Please Share My Passion For Education!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Top 10 Free Online Learning Resources

"Enthusiasm is contagious"

TOP 10 FREE ONLINE LEARNING RESOURCES
according to:  @schink10

If what they say is true, that enthusiasm is contagious, then my goal is to (proverbially) sneeze all over the earth.  On a scale from 1-100, my enthusiasm, passion, and love for learning is a 100.  I love it.  I spend almost all of my free time learning and all of my work time (teacher) trying to ignite this enthusiasm in others. I have found, over the years, that when you are passionate about learning, students respond with more passion.  When you make learning fun, relevant, purposeful, autonomous, and rewarding, it really can be addicting to anyone.  I will continue to learn everything that I possibly can, but what is more meaningful to me, is that I will continue trying to ignite a "passion for learning" in every person that I possibly can.




These are a couple pieces of advice:
  • "Learn how to Learn" by choosing a topic you LOVE.  If that cannot be at school, then keep learning outside of school.
  • Be sure that your learning is purposeful.  If you do not understand why you would possibly need to learn something, there is not going to be much intrinsic motivation to learn it.  There are probably some things that you do not think you need to learn or do not like to learn, but explore why you need to know that.  Ask your teacher.  Ask your friends.  Ask your principal.  Ask your parents.  Sometimes, if we learn the purpose of a topic, it instantly becomes more rewarding to learn about.
  • Observe other learners.  In school there seems to be a natural "pecking order" which has already determined who is the smartest and who is the "opposite of the smartest".  This isn't true, however.  I have found that usually people who are good at learning, or successful at learning, are not necessarily smarter, but have better STRATEGIES for learning.  Keep talking to others about how they learn.  Find the way that works best for you and you will instantly become a more powerful learner.  Everyone is more intelligent than they give themselves credit for (except for my friend Don).
  • Connect with other people passionate about what you are passionate about.  This is easy these days with Twitter, Google +, forums, blogs, etc.....  You will have a whole set of close friends that you never even knew that you had.


WITH THIS BEING SAID:

I recently created a video of my TOP 10 Free Online Learning Resources for people who want to learn and learn and learn.  The problem, was that the video ended up being 22 minutes, which is too long.  Nobody wants to watch a 22 minute video in 2014.  (or read a really long blog post....sorry about that)

After receiving a suggestion from someone I look up to a TON, Jeremy Blumengarten, better known as Cybraryman or the "Librarian of the Internet" (@cybraryman1 on Twitter), I decided to create a post that shows the TOP 10 broken down into shorter videos including only on the segment for the specific website.  This way you will be able to navigate to any of the videos/sites you would like to check out.

I challenge you to learn as much as you can!

Here they are:

VIDEO 1 - This was just my introduction video to why I thought this video was necessary and also to show one website that costs money that I still believe deserves recognition, although it could not make the list because it costs money.  (Lynda.com)


#10 - Google Guru









#9 - MIT OPEN COURSEWARE








#8 - Khan Academy



WEBSITE:  www.khanacademy.org/



#7 - Changing Minds


WEBSITE:  http://changingminds.org/


#6 - Sophia.org


#5 - TED

WEBSITE:  www.ted.com


#4 - CodeAcademy




#3 Amazon (Kindle)

WEBSITE:  www.amazon.com (check out the Kindle Store)



#2 Udemy



#1 YouTube

WEBSITE:  www.youtube.com



Please comment with any questions, comments, feedback, or suggestions.

MOST IMPORTANTLY 
Please comment back with anymore free or cheap online learning resources.  I do not claim that this list is all- inclusive.  This is just my list based on my personal experience and opinion.  

What are some others?

I LOVE LEARNING!


Oliver Schinkten
Twitter @schink10
Email:  oschink@gmail.com
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LinkedIn
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Blogs:  

LEARN ON http://schinkten.blogspot.com/
COMPASSION BASED LEARNING  http://compassionbasedlearning.blogspot.com/







Saturday, January 11, 2014

EMPOWERING Student Leaders: Call to Action


A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.



