Teachers Teaching Teachers #267 Wacky Learning Matters: Alex & Phill Pappas, Katherine von Jan, Jodhbir, & Lisa Nielsen 10.12.11

Here’s a snippet from or by each of the participants in this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers.

Alexander Pappas, Co-founder at HourSchool

HourSchool connects people through their social networks, helping them learn from one another. We call it peer-led, social-driven learning.

Hourschool from HourSchool on Vimeo.

Katherine von Jan, CEO of RadMatter
and Managing Partner at KvJ & Company

A couple of years ago VeloCity asked Katherine von Jan: What key accomplishments are you particularly proud of?

My amazing family. Teaching disabled kids to swim and saving a child’s life when I was a life guard in my teens. Taking a hiatus from college and moving to Hawaii on my own at 19. Starting my own company at 20. Creating a mobile humanitarian aid prototype to collect war stories in Kosovo and use them to prosecute war criminals at the Hague. Advising the UN on global communications strategies with the former advisor to Gorbachev. Creating a surprising new path for an industry-leading plastic producer. Being the voice of the culture in executive suites across the globe, and reframing consumers as “becomers”.

…Most people who go to college don’t graduate. If you gave every student in America a full scholarship to college, most students would fail or drop out. Would any other company stay in business if they failed to serve more than 60% of the market buying their product? … We put students in the center; seeking to serve today’s students in these modern, complex times. Our work revealed unexpected ideas to help students attain a quality academic degree. We called this work “101 Wacky Ideas for Reinventing College”. You can see a glimpse of our findings here on CEOs for Cities website: http://www.ceosforcities.org/101_wacky_ideas

Jodhbir Singh, a computer engineer, empathetic educator and friend of the Innovation Lab
, and writer for the Michigan Tech Lode
and The Daily Bull

“Michigan Tech Lode” is a window through which Jodhbir expresses his “culture shocks and makes newcomers aware of what should and should not be done. And Jodhbir says that he writes for “The Daily Bull,” as a humour writer. I write about the American culture, people, India, language, student lifestyles, pencil, or anything that is now playing on your mind. I write stuff that should not be taken seriously….. like this description!”

In a recent post at YouthKiAwaaz
, Jodhbir writes:

The underlying thing is not to do something extra but to do something different. In a decade of academic inflation when many people are going to college, getting a job is becoming a challenge; it means we should not prepare our students for the future based on present methodologies. We need to bring something new into the system only then we can create a whole new field of competition- like how many companies will be started each year by students at an engineering college.

Lisa Nielsen, an educational technologist for the NYC Department of Education

Lisa is a Google Certified Teacher
, International Edublogger
, International EduTwitter
, and creator of The Innovative Educator blog
, website
, learning network
, and wiki

In addition to her blog (http://TheInnovativeEducator.blogspot.com
), her work is published in “Learning and Leading,” “Tech & Learning,” and ISTE Connect. An outspoken and passionate advocate of innovative education Lisa Nielsen is also covered by local and national media for her views on “Thinking Outside the Ban” and determining ways to harness the power of technology for instruction and providing a voice to educators and students.

Phill Pappas
just published a book, One Page At A Time: Getting Through College With ADHD

Here’s an excerpt:

Class schedules

When I arrived at Michigan State University freshman orientation, we had to choose our class schedules for the upcoming semester. I was paired with a “summer orientation volunteer,” and we began scheduling my classes. It may have been because I was hung over, but I somehow didn’t notice when she convinced me to take a class that would turn out to be pure hell.

“So, you’ve got four classes so far” she said, “Do you want to schedule one more?”

“Yeah, why not” I said.

“Okay. We could de!nitely plug CSE101 in here on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8:00am.”

“Wait, what?”

“A lot of times, it’s better to get classes like this over with during your first semester, just to get them out of the way.”

“I can’t take it any later?”

“Well if you did, you would have to move the Interpersonal Communications course to another semester, and you said that you really wanted to take that class, right?”

“Yeah, that’s true.”

“I mean you can make an eight a.m. class twice a week, trust me.” Sounding like a veteran on the subject she followed up with, “Anyways, 22 One Page At A Time the other days of the week your earliest class is 10:20am, so you can sleep in on those days.”

“Yeah, you’re right” I said. “It shouldn’t be a problem twice a week.

Holy shit was I wrong.

Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

20:43:23 Lisa Nielsen: Hi Renny!!!

20:43:37 Lisa Nielsen: Hi Paul!

