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Apprenticing students in the art of learning

I’m of the opinion that the apprenticeship model should be the basis for education.  This is one of the cornerstones of Anastasis philosophy, that we apprentice students in the art of learning.  The goal then, is to teach students how to be learners by modelling what it means to be a learner.  I’m not sure how one can be a teacher and not be a learner. As a young child, I was apprenticed as a learner.  My parents were masters at encouraging curiosity.  They themselves are inquirers.  They showed me what it meant to passionately pursue understanding of the world around me.  It never felt like school.  As long as I can remember, my parents have owned their own businesses.  When I was growing up, they owned and operated a kitchen remodel business.  I spent summers “playing” at work.  This was my first interaction with using a computer.  I spent hours pretending to talk on the phone to a client and then designing their kitchen using the office Apple IIe.  It was really exciting when I got to use the blue print machine in the insanely scary basement of the office.  Later, my dad started a model rocket company.  He made model rocket kits completely out of wood.  This led to an excitement about physics, making, and entrepreneurship.  My parents involved my brother and I in each part of the process.  I spent many hours sewing bags for the rockets to be packaged in.  When my brother decided that skateboarding was life, my parents started a skateboard company.  This time I learned about screen printing, graphic design, and skate culture.  My families most recent pursuit of passion is at Koostik.  My dad started this company after discovering that he could amplify sound by putting his iPhone in a Styrofoam cup.  He immediately began to tinker in the garage, using his passion for woodworking to create speakers for the iPhone that worked 100% through acoustics. This was learning at its absolute best.  It gave purpose to all of the things that I learned in school.  My parents taught me how to pursue curiosity, passion and crazy ideas.  They showed me that learning is a life long adventure. I often get dropped-jaw stares when I tell people that I started a school.  The immediate follow-up questions begin: how did you do it, what classes did you take to prepare you, what professional development on starting a school did you get, where did you find the money?  My answer is always the same, I was raised to do this.  My parents taught me how to do this by demonstrating what it means to be a learner.  They taught me how to do this by showing me how passions and ideas are pursued.  Many that I talk to consider starting a school risky or scary.  For me the scarier thing would be to sit by and watch kids go through an education system that isn’t in their best interest.  The scarier thing is to do what every one else is doing. I was raised to do this. My hope for students everywhere: that they would have teachers in their lives who would apprentice them in the art of learning. Thank you mom and dad for showing me what passionate learning looks like!   P.S.  If you haven’t seen the gorgeous work that my dad does, check out Koostik.  Each of the products is made by hand.  My dad is constantly sending me photos of new ideas he is tinkering with.  LOVE that!  Koostik has a contest that ends TONIGHT where you can enter to win product.  I saw the prize pack in person today.  The photos don’t do it justice.  Everything is gorgeous!  My dad is pretty much the master at choosing just the right piece of wood and working with the grain to really make each piece stand out as a masterpiece.  It is truly (functional) art.  Details for how to enter here.    

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Password Bird

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, Fun & Games, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 30-01-2009

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What it is: Password Bird is an extremelly simple website, but one that I love to use with my elementary students.  Password Bird helps students create a password using a few easy to answer questions.  Students enter a name that is special to them, a word that is special to them, and date that is special to them.  Password Bird takes these and turns it into a randomly generated password.  The ideas is that the password generated will be something easy for students to remember but hard for others to guess.

 

How to integrate Password Bird into the classroom:  In my computer classroom I hear the words “I don’t know what my password should be” a lot.  Password Bird is the perfect place to send these kids.  It helps them create a password quickly that should be fairly easy for them to remember.   Sometimes Password Bird generates great passwords, and sometimes the passwords are not as strong.  I have used Password Bird to generate passwords that we then dissect and decide if it is a strong password or not.  

 

Tips:  Not every password generated on Password Bird will be a strong password, usually this is due to the words that the students chose that make it a weak password.  Use the opportunity to discuss what makes it a particularly strong or weak password. 

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Password Bird in your classroom.

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