Turning Points e Book Sale Until Monday
IDEC Crowdfunding Campaign Starts
Yong Zhao, Keynote Speaker for the 2016 AERO Conference.
Zhao TEDx Talk
 Conference info here. Portland AERO Registration is only $275, but will rise soon. Workshop proposals now accepted here
Peter Gray will also keynote
See his TEDx talk here

Temporary AERO Conference Rate for Low Income Still In Place for This week
Next week we'll have some exciting news to announce about the conference It will be in Portland, OR, from August 3-7. You can read about the details here on the AERO website.

You can still register this week for the 5 day AERO conference for   $275 , and you will also be the option to register at the $225 rate if you are low income . This will end without warning as the conference gets fuller. We still have the $500 patron rate for those who want to sponsor another attendee, half of which is tax deductible. Other rates: Volunteers and students can still register at the $200 rate . The Rate for children under 12 is $100 , which includes child care.

Get more info or register here!
Help Us Get the Word Out to Other Networks!
The AERO Conference was just listed in Events in America. Thanks to the reader who gave us the heads up on that. Please give us any other suggestions about where we can list it. Thanks!

Turning Points e Book on Sale Now Until Monday Midnight
We've been doing some serious work in developing the e-book section of our bookstore. There are now 11! Most of them haven't even been announced yet, but they are there and available. Many of our members got them last week. 

This week we are celebrating this by offering to you Turning Points, at $5!!! That's 75% off the print book price and half the e-book price. Turning Points is a hard cover book, original sold at $30 each, now at $19.95. It features chapters written by 35 visionaries in educational innovation and is one of our most ambitious and beautifully designed books. You can order the book at that price until Monday midnight March 14th. 

Buy the E-Book here.
Facebook's Zuckerberg to Bet Big on Personalized Learning
Developing new software for K-12 schools. Investing in hot ed-tech startups. 

Donating tens of millions of dollars to schools experimenting with fresh approaches to customizing the classroom experience.

All are part of a new, multi-pronged effort by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, pediatrician Priscilla Chan, to use their massive fortune to reshape public education with technology.

"We think that personalized learning makes sense," Zuckerberg told Education Week in an exclusive telephone interview last week. "We want to see as many good versions of this idea as possible get tested in the world."

In December,  the couple announced they will eventually give 99 percent of their Facebook shares-worth an estimated $45 billion-to a variety of causes, headlined by the development of software "that understands how you learn best and where you need to focus."

The move set off seismic rumbles in both education and philanthropy.

First, it signals a major shift away from the long-dominant philosophy behind the national movement to improve education, which focuses on expanding charter schools, using standardized-test scores to hold educators accountable, and weakening the influence of teachers' unions. In 2010, Zuckerberg closely aligned himself with such strategies,  giving $100 million to a top-down effort to remake the struggling school district in Newark, N.J. Six years later, that work is  widely regarded as a failure, and Zuckerberg is charting a new path.

The result is the  Chan Zuckerberg Initiative LLC, a limited-liability corporation that also embodies a major shift underway in the philanthropic world. Like a handful of other Silicon Valley tech billionaires, Zuckerberg and Chan decided against establishing a traditional foundation, choosing instead a more flexible organizational structure that allows for a mix of philanthropic donations, for-profit investment, and political activity.

Read the rest here.
AERO Alternative Education Museum
AERO's latest exciting project is the establishment of a new Alternative Education Museum. The museum can be accessed through the AERO website and will feature artifacts, photographs and other resources. We invite people to donate materials that they may have in their possession. 

Linked here are a few examples of some items from our archives. The include a 1924 letter from Emma Goldman about her experiences in Russia and her changed opinion, a note from Ivan Illich to AERO, the cover of A.S. Neill's book A Dominie's Log, published 100 years ago, before he started Summerhill, along with his signature in the book. 

Let us know what you think of this idea and if you have any materials that could be of interest. 

You can go to the museum here.
IDEC Crowdfunding Campaign Starts
In 1993 the inaugural meeting of what became the International Democratic Education Conference was held in Israel. Since then there has been a meeting of the IDEC virtually every year to nurture the fledgling movement. They have met, in England, Austria, Ukraine, Japan, New Zealand, United States, India, Germany, Australia, Canada, Brazil, and Korea. These meetings have sometimes been important for the development of democratic education in the places where they were held. There are now more that 200 democratic schools in the world and the number is beginning to grow fast.
But it is crucial that we continue the tradition of supporting low income and third world schools and individuals who want to participate in the IDEC. This is often the difference between having democratic schools in these countries and not having them. We do not want this to become an elitist movement. As it is there are democratic schools in many struggling area such as Uganda, Thailand, Nepal, Bolivia, and Ukraine.
This year's IDEC will be in Scandinavia for the first time, In Finland in June. In order to facilitate the participation of developing world and low-income schools and individuals we have organized a crowd funding campaign to raise funds for their travel and expenses. The IDEC will donate the conference fees.
Of course, these days travel is not cheap, so please give generously as soon as possible, as visa's from these countries often take a long time, sometimes involving many late night calls (to far different time zones) to embassies stalling approval.
Thanks so much for your help!
Go to the IDEC Crowdfunding Campaign HERE
Homework Is Wrecking Our Kids: The Research Is Clear, Let's Ban Elementary Homework

"There is no evidence that any amount of homework improves the academic performance of elementary students."

This statement, by homework research guru Harris Cooper, of Duke University, is startling to hear, no matter which side of the homework debate you're on. Can it be true that the hours of lost playtime, power struggles and tears are all for naught? That millions of families go through a nightly ritual that doesn't help? Homework is such an accepted practice, it's hard for most adults to even question its value.

Read the rest here.
Featured AERO Conference 2016 Workshop!
Supporting Learning through Invitations and Questions -  Dee Kimbrell

Many parents want to move from teacher to learning facilitator, but keep finding they are following the "teacher" model they grew up with. Aren't parents and teachers supposed to have all the answers? What about having the Questions? Question asking skills are not taught in traditional education, but are the tool you need to support your 3 to 12 year old child's natural questioning phase. In this interactive workshop you will polish your question asking skills that will open the doors of possibility.

Dee Kimbrell works as an Educational Play Specialist, Workshop Facilitator and Visual Artist. As a Processology ™ Practitioner, she is extensively trained in the learning process and cutting edge techniques to facilitate creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. Dee's dynamic style communicates her passion for a new way to experience education. Based on recent brain research, Dee facilitates interactive and collaborative experiences for teachers that are fun and inspiring. As a visual artist, Dee specializes in recycled materials and leads groups to create something beautiful while learning about ways to connect with and care for their community.

You can see a list of workshops for this year's conference here.
Links and Calendar
Thank you for your ongoing support. With  your help, we will make learner-centered alternatives available to everyone!

In Service,

Jerry Mintz
Executive Director
Alternative Education Resource Organization

Please consider making a donation to AERO to help support our work. Thanks!