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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Education Nation and The Human School

This article by Laurie Borland was first published on

MSNBC's Teacher Town Hall meeting, on Saturday, kicked off this week’s 2nd Annual Education Nation Summit. The town hall meeting was great for best practices and making teachers feel like they have a voice. Brian Williams, Tamron Hall and Rehema Ellis did a great job making it look like a prime time venue. Melinda Gates did a wonderful job discussing the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and its role to help give teachers a voice to elicit new pedagogy. With the use of technology, like the Teacher Wall that was a result of last year’s 1st Summit, they can get a better handle on what teachers are saying with real time opinions, best practices and ideas on improving our education system.

One thing I was disappointed with in regards to the guests at the Teacher Town Hall meeting was that I didn't see any government representatives; they were to come later in the week. Every town hall meeting I have seen is always joined with a government official of sorts.

My main concern is what really is going to come out of this annual meeting? At first, I was quite concerned, but as I watched the media throughout this past week, I have seen how others are beginning to interact and discuss topics with the use of humanism and results orientated based pedagogy that have already taken place around the country. We need to continue to strategize and find what works for the children in each of our communities, but that flexibility needs to exist so that the job can be done right.

We seem to be getting closer to a solution. We need to pull together and make our schools a place where we look at the whole child and remember that they are human. A child who is not happy is not going to learn well, if at all. The Hawn Foundation, founded by Goldie Hawn, believes this as well.

We need to find passionate teachers to do this prestigious job. We need to treat them as the professionals that they are. We need to make sure they are getting the support they need for their classroom in regards to technology and budget money so they can serve the students as effectively as possible. We need to provide the proper salary so that they can get the continuing education training they need to advance their mind and pass the innovative idea's they learn along to their students, allowing them to be the teacher they were meant to be. At times, we are going to find teachers who aren't doing the job as we expected and there should be a policy for that. Our children cannot be put at risk because a teacher is unable to do the job of effective teaching.

The schools of the future will be called the human schools. As a human race, we have always pondered questions like "To be or not to be", we have learned to evolve through language, introspection and problem solving, but we have also learned to use the higher levels of processing such as self-awareness, rationality and wisdom. We continue to evolve every day. We need to take what we have learned and make our education system a place of growth and development for the human child so that they are able to use their critical thinking skills to build a brighter tomorrow.

Today, I feel confident we are moving in the right direction. Many people are standing up with empathy and passion for this institution we call education. We are fighting the battle and beginning to win....but there is a long road ahead. Today, we are moving from not only just talking about issues but to strategizing and implementing these new ways of teaching while considering the whole human child....that alone supports continuing evolution. So please, stand up and let your voice be heard, but be prepared to support your statements and get dirty trying to rebuild the schools of the future because that is what being human is all about.
You +1'd this publicly. UndoHappiness, or the state of being happy, is a human emotional condition. Humans have a highly developed brain, capable of abstract reasoning, language, introspection, and problem solving. This mental capability, combined with an erect body carriage that frees the hands for manipulating objects, has allowed humans to make far greater use of tools than any other living species on Earth. Other higher-level thought processes of humans, such as self-awareness, rationality, and sapience,[7][8][9] are considered to be defining features of what constitutes a "person".[10][11]

Friday, September 23, 2011

Facebook: The Power of One Rocks the School House

Article first published as The Power of One Rocks The School House on Technorati.

“Sometimes the slightest things change the directions of our lives, the merest breath of a circumstance, a random moment that connects like a meteorite striking the earth. Lives have swiveled and changed direction on the strength of a chance remark.” ― Bryce Courtenay 

 The mere essence of what Bryce is talking about is what Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg envisions for his "Beast".  No, I'm not talking about his dog....that was showcased on Mark's Timeline at the F8 conference.  I'm talking about his invention that now some 800 million people use.  It's been recorded that in a single day, 1/2 a billion people use Facebook.  Now that is a beast. Mark's vision for the new Timeline is a serendipitous experience.

You can see what the power of one did in the history books. Soon, you can not only witness what the power of one will be in our future, but you can take part in affecting the future of others with the way your actions are grouped in Facebook's new one page summary of who you are and what you are doing on Timeline. With the introduction of Timeline, Ticker, the New Open Graph and the new developing apps at this year’s F8 conference, you actions on Facebook can be a vehicle of change to the power of 100,000 or who knows how many more.

