I love this
The painting above was painted by three students in Birmingham, Al in late 2012 during one of our first 20 listening sessions. We want to do 50 more over the course of the next year. Currently we have 37 different communities requesting we come do listening sessions with them.
These are the questions Imagining Learning is asking young people in our Listening Sessions across the country.
- How would you create a learning journey for yourself and others that you would love?
- How would you like us - your elders to support us?
- How do you think you should be engaged with other young people in America and around the world?
- How would you create an invitation for other young people to be excited about learning?
And their answers are brilliant. They find themselves seen and heard. They see great possibilities in their co-created visions. They open their minds and hearts to the idea that as they say to us often, “It doesn’t have to be this way.”
By synthesizing the themes that young people put in to their paintings, we get a set of emergent themes that represent their collective voice. A voice that is filled with wisdom, passion, love of learning and a sense of empowerment.
We believe by presenting their hearts through the art that they create, their visions and their voice will get the nation to listen. We believe people won’t be able to look away because the problem seems so insurmountable, won’t be able to KNOW what is best any longer, won’t be able to let the stream of their lives carry them forward away from the problem of how to educate all of our children.
We need your help to continue to bring this experience to more young people! Every dollar you donate helps us to get to one of the 37 communities asking us to join them! Please donate even a dollar to our campaign. Our goal is to reach 1000 donors averaging $25 each by June 13th. We want to keep the listening sessions as pure and free of outside influence as possible. This is about young people’s voice nothing else!
But to do this we need communities like Tumblr to support us by donating a few dollars, by reblogging our stories, but requesting listening sessions!
Please don’t wait, donate! Tonight’s goal is to reach over 3000 dollars! That will be 6 listening sessions funded!
The highest forms of understanding we can achieve are laughter and human compassion.Richard Feynman (via richardfeynman)
For a generation now creating advanced things and placed in corridors of power, LeVar Burton was a god-king: both Star Trek’s Geordi La Forge, and the guy who taught us to like books on Reading Rainbow. Now, the two Burtons are fused—and it’s pretty incredible.
LeVar Burton has an app—it’s available starting today. Sure. Lots of people have apps. But it’s doubtful anyone cares as much about their app as LeVar Burton. I step into an expensive hotel room in Midtown Manhattan, and Burton springs up, greeting me by name, shaking my hand, talking almost immediately about reading. There’s an iPad in front of him.
But this isn’t just any product pitch—which is good, because Burton lacks all the unctuousness of a salesman or marketing player. He just… cares. His enthusiasm for an app designed to encourage little kids to read is almost overwhelming. How many people care about anything this much? And how much can I possibly properly appreciate an app designed for tiny kiddo brains? I can’t—so we brought our own: two boys, 3 and 5-years-old, stuck in that valley of super-hyperactivity spanning the end of school and the beginning of summer camp. As Burton lays out the app’s basics—a free download, a $10 per month subscription for unlimited kid-friendly titles, a vibrant cartoonish interface with hot air balloons and floating islands that capture the original series’ acid trip charm—the kids fidget. The older immediately covers himself in pretzel crumbs, the young starts chirping for mom’s attention. The kids are kids. It’s summer and they’d rather not be in a Midtown Manhattan hotel room on a beautiful day. Nobody would.
But then something incredible happens. We hand the older boy the iPad and fire up the Reading Rainbow app. He’s transfixed. The only word is transfixed. The fussing and pretzel-crunching stops, and his little brother curls next to him. They don’t fight over who gets to hold it. They both know intuitively how to use it—complete naturals. He picks pirates, animals, and space as his three preferred topics to generate recommended books. He starts reading along with Burton’s pre-recorded narration. The Wi-Fi sucks and the download stalls. He doesn’t care. The kids are—patient? Attentive? About a book.
I ask Burton if he thinks this is ultimately good, this sticking of LCDs under the eyes of children. Having seen lots of absentee parenting by way of iOS—kids handed a stray iPhone as they might be handed a pacifier, to shut them up in public—could the ubiquitous computer hurt little heads? Can the touchscreen warp fingers that’ve been flipping (and smearing chocolate on) paper for hundreds of years? “We can try to sequester ourselves from technology,” Burton shakes his head. But this is pointless, he explains. Kids like those two mesmerized by an app are an inevitability—and if we can make them mesmerized by a book instead of a game, we have to take the chance. We must. Burton is emphatic. “Ed[ucational] tech!” Burton grunts, pounding his palm with his fist. It’s imperative to him that we get kids using these everywhere-screens to become readers, writers, and thinkers, before they become something else. “We’ve already lost an entire generation of children. Maybe two,” he laments. This one, for whom touch screens are a given, should be different. It must be different, and you can see in LeVar Burton’s almost crazed eyes that the dude really, really, really wants kids to read more. And it seems like they will—if there’s one young charm you can count on, it’s that a little boy will tell you something is stupid and is bad and smells like poop if he thinks so. They’re a brutally honest lot. But our kindergarten demo team gave shy smiles and thumbs up.
Burton doesn’t act surprised in the slightest. And why should he? He lived this world 30 years ago: “I mean, come on—Geordi was carrying an iPad around the Enterprise!”
Yes reading rainbow yes