Marin County Fair Kids Talks 2013: 5 Ideas for the 21st Century School


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  • Welcome to this Slidecast: 5 Ideas to bring our schools into the 21st Century. My name is Mark Finnern andI am not an educator, but I am fascinated by the opportunities we all have to influence the future. So much so that for over 10 years I am hosting a Future Salon were we come together almost monthly to explore possible futures that work for all. Where we think about what we can do to make them come alive. Thanks for checking this out. I was invited to present my 5 ideas to bring our schools into the 21st Century at the Marin County Fair under the theme of Kids Talks – Welcome to Innovation. I will give some examples of the potential that we all have and especially you kids have. I am addressing you kids as this message if you take it to heart will help you the most. Music homage to the Specials with Message to you Rudy Picture by  tallpomlin
  • Picture by  tallpomlin this talk my tips go beyond school. These ideas will take a while before they take root in our schools. This is why I will give tips on what you can do today in your life to thrive in this world of accelerating change.
  • Nina my 7 year old daughter is my inspiration for thinking about and exploring education more deeply.
  • Up three is: “How was school?” Picture by Mathew Biddo:
  • Someone even posted about how annoying this question is: would like to put on another focus: Wonder what makes you come alive. Picture by Mathew Biddo:
  • Serious looking guy with all these strips on his sleeve. First US Navel Admiral: David Farragut joined US Navy when he was 9 years old as a Midshipman When 12 years old he became a price master, a captain of a boat captured in battle. Famous for the quote: Damn the torpedoes full steam ahead.
  • Different accounts of the story, but when Richard Branson was around 6 years old his old mom dropped him off 3 miles away from home with the task to find his way back home: has it, that during that walk home re realized that he is responsible for his own life. That was the seed for the Virgin Empire that he created. Picture source: Recent picture of Richard Branson raising awareness for overfishing
  • This graphic shows how children’s radius of free exploration as radically shrunk. 1926 Great Grandfather 8 year old George Thomas was allowed to walk everywhere unsupervised he would walk 6 miles to a fishing pond. 1950 Grandfather was allowed a radius of 1 mile 1979 His mother was allowed to go for half a mile to the local pool Today Ed 8 years old is allowed to walk on his own to the end of the street (300 yards) This is a terrible development, for the development of our kids. You may say, well times have changed. How children lost the right to roam in four generations
  • Reduction of Rape in the last 40 years by 75% Range kids is a blog and book that is trying to stemming the tide. They have a great Reassuring Crime Statistics page:
  • Two examples that menial jobs aka jobs not requiring a lot of skills are disappearing rapidly. Self driving cars are here. The U.S. state of Nevada is allowing to register these cars since May 2012. Google driverless car: can’ t wait to be driven around. Jobs in danger once this is picking up steam:1.5 million Truck drivers 170.000 Taxi drivers
  • IBM’s Watson Computer beating best human Jeopardy players many diagnostic jobs, phone support jobs will be taken over. This trend is only accelerating.
  • Divergent thinking is a thought process or method used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions is a phenomenon whereby something new and valuable is created the 70s NASA created a test to check their scientists and engineers regarding lateral/divergent thinking. Some call it out of the box thinking. Picture by El Patoja:
  • Results of 1,600 children of ages 3 to 5 years where given 8 tests on divergent thinking. 98% scored in the creative genius categoryAnd in a compulsory education system governed by the metronome with test after test to pass …
  • 5 ideas to set a framework for the 21st century schooling
  • Develop the I can built this attitude: 5 years old standing in the bridge he built at Tinkering Summer School in San Francisco. Tinkering School Faire are indicators of future economic success. Shame that there is non in Marin County that I know off.
  • From day one share publically:Problem Probable Solution Progress: Budget, Project Status, TimelineLessons learned
  • Broadcast to the world once the solution is done aka the last week of the school year. Make sure to have enough time for a reflection session including recording of the lesions learned. These lesions learned are the starting point into the next year.
  • Background are Nina’s sketches of the tree house we are planning to built.
  • How can we implement these ideas for the 21st century school beginning of the next school year? Let’s take a page from Google 20% projects: school children room to explore on their own 20% of their time aka every Friday is: Thank God It’s Project Friday. TGIPF day!
  • Don’t be frustrated that your school isn’t following the TGIPF principle. Make your own projects. Come home get your home work done and then work on your project(s). Treat school like an artist treats the side job that pays the bills. It is a necessary evil. Totally focus on school while there, but not 1 minute more than needed. Actually bring in as much as you can from your Everyday Project into the school environment. Approach your teachers: Math: I am building a tree house can you cover in your lessons how to calculate how much wood I need? Art: Are we doing sketches this year? Use your tree house sketches. English teacher asks you to write an essay about what you have done during the summer break: Use your blog post about how you built a tree house during the summer.
  • What is the greatest gift we can give to the world? Howard Thurman said: Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Becausewhat the world needs is people who have come alive. Schools based on Standardized Tests create standardized People ill equipped for the magical accelerating changing world of today.
  • Remember: Stretch yourself! The real magic happens outside of your comfort zone. Source I think: High Existence
  • Don’t wait for the school to change. Make change. Treat the precious family time as exploring time. Background picture is self baked bread to remind everyone what a great area of exploring and tinkering the kitchen is. Be active in the community. Create maker spaces.
  • Love last Calvin and Hobbes Comic by Bill WattersonPublished in 1995 World is an amazing, beautiful, fascinating place: Let’s go exploring!Bill Waterson
  • Marin County Fair Kids Talks 2013: 5 Ideas for the 21st Century School

    1. 1. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 3 to 5 Years 8 to 10 Years 13 to 15 Years 25+ Years 98% 32% 10% 2%