The new one page Timeline will not only recap your life history on Facebook but allow you to interact in a new way with your friends.  Your cover page includes a small icon of your profile pic, but also a large image of what you feel represents you.  Mark's image was that of his dog, Beast and his girlfriend, Pricilla Chan. In the center will be a group of tiles that show what you are doing.  To the other side will be your Timeline recapping your life story. Uncle Zuck, as I heard one of the hosts call him, wants you to express who you are on this page and make it feel like home. Let me remind that you can bucket the type of friends that you have (close friends, family, acquaintances, subscribers) you can connect and share on a more personal level to those you care about and on a more professional level with those that you network with.

On that note, let's just say this F8 conference was filled with warm fuzzy feelings of babies, weddings, pets, Andy Sandberg, the fact that Mark loves to cook and even the topic of tears over Mario Bro's ticker on finding his first mushroom---o.k. Mark mentioned that he was brought to tears when he saw it come across the ticker.

The power of one is all it takes for change.  It's been happening century after century and will continue but this time with the use of Zuck Dawg's Law: The digital application of nouns and action verbs in the world of business that opens a porthole to a new way of understanding your friends, acquaintances and customers and allows for potential growth and discovery of the user. Let's just say Hollywood better get busy with a new version of School House Rock because Facebook rocked the house at F8.

I raise my glass to the future of pioneering the social way we do business as well as the way we stay connected with friends on the platform of Facebook. Clink! Clink!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Facebook, Utube, Eddie Murphy, U.S. Postal Service

Today's blog title is a list of the top searches on the yahoo buzz log.  I'm surprised to see that Starbucks isn't one of the top ranks (I wish it was...because that would mean people are talking about our nations issues at hand and trying to help resolve our national situation by taking action and having their voice heard).   And that Facebook continues to rank #1.....I guess Facebook has become a monster brand in human "essentials" just like Kleenex and least in the the marketing sense. 

So today's blog is about courage.  I have so many people who read my blog, yet they never comment.....they just read it and move on.  If this is your first time on my blog.....congrats to you.  This blog is a forum to help make our world a better place......but that only happens if you make a change and take action.  Today's blog is an "open mic".  It's your chance to tell me what's on your mind.....I know what's on my mind.....but I'm not a mind reader.....and I want to help your voice be heard.  It seems that many of my readers just refuse to utilize the courage tool in their toolbox......the question is.....not if you have courage.....but if you are willing to pull it out and take a stand and enable your voice. (by the can alter your name when you sign up on yourself anonymous or what ever you want.....your name is important, but your voice is more important.)

 So let me know your thoughts.  I like to hear what my followers are doing in response to my blog.....have you done anything different? (Googled more current events so as to become more informed about our nation, RSVP'd to Howard Schultz' tele town hall meeting.....wrote your congressman/woman?, done a science project with your child.  Let me know something......even if  it is that you plan on doing something, what topics you would like to be discussed on this blog or if you agree with my opinions.  You see.... feedback is essential to me.....your feedback becomes a form of payment.....because yes, I do this work for free.  By clicking on the ad's on my blog, I can make money, but in one month I have made $0.03, no....that isn't a typo.  If I don't see anyone interacting with the blog.....then my work is for nothing and the future of my blog hangs in the balance..... it worth taking out some of your courage and letting others know what you think? or am I just wasting my time?  If you're reading this....take it as a challenge to summon up the courage to leave some kind of "payment" for me....I mean even poor musicians that play roadside get feedback through the coins and bills placed in their instrument case.  Get a glass of wine....sit down and think about what matters to you.....STAND up....your voice means a can change the course of "our" future.  So come on....let me hear your voice.  Ciao for now.  L
Who 2Be 2Day 2Change 2Morrow

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

5 Stars for Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz

A long shot.....could be construed as a shot across the full court as the last few seconds of the clock expire to try and win the game.  A long shot....could be a hole in one drive down the fairway.   A long shot could be catepulting Yuri Gagarin into space.  Or, a long shot could be Howard Schultz's attempt to make a difference in our world, as Joe Nocera of the New York Times describes it.  Joe goes on to ask the it worth it?  I won't tell you his answer.  You can conjure up your own hypothesis as to what kind of a long shot is worth it.

