My name is John Dorlean and I’d love to be your Kittery School Committee member.
I’m a husband, father of three, an independent Creative Director, animator, adjunct college teacher, technophile, Little League Coach, and ride for my kids' activities.
Since moving to Kittery from Rhode Island, I've fallen in love with this community and its people. My kids have so many great teachers and administrators who take a genuine interest in them and their education. I want to use my talents and skills to serve and give back to a community that's meant so much to our family.
Every mind, much like fingerprints, is generally unique to the individual. Having three kids of my own I can confidently say none of them are alike. Within each classroom there are many different types of minds. We have atypical, ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, autism, dyspraxia, etc... It's what Sociologist Judy Singer called Neurodiversity.
The two things almost every mind shares are a need for engagement and an aversion to boredom. Unfortunately many neurodiverse students have difficulty taking part in classes because fleeting thoughts compete for attention. Having ADHD myself, I remember how hard it was to understand material when I wasn’t mentally present for the lecture. I wasn’t really “disabled” from learning, just bored. It took me well into my college years to figure what strategies helped me to study “boring” information.
I’ve worked for decades in advertising, corporate and consumer marketing, and digital media. Billions of dollars are spent every year to research human behavior in order to maximize engagement. With the wealth of behavioral science and research available, I want to help create a curriculum that guide our students to desire learning.
As a kid, I loved the field of science, technology, and animation. My parents also, especially my dad, loved gadgets, which was great for me because I loved taking things apart… sometimes with a hammer. Since those days I’ve tried to keep up with new discoveries and technological breakthroughs.
With the advent of tablets in the classrooms, app development, software as a service, the internet of things, and distance learning I believe we can now more than ever construct a curriculum that focuses on concept mastery. Over the past 20+ years I’ve had the fortune of working with many national and international brands to create engagement using varied technology. Shortly before having kids of my own, I’d often think about how these growing technology trends can be used in schools. Tools like augmented and virtual reality, service development and deployment, realtime data analytics, courseload logistics. I would love to explore their positive impact on our schools in Kittery.
Encouraging failure may seem counter to the goals of school, but it’s the central theme in fun video games. Psychologist Carol Dweck’s work on developing a growth mindset is central to getting kids excited about learning.
Salman Khan created Khan Academy with mastery in mind. He's said that even a student with a 95% score on a test has a 5% gap in their mastery. The goal isn’t to excoriate them for imperfection, but to guide them to want to find their missing understanding.
Author Ken Robinson talks a lot about giving kids a reason to learn. The idea is to create a curriculum based on their interests, turning them into active hunters for the knowledge to better their personal ambitions.
Kids live in a world where adults know all the answers, but when the tables are turned they light up. I want to introduce subjects where students and teachers learn interesting subjects. That way we show them the joy of discovery.
Play is more than just fun and games. The latest neuroscience shows that strategic physical activity (aka hide and seek) help develop new neural pathways, and can help with neurogenesis that lasts well into the late years.
The evidence of many studies show that kids who learn to speak more than one language can have improvement in standardized testing, multitasking, and problem solving. Plus knowing how to ask for the bathroom if you’re in another country is good too.
When studying the brains of people who play musical instruments, scientists observed through FMRI and PET scanners that multiple sites in the brain fired. It turns out that it’s like a mental workout that create and strengthens neurological connections. It also makes people happy.
Building tangible functioning projects is a great way to drive understanding. With the popularity of microcontroller boards like Arduio and microcomputer boards like Raspberry Pi students can build the foundation of problem solving with immediate feedback.
I'd love to hear about your vision and dreams for Kittery's future.
Because with encouragement, our kids will lead us there.
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