20:44:30 TimeOutDad: Hi Everyone! Instead of TimeOutDad, I should have entered as Renny. 😉

20:46:20 Lisa Nielsen: It’s okay. You can be Renny the TimeOutDad 🙂

20:48:01 TimeOutDad: Sounds great.

20:54:42 TimeOutDad: Going to read a bedtime story to my boy. Be back soon!

20:57:45 Lisa Nielsen: Hi Jerry!!!!

21:01:20 Paul Allison: Welcome. Is the Livestream on?

21:01:38 amanda: it is

21:03:44 Lisa Nielsen: Hi Amanda! So glad you joined!!!

21:04:00 amanda: thankyou lisa

21:05:19 josepopoff: hello everyone, excited to be here!

21:05:31 amanda: hi jose

21:06:17 amanda: 🙂

21:06:59 Lisa Nielsen: Life is “Rad.” Make it “matter.” I like that!!!!

21:07:15 josepopoff: ha, was typing that….

21:08:13 amanda: lol

21:09:49 Jodhbir: Nice idea!

21:09:53 josepopoff: like the movie theaters idea! Wouldn´t that be pricy?

21:10:06 Lisa Nielsen: Teacher’s colleges are also often empty during the day!

21:12:36 josepopoff: I asked my school admin to buy Lisa’s book! Got a yes!

21:12:43 amanda: wow awesome

21:14:16 Lisa Nielsen: Ohhhh!!!! So excited to hear that @josepopoff. I am available to come to your school via skype or in person as well 🙂

21:14:32 Norman: hi

21:14:41 Norman: hi Lisa!

21:14:59 josepopoff: Wow, seriously!!! Thank you Lisa, I´d be honored.

21:15:20 josepopoff: Skype would be an option, I´m in Honduras, C.A.

21:16:33 Norman: just tell them to take them out

21:16:38 Norman: and turn them on

21:19:06 amanda: challenges not chores love it

21:19:14 Norman: it is a cliche

21:19:31 amanda: how so ?

21:19:41 Norman: all buzz words

21:20:24 Norman: why do we have to be credentialed at all….

21:20:31 Norman: do stuff

21:21:22 Norman: Lisa credentialing is so un innovative

21:21:49 Lisa Nielsen: Norman, I agree, but for many jobs there is a degree requirement to get in the door. Ridic!!! but necessary for now 🙁

21:21:59 Lisa Nielsen: I don’t believe in taking notes!

21:22:02 amanda: :p

21:22:19 Norman: you were just trying to learn the rules

21:22:39 Lisa Nielsen: teachers should give students notes

21:22:50 Norman: did you ever ask yourself what you wanted to learn

21:23:00 Lisa Nielsen: I think he knew how to learn, but traditional school isn’t learning

21:23:14 Norman: yes that is true

21:23:21 Norman: it is credentialing

21:23:21 Lisa Nielsen: There is a livescribe pen

21:24:20 amanda: i love that

21:24:24 Norman: students and teachers create learning together

21:24:50 Norman: the lecture method should be killed

21:25:01 Jodhbir: Agreed!

21:25:07 Norman: before we all die of powerpoint

21:25:20 Jodhbir: 😀

21:25:44 josepopoff: could we rather transform lecture method into something more interactive instead?

21:25:54 Norman: without a doubt

21:26:07 Norman: dont allow the teacher to leacture

21:26:14 Norman: ask questions

21:26:19 Norman: butt in

21:26:19 Lisa Nielsen: BTW…so glad you were able to join us Norman!!!

21:26:55 Norman: my four years of undergraduate costs 800 dollars

21:27:03 Norman: it can be done

21:27:11 Norman: and it was SUNY

21:28:06 Norman: i was never bored in college

21:28:19 Norman: nor am I now

21:28:22 Lisa Nielsen: Norman, for me worse than the cost was the waste of time

21:28:29 Lisa Nielsen: I was always bored in college

21:28:37 Norman: I was lucky that way lisa

21:28:39 Lisa Nielsen: bored, bored, bored to death

21:28:42 amanda: i agree lisa alot of school is just busy work

21:28:49 Lisa Nielsen: I wish that the work I had was real

21:28:50 Norman: because I met wonderful teachers

21:28:56 Lisa Nielsen: It was almost always fake

21:29:08 Lisa Nielsen: Norman, did you get to do real world stuff?

