Black History

Releasing this post a little early, (ignore the time reference)

On this, the last day of “Black History Month” in 2016 I want to ask you a question. How much do you know about the Black Panthers? What exactly do you know about the group of ‘black men’ who dress in all black? To be honest, my answer is very not much … until I watched a special that aired on PBS last week (you can watch the full film online here). The show was wildly popular, trending #1 on Twitter.

I don’t want to get into all the details here about what the Black Panthers are or why they are needed or why they do x, y and z – you can form your own opinion. What I do I want to do is share a very short summary of the 10-point plan put forth by the group way back in 1966. The last point of the plan, number 10, is summarized this way:

WE WANT LAND, BREAD, HOUSING, EDUCATION, CLOTHING. I know you want, a black leather jacket; don’t worry we gonna get you one. LAND, BREAD, HOUSING, EDUCATION, CLOTHING, JUSTICE? Always looking for justice. Went to death row looking for justice, and that’s just what I found, just us. LAND, BREAD, HOUSING, EDUCATION, CLOTHING, JUSTICE, AND WE WANT SOME PEACE. Yeah, I got your peace; rest in peace.

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Surely you saw Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance, 111 million people did (WSJ). A football field full of women, black women, dressed in all black with their afro puffs, strutting their stuff, dancing, singing, positioning themselves to form the letter “X”. The PBS film confirms indeed that by the early 70s, the majority of the panthers were women. The people are mad, the police are mad, everybody is mad. But why? WATCH the two videos below.

BTW: You’re still safe. Reading this post  does not automatically make you a  “Black Panther”.

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iOS for Education

Apple’s next iOS release, is putting emphasis on education. Through a new website, Education Preview, the company explains the key feature of the new software release: “Technology can reshape education. And iPad, with its powerful features and apps, opens up new, more engaging ways of learning. With the iOS 9.3 beta, you’ll find a preview of new features that will make it even easier for schools to put devices where they’ll have the greatest impact — in the hands of students.”

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Key features of Apple’s Education preview include:

  • Shared iPad. Students can log in to any iPad in any classroom and make it their own.
  • Classroom app. Teachers can guide students through a lesson, see their progress, and keep them on track.
  • School Manager. Now admins have one portal where they can do everything from create Apple IDs to purchase apps to prepare devices for MDM.
  • Managed IDs. A new kind of ID for education, Managed Apple IDs are created and assigned by the school.

Apple’s latest move is a direct response to the Google Apps for Education, which is prevalent in many schools across the nation:

Google says it has 30 million students, faculty and staff using Google Apps for Education, a free collaboration suite for schools, around the globe. But this doesn’t count teachers and schools that informally use Google apps. With the 2012 U.S. census recording 55.5 millionenrolled in U.S. K-12 schools, Google hasn’t captured the U.S. education market just yet, but appears to be well on its way. (IBT)

So once, again it’s Google vs. Apple but this time the battle is in Education!

New Education Bill


(Surprisingly) Congress passed a new education bill last week. Forget “No Child Left Behind” rolled to in 2001 and embrace “Every Student Succeeds Act“. So what are the changes?

  • Testing will continue, but STATES – not the U.S. government – will now decide how to use the results in evaluating teachers and schools. The new law encourages states to limit the time students spend on testing, and it will diminish the high stakes for underperforming schools.(Associated Press)
  • Computer Science has been included in the definition of well-rounded education subjects. Its inclusion, for example, will allow computer science educators the same level of access to professional development opportunities as teachers in other subject areas such as science and math. (Wall Street Journal)

(see also The Case for Computer Science)

These are the two main points I saw as I scanned multiple news outlets’ headlines – there may be more. You can read the full details here (it’s only 1,068 pages). #HappyReading

Practice vs. Learning

51rhQVelq2L._SL500_AA300_PIaudible,BottomRight,13,73_AA300_I bought a new, amazing book from (an Amazon company) for a whopping 99 cents, The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life.  I listened to the Introduction and Chapter 1 this morning while walking on the treadmill and I absolutely love it so far! Key themes so far include inner peace/happiness, self empowerment and learning to love the process – whatever you set out to do or be! You can download the Audible app from iTunes or Google Play and listen while on the go.

Lifehacker sums the book up this way:

  1. Learning Can Be a Crutch That Supports Inaction: In situations like this one, we often claim that we are preparing or researching the best method, but these rationalizations allow us to feel like we are moving forward when we are merely spinning our wheels. We make the mistake of being in motion rather than taking action. Learning is valuable until it becomes a form of procrastination.

  2. Practice Is Learning, But Learning Is Not Practice: Learning by itself can be valuable for you, but if you want to be valuable to others, then you have to express your knowledge in some way. Practice is the only way to make a meaningful contribution with your knowledge. 

  3. Practice Focuses Your Energy on the ProcessThe state of your life right now is a result of the habits and beliefs that you have been practicing each day. When you realize this and begin to direct your focus toward practicing better habits day-in and day-out, continual progress will be the logical outcome.


Laugh Off Rejection

A great way to practice what I like to call “mistake prevention” is to LISTEN TO and LEARN FROM OTHER’S pain, pleasure, success and failure! Sometimes you can simply look around; other times you need outside insight. This month’s Cosmopolitan features an article called Laugh Off Rejection: A collection of advice from women who are happy to share their experiences with all of us! Happy learning!

  • Rejection is a form of guidance: Let it hurt. Reframe rejection as a positive. (Whitney Cummings, Comedian)

  • It’s just one moment in time: Don’t give up. You could be steps away from victory. Psych yourself up everyday. (Nia Turner, Ohio State Senator)

  • No just means not now: Whenever you can, delay a no, but also leave them an opening to say yes in the future. (Stephanie Schriock, President Emily’s List)

  • People say yes when they know and trust you: Consume positivity. Write your goals down, create collages. (Kim Duke, Founder of

Pickup a (digital) copy to read more about their stories.