Future of the American Dream

American Dream

On the eve of Super Tuesday, and at the beginning of a pivotal year in our political system, the idea of thinking about the future of our country is certainly relevant and timely.

Brian David Johnson, a futurist by trade, and professor at Arizona State University, was inspired by the political moment, as well as a trip to Spring Training with his aging father and Uncle, to document and describe the future of the American Dream.

However, what makes Brian David Johnson’s project unique, is that technology is providing an opportunity for many people to vocalize their vision of the future of the American Dream, and inform his academic study of the question. ¬†Using the website and twitter, he is collecting and archiving each voice that joins the conversation.

Through the website Future of the American Dream and a series of town halls, Johnson is attempting to collect, and synthesize where the American Dream is headed and how it is changing. Johnson hopes to share his findings in September during the general election, with hopes of informing the national discussion during the campaign.

Teachers are being encouraged to help students join the discussion by having town halls in their classes and then sharing through through the website. Students who are under 13 will not be able to participate directly, but Johnson still wants to hear from younger students. He is encouraging teachers to synthesize the dreams of their students or to have parents and students make submissions together.

You can also add your voice to the discussion through Twitter by using #FutureAmDream.


Cougar Ridge Students Learn to Code Micro Bits

Hour of Code 2015 from Tech Tosa

This week, many teachers (and their students) across the district participated in Hour of Code, an annual celebration of computer programming and the engineering/design process.

One of those teachers is Julie Hembree, librarian at Cougar Ridge.

Through her work participation in the Microsoft Innovative Educators program, she struck up a friendship with Michael Braun, who is former teacher, who now works for Microsoft. His work at Microsoft is centered around a joint program with the BBC (yes that BBC) to develop a programmable computer peripheral called Micro Bits. This device can be programmed to do a number of cool things, including flash messages, interact with the environment and be connected with other Micro Bits. The goal of the program is to get a million Micro Bits out into schools in the UK.

Michael came out with a set to Cougar Ridge and taught the course to 3rd through 5th graders during Hour of Code Week.

While teaching kids the basics of coding, logic and problem-solving, the best part is that students involved with the Micro Bits program get to literally move their code from the 2D world into the 3D world.

As you can see in the video above, students were engaged by Micro Bits and the possibilities they open up.


The New Tools: New Tech and iPads

The New Tools Logo 1

We just finished another episode of The New Tools.

This week Josh, Tricia and Carrie discuss how they go about finding and learning about new technology. Then during Application Time, they take turns discussing how iPads can be used by teachers and students to improve and support learning.

For more information and links to apps and support documents check out the show page.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can now subscribe to The New Tools in iTunes.