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January 8, 2006
Two Really Big Announcements

I hope you have seen the news posted on MabryOnline.  Our internationally recognized web presence is adding interactivity.  You can read about these substantive changes  (the what) in the News section of the website.  I wanted to take a minute to discuss the why.

Our students are growing up in a world that is radically different from the world in which you and I grew up.  With pervasive computing and connectivity our jobs, our degrees, our potential for meaningful economic empowerment can be transfered to China or India via fiber optics in less than a heartbeat.  Globalization isn't coming, it's here now.  As I shared at the beginning of the year, a  few months ago I read a Stanford study stating that 15,000,000 high paying US jobs will be outsourced abroad over the next 10 years.  When you do the math, that's when our middle schoolers will be graduating from college and entering what will most assuredly be a global job market.

I want us to begin to address these issues now.  I want to turn these enormous fundamental changes into the seeds of opportunity for your children.  I want them today to begin learning that their peers around the world want what they have, and they want it badly.  I want our students to realize that the children of the world are hungry for the opportunity that presently is theirs.  (Within a year, MIT will be shipping $100 windup laptops that don't require a stable electrical source to children in the most remote regions of our world!)  I want our students to feel this energy that is nipping at their heels.  I want them to use this energy to maximize their academic performance today!  (Somehow it always comes back to our school goal!)

Additionally, I want our students to gain increased understanding of the world.  I want them to begin now to learn what global collaboration is.  I want them to learn to maximize online collaboration and research (exploration skills) to become ambitious, creative, problem solvers.  Critical thinking and problem solving can no longer be something of which we speak in the abstract.  We must actualize it today!

These are among my reasons for wanting to take the educational opportunities afforded your children to a higher level.  I hope you will encourage your child's participation in at least one opportunity in Mabry's new Global Learning Collaborative.  Work with them to select a school project in which they have personal interest to make it exemplary work worthy of publication to the world.  Don't do the work for them, but encourage them to work harder, to edit and revise and re-edit, to do their very best work.  By doing this, you as their parent are showing them your deep personal commitment to their academic success as well as your deep love for them as your child.

These new projects are just beginning.  They will grow in number and scope over time.  Frankly, I am unaware of any school anywhere that has such an undertaking.  If you know of any, I would greatly appreciate your letting me know about them.  I would be eager to talk with like-minded educators who believe that increasingly, the best educational experiences we provide children are those that forge collaborative relationships to create solutions to real-world problems, issues, and concerns.  As a nation, focusing our energy and resources on minimum standards just isn't going to cut it!

Posted by Dr. Tyson

Making Learning Irresitable for Over 25 Years.
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