21:29:15 Norman: yes

21:29:24 Norman: it was the sixties:)

21:29:45 Norman: I wrote newspaper articles

21:29:50 Lisa Nielsen: I was a sprinting trooper. I did everything fast and graduated at 19 having no idea what to do next

21:30:01 Norman: read my poetry at coffee houses

21:30:07 Lisa Nielsen: Oh…I did get to write a couple real articles. That was cool

21:30:16 Lisa Nielsen: Norman, that sounds great too.

21:30:19 Norman: i worked in a steel mill to understand Marx

21:30:26 Lisa Nielsen: I was late 80s. It sucked 🙁

21:31:02 Norman: i met Bernadette Devlin

21:31:19 Norman: and marched with Caesar CHavez

21:31:24 amanda: at risk of showing my age who is that?

21:31:24 TimeOutDad: Innovation requires work. Would you say that most students prefer to be bored or lazy?

21:31:40 Lisa Nielsen: Ha. I don’t think many people experience these things today Norman.

21:31:47 Norman: no human being wants to be bored

21:31:54 TimeOutDad: It’s easier to just follow than to lead.

21:31:58 Lisa Nielsen: No one is lazy when they get to focus on passion

21:31:59 Norman: and we are not lazy

21:32:11 Norman: everyone has a passion

21:32:14 amanda: i think neither one they dont want to be lazy or bored

21:32:29 Norman: right on amanda

21:33:17 amanda: 😉

21:33:22 josepopoff: constructivism?

21:33:35 Norman: unrepentant here

21:36:44 Norman: learning is a conversation

21:37:08 Norman: between experience and those seeking it

21:37:19 amanda: learning is living and not sitting at a desk

21:37:37 Norman: there is no classroom!

21:38:16 Norman: gee where did i hear that?

21:38:47 Norman: Lisa join in, do not let these folks dominate

21:39:34 Norman: YES!

21:40:25 amanda: i agree i didnt learn anything in school either

21:41:59 amanda: i agree my child has these spelling words and what the pint of them its dumb

21:42:07 amanda: point i meant

21:42:27 Norman: read Writing Down the Bones

21:43:20 jeffmason: learning v.s. education

21:43:57 Norman: slmebody asks them what they want to know

21:45:03 josepopoff: my country has 18 states only and still don´t know all their capitals!

21:45:15 Norman: sounds like she had a helicopter mom:)

21:45:52 amanda: no she had a mother who cared

21:46:09 josepopoff: teachers never made sense of HIstory to me..

21:47:53 Norman: ask them what they want to know?

21:47:56 csansing: How do you build a learning system rather than a teaching one? A negotiating system rather than a prescribing one?

21:48:29 amanda: if you give kids what they are passionate about they will learn

21:49:05 csansing: Exactly; how do we create a system that does that?

21:49:38 amanda: we step down from so much authority and ask the students what would help you

21:50:16 csansing: I think that’s the classroom solution; I pursue it; I wonder about how to transform a school system and public education, in general.

21:50:30 Norman: just say no

21:50:35 Norman: rebel

21:50:38 amanda: love it norman

21:50:41 amanda: yes just say no

21:50:49 Norman: you might get fired

21:50:53 Norman: i did

21:50:59 TimeOutDad: If everyone rebels, there’s no longer order, right?

21:51:02 Norman: but it is what you have to do

21:51:10 Norman: that is right

21:51:23 csansing: My saying no works for us, and I’m fortunate not to be fired for how differently I teach, but my exit from the system doesn’t change the system.

21:51:39 Norman: did you know what they were lisa?

21:51:59 csansing: Sadly, I have to go. I hope y’all will contribute these ideas to #occupyedu at occupyedu.tumblr.com & occupyedu.tumblr.com/submit.

21:53:09 amanda: i think the public school doesnt want to be changed

21:53:48 Norman: why did you stop living on the beach:>

21:55:42 TimeOutDad: We blame the system, but then we need the system, too.

21:56:23 TimeOutDad: Let’s say you’re sick, matter of life and death. Wouldn’t you want a doctor who went through the system with credentials?

21:57:00 amanda: depends on which dr

21:57:19 amanda: even with credentials i have found i will not go to certain ones

21:57:58 Norman: chances are 50-50 your doctor was in the bottom half of his class

21:57:59 TimeOutDad: Definitely. But you have choices because of the system.

