Do we want Hoop Jumpers or Risk Takers?

Do we want Hoop Jumpers or Risk Takers?
Nothing compares to the first time you take the wheel of a car and feel the power and responsibility.
I was about 8.  My dad and I were driving in his blue Ford F-150 pickup truck.  He pulled over to the side of the road and slowed to a stop.
Then he said those words that changed my life.
“Do you want to drive?”
Ford Pickup 1988-500Half-believing I was dreaming, I climbed up onto my dad’s lap while he eased the truck back onto the sleepy little street we lived on.  As I took the wheel, a surge of pride and excitement washed over me.
Then I realized that I might run the truck off the road, and I froze.
My dad had to take the wheel, but a few days later he asked me again.  I tried again, and this time it was a little better.
This became a regular routine whenever we turned onto our quiet street until I became quite comfortable with the responsibility.
I have played out some form of this learning to take the reigns over and over throughout my life.  Sometimes it came very naturally, and sometimes it took a lot of practice.  In every case, though, I stepped up to the plate, swung for the fence, and eventually made things work.
I’ve had the same experience with students in our Inventor Camps.  When we give them the reigns, they step up and deliver outstanding results.
What if we did the same thing with every teacher in America?
What if tomorrow we decided to treat them like the professionals they are?
Ted Dintersmith believes this is the answer to our educational conundrums.  Listen to the TTI podcast this week to learn who Ted is and why this idea is so powerful.
Carpe Diem,
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Muahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!! Ok, now that I have that out... I can get to work. For as long as I can remember, I have been making things. This habit used to be called "Inventing" but has lately been repurposed by the Maker community with the term "Maker". While there are some subtle differences between Inventing and Making, I have discovered my passion for both by inspiring a new generation of Makers. In this quest to spark creative thinking and problem solving through practical and exciting projects, I draw on my background in biomedical research, high energy fiber laser development, and 15 years of building laboratory devices. As an experimental physicist with a PhD from Case Western Reserve University, I have seen research and development from many angles and am now bringing that experience to middle school and high school students who want to make everything from catapults to cybernetic augmentations. Through the medium of Making and Inventing, students are transformed from passive observers of education to active learners. This powerful shift fosters deep insights, creative expression, collaborative thinking and a host of other skills that are difficult to learn in traditional settings. Along with my wife Debby, an accomplished constructivist educator, I am on a quest to transform education and am looking for like-minded collaborators to bring hands-on learning to future generations.

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