August 21, 2009

If the right was right

I highly recommend you read THIS ARTICLE. I have little to nothing to add to the point of view as presented by Cynthia Boaz and plenty of my own perceptions of America from the outside point to the same conclusions.

Here are just two central points that are made:

A genuinely Christian lens on international politics would not call for violence against one people by another in the name of God, but would ask that all people recognize that our moral and democratic obligations extend beyond our own borders, and that our political, economic, and spiritual development is deeply interwoven with the corresponding development of others.
Jesus was a socialist. There, I said it. To read the Gospels and come away from them with a picture of Jesus as anything but an advocate of communally-shared resources requires a level of cognitive dissonance that I simply cannot fathom.

Thanks to Leila for passing me this :)

August 16, 2009

The Manifesto

We live in urgent times.

We are more connected than ever, but still do not see it.

For many students in school, school is a punishment.

They are forced to be there, and they don’t see the value of being there.

Right now we organize learning around consumption,
where an expert tells a novice what to learn and that novice consumes it.

There’s a big emphasis on the acquisition of knowledge.

We don’t live in a world where one person has the answers anymore.

We live in a world where the questions are so complicated
that you need to have collaboration among many people to learn.

You don’t just interact with the teacher who knows everything
and you have to soak up that information,
but you actually work with a group

students collaborating with each other,
students collaborating with the teacher,
and in the world that they are entering outside

there is a recognition that there is a new worldwide platform
that we are just beginning to sense its potential,

the internet, our relationships with others, the oneness of the world,
and the complex and interrelated nature of the problems that we are facing all around the world

It helps connect people globally

Digital learning represents a new kind of learning
which means that children are both critical consumers and producers of new information.

We think that students have really valuable knowledge to add to the world in terms of solutions

and the students own this knowledge by creating something with it.

Students become more engaged when they are asked to create the content
rather than passively accept it.

Meeting kids where they are,
by getting them to address the questions that they have, that matter to them,
really engaging them, in a way that they can feel a real impact in their life,
a genuine empowering impact,
so they own it both creatively and scientifically and they are sharing it, all the time.

It’s all about themselves becoming broader people, more knowledgeable, more capable,

We’re not just talking about how students learn in the classroom
but how they learn outside the classroom,
how they participate as citizens in the world,
how they interact with one another,
the way they form a sense of their own identity,

And there’s a bigger reason ….
they are helping other people
solve some of the world’s most pressing problems
improve the condition of humanity

We want to save the planet.

For us, it’s not so much about digital learning as it is about learning in general,
out in the real world

And the only way we can do this is if people participate.

Self-government itself depends on participation.

And it’s the only way that people are ever going to be able to get knowledge.

That is the way of the future, there’s no doubt about it.

And moving the discussion from education to learning more broadly,
means that it applies to all of us,
and all of us can bring our unique perspectives.

It is very easy to have a worldwide impact in today’s world,
so what will your impact on the world be?

via MrBurns's Blog and Digital Ethnography

August 04, 2009


Picture taken by Tyler Knott Gregson
Be soft.
Do not let the world make you hard.
Do not let the pain make you hate.
Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.

Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree,
you still believe it to be a beautiful place.

When I read the news, there are all kinds of voices. The idealistic ones think about the grand opportunities a situation holds, the realistic ones emphasize the dangers and risks. The optimists choose topics that highlight the fun and hope in a situation, the pessimists turn angry or sarcastic over the daily problems of politics and power.

I myself deeply believe that we all should be realistic idealists and careful optimists :) This would make the world a better place. No one would be called a pollyanna again for limiting themselves to the positive aspects of a situation. And pessimists might cut their criticism to the part that is constructive. Balance is key as in most areas of life, I think.

Although it may seem incoherent, I will include this little wish of loving kindness below, because reading the news today I am just grateful to be alive and well here where I live. I wish everyone everywhere was!

May all beings be happy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings be healthy.
May all beings be peaceful.

Picture taken by Tyler Knott Gregson, a gifted photographer with a nice blog.
"Be soft" was taken from
quote book.
The last verses are taken from a guided Metta-Meditation by zen teacher Gil Fronsdal.