Thursday, January 15, 2009

To paraphrase Daniel Pink’s last comment to the students (because these are words I want them to remember for the rest of their lives) they did such a tremendous job today questioning and pushing back on Pink’s ideas. They asked higher caliber questions than he had been asked by reporters. He also commented that many of the reporters could learn from them. Yep, professionals could learn something from kids! Here’s a bit from his email:

“…and the questions -- were really, really good.” Wahoo!

Today, my students as well as Mrs. Moritz’s 9th grade Honors classes, video conferenced with Daniel Pink. Each class had one hour (actually 59 minutes and we used every minute of that) to talk with him via Skype and carry on a conversation on our class blog (live blogging) as well. I am so proud of my kids. I can’t say enough about how wonderful a job they did. They were prepared, challenging, questioning and responsive.

Reflecting back to a couple of days ago, I have to be honest, I wasn’t sure they were prepared. I talked to Karl about it because the kids had just started reading this book. They hadn’t even been exposed to the abundance of ideas that flow from AWNM. They had pretty good first fishbowls with intro-3 (period 2 and period 5) but hadn’t really gone “Big Picture” with the ideas. I was worried. Once again, I learned the valuable lesson to trust in the kids. They always rise to the challenge. And they did not disappoint.

Not only did our kids do a great job in the inner circle talking with Daniel Pink, but our outer circle carried on a lively discussion about ALL things. I really think they have a vision of how to change the world, and these discussions as well as our reading are helping them form some good opinions about how to get there. I definitely have some opinionated students as well. This is something we will need to debrief on regarding how you can make a point without being abrasive or confrontational. Too many people are turned away from discussions because they feel attacked. It will be a good thing to debrief about and a good learning experience.

We had one of our students who happened to be in LA today still attend and participate in the discussion even though she was on the West Coast. We had participants from Penn, a graduate school friend of mine Greg Noack, and the famous David Warlick as some of our guest bloggers. Parents watched from home and work fascinated by what they were seeing their kids do and the opportunity that was presented to them:

“I was able to sit in on the fischbowl for half an hour this morn- fun!”

“Thank you very much for letting me take part in the live blogging session today! This was a very interesting experience, and I'm going to suggest to some faculty at Penn that they consider using CoverItLive.”

“Thank you very much for extending the opportunity to hear Mr. Pink to the students, and to us parents. I was very impressed with the exchange and grateful to be able to stream the action. Thank you again for your inclusive and out -of-the-box approach to this class.”

So, Period 2 and 5, you did a fabulous job. I am so proud of you, thankful that I am your teacher and excited about what our next fishbowl holds.

Thanks as well to Maura for coming along again on this crazy train, to Ben, my student assistant extraordinaire, to Karl Fisch my world famous mentor and who makes all this possible, to Mike Porter and Dana Levesque who provided great documentation of today and support. And Daniel Pink- THANK YOU!

1 comment:

robertc2012 said...

The fishbowl yesterday was very neat to be a part of. However, I felt that the outer circle wasn't as involved as the inner circle. Next time we have a fishbowl like this I will try to pay more attention to the inner circle so that I might even jump in at some point. It's hard, though, because the outer circle is usually having conversations about other things at five hundred miles-per-hour. I need to find a happy medium between the inner and outer circles.