Monday, April 18, 2011

A Whole New Mind: Join Us For Year Four

Once again this year students in Anne Smith and Maura Moritz's English 9 Honors classes will be reading Daniel Pink's A Whole New Mind and discussing it with each other, with many of you, and with Daniel Pink himself (read about previous years' experiences). Students will be holding in-class fishbowl discussions and live blogging chapters four through nine (Design, Story, Sympathy, Empathy and Meaning).

The process will be very similar to previous years, but there are a few variations on our end. This year students will also be reading excerpts of Drive, watching and evaluating some TED Talks, and then their culminating activity will be giving a 5-minute Pecha Kucha style TED-like talk answering the question What Matters? for their final exam.

We are again asking other folks from our learning networks to participate as the students discuss specific chapters of the book. We hope to broaden their perspectives by extending their Personal Learning Networks to include thoughtful folks, both locally and from around the world. Like previous years, an inner circle of students will be having a face-to-face discussion, and the outer circle of students can periodically join the inner circle but will also be live-blogging. (If you want a refresher, here are some links to help explain the process and see the students' work.) We will again be using Ustream to broadcast the inner circle discussion out to remote participants, parents and other interested folks, and CoverItLive for the live blogging.

We would love to have some of you join us as well. This wiki lists the dates and times along with which chapters will be discussed on which dates (note that due to time constraints we’ll be combining the Empathy and Play chapters). If you are interested in participating, please do the following:

  • Re-read (if you wish) A Whole New Mind, or simply review the chapter(s) you'll be blogging with the students.

  • Visit the wiki and add yourself to the appropriate date(s) and time(s). You may add yourself to any spot, even if someone is already signed up, but it would be great if we could fill all the open slots first if possible. Also please add your "participant biography" at the bottom of the page. To keep the live blogging manageable, we'd like to have a maximum of three folks sign up for each slot (although everyone is welcome to observe the live blogging).

  • On the day and time you've signed up, tune in to our ustream channel and to the appropriate blog post (linked from the wiki - as we get closer to each live blog date the period number will link to the live blog post).
We're really excited about this opportunity for our students and want to make the most of it. We really hope that you'll join us and add your thoughts to our conversation.


  1. I love this idea! Our school is looking into a new Junior Seminar couse in the English department, and I will be showing them this project.

    Great work! I look forward to hearing more on this as it happens.

    Jeff @

  2. I think this is a great idea! It takes the group reading of a book to a whole new level. Sharing thoughts, ideas, and perspectives of books with classmates has always been helpful to me in understanding things from others' perspective, so branching even further to include their online community would take that even further.