ThinkThankThunk

Dealing with the fear of being a boring teacher.

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A Legislative Limerick

There once was a midwestern state With school funding up for debate the teachers all feared for their jobs and got weird while innovation was pushed off the plate.

deep field
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These Misconceptions Are Keeping School in the 1960’s

I have to admit that I’m livid right now. Not at the so-called education professionals that constantly call into question the validity of Iowa BIG despite having no experience doing anything other than academia. No. I’m angry because the system of schools is based on fear—fear from parents that without the repetitive yet ineffective experience of…

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Why I Have a Great Boss

The following letter was sent by my boss, Associate Superintendent Trace Pickering to all 1,200 teachers in my school district. This is how leaders start transformative conversations: They make their position clear, they explain “what they do all day,” and they make it really clear that challenging tacit assumptions is everyone’s job. This letter is…

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The Things Iowa BIG Wonders

I’ve been reading a lot of human evolution and sociology books and papers in order to increase the base of fundamental research for some of the emergent design principals behind BIG. A few assumptions that we make have always sat well with me, but they have always seemed a bit too because-we-think-so: Questions of community size…

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mind blown
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Time, Space, and Assessment

In the words of my fellow Iowa BIG faculty, “We are no longer bound by time and space.” For me, this has always been true, but it’s finally been honored as a part of my work day! I’d like to take some time to unpack what may be the most ridiculous comment I’ve ever believed…

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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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Microsoft legacy logos
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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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