Green Light Academy means AUTHENTIC
Dec 23rd, 2010 by Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

This past summer I was the program director for the Green Light Academy.  Here’s a description from the website:

A Beacon of Hope
Green Light Academy is one of many educational and cultural programs offered by Beacon Preservation, Inc. a nonprofit organization designed to promote environmental conservation, sustainable energy options, and “green collar” skills training through lighthouse preservation. Green Light Academy is made possible through a grant from the Connecticut State Department of Education, the 1772 Foundation,  and the generous support of private donors. For 2010, GLA is open to public high school students from Bridgeport, New Haven, Norwalk, Stratford, Fairfield, and Oxford.

The Green Light Academy (GLA) Is a four-week summer residential program for high school students (grades 10-12) that takes place on the college campus of Western State University In Danbury, Connecticut from Sunday, June 27th through Friday July 23rd, 2010. GLA students live In university housing, dine In the Westside Student Center, use WCSU’s classrooms,  conduct research in the libraries and computer labs, conduct experiments In the laboratories of WestConn’s new state-of-the-art Science Building, explore the Ives Nature Center, and enjoy the many playing fields, gymnasiums, and recreational facilities on both the midtown and westside campuses. Our faculty and guest speakers are experienced professors and certified teachers committed to engaging the learner through hands-on skill-buildling exercises. We believe that academic achievement Improves when students develop a new Interest and appreciation for science, technology, and sustainable energy by doing real-world “applied learning” lessons and hands-on activities.

Here is a great video summarizing our month-long program.  Images sometimes capture a program’s essence so much more effectively than words can . . .

Manifestation of 21st-century skills
Dec 14th, 2010 by Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.


This summer, I helped my daughter establish an email account.  We discussed the importance of password security and address security.  While sending an email to her teacher, she wanted to demonstrate that she knew how to type.  In fact, she was properly keyboarding with the fingers in traditional positions: asdf jkl;.  Most impressive.  I am glad to see that a skill I learned in 9th grade with Mr. Gargano in typing class, is now embedded within the 3rd grade curriculum.

What is interesting to me is that although we are teaching digital communication to students, we are not teaching world communication:  where are the languages?  While other countries teach their students English from a very early age, where are we in teaching Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, or even the classics like Spanish.  Seems when a child’s mind is most amenable to learning, we don’t systemically take advantage.

From bad to train wreck . . . why written communication is a critical 21st-century skill
Dec 8th, 2010 by Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

The following editorial appeared in the Waterville Times last week.  Apparently the author works in the schools in a professional support role.  I don’t know if I am more amazed with the low-quality writing or the fact that the paper printed it without editing.  In any event, this is an excellent example of how NOT to write.  This article could actually be used to teach editing:  i.e., what changes should be made to make it readable and understandable?  Good written communication skills are a necessity.

from Waterville Times

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