ThinkThankThunk

Dealing with the fear of being a boring teacher.

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Inviting the Public Back to Public Education

How can we prepare students for the “real world” when many of the future jobs they will tackle have yet to be created, and those that currently exist, already experience radical upheaval and elimination? The answer is to invite the public back into public education. As a rapidly changing world increases the need for authentic…

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Iowa BIG is Change Today

I’m going to see Seth Godin speak this afternoon at Iowa City’s Entrefest, and I have to admit that I feel inspired to be a change agent today; it’s been hard to maintain that lately. Running Iowa BIG has sapped nearly every ounce of energy I’ve been able to cleave from Lucky Charms and coffee…

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Public Education = Legacy Software?

Guest blog by Troy Miller, Director of Strategic Partnerships at IowaBIG.org. MIcrosoft lost me several years ago. I currently use an Android operating system running on a Samsung smartphone, leveraging Google docs. As I type, I’m enjoying my Apple Macbook Pro while blogging on WordPress. This hasn’t always been the case, and furthermore, I contemplating…

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Ready for Platinum Standard PBL?

Written by ThThTh contributor Troy Miller, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Iowa BIG. Last week I wrote about how public education needs to be saved from itself. In what might have sounded like a flippant solution (we need to fund innovation), I also referenced one specific tactic wherein we at Iowa BIG are experiencing fantastic success….

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Troy Miller
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Saving Public Education from Itself

Guest blog by Troy Miller, entrepreneur and educator. @troykmiller TechCrunch.com today wrote about the $100 million round raised by Altschool, a private school network who is taking the necessary steps to revolutionize education in California and across the US. My hat is off to them. Perhaps this is the kick in the shorts needed for public education…

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I Have to Take a Second Job to Support my Teaching Habit: Thanks #ialegis

I am the headmaster of Iowa BIG, one of the most progressive public school programs in Iowa and in the Nation. We were featured speakers at SXSW and at the PioneerBasecamp Policy Summit in DC, in just the last month. I make the salary of every other 7th-year teacher in my district, with some added…

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Just to be clear, Teaching Math is a Tire Fire Right Now

When a student comes to me and says she can’t concentrate on her projects because of how she’s doing in another one of her classes, I tend to feel a violent ambivalence. When someone is asked to prove that two trigonometric expressions are equal by using arcane identities, especially when this someone is a barely…

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Mu of Zero

What happens when you get to the bottom of a slippery slope? You end up attempting to optimize a system that has no high point. It began simply: someone, somewhere, said that they knew a few things that they were sure everyone needed to know, probably on East Coast around 1910. The list grew exponentially….

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That Study Never Happened

She picked back up flippantly, as if she hadn’t known that I was a physics teacher, “…and then we did this thing, you know, with like a, turning balance thing, and I have to use some equation, and, oh, I’m screwed, something with period or time.” I immediately flew into whiteboard mode, “Like this?!” I drew…

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How to Run an Iowa BIG: Our Space #gowhalephants

This begins a series of posts about how one might start a totally project-based, competency-driven, asynchronous schooling environment with a Creative Commons Licensed pedagogical model. We call ourselves Iowa BIG, and yes we know that sounds a bit pretentious, but hey, my official title is Headmaster Cornally, so, deal. Through our initiatives, we deliver core…

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