CALL TO ACTION!!!

EMPOWER STUDENTS:



I need to practice what I preach.

I believe strongly that kids can make positive change in the world.  I believe that if given the time, support, and resources that students have the power to be inspirational and world-changing leaders.  Too often we have these leaders enclosed in classrooms with a ceiling called 100% on a test, quiz or worksheet.  I have never understood why more classrooms do not try to find ways for these student leaders to use their abilities and skills to make positive change in the world.

I believe that altruism can be taught.  I believe that leadership is a skill that needs to be practiced and honed.  I believe that this next generation of students, have the potential to be one of the most altruistic and strong leaders that we have seen.  I want to empower them.  I want to have them working on real-life & relevant projects.  I want to support them.  I want to find them authentic audiences.

Recently I had a highly motivated junior in high school student that wanted to take an Independent Study course.  Her goal was straightforward:  She wanted to make a difference.  She wanted to change the world.  Now, rather than have her pick up some garbage around the school or have her run the 4th food drive our school would have this year, we sat down and decided on a plan.  

I want to connect this student with other students like her from around the world.  With the amount of technology that we have these days, we are no longer limited to the walls of our school.  Over the years, I have repeatedly saw students that are frustrated because they do not have anyone around them to match their passion, enthusiasm, altruism, and motivation.  

THE PLAN:  My goal is to communicate with High School teachers from around the world to see if anyone has a student that wants to go above and beyond and help change the world.  The thought is to connect these leaders via email, social media, phone, and through possible Google Hangouts or Skype calls.  The leadership group would be a way for these students to do the following:

  • Connect via email, social media, phone, etc...
  • Have occasional meetings through Google + or Skype calls.
  • Create a blog as a way for this leadership group to share their accomplishments
  • Allow them a group of peers to brainstorm and support one another
  • Empower them to create leadership groups within their districts.
  • Collaborate together on at least one project that everyone would do.
  • Eventually "adopt" and mentor a middle school student from their district to be a leader.
  • Receive letters of recommendation & certificates for participating in this group.

I have received tremendous support from some superstar educators that I have talked with already.  The group is running.  There is a small pod of students that are already linked together.  Although I plan to oversee the group, I do not plan to do much (other than support the student at my school).  I am hoping to find some educators that will nominate a hard-working, passionate, altruistic student (9th-12th grade) with the desire to help change the world.  If anyone has two students that would like to work together from the same school, that is also acceptable, as it may make it easier for them to handle.  The nominating teacher will not have added responsibilities, other than being there to answer a question if this student has one.
Please contact me with questions, concerns, or nominations.  Even if you are an elementary or middle school teacher but know of a former student that would thrive in this group, please feel free to nominate them.  I am really hoping to get a solid group of about 20 students connected.  I think it will be a powerful experience for them, an opportunity to add to resume's and applications,  an opportunity for them to share their stories with the world, give proof that students are capable of great things,  possible opportunities to speak, and an enormous opportunity to change the world.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE contact me if you are willing to nominate someone.  All communication after that point will be done by the student in my Independent Study who is running this group.


My email address is: oliver.schinkten@oshkosh.k12.wi.us

Please contact me if you are interested.  Please show this to any friend that are teachers.  This would be a great way for you to honor a student that you believe in!



Oliver Schinkten
Twitter @schink10
Email:  oschink@gmail.com

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Blogs:  

LEARN ON http://schinkten.blogspot.com/
COMPASSION BASED LEARNING  http://compassionbasedlearning.blogspot.com/








Monday, January 6, 2014

Most Underrated TED TALK that will Impact Education Reform



Pepsi cola & spaghetti sauce are very similar to education?

"I believe that this the most underrated video with regards to education reform and transforming education.  It is not directed towards education, but the concept behind this is so extremely important towards the movement which is much needed."

