Overcoming Our Fears

(Cross Posted on November Learning) When it comes to keynote speakers, nobody can ever match the line-up that the November Learning team puts together for BLC. Once again an amazing line up of thinkers outside of K-12 Education stretching us to think where we need to be taking kids and schools. Mitch Resnick opened the conference with a very simple message: Students should be creating on the web I couldn’t agree more and not just creating for themselves and their classmates, but for the world. Using Scratch as his basis for his talk, Resnick took us on a journey of how students are using Scratch to create, share, remix, and collaborate on creating some pretty cool projects, most of them outside of school. Resnick’s message aligned perfectly with an article I read in Inc. Magazine last week titled: Revitalizing the American Dream. A fascinating read on how entrepreneurship needs to be revitalized in America. It’s important to note the view point in which I’m coming from on this next bit. A little history on me: I’ve lived overseas for the past 8 years and when people ask me where I’m from..I hesitate, as do most expats. It’s a hard question to answer. I’m an American and proud to be one, but in the past 8 years America has felt less and less like “home” and more and more like a foreign land. Over these last 8 years, I’ve had the opportunity to visit America only during the summer holidays and at the same time visit 35 other countries. What I have observed being a some-what outsider to America is the fear that has captivated our country. A fear that I believe is stifling creativity in the country, in our schools, and in our daily lives. What saddens me most is this country was founded on the idea of anyone can make it. The “American Dream” is written into our Declaration of Independence. In the American Dream, first expressed by James Truslow Adams in 1931, citizens of every rank feel that they can achieve a “better, richer, and happier life.”[1] The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence which states that “all men are created equal” and that they are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights” including “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”[2] (Wikipedia, 07/14/2010) (Too bad the...

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