Kids Fulfilling their Dreams NOW!

Not only the traditional educational system but our whole culture relates to kids more as potential than actual. Beings who may want to grow up to be SOMETHING, but for the moment are by implication NOTHING.

One of the awesome things about Agile Learning Centers is that kids don’t have to wait to get real about who they are, they can start doing/being/having it now.

After going to the Museum of the Moving Image in NYC and playing these big multi-player games (meaning cabinets with controls for 8 – 10 players), they talked about them for weeks afterward. Our makerspace facilitator said, “Your know you could make your own game if you want.” And suddenly Game Team was born.

Answers are Truly no Better than Questions

Stated more clearly — the answers you have are limited to the quality of the questions you asked.

This is a way bigger deal than we think.

Huge sign says Society for Asking Stupid Questions. Customer asks

You see… Our culture, our institutions, and our educational system all teach us that it’s very important to have the right answers. The people with the right answers are the powerful ones.

Well, there’s a big hitch in that equation. Having the right answers to stupid questions still leaves you with stupid answers.

Continue reading Answers are Truly no Better than Questions

Hacking my Productivity

I just responded to Tomis’ post in his Agile Learning Center blog about how his time and work is structured. It’s a part of his own practice in the Learning Cycle we talk about in ALCs (Intend –> Create –> Reflect –> Share).  So he’s reflecting on his work and sharing what he’s seeing so others can learn from it and be connected to him in his process.

I’m also trying to tune my work practices a bit, and have a new hack that I just responded to him about, so following his lead, I’m also going to share it here.  Besides, I need a place I can put the actual image. 🙂
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Those Kids and Their Darn Gadgets (grumble…grumble)

I consistently hear these sorts of complaints a lot from parents, grandparents, and random adults on Facebook bemoaning the decline of a sort of basic decency among today’s youth.

  • “Kids today are addicted to being on their damn electronic devices.”
  • “Kids don’t even learn proper spelling or grammar with their stupid text speak.”
  • “Video games and smartphones are like crack for young minds.”
  • “Kids today aren’t learning necessary social skills since they won’t pull their noses out of their devices.”

Most are said by folks who are very well-intentioned, really caring for the kids and wishing the best for them. But I am so sick of hearing this kind of blind and backward obliviousness to what is probably the most important type of skills and literacy for children today.

Continue reading Those Kids and Their Darn Gadgets (grumble…grumble)

GameShifting tools for Group Self-Facilitation

This weekend I’m facilitating the community retreat at Quaker Intentional Village Canaan and Eric Harris-Braun and I just customized a GameShifting Board for Quaker communities to use during the retreat.  I’ve watched GameShifting perform magic with groups for kids and adults alike. So far, we’re off to a bit of a rough reception when introduced this evening, but I’m still hoping it will play out well in use tomorrow.

This had me revisit, revise and update some of our GameShifting Documentation and parts of the Agile Facilitator Training Manual.  So, I’m going to post some highlights here.

Here’s the layout plan for the Quaker Gameshifting Board I made. (I still need to take photos of the real one we made.)

QIVC GameShifting Board

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An Explosion of Writing!

[[cross-posted from Arthur’s personal blog]]

I’m painfully aware of the gap between how much value and insight I’ve been experiencing in the work that I’ve been doing, and how much I’ve been sharing and expressing that value in ways that others can access it.

One of the central principles in Agile Learning Centers is that in today’s age, learning (2.0) isn’t complete until shared. There’s a whole learning cycle: intention, creation, reflection, & sharing.  Like all natural cycles it can get fractally convoluted at times, but that it’s important to develop our ability to acknowledge and consciously participate in each part of the cycle. I can definitely see where my participation in the SHARING phase has been constrained to interpersonal conversations, and the lid needs to get blown off so that I can complete a deeper cycle of learning by sharing more effectively on a larger scale.

I’m committed to having a personal breakthrough in this domain and becoming a much more reliable writer, poster, and general sharer of insights and value… no longer leaving it to gather moss in between my ears.

In the spirit of this, and in camaraderie with other friends (including students) who are writing every day for NaNoWriMo, I commit to write and post every day in November. I will be posting each entry in my personal blog, even if it is really an addition to the Ceptr Apocalypse, my Agile Learning Center blog, the Emerging Leader Labs web site, or whatever.

Even if I have to share something that is not fully polished or finished. The point is to share, share, share.

So… it starts now!

Reflections on Convening an ALF Training

[[ cross-posted from ALF Summer 2014]]

Facilitating this fast, intensive, and immersive event has brought surprises both in the form of challenges and blessings.

Our interpersonal bonding and connection happened quickly and pretty effortlessly. The “If you really knew me…” exercise helped us move into a space deep authenticity and vulnerability. The people who missed our first morning seemed less able to be vulnerable with the group for the whole first week.

One challenge we faced was avoiding getting pulled into abstract tangents where people want to solve theoretical problems for imaginary children in some Utopian educational setting. We may have lost about 20% of our group work time to these sidetracks, and I intend to be much more diligent about interrupting those discussions more quickly. Luckily, things moved quickly into actual practice with the kids at the camp, and the abstractions have largely been replaced with actual relationships with children.

Continue reading Reflections on Convening an ALF Training