Moonshots in Education | Esther Wojcicki | TEDxPaloAltoHighSchool


Translator: christy zhang
Reviewer: Mirjana Čutura So, it is Moonshots in Education. Give you an idea. What is a moonshot? I’m not sure any of you know, but in 1961, President Kennedy basically said,
in a very important address to the nation, that we needed to make a moonshot. That means that we needed
to get to the Moon, and the reason was because
just a month before, the Russians had put a man into space. They were the first country
to put a man into space. And so Kennedy said, “If we don’t get
a man to the Moon in the next 10 years, we’re going to be behind.” So actually, what America did
is managed to send a man into space next year, the year after and then four men into space
the year after that, but it wasn’t enough. Kennedy really wanted
to have a man on the Moon. So nine years later, 1969, we managed to get
Neil Armstrong on the Moon, which was a pretty exciting situation. So, that’s what a moonshot is. And so, here’s my idea, here. So, what is a moonshot today? How many of you have ever heard of Loon? Well, it’s something
that Google has devised to try to bring Internet access
throughout the whole world. So, I don’t know if you know
that two-thirds of the world does not have Internet access. So the question is, How to get
Internet access to the whole world? So they’ve developed
this project called Loon, which is actually –
as you can see, it’s a balloon. And they would shoot them up
into the atmosphere everywhere. And so, the idea is to connect the world
through these balloons. Who would’ve ever thought
you can connect the whole world through balloons? It’s a moonshot. So, in education today,
we need a moonshot. And this is why. Education is stuck in the past. The majority of education in America today
is delivered the way it was 50 years ago. It’s delivered the way it was
when my mother went to high school. It is amazing what is going on. The number one thing is a factory model. We try to train students
to all be the same. You’re all taking the same tests.
You’re all doing the same thing. It’s called the STAR test. Remember the STAR test
will be in the spring? If we don’t do well,
then there’s a problem. It’s called the SAT test. So, we have a few of these problems. One of the main problems
is that we’re overtesting, as I said, testing a lot. We test in school all the time. We test at the state level.
We test nationally. We have a lack of real-world projects so that the education that is coming
is not connected to the real world in many ways. And we have a lack
of student passion for learning – maybe not here at Palo Alto High school,
but in many schools around the country, we do. And that’s because, How excited are you if you’re spending all your time
learning something that’s just on a test? Not very exciting. So there’s too much lecturing,
too much direct instruction. So, how do we change this? How can we change education so it’s available and more effective
for the 21st century. Well, so one thing that we can do is have a version of something
called “blended learning.” It is a movement
that’s been going on for a while. And blended learning basically is giving the students
some control over their learning. So, won’t you be more excited
about what you were learning if, in fact, you had some control instead constantly being told every day
what you have to learn? Won’t that be more exciting? Yes. How about if you had to use
digital media to do that learning? Would you guys like it? I bet you would. And actually, all the research
shows that that’s true. So, cutting back on lecture, having students work together in groups, giving students more collaboration time, using tech to support learning
on a regular basis, so, giving students free-choice projects instead of essays and tests
in some situations. Would that be an interesting
situation for everybody? My thing is, if this
were possible in all classes – and I’m talking all classes,
not just a few – don’t you think your stress
level might go down? Okay. The idea’s to change
the role of the teacher from the lecturer to that of a coach. People work in groups;
you’re trying to work on a project. Let’s see whether you can get it done. All the things you need to learn
are embedded in that project. Let’s see whether
the teacher can coach you – you can learn together as a team. Stop the focus on grading. Mastery learning. So basically, what is mastery learning? You didn’t do it right the first time? How about doing it again? How about stop worrying
about the grades so much, and worry about what you’re learning? It’s called mastery learning. So, one of the things in order
to empower this is trust. Teacher has to have more trust
of students in the classroom, and there’s almost a complete
lack of trust of education in America today. The testing is an illustration of that. So, the reason we have so much testing is society doesn’t trust the fact that you’re learning
what you should be learning and that teachers aren’t teaching it. Respect. Students need to be respected. Everybody’s an individual.
Everybody has an interesting idea. Why not respect students more? Independence. Give students more independence
in the classroom. Time to collaborate. You know, just five years ago, students at Harvard got into trouble
because they collaborated. You know what it was called? Cheating. Because they worked together in teams. I mean, isn’t the whole world
working together in a team these days? So fortunately, that’s over. They see collaboration as important,
and I think we should emphasize it. And kindness. Kindness in a classroom
is really, really important. Treat, teach the students with kindness. So, it’s called “TRICK.” If you just look at the acronym, T-R-I-C-K – trust, respect, independence,
collaboration and kindness – belongs in every single classroom
in this country. I’m going to give you
some real-life examples because some of you are like,
“Oh my god, this is not possible.” All right. So, these are the publications at Paly. TRICK is involved in every single one
of these publications. So, here’s Mr. Kandell.
He does “Voice” and “Verde.” If you go into his class,
you’ll see he hardly ever lectures. No lecture. Students collaborate. He gives students a lot of independence,
treats them with kindness. This is one example of how TRICK
can function in a classroom. Mr. Hoeprich does the same kind
of thing in “Paly InFocus.” Here, he also works on “Viking.” “Campanile” – that’s the basis
of the Campanile program. By the way, when the Campanile started,
or when I started here, there were only 19 kids in the program, and today we have hundreds of kids
taking Media Arts, which is pretty exciting. This is “C Magazine.” I don’t know if you’ve seen it because, basically,
we only print 500 copies, and so you might not
have gotten a copy of it. So, more examples. Here’s Mr. Najar and AP Music Theory. How many of you take AP Music? He’s doing the same thing: great job. Paly Social Justice Pathway. They are doing the same thing. They’re involving students
in decision-making. There’s a lot of collaboration. There’s a lot of respect,
independence, kindness. So, many other teachers
at Palo Alto High School are doing this, I’m happy to say. But it’s not ubiquitous;
it’s not nationwide, and it needs to be nationwide. So, moonshot education empowers students to be super curious,
ask lots of questions. I don’t know if you’ve heard
the talk by Sir Ken Robinson, one of the most popular TED Talks. He says that education
eliminates curiosity. I’m trying to do
just the opposite with this. I want students to be able
to collaborate on a daily basis, gather information, learn how to search, figure out what’s most important
when they search, write well and think critically and distinguish fact from opinion –
it’s really important – be an independent learner. So, what I’m trying to do
is to change the culture of the classroom so that teachers respect students more,
and there’s more independence, there’s more collaboration. I just wrote this book:
“Moonshots in Education.” Here it is. Came out two weeks ago. I’m trying to get
the whole country to do this: to treat students with more respect. So guess what happens
as a result of doing this? Less stress. Less stress. Can you imagine how it would be if you didn’t have to worry
so much about grades, if you could go and have other students
in your class work effectively with you? This is not only
in Social Studies, English. It’s also in Math and Science. So, the goal of this program here
is to empower all students, give them tools for the 21st century. So, thank you very much. (Applause)

3 thoughts on “Moonshots in Education | Esther Wojcicki | TEDxPaloAltoHighSchool”

  1. Learned below.

    1. try blended learning (students having some control over their learning and using digital media for some instruction)
    2. treat students with TRICK (i.e. trust, respect, independence, collaboration, kindness)
    3. work on mastery instead of grades

  2. Will love to watch the video once I see my son Rishi living and doing right by his own birth-mother.
    I do not understand why my son Rishi is not doing anything to end my hacked and cripped living. At the very least, he needs to stop living as if his mother is dead and be telling her, " Mom, I am not leaving your side till your hacker is busted and we know what he wants from you!"

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