A recent interesting infographic on the history of Superman caught my attention. This may seem a little bizarre, but it got me thinking about the similarities between the evolution of this great superhero and the state of education. Check out the infographic then come back and let me rant for a few minutes.
I love how every generation is treated to an updated and more relevant version of our favorite superhero, Superman. It was always so exciting for me to tune in to another episode to see if today was the day that Clark Kent finally spilled the beans about his true identity. With all the changes that Superman has endured since the 1930s, some things continue to remain constant: His actions are always rooted in his deep belief in doing what's right and good.
It reminds me of teaching and how we also need to evolve. Although Superman almost meets his untimely demise on several occasions, he is mostly able to escape death in some twist of superpower and fate. Even when Superman DID finally succumb (in 1992), the writers found a way to bring him back and tell the story in new and more interesting ways.
Like Superman, in education there have been cycles of life for a variety of
Good always wins over evil, right? or does it?
making educators challenge their own sense of ethics; causing good people to do bad things. The litigious nature of parents forces policy makers to base decisions on what will be best for school systems, avoiding what's actually best for students.
I fear that things are going to get worse before they get better. Perhaps we need Superman to really die in order to realize what he was to us. Perhaps we need to have education bottom-out, before something drastic is done to bring it back to life. And yet, I worry that it will be too late.
My favorite explainers, Lee and Sachi LeFever from Common Craft,* have this to say about explaining: "No matter what you do for work, you are an explainer. Part of your job is helping others understand ideas - it’s a fundamental part of being a professional. We explain ideas every day - we just never think about how we do it. Our explanations just... happen."
Or do they? Writing things down is one bit of advice LeFever offers. But, he agrees that sometimes writing things down isn't enough. That must be why he wrote this book.
I want to share one way you can visually explain something when the person isn't right there with you in the room.
Are you a Skitch user? If not, it's probably because you haven't heard of it, or you're a PC user and didn't know there is now a PC version, too! From the creators of Comic Life, Skitch will change the way you do business.
Skitch is available for Mac, Windows (XP, 7, and 8), iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Android. (For your information, Comic Life is also now available for Windows.)
Call me a geek, but I love, love, love Skitch! Skitch is a free (and very easy) tool that allows you to grab and annotate screenshots, documents, photos, and even PDFs now. You can draw attention to particular parts of your photo/document using the arrow, shape tool, or drawing tool. Take a look at my screenshot below.
Have you ever tried to grab a screenshot of a drop-down menu of a webpage for tutorial purposes? As soon as you click on another program, the drop-down usually disappears. With Skitch's Timed Screen Snap tool, you can maneuver around your desktop or webpage, or document before the screenshot is taken.
Once you have your snap, you can just drag the little tab at the bottom onto your desktop and send it via email or upload it to Evernote, Google Docs, Dropbox, Twitter, Facebook, and more. You can even choose the file format.
You can also upload or sync to your (also free) Evernote account and use the URL to share with others. Sometimes, I prefer to share the URL rather than the actual image, keeping email attachments to a minimum.
It's nice to know, you can always go back to any Skitch document and edit your markups.
Check out Shannon Miller, Teacher Librarian Extraordinaire, who penned this post about using Skitch and Evernote with her 2nd grade students.
What's your favorite way to use Skitch?
*Disclosure: Common Craft has provided me with a free membership to their premium service with the understanding of no obligation on my part. If, and when, I reference this service in my posts, it is my personal choice with no benefit to me other than providing a valuable service to my readers within the context of my posts.
My good friend, Angela, is passionate about helping people understand that they matter. It is not enough to say it, people must understand how their contributions really matter. Please take a few moments to read her call to action and if you are moved to help this movement, please donate $5.00 or more.
During a 2011 Ted Talk titled “You Matter,” Angela Maiers spoke of how these two words can change lives and change our world, if we understand them and we leverage them in the right way.
Students everywhere reacted powerfully to this call to action, completing jaw-dropping quests to address problems in our world. These range from sending a crate load of books to a school in Ghana to raising money to build wells for communities without water, to publishing YouTube videos that save lives and creating Facebook support groups for students in crisis.
Choose2Matter was created in response to this breathtaking reaction. It invites the world to make “mattering” a new way of life. The first embodiment of Choose2Matter is the Quest2Matter, a five-week, student-focused initiative. We’re reaching out to millions of students, seeking to inspire them to pursue a quest to change our world.
