piece unintentionally but was quickly drawn in by the new concepts that are being proposed in schools today. When I was in elementary school we had almost no digital contact. Now there are schools that don’t want textbooks. I have mixed feelings on this. I don’t doubt that there is an advantage to this style, but I have to wonder if there isn’t too much tech exposure here. It seems like a mix between old and new practices would be better warranted than a pure digital medium. That is just my view from afar. Check out this video to decide for yourself.

The Possibilities of Technology & Education

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011


My professor showed this video in our Business Intelligence class. It shows Salman Khan of the Khan Academy at TED 2011.Khan quit his job at a hedge fund to start the organization. Since then it has received funding from Google, and includes Bill Gates among its list of endorsers. Khan is changing the way students learn; first through his Youtube videos, and now with valuable data that allows the progress of students to be observed and analyzed. Khan’s new work is an example of what the use of technology can bring to today’s education. Check this out.

Changing Education Paradigms

Friday, January 28th, 2011


This video features some thought-provoking views on education from Sir Ken Robinson combined with one large white board being filled with great illustrations. Check it out!

A Class Divided

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

I was assigned to watch this movie as part of a psychology class I am currently taking. We are presently studying discrimination. This movie shows an exercise performed by a third grade teacher with her students several decades ago. Her intent was to show her students that discrimination based on one’s differences was unjust. I found her methods to be very clever and the whole movie very interesting. I encourage everybody to check it out as well. There are five parts to this video. To watch the other four parts go here.

Why School Can Be Cool

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

This is who I have gotten to hear speak or will get to hear speak in the near future.

March 1 – Dr. Muhammad Yunus: 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Winner
March 4 – Paul Magelli: Was a millionaire entrepreneur by age 26…in the 1950s
March 11 – John W. Simons: Senior Personal Finance Editor, Black Enterprise
April 8 – Jerry Colangelo: Former owner of the Phoenix Suns/Phoenix Mercury/Arizona Diamondbacks, Director of USA Basketball
April 14 – Shellito Richards: CIO & VP of Technology, State Farm Insurance
April 21 – Gary M. Reiner: Senior Vice President & CIO, General Electric Company

It is times like these when I remember why I went to college. Not that getting an education isn’t important. But at our freshman convocation the Chancellor said your experience outside of the classroom is as important, if not more important that your experience in it. I took his words to heart and believe he is absolutely right. One of the best things about being in school is the number of opportunities that it presents. The ability to hear all of these brilliant and accomplished people speak in a two month span free of charge is awesome. I applaud my University for making an effort to interest, excite, and motivate its students.

The larger idea here is how can putting a different look in front of today’s youth impact their future? By different look I mean something that isn’t glorified in the media and pop culture. This country’s at-risk youth see athletes and entertainers, and not much else. They figure those are their options. These are generalizations but they are relevant to the overall concept that kids don’t know what is out there for them. Many of them have seen little to nothing in the way of successful people who never picked up a mic or dribbled a ball.

These kids are not dumb. They are far from it. When they see a successful person and have an opportunity to hear them speak they are all ears. They are often fascinated and amazed by the stories they are told. They may not retain everything they hear but each little thing they catch molds how they think and behave. Take a kid out of his or her environment and expose them to things they have never experienced and it will stick with them. They will be forced to think and question.

That is what this is about. Give these youths an opportunity to expand their thought. To learn that their is more than they know and give them the thirst to discover it. Something to reach for, an example of somebody who has what they want, AND the guidance to get there. These are pages in a playbook for success. Breaking a cycle of poverty goes beyond what I have talked about but I feel that these are realistic measures that schools and communities can aspire to implementing in order to play their part in the solution.

Dr. Muhammad Yunus at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Monday, March 1st, 2010

2006 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Dr. Muhammad Yunus, is coming to speak today here at the University of Illinois. Dr. Yunus received the award for his work in social and economic development through his Grameen Bank in impoverished areas. I find it absolutely faschinating that 96% of Grameen Bank’s borrowers are women. I also find the bank’s 20% interest rate fascinating! Upon doing some reasearch it appears that his bank is somewhat controversial depending on who’s opinion you seek. Either way, nobody can take that Nobel Peace Prize from him and I assume he had good reason to earn it. I look forward to hearing Dr. Yunus speak and hear some of his opinions on social entrepreneurship. Watch Dr. Yunus in Creating A Poverty Free World after the jump.