Connections: Questions, Photographs, Algebra Graphs, Perspective, Environment

Several of my tribe are participating in the 3six5 project (365 days, 365 points of view) which has caused us to wonder about this experience for education.  Here’s the invitation I received:

Dear Ms. Gough, Tara, Sarah, and Whit:

There are many stories to tell in the world of education and many voices that need to be heard.  We have started a new project, edu180atl, designed to share stories of learning and highlight voices from the Atlanta community.  During the 2011-2012 school year, we hope to have 180 different learners (students, parents, educators, etc.) participate in this project.  The purpose of edu180atl is to nurture and encourage the spirits of those who love to learn, to connect learners across disciplines and settings, and to deepen the national conversation about education by enabling parents, students, and educators to share stories of what they are learning every day.  In order to test the feasibility of such a project, we will be piloting a similar experience (edu180atlbeta) during the month of April.

We would like to invite you to be one of the founding writers for this project.

If you are interested in participating, please complete our beta signup form (link: and select two Monday-Friday dates (your first and second choice) during the moth of April when you will be able to submit a reflection based on the prompt:  what did you learn today? We will respond with a confirmation of the date and further instructions for submitting your reflection.  We ask that your reflection be no more than 250 words (1 typewritten page), and if you choose, you may also submit a photograph or a short video (no more than 90 seconds) to go along with your submission.

We look forward to this project and how you will consider participating.

**  Due to a limited number of days in April, we may not be able to accomodate every learner who wishes to participate.

One of our Synergy 8 team, Whit Weinmann (aka @runningwitty), started us off on April 1 with a challenge to realize connections.  In Synergy 8 we believe in the value of prototyping and the power of feedback.

I spent the weekend working with my writing team in Dallas planning a professional development experience for teacher-learners.  I thought I might practice answering the question: what did you learn today?  I also want to ask for your feedback while I practice and prepare for my edu180atlbeta day on April 11.


The theme of the day has been the art of questioning. My learning revolves around trying to ask better questions, questions that are open-ended enough to promote risk-taking, differentiation, and finding connections.

How can we leverage the technology in our hands help learners apply what we are teaching and see the beauty of the world through their learning?

Imagine learning about linear functions, perspective, design, and environment simultaneously.  Do we think helping our learners see that the patterns we teach actually model things they see will help them find relevance and pique their interest?  For our artists, would it be fun to insert their art into our technology and model the shapes and structures that exist in our community?

Can we take a photograph of the bridge to the Summer Camp and find the algebra in the photo?  What can we learn?  Do we need a lesson on perspective to gain an understanding of why these lines are not parallel in the photo but are in reality?

Can there be an entire theme for integrated learning around our bridge and the environment where it sits?  Who comprises the team that would spend just even one day using this bridge as the catalyst for learning?

Where are our resources to integrate and blend curriculum to support learning? How can we model lifelong learning side-by-side with the young learners in our care?  Will we?

I learned I am willing to try. It is worth the risk.  Will you join me?



It is interesting to me that I could write about what I learned today in 250 words, but I’m having trouble describing myself in 140 characters.  I think it is good to know this today while I have time to think and revise.

I’d love your thoughts and feedback.


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