Joe Bower began inspiring me about 5 years ago when I came across his blog, "For the Love of Learning" where he shares his distaste of grading and blogs and his admiration for the work of Alfie Kohn. It didn't take long before his blog became one of my favorites. He was one of my 25 favorites on Twitter as well. How wonderful is it that via the power of a social media Twitter chat I could learn and connect with people like Joe as well as other innovative educators such as Will Richardson, John Spencer, Gary Stager, and Justin Schwamm?
I was shocked to learn last night that Joe was taken from us too soon and too young as a result of an unexpected, heart attack. Joe's writing was always informative and inspirational. I am deeply saddened that the live conversations can not continue. However, social media provides a great opportunity to learn from the knowledge and ideas he shared with others.
If you want to learn from one of the best about progressive ideas in the areas of grading, assessment, and homework, check out Joe's book, De-Testing + De-Grading Schools (opens in new tab), and his blog. At his blog you'll find this picture and description:
I am Joe Bower (and that is Deborah Meier) and I teach in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. I wish to challenge 'traditional' schooling while exploring more progressive forms of education. I intend on using this blog to uproot some of the most deeply rooted myths that continue to distract people from a love for learning. And I am going to have fun doing it!
In his last blog post, Joe wanted to instil the idea, that assessment was not about a number, but rather about a conversation with students and those who support them. Though his words will live with us, will be deeply missed by all those who knew him, face-to-face and/or will know him online.
Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.