21:58:27 amanda: somewhat choices or the illusion of choice

21:58:30 Norman: that is a great question

21:58:35 Lisa Nielsen: TimeOutDad, doctors, get to go to real hospitals and do real work. Most credentialing doesn’t include that

21:58:36 amanda: which is what the system wants us to believe

21:58:46 TimeOutDad: Love it.

21:58:57 Lisa Nielsen: I know students that graduated with marketing degrees, but never worked on a real marketing campaign

21:59:40 Norman: learned the essence of capitalism doing my paper route 12-15

22:00:06 Norman: that job is gone forever

22:00:15 josepopoff: This is so good, unfortunately gotta go now…:(

22:00:28 josepopoff: Thank you all for a great discussion!

22:00:30 Norman: like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates

22:00:42 Norman: that is easy

22:00:46 amanda: ty jose

22:00:48 Norman: you have to eat

22:00:58 Norman: the body supports the soul

22:01:34 Norman: what was your major lisa?

22:01:42 TimeOutDad: I guess we need a system in order to rebel from it. 🙂

22:02:01 amanda: 🙂 😀

22:02:03 Norman: we just need to say no TOD

22:02:28 TimeOutDad: I would love to, Norman. But, I have a five year old that I need to feed. 😉

22:02:36 amanda: if the system would listen to us

22:02:39 Norman: @amanda where are you

22:02:55 amanda: where are you ?

22:03:01 Norman: Wash DC

22:03:12 amanda: missouri

22:03:26 amanda: where are you located timeoutdad

22:03:43 TimeOutDad: NYC

22:04:10 Norman: that is the state that issued the Mormon Extermination Order in 1839 and did not repeal it until 1976

22:04:20 amanda: awesome internet can connect us geographically

22:04:31 TimeOutDad: Definitely.

22:04:34 amanda: which state

22:04:41 Norman: Maryland

22:04:55 Norman: Missouri is the order state

22:05:09 amanda: order as in

22:05:09 Norman: I live in maryland just outside dc

22:05:33 Norman: [Norman] that is the state that issued the Mormon Extermination Order in 1839 and did not repeal it until 1976

22:05:45 amanda: i annoy our school system and the system in general

22:05:58 Norman: how long have you been at it

22:06:02 Norman: teaching

22:06:11 amanda: i dont teach

22:06:16 amanda: other than my child

22:06:17 Norman: oh what do you do

22:06:27 amanda: im a domestic engineer

22:06:35 Norman: i like that:)

22:06:39 amanda: ty

22:06:43 TimeOutDad: Hardest job, amanda!

22:06:55 amanda: defintley my child has autism

22:07:06 amanda: and i advocate for her as much as i can

22:07:07 Lisa Nielsen: Amanda is a great learning advocate!

22:07:09 TimeOutDad: Thanks, everyone!

22:07:13 amanda: aw thanks lisa

22:07:28 amanda: ty tod

22:07:35 amanda: and norman

22:07:37 Lisa Nielsen: True, true!!! She is fearless and doesn’t let the system bully her or her daughter!

22:07:42 TimeOutDad: Thanks, Lisa for recommending this! 😉

22:07:47 TimeOutDad: Keeps me on my toes.

22:07:48 amanda: yes lisa ty

22:07:48 Lisa Nielsen: Amanda also fights for play time for her daughter!!!!

22:07:53 Lisa Nielsen: Yay Amanda.

22:08:07 Lisa Nielsen: Thanks for joining TimeOutDad

22:08:10 Norman: dont miss lisa’s book!! Teaching Generation TExt

22:08:23 Lisa Nielsen: Ha. Thank you norman

22:08:33 amanda: ty lisa yes my child hasnt had any recess taken away any more

22:08:37 Lisa Nielsen: If folks are interested, you can find more info on my blog at

22:09:00 Lisa Nielsen: http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com

22:09:18 Norman: Jane McGonigal Reality is Broken is wonderful too

22:09:20 amanda: i love your blog lisa

22:09:22 TimeOutDad: Yes, the Epic Win! 🙂

22:09:27 Lisa Nielsen: Thanks Amanda 🙂

22:09:32 amanda: your welcome

22:09:40 amanda: 😀

22:10:21 Norman: I will

22:10:45 Norman: or amazon

22:11:32 Norman: lets occupy school!!!

22:11:46 amanda: i say unoccupy school

22:12:06 Lisa Nielsen: You can get Alexander’s book at www.HourSchool.com

22:12:21 TimeOutDad: Thanks!

22:12:32 Norman: bye\

22:12:36 amanda: bye

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