Starbucks has been in the line of fire many times, but this time, I applaud Mr. Schultz in his attempt to DO SOMETHING about America's future....even he knows it's not all about sipping Carmel Mocchiato's as you wait for the train or while you catch up on the latest and greatest book club read at Barnes and Noble.  (aren't they excited about Borders demise)

No, even he knows there is something more to life.  We all have the power to affect, not just our future, but the next 7 generations.....(come on all you tree huggers, myself included, haven't you ever read the back of the 7th generations products?  Their mission is to to inspire a revolution that nurtures the health of the next seven generations)  Join the revolution.  Out of the mouth of an all American Baseball Hall of fame'r' (and first African American Baseball player and announcer).....Life is not a spectator sport.  If  you are going to spend your whole life in the grand stand just watching what goes on, in my opinion your wasting your life.  Jackie RobinsonJoin Howard TONIGHT at 7:30EST/4:30PST.  All you CEO's, corporate associates, political contributors and yes, you average American....take a stand.  Ciao for now. Who 2Be 2Day 2Change 2Morrow

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Labor Day Oxymoron

The word labor is defined by work....hard work.  The first Monday in September is reserved for all to take a day and remember our countries workers, those that make a difference for the communities we live in, those who work hard.  I believe that this is a good thing.  We all need a little R & R.....a day to honor all the hard work we do. 
What exactly do we do?  I mean....everyone is busy these days.  When we work at our job.....we are always busy (or at least many of us are)  Being busy doesn't mean being effective.  I think we all need to question ourselves when it comes to the labor we do.....maybe that's where the saying "work smarter, not harder" is derived.  Think about it.
Bottom line.....EVERYONE needs to rethink what it means to labor. What should you be laboring over right now that you are choosing to hunger or those hungering in your community, your countries government representatives and policies or your local government representatives and policies? Don't get wrapped up in debates. What does a debate do? You need action to make a solution....flapping your gums about your beliefs doesn't get anyone anything......
Below are some definitions about labor that I found on-line (my commentary added in bold).
day labor: Unskilled labor paid by the day (hmmm....why are we paying someone unskilled?  Is this the definition of minimum wage worker? These unskilled day laborers are the people my husband has to make work.....they don't want to come to work or do anything that resembles didn't used to be that way....remember the cotton pickers, fruit gatherers, ditch diggers?  My husband says that Mexicans are the best worker (no bias, just truth)....they want to work and make money and have great work ethic....We need to redefine day labor: Unskilled workers willing to learn a skill and work hard...American day laborer take note from the Mexican work force....they are the ones taking your jobs.....because they are willing to labor.

direct labor: Labor involved in production rather than administration, maintenance, and other support services.  (Let's remind the government of this definition)

labor camp: A prison camp in which a regime of hard labor is enforced (Corporate America---o.k...hear me out.... think about how people are being pushed for the almighty dollar.  Push someone for personal growth and from that will come the want to work hard.  Corporate America needs to think beyond the profit and think about profiting for the true greater good not only of the world, but of their work force)

labor force: All the members of a particular organization or population who are able to work, viewed collectively ( to work....just because you are able to work doesn't mean that you will exert energy to do labor work.....So, should we determine our labor force just by being able to work or by those with work ethic?)

labor pain: One of the recurrent pains felt by a woman during childbirth. (a recurrent pain....this makes it sound like a rug burn where pain keeps recurring....try pushing an 8lb child through a 2 inch opening....and then we can talk recurring pain) 

labor party: A political party formed to represent the interests of ordinary working people (to represent....don't we want and need more than just representation.  Anyone can be represented at a gathering by just attending....just being there means someone from your organization is represented)

labor market: The supply of available workers in relation to available work (again...just because you are able....doesn't mean you are willing....Where there is a will, there is a way.  We need willing and able.....Where do we get willing and able.?....from our American schools.....we need to help teach work ethic back into our labor market) 

labor union: An organized association of workers, often in a trade or profession, formed to protect and further their rights and interests ( seems today's unions are to protect from hard labor and ensure long hours of relaxation, time off with lots of benefits for non intensive labor....I'm not sure.  Do you remember The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair?  The union was there to help the worker who was subjected to unsanitary working conditions and long hours  that were harmful to their health.  Do the unions represent the worker for the same reasons today?  Maybe society needs to review where we are going and where we have been and rethink the unions purpose. (not to say that unions aren't needed when used in the right context and for more than just blue collar labor----I digress)

slave labor: Labor that is coerced and inadequately rewarded, or the people who perform such labor. (did you see that carrot dangling?.......I have been chasing it for quit some time and can't seem to get it)
Take action.  Wipe some sweat off your brow for a greater cause.  Don't get involved in politics....get involved in making a difference in a cause that matters to you and those around you.  Ciao for now! Who 2Be 2Day 2Change 2Morrow