Power of the Reset Button

As a full-time education consultant, Allison Zmuda works with educators to grow ideas on how to make learning for students challenging, possible and worthy of the attempt. Over the past 19 years, Zmuda has shared curricular, assessment, and instructional ideas, shown illustrative examples, and offered practical strategies of how to get started.

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In December of this past year, I had the great opportunity to spend some time with Don Marinelli. Until his retirement in 2012, Don was Executive Producer and co-founder (along with the late Dr. Randy Pausch) of Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center, a global master’s program for entertainment and educational technology research and development. He vividly described the power of a reset button in such a way that that imagery was emblazoned in my mind, and has shaped my attitude toward failure.

Don Marinelli: “The power of the reset button is that anybody can engage in this adventure, this game, this journey. And then when they fail, when they lose, when they are killed they are actually able to almost instantaneously hit reset. So the results of what prevented them from achieving the goal is fresh in their mind. They’ve got the motivation there to achieve, go beyond where they were before. And when they reach the end of that trip, by failing, they do it all over again. The whole notion of the reset button is something we’ve always thought about, we’ve always dreamed about, but technology has actually made it an ontological reality. It’s part of life now.”

The mission of this website has not changed — a dynamic community where kids, parents, and educators come to share inspiration and be inspired about what learning can look like. Our first attempt had mixed results. A primary goal was to create content that lived our mission and our three key principles: personalization, feedback and sharing. Check.

Another primary goal was to get the word out to a broad audience so we could create our community. Colossal failure. So we are relaunching our site based on feedback we have gained, a graphic design that is more streamlined and user friendly (thanks Maria McTighe!), and adding regular collaborators to blog their ideas from their point of view.

The site will continue to evolve over the next several weeks as we continue to add student bloggers and additional resources so visit regularly.

For more information on how to be a student blogger, click here.

For more information on Don, click here.

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