Is augmentation somehow inauthentic? AKA Stop teaching for a deserted island.

I really think we need to stop teaching for the deserted islands of the world. If a field of study requires detailed instructions, formulas, or other information, then practitioners in the "real world" either remember what's necessary b/c they use it all the time or they look it up. How many of these practitioners, were they stuck on a deserted island, would be called upon to use what they have to look up?

Our brains are augmented now. This fact and trend is probably not going to reverse. If it does, we'll revert if we have to. We'll adapt. Are we who are trapped in the inertia of traditional educational over-stressing the value of what unaugmented brains can do because we aren't sure how to assess the information universe our students have at their finger(thumb)tips to tap into? Are our trusted systems only designed to assess quanta (what can be known), not actions (what can be done)?

Is this powering the slow but steady transition toward things like mastery-based learning and assessment tasks? Is it competency-based? How about portfolio-based? 

I just have a bunch of questions tonight. All answers (and additional questions) welcome.

Ready for EduCon 2.8

I consider myself quite lucky to be in Philadelphia celebrating my 4th EduCon tonight. Right now, I'm enjoying the familiar Thursday night excitement from the anticipation of something I know is coming, but I'm unsure of its form. My mind will be blown I've no doubt, I'm just not sure how or by what yet.  

I'm also lucky because I'm joined by 3 colleagues who are also open-minded and ready to be inspired, to share, and to steal with the best of intentions. All three are just coming off an intense month of Immersion, a "J Term"-like time at MVS where they've led special, full-time programs. And I mean "just" coming off: all three wrapped their programs at 3:30 this afternoon and left for the airport at 4. I know, right?! That's some seriously inspiring dedication to the craft. They're each actively searching for better answers (and better questions) and are forgoing any downtime between Immersion and the start of spring term bright and early on Monday morning. 

So here's to the SLA community, Chris and Diana and all the other adults and adolescents that have worked harder than we deserve and give us their school every year. Here's to the attendees giving up their time to spend a bit of winter in Philadelphia to make the world a better place. Here's to trusting serendipity and jumping in with both feet. Tonight's dinner came with a fortune cookie advising us to "embrace change, don't battle it." How 'bout we do one better and chase it?

Big Ideas Fest 2015 + #dtk12chat = my brain exploding

I am exhausted beyond belief and completely out of my gourd psyched to be attending my second ISKME Big Ideas Fest (#bif2015) this week in sunny, if not exactly warm, San Jose, CA. We're only about four hours into the event and already my poor, travel-weary brain is exploding with thoughts, ideas, and schemes. I've met professional heroes, colleagues I didn't know I had, and folks from all over with inspiring stories to share. I'm so glad I came. Again.

One of the things I'm most looking forward to this week is a mash-up of two of the major sources of my design thinking experience: Big Ideas Fest and (one of) the best weekly edu Twitter chats: #dtk21chat

In case you're new to us, #dtk12chat is an international community of k-12 educators, united under a common hashtag, who support each other in our use of design thinking and related tools and approaches in our work. One of the major highlights of the community is an hour long, live Twitter chat that happens every Wednesday evening from 9-10 EST. Vocab check: A Twitter chat is merely a specific use of Twitter wherein a bunch of folks interact live through the simultaneous use of a particular hashtag, in this case, #dtk12chat. The Twitter chat is usually only 1 hour a week, but the #dtk12chat community is so widespread and supportive that the network is active pretty much 24/7.


We attendees of Big Ideas Fest will have a good amount of the "action collab" design thinking process under our belts by this time, so we'll have some nice, provocative thoughts to share, workshop, and develop. As host, I'll have some questions ready to go to spur discussion and I'm hoping to capitalize on the usual group dynamic to guide the conversation, as it normally does. 

If you'd like to join us on-site in the Hayes Mansion Blossom Valley room, please bring a device that can access Twitter and on which you can type your quickest. If you don't have a device, don't worry, come anyway and we'll pair you up with someone who does so you can follow along. If you don't have a Twitter account but would like help to get started using it as a powerful PLN-growing device, come between 5:30 and 6:00pm PST and we'll help you out. 

I'm a firm believer that we learn better together, so I'm hoping everyone reading this can join us for this special #dtk12chat event on Friday, whether it be in person at the Big Ideas Fest or online, wherever you happen to be.

If you have any questions, just reach out to me on Twitter (@bryanlakatos) or email me at:

Happy designing!