Future of Learning Top Reads for week of Feb 4 2019 / @juliaerin80

In honor of Black History Month, I will be sharing Twitter profiles for black educators whom I admire and from whom I learn constantly. (Twitter is, by far, the best PLN out there… and it’s free.)

What black educators do you follow? Please let us know!

Julia Torres, #DisruptTexts, Literacy Advocate, Librarian

Do you ever look at the texts in your school and wonder where to find other voices that reflect the diversity of America? Then you should follow Julia Torres, a librarian and teacher in Denver. She is an expert curator of culturally responsive texts; she is a voice for pluralism; and she is constantly highlighting the power of stories to transform lives.

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Speaking of “literacy”…


“The Five Success Skills Every Student Should Master,” by Thomas Hoerr, in Education Week

“But if we step back and look at the big picture—if we consider what is essential in every situation, regardless of what technology or the workplace may require—it’s the ability to know oneself and work with others, our human literacy, that is essential for success. Today and tomorrow, people with strong intrapersonal and interpersonal success skills will be better able to solve just about every problem.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

Hoerr, an Educational Leadership scholar-in-residence at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, goes on to suggest the atomic units of “human literacy”: empathy, self-control, integrity, embracing diversity, and grit.

In a world of increasing complexity, where anything that can be automated will be automated, developing our learners’ human literacy may be the most important thing we do.

But first we need to ask: Do we value these things? And if so, do we measure (or attempt to characterize) what we value?


“Some colleges start using their long winter breaks to help students plan for jobs,” by Jon Marcus, in the Hechinger Report

“[F]ewer than half of employers say graduates have the professionalism and work ethic they need.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

Some colleges are bridging this gap by converting their long winter terms into “career terms” during which students can take mini-classes on professional expectations, participate in mock interviews, and more.

Buried in the story is this nugget about the origin of the long winter break:

“Wintertime vacations started growing in the 1970s, when closing campuses for from three to six weeks helped colleges and universities in colder climates save on heating costs. The practice spread to warmer institutions, too, and most have left things that way. (Exactly why the breaks are still so long ‘is a great question, which I don’t think any of us know the answer to,’ Tsutsui said.)”

If a school wants to prototype innovations, time will be one of the top 3 most important resources. (It’s hard to innovate when there is no time for innovation in the calendar.) Schools should think creatively about identifying time—whether it’s winter break, J-term, or elsewhere—to enable their future-of-learning.


Question of the week:

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Christian Talbot