20% Project

Update 11/20/16:

My 20% project is a website created by my STLP group.



Update 11/4/16:

With having Halloween on a Monday, we did not have our weekly STLP meeting, so nothing was worked on as far as the 20% project website. We do not have school on this coming Monday, so that’s another week without a meeting. At this point, I’m trying not to panic. Time is flying and I don’t feel like we have made enough progress. I’m hoping I can maybe pull some of the STLP students during my time in the Computer Lab on Wednesday to work on the website. I want them to create a video blog post about their impressions of STLP and what they are learning. I also need to discuss some cyber safety issues, such as not putting last names on posts.


Update 10/18/16:

We now have the STLP website up and running. The students worked on taking more video of their work with the VEX robot. I showed them some of the basics of WordPress and how to embed a video from YouTube. I told them they will take turns making posts after each of our meetings. They will also each make a post to introduce themselves and describe what they are doing with STLP. Another thing they will have to do is decide on a Theme for the website and if they want to change colors, texts, add pictures, etc.


Update 10/4/16:

I was speaking with the teacher I am working with on STLP and the VEX robot. I think I may have the students, rather than create a digital portfolio of their school/class work, make their blog website a digital portfolio of all of their work with robotics. I didn’t realize how many different aspects there are, different competitions they can enter, etc. They can create designs and post them to their blog, take videos of their practice with the robot and post them, blog about their experiences, and much more. This would still be a great thing to show middle schools when they apply at the end of the year, especially if they plan to apply to one of the technology or science magnet schools. As far as a timeline, our next meeting is Monday 10/10/16. I’m going to plan to have the students set up their blogs that day. We have meetings on the following dates: 10/17, 10/24, 11/14, 11/28, and 12/5. I would expect them to have at least one post per meeting, but they could choose what to put on their blog. They could post more if they wish.


My project proposal:

The purpose of this project is for STLP students to create a blog website that serves as a digital portfolio of their academic and school-related work. The audience will be staff members at the middle schools to which the students apply. The STLP students will have the freedom to design their blog however they choose to show their personalities, as well as the freedom to choose which items to add as part of their digital portfolio. I will require them to have an intro page of some sort and at least ten pieces of work displayed on the website. How they present the work, whether through copying and pasting text from a document, taking and posting pictures of their projects, or scanning a document to post, is entirely up to them. They can even include items created during STLP as part of their portfolio. They will need to include some form of description with each item to explain what it is. This will take approximately eight weeks from start to finish. I would use the computer lab, which has AB Tutor, to demonstrate for the students on their screens how to create and set up their blogs. We can use the iPad to take pictures of and/or record footage of any items to put on their website.

World Class Learners Blog Post 1

Blog Post 1

  • Use a mindmap Web 2.0 tool to outline a debate between the head of the National Governor’s Association, Sir Ken Robinson, and Yong Zhao about Global homogenization: International benchmarking.


  • Before reading any father, how would you predict that an “entrepreneurial mindset” (Zhao, 2012, p. 5) would change education today? What would be some specific changes at your school if we truly embraced this mindset toward education at your school?

In my opinion, an entrepreneurial mindset would change education by altering how students are assessed as well as changing how the content is taught. I do not believe lessons would be driven by core content standards if schools were thinking with an entrepreneurial mindset. What would be important to teach is ways of thinking. There would be a lot more freedom as to how basics are presented, such as reading and math. There would definitely be little to no testing taking place if education was based on an entrepreneurial mindset. Assessing would be done through project and presentations. Students would be given choices as to what they would create to be assessed on. The skills learned through doing this would be deemed important because those skills are what employers are looking for in employees. If things like those mentioned above occurred, I believe the graduation rate would go up and the unemployment rate would go down.

There are so many instances right now where students graduating from high school and college are unemployable because they lack the skills necessary for the jobs of today. I saw this cartoon the other day.


Students are just being taught how to memorize information, not how to take what they know and apply it to situations. One of the main problems are that employers “find today’s college graduates severely lacking in some basic skills, particularly problem solving, decision making, and the ability to prioritize tasks” (Selingo, 2015). What’s really scary is that the students have a false sense of security, because they have attained good grades, which were based on standardized tests. These graduates believe they are truly ready and qualified for the workforce, but they aren’t (Hyde & Bravo, 2015).


Cartoon Taking Tests. (n.d.). [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.hmleague.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Cartoon-taking-tests.png

Hyde, J. & Bravo, A. (2015, September 21). Students think they’re ready for the real world; employers, not so much. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2015/09/21/students-think-theyre-ready-for-the-real-world-employers-not-so-much/#3aa10c653e81

ISTE. (2012, July 9). ISTE 2012 Tuesday keynote featuring yong zhao. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKXeNKsjoMI&feature=related

Selingo, J. J. (2015, January 26). Why are so many college students failing to gain job skills before graduation? Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/01/26/why-are-so-many-college-students-failing-to-gain-job-skills-before-graduation/

TED 2006. (2006, February). Ken robinson: Do schools kill creativity? Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity

TED 2007. (2007, March). Gever tulley: 5 dangerous things you should let your kids do. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/gever_tulley_on_5_dangerous_things_for_kids

Zhao, Y. (2012). World class leaners: Educating creative and entrepreneurial students. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.