Archive for November, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Posted on November 24th, 2011 in The New Learners | No Comments »

With the day almost gone, I am reflecting on the journey of a lifetime.

It started with my third review this week of Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address (prompted by my near completion of Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs). At 12:15 into this video, Steve told about death being useful for clearing out the old to make way for the new. While profound, graceful and all too prophetic, these words resonate with me as I consider the changes in my roles over the last 20 years. This said, I have just recently become aware of a dynamic leader who serves the same grade levels I did when serving elementary students in public education. Ms. Magiera’s Class is one in which I would have thrived as a student. I see the way she enlists the support of her students as collaborative partners in processes of learning.

I envision student voice resounding throughout classroom activity and guiding the instructional practice. I see the way she has created exit slips and feeling surveys and know that the students recognize how much they and their opinions are respected. Also, I see a dedicated designer of learning who provides a great commentary on how she connects the dots http://teachinglikeits2999.blogspot.com/.

On 11-11-11 at 11-11

Posted on November 11th, 2011 in The New Learners | No Comments »

I recall the “magic minute” that would appear in our cabin after lights out on a red LED clock at summer camp. It was magic because all four digits would display the same number for one minute. We were young, but the number held some mystical meaning for us. Now, a few years later in life, I am still obsessed with numbers and meanings. As I walked beneath the full moon this evening, while still able to recognize the rabbit making mochi and Orion as he was beginning his cartwheel, I asked Siri to play Steve Jobs’ commencement address. She did, and my thoughts returned to a time when it seemed that innovation would last forever.

Steve shared that, “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish,” were the last words on the last page of the Whole Earth Catalog and what he wished for the graduating class at the 2005 Stanford Commencement. Now 22 chapters into his biography, I am drawn back to the message he proclaimed to the masses just over six and a half years ago. He spoke of passion, love and loss, and death. He stated that his oust from Apple was the painful, yet necessary medicine required to connect the dots of his life to bring forth the “dent in the universe” he set out to create with Woz so many years ago in Paul Jobs’ garage. While he admitted that no one wants to die, he acknowledged having lived each day for his (then) last 33 years through a question that if it was the last day of his life, would he still do the things he was doing. If not, he reasoned, then do something else. He pleaded that people need to find love in what they do and with whom they love. If you work, you had better love what you do since you will spend more time doing that than anything else.

So what does it all mean to an ageless student of timeless inquiry? I suppose it begins with the “>manifesto. And . . . this message resonates today in the voice and image of one more “Crazy” one. Yet, this one has accomplished the “dent” and a whole lot more.

So as the journey continues, and the time ticks to my magic minute, I will close with the last words of the other last Whole Earth Catalog which are:

Live Smart. Think for Yourself. Transform the Future.

“It’s all new again, because the world is all new again.” -Howard Rheingold