The Quest2Matter is much more than a “school project.” Many innovative businesses have embraced the opportunity to help us show students that they matter:
With this support from the business community, students will learn to use digital media to become fully informed, experience the power of learning from mentors, and adeptly use modern means of communication to effect change in our world.
This is an unprecedented opportunity to unlock the potential of students to think entrepreneurially to solve problems that break their heart. Because of the scale that social media enables and the extraordinary reach of our collective networks, we believe the Quest can reach, and inspire, millions of students.
How You Can Help
Accelerate the Quest2Matter
Help Us Raise Money
Help Us Increase Participation
Help Us Spread the Word Through Social Media
Resources to Share
Sample Tweets (Just click and Tweet away!)
Click to Tweet this: I made a donation to help Quest2Matter unlock the potential of students to change the world. http://StudentLauncher.org/fdab
Click to Tweet this: Please make a donation to help Quest2Matter unlock the potential of students to change the world. http://StudentLauncher.org/fdab
Click to Tweet this: The Quest2Matter will facilitate students' learning from mentors to solve our world’s problems. http://choose2matter.org/2013/03/24/donate-to-the-quest2matter/
Click to Tweet this: The Quest2Matter will inspire students to pursue a quest to change our world. http://choose2matter.org/2013/03/24/donate-to-the-quest2matter/
Click to Tweet this: Innovative companies embrace the Quest2Matter as an opportunity to reach & inspire students. http://choose2matter.org/2013/03/24/donate-to-the-quest2matter/
Sample Facebook Status Updates
I made a donation to help Quest2Matter unlock the potential of students to change the world. Please consider doing the same. http://StudentLauncher.org/fdab
Please make a donation to help Quest2Matter unlock the potential of students to change the world. http://StudentLauncher.org/fdab
The Quest2Matter is an exciting initiative that will facilitate students' learning from mentors to solve our world’s problems. Teachers, tell your students about it! http://choose2matter.org/2013/03/24/donate-to-the-quest2matter/
The Quest to Matter will inspire students to pursue a quest to change our world. This is an initiative that all educators should support. http://choose2matter.org/2013/03/24/donate-to-the-quest2matter/
Innovative companies are embracing the Quest2Matter as an opportunity to reach & inspire the next generation of world leaders. http://choose2matter.org/2013/03/24/donate-to-the-quest2matter/
A new viral video by the geniuses at ThinkModo is making the rounds. It's actually a promo for the movie Dead Man Down disguised as a videotaped prank. Watching it made me think about human behavior and why some witnesses to crime do nothing. Nobody can say for sure how he/she would react in such a situation, but I'm sure most people would like to think that they would do something heroic. Anything.
Both workplace and schoolyard bullying usually involves common underlying principles: the desperate grab for control by an insecure inadequate person, the exercise of power through the humiliation of the target. School-age bullies, if reinforced by cheering kids, fearful teachers, or ignoring administrators, grow up as dominating type people. If it works for them, there is no reason to change. At work as adults, they do what they do best--bully others. An unknown percentage of workplace bullies have a lifelong record of disrespecting the needs of others.If you think you are being bullied at work, consider taking this is Workplace Aggression Research Questionnaire developed by researchers from the State University of New York in New Paltz and Wayne State University. Occasional insults don't count, but if you feel you are a victim of consistent bullying, you can take action.
We can all agree that bullying is awful and should be stopped. It's easy for adults to tell children how to react in bullying situations, including those where the child is a mere witness to such events. Right?
What about when witnessing other adults being bullied? (tweet this)
Are you guilty of using euphemisms intended to trivialize bullying and its impact on bullied people: Incivility, Disrespect, Difficult People, Personality Conflict, Negative Conduct, or Ill Treatment?
Are you guilty of ignoring the "office jerk" who dominates the conversation and/or makes sarcastic, or belittling comments to others who try to contribute? Is it ok to just roll your eyes when in the presence of the "office jerk" who is putting someone down in front of us?
In a Workplace Bullying Institute study (2012), participants who claimed they were bullied at work were asked why workplace bullying happens. "Coworkers stand idly by & fail to stop it" was ranked fourth. It is understandable that workers not only fear for their own jobs, but are often worried about the bully turning on them. Does this make it OK to remain silent?
“First they came…” is a famous statement attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the fact that too many German people failed to act following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets.
"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me."
Have you ever been the victim of workplace bullying? Are YOU a workplace bully? What are your thoughts on this?
Please leave your comment here.
More Recent Articles