So the folks over at Google Blogoscoped had a great idea. Use Google trends as a writing prompt. For instance, if the top queries are … 1. subaru impreza 2. priyanka chopra 3. build a bear … and so on … … then your narrative may go like this, to quote from Simon’s try: I went out and bought a brand new Subaru Impreza last week, which was very scary as I have only just passed my test. I took Priyanka Chopra, the Indian film star, with me to keep an eye on me and exert a calming influence as I was pretty nervous because the Impreza is wild beast of car. “Let’s go build a bear”, I shrieked as we weaved through traffic, “an actual live bear that will do our bidding”. “Good idea,” agreed Priyanka, “This bear could drive us around too, anything would (and so on) … Morphs pretty well into a fun writing prompt that uses subjects that are, by definition, things people are interested in. Ways to take it to the next level- write the zeitgeist as a character or historical figure use the words to take the pass the sentence game to the next level see who can make the longest sensible sentence with the fewest additional words (not listed in the trends list) […]
In my ever greater efforts to make a fool of myself in the name of educational technology I agreed to do an “interview” for Jim “EdupunkHe made it to WIRED magazine” Groom’s Edtech Survivalist blog. We filmed this on the flyObviously without a script in a creek by my house. Some of the kids wandering around aren’t even ours. The swamp comment towards the end was my favorite as it was totally ad-libbed based on one of the neighbor kid’s comments. I highly recommend this as a way to meet your neighbors (there are strange men in camouflage with mullets filming your children) but probably not such a good way to make a great first impression. Yes, I am considering growing a mullet after seeing just how good it looks.
These are not the voices you want reminding you of where education is headed. Centralized pacing guides, centrally created lesson plans and myriad of other choices are moving teachers into the role of trained chickens with little choice and less say about what happens in their classrooms. Standardization is great for planning and scaling but haven’t we proven over and over again that learning should be individualized? If we can’t trust teachers to pace their own classes, to make their own lesson plans then there’s a serious problem with the people we’re hiring as teachers. Providing all the processes and structures in the world won’t fix that.