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  • Writer's pictureElliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF 3.15.2024

“Are you with me now” A J Ryder



David Gersten, executive director and founder of Arts, Letters and Numbers (ALN), and I have spent who knows how long talking about how ALN is a broader vision of learning. Here all sorts of craftspeople from the performing arts to the trades are working in a community where these ‘pathways’ are side by side and youth who come to learn and work there can move into different work and change their direction in natural ways. In a place like ALN you can move freely into another pathway because you personally made the connections to it by working alongside craftspeople. As a B-Unbound site, it is here we can take our blinders off and have a broader vision of how we learn and how decisions about pathways are made more naturally.

  

Future of Learning Council – No Backsliding

 

My trip to the Future of Learning Council in Lansing, Michigan with 70 superintendents and deputies turned out to be well worth the travel. We had a full day using both Leaving to Learn and Learning to Leave as guides. This was their idea not mine and it worked really well. Turns out, this group has really big plans to do a statewide initiative in education on what is now student driven real world learning. As a support, what I did was try to ensure they go far enough and not to get caught up in Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and regulations where most backslide into the place they want to leave.

 

Here are a few things that resonated with the group that they flipped on:

 

·       Student driven rather than student centered.

 

·       Going from the edge to center rather than starting at their center          and trying to get to the edge. New ways emerge at the edge, not          the center.

 

·       Do and know

 

·       Concrete to abstract

 

·       Teaching being subordinate to learning

 

&

 

The IBPLC and ImBlaze were big hits.

 

Also, there were university people there interested in following up with us on IBPLC.

 

 

 

One of my biggest complaints about the age we live in is filling out online registration forms. I just can’t do it without making mistakes or interpreting a question they ask incorrectly. I always seem to put the onus on myself but sometimes I get upset and blame the people who made the online form. Turns out I’m not the only one. Starting last year, the US DOE tried to revise and simplify the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid known as the FAFSA form. This revision was to make it easier for students to fill out and consequently inform students and colleges about their financial aid package in a timelier way or, so they thought. Instead what happened was that the simplification process not only turned into a bureaucratic and engineering nightmare but it looks like students will not get their financial aid packages from colleges on time and therefore will not have the time to make decisions about what college to go to. There are loads of unknowns here and it is a terrible situation compounded by how this impacts the lives of students in this graduating class especially those furthest from opportunity. Disasters like this are yet another example of the impact technology can have at scale when things go wrong. The old adage, measure twice cut once is something we seem to forget in our rush to make things more efficient and less costly. Once again, who bears the brunt of the mistake, the producer or the consumer?




 It’s people we’re making/repairing not just the objects

In previous TGIF’s I’ve written a great deal about repair and fabrication as antidotes and as additions to the pre and post use of AI. Both repair and fabrication can do loads to give life meaning and meaning to life. The documentary The Chisel Are Calling came out a few years ago and last Sunday at the Academy Awards the documentary, The Last Repair Shop won for Best Short Documentary. I hope everyone gets a chance to watch it. No giveaways here but this film demonstrates that by repairing an object you not only repair yourself but also the person you gift it to. Next week, I’ll be in Florence, not the one in Italy but in lovely Florence, South Carolina with Crishell and Charlie at a statewide CTE conference that will hopefully give Harbor Freight Fellows and real world learning a big lift. I’ll be sure to reference both these films so we begin to see our past ways of making and knowing in our future as New Ways, New Forms and New Measures.

 

Next Monday, I’m also doing a Masterclass for a group called Catapult that Pam Roy made introductions to. Their videos are really well produced and they have a pretty large educational reach. If all goes well, I’m hoping others in BPL do something similar with them.


Here’s a story for St. Patrick’s Day. A commemoration album done as a joint effort of Irish, Mexican and American musicians called St Patricio. This album brings the historical bonds of Mexico and Ireland together. Album producer Ry Cooder stated, "I was never taught this in Los Angeles public schools." Chieftains, Paddy Moloney stated, "It's not right that such an event took place and that it's not in the history books,"

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

 

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