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SUMMER READING at Western Sierra Collegiate Academy: English 10, AP English Language, AP English Literature, AP US History.

I have just added the current 2012-2013 APUSH Course Schedule and recently I have added and upgraded elements of the following pages: Economics and APUSH and English.

If you don't know about Voki, go check it out and play around with it!
It is a fun and easy to use widget to direct users to something you want to highlight
or if you just want to play around with the dynamics of your webpage.

There is so much to know about learning, but so little required to know that learning is happening! The following TEDTalk begins with a family story of being a high school drop out and the consequences of being a life-long learner, to a family's penchant for being technologically stingy in order to encourage hands-on play for its children. The talk then moves on to computer science and the process of building a computer from the ground up. It is still all about being a "self-learner" rather than a passive receptor of "information" or a collector of "grades", but instead a self-motivated pursuit of "failure" without punishment, of trying out new and different things in order to come to some mastery of something perhaps still obscure or nebulous. Learning is so much more than doing well on standardized tests OR in checking off a series of boxes identfied with arbitrary "standards" as if that is masterying anything but "things in a box." I am a self-learner who is always finding new realms of which I am ignorant, of unfamiliar terrain that I long to map and explore. Enjoy this TEDTalk!

Grading has become 'degrading'
Let's talk about 'upgrading' education rather than 'regrading' it!
We need to have the courage to fail if we are going to "get out of the proverbial box!"
You can't "master" what you are not allowed to fail at.

THE CANDLE PROBLEM! Why we need to go beyond the "stick and carrot" approach to motivation because IT DOES NOT WORK! The problems that students and then workers in the 21st Century need to tackle are going to the REAL CANDLE PROBLEM kind and no longer, like the 1800s and 1900s, the CANDLE PROBLEM FOR DUMMIES kind. Yet, even with Mastery-Based learning, we are favoring the CANDLE PROBLEM FOR DUMMIES and ultimately setting up our students for future failure in the workforce.


A very good friend of mine shared this with me because it is something that his wife will be exploring in her work. I think that it is a good step in fixing education in America, but not the panacea that some may construe it to be. Ultimately, I believe that there actually needs to be real "face time" between teachers and students, not between "managers" and "clients" as this model could quickly be turned into in the proper circumstances. It is vital that the teacher be someone who knows his or her content and can work with that information "on the fly" with students who become engaged with it. One downside I see to this FIZZ approach is that the actual "content" people will be converted into perpetual video "talking heads" available 24-7 anywhere with an internet connection, leaving the classroom itself to be manned and managed not by a teacher, but potentially by nothing more than a people-manager who does not have to know anything at all about the content that the students will be working with off of their smartphones or netbooks or other interface device at the school site. I don't wish to be all gloom and doom here, I don't think that FIZZ will invariably lead to the total, dystopian "program world" of students managed by public relations or psychology specialists to "increase the efficiency of cognitive development and pupil academic production", but I think it is a legitimate concern to be wary of going too far with novel approaches. Nevertheless, here it is, have a look, and let me know what you think about it!


Whether you are coming at the following video with teaching your students how to write in your English class or in your Social Studies class, I think you will find a lot of fun and inspiration in this "simple analysis" of how to give a good "TEDTalks" talk. Enjoy!

If you are interested in Salman Khan's academy, visit it here!

I've recently added MAYDAY: Eisenhower, Khrushchev, and the U-2 Affair to the Worth Reading page!

Education is not one-sided

Why is education important?

This is why education is important!

Welcome to Mr. Korling's new website for students and colleagues! If I have invited you, please accept the invitation so that we can communicate more readily through this site. It is my hope that the elements that I have created here, for my English and History students, for my colleagues in developing working Professional Learning Communities, will generate new and innovative ways to learn and to teach. Please look around and keep checking back for the latest additions and updates to what will hopefully be an ever-growing site.




Please check out the newest pages and items on the site, like The Korean Studies Workshop 2009, The National Advanced Placement Convention 2009, and Featured Works! And don't forget to look in the Toolbox now and then to see what I've developed or found.



eSchool News! This is a great new thing that can be done on a much simpler scale for smaller, rural schools, especially so for Future Farmers' of America projects and Associated Student Body programs. With an inexpensive camcorder, a tripod, a microphone, and Movie Maker software that comes standard with almost any PC running Windows, you can convert your one or two computer classroom into an impromptu film studio for broadcasting school news on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. It does not have to be as high-tech as in the example shown with the eSchool News link below, but you would be amazed with the quality and enthusiasm that your students will be able to produce. Be daring, think outside the box, and bring a little video news casting to your classroom or school!

ESchool News Logo

We need to teach our students how to use the technology at their fingertips so that they can learn how to manipulate and change it for the future. We do not need to teach technology just to teach technology, that would be pointless, like teaching a kid how to change tracks in an 8-track player or how to guesstimate the rotation of your aerial antenna with the little "k-chunka" dial box on your grandparents' Zenith television set. What we need to do is teach them what the technology is and how they can use it to achieve desired ends. We've got to show them how to explore with it, how to tweak it, how to manipulate it. There is a reason why we have matches now instead of flint and steel to start a fire. There is a reason why we have spoons and cups to use instead of our hands to eat with. There is a reason why we have the internet and cloud computing and twitter and wikis and all the other things we did not have back when all there was was a black DOS screen with green or blue characters. There is a reason why people don't get all excited about Pong anymore!

Should we still be buying textbooks for our students? I am of two minds about this myself: on the one hand, for my Advanced Placement and Honors level students, there is a clear benefit to having them working with their textbooks, not just for initial reading, but also for learning how to take notes, study, and review. Very very traditional kinds of stuff. However, on the other hand, a large portion of my regular level students never bother to open their textbooks for homework at all, and when they do open their books, it is when I require them to bring them to class to go over a poem, a short story, or to highlight key concepts. For the most part, the regular level classroom is, for whatever reasons, losing the practical justification for having a textbook for each student. As this significant portion of students fails to read, they do not fail to text, twitter, xbox or playstation or nintendo-it, so they are into the technology, but for the most part, they do not know how to make use of that technology. So, maybe, it is time to stop purchasing textbooks and start educating the kids in how to make use of the technology they are into.

We are starting to see more and more "cognitive science" filtering into staff meetings, into inservices, into the professional literature. And in as much as I try to keep abreast of the science and especially the scientific concepts coming out of neuroscience and cognitive science, I have to guard myself from reading too much into what I read. The following video does a very good job of explaining how wary we need to be as educators about all the "new fangled buzz words" coming out of these domains and into education.

Rethinking some basic assumptions is one of the most challenging things we as educators must face. I know that I have long bought into the idea that there are different learning styles, like the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic styles, and so much so that I began to look at some of my students as one or the other of these basic types. But that is just not generally true. The brain is not either a this or a that, either a visual brain or an auditory brain, or a "hands on" brain. Nor is it a musical brain or nature brain, it is a brain that has multiple modalities for solving the problems that it encounters. What can be said of styles or intelligences is that brains tend to favor one mode over another, one group of modes over others, but it is never the case that someone is all one thing or all another. Indeed, when one looks carefully at the basic "multiple intelligences" types that are presented to educators, it becomes clear that most of them have to do with meaning within a given context, that is, word, number, music, and picture "smart" people seem to fall together into a more generalized modality, because music, like words, reguire images or signs in addition to sounds, whereas numer and music and words all at least require images and signs without sound necessarily. Music is significantly a mathematical phenomenon, which is why "harmonics" was an early form of standard education in classical, medieval, and renaissance times periods. So, what do we do with these beliefs that kids are "tuned" differently?

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