I have watched this video about 5-10 times over the past few years and I cannot stop thinking about the implications that it has towards education.  I normally do not "ASK" anyone to watch a video, but in this case I am.  Please find 20 minutes to watch this video.  When you are done, let it simmer in your brain and think about how these concepts relate to education and the students that sit in the classrooms.  I think it will open the minds of many people.  I also think that it will provide an excellent way to phrase what many people are already thinking.  I strongly believe this video will benefit everyone's thinking.

We are so concerned about standardizing learning experiences and assessments that we constantly try to create cookie-cutter standards or practices that are expected to be implemented to all.  I do not think that education has done a good enough job addressing individual motivation levels, ability levels, passions, experiences, family support, or maturity. We cannot create the 'perfect way to teach' to all students.  They are all individuals with much different personalities, abilities, and experiences.  

          Malcolm Gladwell:  Choice, Happiness, & Spaghetti Sauce.  TED TALK



Comments, reflections, feedback are greatly appreciated!


Oliver Schinkten
Twitter @schink10
Email:  oschink@gmail.com

Facebook
LinkedIn

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Blogs:  

LEARN ON http://schinkten.blogspot.com/
COMPASSION BASED LEARNING  http://compassionbasedlearning.blogspot.com/




Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Education Reform - It is time to change! Now!

January 1st, 2014

We cannot keep going on like this.

I understand that school was set up for the Industrial Age in order to create compliant factory workers.  I understand that those jobs are disappearing.  After talking with over 100 community members and business owners I realize that students need to be able to communicate, collaborate, think critically and be creative.  I know that they have to get much better at technology.  The ironic thing, is that it is now 2014 and they are not required to get better at any of these things.  There are still many classes out there that consist of lectures, rote memorization, and standardized tests that measure questions at the lowest level of Bloom's taxonomy.  The internet was invented and education did not flinch.  What is happening?  I want to go to school every day and look each student in the eyes and tell them that I am doing everything I can in order for them to be successful and reach their potential.  Success and potential are not measured with grades, percentages, and class rankings.  I am sure of it.

In a world with crazy high divorce rates, college & high school dropout rates, suicide rates, escalating diagnoses of mental disorders, the breakdown of the tight-knit family, high unemployment rates, etc.... we should start looking at the problem and trying to determine a solution.  I propose that a solution may be educating people to be critical thinkers, creative problem solvers, lifelong learners, good communicators and collaborators, good listeners and question-askers.  I do not care if someone knows the 8th president of the United States, the year an ancient war was fought in, the molecular steps of photosynthesis, how to solve for x in a quadratic equation, or how to identify the plot and theme of old books that kids hate.



Take a look at a typical semester exam at a school.  What are they "assessing" our students on?  If you are an adult, how would you do on those tests?  Why?  Does it matter?

Critical thinking, creativity, altruism, the ability to "learn how to learn", enthusiasm, responsibility, organization, are all things that can be taught.  Maybe it is time we require schools to throw away the flashcards and memorization exams and start teaching these skills.

Nothing is going to get done unless you start demanding that it gets done.  I don't care if you are an administrator, teacher, parent, student, community member, business owner, or whoever..... you need to step up and demand a change in education.  If you are waiting for politicians to change education for you, good luck with that.  It isn't going to happen.  You, as an individual can help.  Together, we can make a difference.  I believe that the kids deserve this.

It is 2014.  Please do something.  If you have a counterargument I would love to hear it.  I am an open-minded person who is confused.  Please either react or act.

If there is any way that I can help, please let me know!


Oliver Schinkten
Twitter @schink10
Email:  oschink@gmail.com
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Google+ - oliver.schinkten@oshkosh.k12.wi.us
Blogs:  LEARN ON 
http://schinkten.blogspot.com/
COMPASSION BASED LEARNING - http://compassionbasedlearning.blogspot.com/