Dream big

Listening to a recent Tim Ferriss podcast got me thinking about an interesting reality: Every generation has a major profession toward which smart young people gravitate. In the ’50s and ’60s, it was space rockets. In the late ’70s and ’80s, it was Wall Street. In the ’90s and ’00s, it was tech startups. Today, they build apps.

Is building an app a noble venture for a young person? There’s no doubt that some apps are changing the world. Navigation, communication, purchasing, and learning have all advanced by a large margin–I’d argue for the better–because of ingenuity on the mobile platform. But it’s important to put the present in perspective and question whether we’re inspiring our young people to solve today’s most pressing problems. I mean, someone who goes to Wall Street instead of NASA isn’t doing anything wrong, but choosing to further our knowledge of the world is so important and heroic.

As educators, we must show students the good and bad in this world. They must know the good so that they can marvel and fall in love with learning. They must know the bad so that they cultivate the desire to fix what they can. The 21st century is presenting some perplexing problems that children today must fix when they’re adults. Teaching them to dream big is imperative.

Keep up

A continual theme I’ve been writing about recently regards how quickly technology is developing. I’ve focused primarily on how both teachers and students must continually learn in order to not fall behind.

Recently I came across this post about Apple, which states:

Starting February 1, 2015, new iOS apps uploaded to the App Store must include 64-bit support and be built with the iOS 8 SDK, included in Xcode 6 or later.

This is what people in every field have to realize: Change is all around us. Even app creators, who are arguably some of the most cutting edge individuals when it comes to technology, have to keep up with the progress. They’ll be left behind if they don’t. The same goes for all of us.

[HT Daring Fireball]

Welcome to change

For school districts across the country, there are a lot of changes happening right now.

Common Core

Curriculum adoptions

New technology

That last one incorporates a lot. The technology that teachers can use to enhance pedagogy is truly remarkable, and there’s never been another time in history that it’s being developed at such an incredible rate.

There are some educators who are up to the challenge and dive into the use of new apps and devices. Others may not try everything, but rather decide to curate best-practices.

There are also teachers who feel skeptical. “It it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” They’ve been teaching well for years, so technology is a disruption.

Then there are teachers who are afraid of technology. They’d like to be knowledgeable, but there’s just too much. Combine the many devices and websites with the implementation of Common Core this year, and it’s enough to send some people over the edge (or to an early happy hour).

Here’s what we need to keep in mind: Education is always in a state of flux. Change, disruption, uncertainty–these words will be used to describe schooling for many years to come. Teachers must embrace the unknown and set their minds on the fact that being uncomfortable is an ongoing reality. Is this a bad thing? Not really. Treading water makes a person stronger. As long as we can keep our heads above water, work hard to embrace innovation within the field of education, and learn how to teach rigorous courses at the high levels Common Core demands, the students will thrive.