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Empathy and technology in the 21st century

Cultivating empathy in my own children and modeling empathy for the needs of our greater community has consistently been a core strand of both my personal and professional work.  Brain scans now tell us that the blossoming and pruning of neurons tied to social responsibility, emotional connection to greater causes and to acting on empathetic feelings is in full swing during middle school and high school years – no suprise to those who work with teens on a daily basis.  For these reasons – and because of my internal wrestling match with technology and how it impacts human behaviors – I am fascinated by the RSAnimate video belowed shared by Angela Meiers on her blog today.  I encourage you to take 10 minutes to watch the video and consider the hopeful message shared.  

Maybe, just maybe… with the right leadership, hard work, and the right use of technology… empathy will  evolve us into a global community that lifts up more than tears down…  I dare to hope… do you? 




What Motivates Employees?

If you haven't read Daniel Pink's newest book Drive, you're missing out on an insightful explanation of research on motivation.  Here is an RSA Animate on the book – a use of technology that is just as amazing as the research described by Pink!! 




Obama: iPads Make Information a Distraction

So this one caught my attention.  I support the guy and have percieved him to be an advocate of education and of 21st century literacy.  The lesson – sound bites taken out of context kill the real message.  I agree with Obama that authentic, productive discourse is crucial to the success of democracy but I also believe that 21st century technologies may actually improve that level of discourse in America.  What do you think?

Obama: iPads Make Information a Distraction

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And we think 8th graders don’t get it…

Our assistant principal popped into my office on a recent afternoon with a student's test booklet (many, many pages thick…) from the 8th grade statewide MCA test.  The picture on the front of the test (printed in green ink) shows a city skyline with some trees reflecting off of a lake.  Written on the front with an arrow pointing at the tree was, "These became these tests.  Not so green now huh?" 

Gotta love working with kids!

8th wisdom



School of One in NY

Is anyone other than New York Schools piloting something like this?  Seems like it is individualized, focused on standards, performance base, 21st century focused, etc…  Might this be a look into what's ahead?

Check out this Vimeo site for New York City Teacher Development to learn more!

Program Overview from NYCDOE Teacher Development on Vimeo.