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Keynote Presentation - Dale Stephens
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Keynote Presentation - Dale Stephens


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  • I left school in 5th grade
  • unschooling is a type of self-directed learning
  • Unschooling is a self-directed form of homeschooling. John holt, an educator from NYC coined the term. Through the 1970s he ran a magazine called Growing Without School. It was delivered to home in a brown paper bag as though one wouldn’t want the mailman to see what you were getting in the mail.
  • worked on political campaigns
  • organized collaborative learning groups
  • helped build a library
  • went to conferences
  • the cost of education is skyrocketing -- not just in the US, but also in the UK
  • the cost of said education results in students taking on astronomical debt
  • in the US, student loan debt outpaced credit card debit
  • has topped 1 trillion dollars
  • all this has lead to speculation about an education bubble -- will it pop, just like the housing bubble? one thing to note: student loan debt is UNFORGIVEABLE in the case of bankruptcy
  • if college were preparing its grads for success 22% wouldn’t be working jobs that don’t require a degree
  • we’re having out more and more As. and no, we aren’t getting smarter.
  •   Academically Adrift found that 36% of students showed no improvement in critical thinking, complex reasoning, or writing, after four years of college and less that half of students surveyed had taken a class that required more than 20 pages of writing over the entire semester.   
  • At college, life was at parties. I recall before I left, a student asked me over dinner, “Aren’t you going to miss the beer and girls?” I responded, “Nope, I’m more interested in champagne and guys.” The idea that learning should happen at college was considered absurd. If universities stopped issuing credentials, half of my fellow students would be gone by tomorrow morning.
  • Control group classrooms were taught in traditional methods: lectures, homework, etc. The experimental classrooms has peer review groups where students helped each other. This was in grades 1 and 2. At the end of 2 years, 75% of kids in the control group were spelling correctly on average while the peer-review classrooms were spelling 87% correctly on average.
  • College students were asked to play a game of labyrinth. Reader + Dollinger 1982 All students were asked to get the ball thru the maze as quickly as possible. 1/2 the students were also asked to set a timer, effectively giving the students a deadline. After 10 mins, the experimenter returned for all students and engaged them in another task, then left them for another 8 minutes instructing them to do as the please. 50% of those without the deadline continued playing the game whereas less than 1/3 with the deadline continued.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Ha c k in g YourEducation D a le J .S te p he ns
    • 2. I’m Dale
    • 3. mom
    • 4. source: John Stephens
    • 5. photo of parents source: John Stephens
    • 6. unschooling AGency
    • 7. summer hill3 million copies 1960-1973
    • 8. picture of book like THE HOMEWORK MYTH
    • 9. Homeschool ≠ Unschooling
    • 10. Do we trust people’s innate capacity to be curious?
    • 11. Unschooling > Public School
    • 12. picture of schoolI should also make it clear that weunschoolers all at one time or another triedout elements of school.
    • 13. Could I get into university? College admissions
    • 14. Zinch LOGO
    • 15. Hendrix Logo
    • 16. Accepted MOVIE cover
    • 17. “After a long life, and 30 years inpublic schools, I’ve concluded thatgenius is as common as dirt. Wesuppresses genius only because wehaven’t yet figured out how tomanage a population of educatedmen and women.”-John Taylor Gatto
    • 18. W o rk i n g-class ch i ld re nle arn i n g o u tsi d e o f sch o o l—te rm e d i n th e stu d y ash o m e sch o o le rs—outpe rforme d u p p e r class-ch i ld re n i n sch o o l o n th e i rA le ve ls an d G C S E s.
    • 19. picture of mom @ College graduation
    • 20. picture of california schools
    • 21. options and Dan Ariely organ donors
    • 22. Source: US Department of Education
    • 23. $27,000ge debt upon gradu Source: US Department of Education
    • 24. credit card debt
    • 25. o e rln oas n t io d lr il l
    • 26. But there’s more!
    • 27. Source: Chronicle of Higher Education
    • 28. 36%showed no improvement36%
    • 29. path
    • 30. source: qwrrty
    • 31. What about the beer and girls? source: Tyler Driscoll
    • 32. I prefer guys and champagne.source: Tyler Driscoll
    • 33. source: vgm8383
    • 34. decentralization
    • 35. What does school What does school provide? provide?
    • 36. Knowledge
    • 37. L e c tu re s fre e o n lin e
    • 38. 18 m i n u t e t a l k s
    • 39. V id e o s le s s o n s
    • 40. library.nuF re e te x tb o o k s
    • 41. Quora quora -k n o w le d g e
    • 42. à la c a r t ete xtb o o k s
    • 43. udacityf r e e o n lin e c ours e s
    • 44. Community
    • 45. f in d m e n t o r s
    • 46. C r e a t e o n lin e c ours e s
    • 47. c o m m u n it y le a r n in g
    • 48. w o r ld -w id e s t u d y in g
    • 49. s t u d y in g o n Fac ebook
    • 50. PiazzaP ia z z a : q a n d a
    • 51. c ours e k it -- ne w LMS
    • 52. r e a l-w o r ld la b s
    • 53. ne w e du bra nds
    • 54. Signal
    • 55. c r e a t iv ene tw o rk
    • 56. p r o v e y o u r s e lfw it h c o d e c d o d e
    • 57. a f f o r d a b le c ours e s
    • 58. c o m p e t e n c y -b a s e d le a r n in g
    • 59. b u ild y o u r ne tw o rk
    • 60. F in d a ll t h is a n df o llo w t h e r e v o lu t io n a t:
    • 61. Academic Ghost town
    • 62. picture of hackademic camp
    • 63. u n col l ege gap year
    • 64. Thank you for liste Find out more at @dalejstephens on Twitter dale@uncollege.o
    • 65. Learning JournalsWhat are learning journals?
    • 66. How learning journals work:• Once per day, you review your goals for the day, week, and year.• Write down what you’re going to learn that day• The next day, check if you met those goals.• Repeat the process, and set new goals for the day
    • 67. What are review boards?Review boards
    • 68. How review boards work:• Once a week, students get together in groups of four to evaluate progress• Each bring their learning journal, and shares the progress they have made• This produces peer accountability. Students then discuss their goals for the week• The next week, students hold each other accountable for their goals
    • 69. independent critical thinkers
    • 70. Efficacy of Peer Tutoring science behind self evaluation
    • 71. T h e le s s o n :Working with peers in c r e a s e slearning outcomes
    • 72. Idea: Competency based classrooms Instead of making your students do all classwork, offerthem the option to take the test on day 1. If they past, let them learn more advanced material
    • 73. Outside deadlines de c re a s e motivation and performance.
    • 74. Self-imposed deadlines in c r e a s emotivation andperformance.