Share your thoughts on COPPA with the FTC: https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/2011copparulereview/
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Share your thoughts on COPPA with the FTC: https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/2011copparulereview/
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
- Test- focused schools create a culture of compliance, not independent thinkers
- "How many of you think your schools get it HALF right?" Only about 10% raised hands. Yikes!
- combine old ideas (Dewey) and new tools
- We are developing citizenry not a workforce
- lousy data = lousy decisions -Use "good" data when making decisions based on data
- Value the work students do every day, not just on standardized test day
- "Deliver pizza, not instruction" "We need to reclaim the language." "We TEACH."
- "Don't ban cell phones. Why deny them the tools if you can't afford the tools?" "They're going to use them anyway." "[So teach them how to use them!]"
- Not changing how we teach is more about us than the students. Are we willing to unlearn and relearn?
- We teach kids not subjects
- "What are our own personal slide rules?" What are we teaching that is now outdated?
- Schools should be student centered. When you go into the classroom, you should play "find the teacher".
- Education should be community based - "we can learn from many" Video Conferences - we are not bounded by 4 walls anymore
- What if we challenge students - "High School is Real Life" What you do now does matter, your passions are what matters.
- We want students to think about thinking
- Project based learning - the end result is not a test but a product created by students
- "If you get 30 copies of the same thing you didn't give a project you gave a recipe. Let them own it."
- technology need to be like oxygen. It should not be something special. Technology is like oxygen - ubiquitous, necessary, and invisible.
- "When was the last time you took your kids to a pencil lab?" Tech should be everywhere.
- What we Want for Kinds we MUST also want for teachers and the school.
- Problematize Everything - What is the worst consequence of your BEST idea? (Great way to think)
- Empower Kids - It is their education and it will be THEIR world.
- What do we teach kids? We teach them wisdom.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Reviewing my tweets, I realize that the actual theme was closer to "Making Good Choices and Guiding Change". What follows are a collection of my tweets which I think will sum up the most important takeaways.
Understanding choices. Sheena Iygenar's keynote The Art of Choosing was a wonderful guide to rethinking the way we guide and manage others.
- Relationship between leadership and choice - as leaders we are defined by our choices.
- Effective leaders don't just empower themselves with choice, but others around them as well.
- No choice or too many choices - workers felt leaders were either dictators or incompetent.
- Choose with wisdom and compassion towards others and you are on your way to mastering the art of choosing.
- Left learners with a problem with no pedagogy - the children developed the pedagogy.
- When teachers can be replaced by a machine, something needs to change. When learners have interest, they learn.
- We say change is hard, but we accept change willingly in so many instances. There are times we embrace it.
- The emotional part of our brains is like an elephant, with the rational part the small rider at the top. Who wins?
- Analyzing problems comes naturally, analyzing successes does not. Successes can point the direction for successful change.
- Find the "bright spots" in your school. Why are the best teachers, best students the way they are? Study your bright spots.
- What looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity. - Ambiguity is the enemy of change.
- People have the wrong model of change. We think it's: analyze, think, change. But it's: See something, feel something, change. (His example was the Embrace Life: Always Wear Your Seatbelt video.)
- By shaping the path the change becomes easier - when the situation changes, people change.
- If you want change, failure is part of the deal. Struggle en route is inevitable.
- No more damning evidence of the education in this country than the quality the public demands from the media.
- Democracy - if a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it never was and never will be. (Thomas Jefferson)
- We measure by one standard - are our children able to compete in the global economy? Values have diminished. Liz Coleman
- We have professionalized Liberal Arts to the point that they don't provide heightened civic behavior, which was their hallmark.
- The values and voices of democracy are silenced with devastating consequences.
- We only have ourselves to blame when we hand over responsibility to someone else. You have a choice.
- You get no credit for moderation if you are just applauding the status quo. Go for the gold.
- Conforming in the name of accountability we focus on left brain skills and we lose creativity.
- The Future is Open - Content, Socialization, Credit/Assessment are the three buckets.
- PLNs - YouTube - we help each other learn- spontaneous learning in the wild. Schools should jump on it!
- Linkedin career explorer - Data-driven career planning- find out what others in your position have done
- Learning from online tutorials offer more options - repeat, review, move ahead, struggle with the concept. No one is watching you.
- Flipped the teaching with tutorials: Technology humanized the classroom - kids are teaching each other and teacher gets to mentor.
- Khan's vision is by seeing how students do on site, it can increase student - to- valuable time with the teacher ratio.
- Self-paced learning - who are the fast or slow students? Maybe the fast ones were just assessed at the right time.
- Disruptive technologies used well can actually humanize the classroom.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
At the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) Annual Conference, held in Washington, DC last week, there was a striking confluence of those who view digital citizenship as an extension of our daily roles as citizens, and those who have a vested interest in keeping the alarm bells going in order to draw parents and teachers into their camp for speaking engagements, stand-alone curricula, web-tracking, web-blocking, or mobile phone tracking services.
Mike Ribble, co-author of ISTE’s Digital Citizenship in Schools, started a rumble that was picked up by successive speakers when he stated that it is time to drop "digital" and talk about citizens that are using technology and how they are using it. Similarly, Anne Collier of Net Family News and ConnectSafely.org suggested we recognize that our online activities are so integrated in our daily lives that we should shake off the old context of a separation between "virtual reality" and reality. That puts our digital and non-digital behavior back in the realm of parents and classroom teachers – it stops being a business or sensational new story and goes on the list of “everything I learned in kindergarten”.
The need for children and adults to understand the importance of Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship has spawned multiple non-profits and a plethora of for-profit offerings that promise to come in and make it all better for school systems and for parents. Since our culture has lost the “I can do it” attitude and now values the pre-packaged and store-bought over things that are actually homemade, we are lured into thinking that doing it ourselves is just too hard or will be insufficient. But in the end, what could be simpler than the Golden Rule? The bottom line is always the golden rule – teach empathy, tolerance, civility, and how to stand up for ourselves and for what is right. Teach it at home, at school, in every class. Integrate it into dinner table conversations; bring it up in the gossip sessions in the car on the way home from swim practice. If all of us, parents, teachers, leaders of all types, feel empowered to create their own messages, we might not be able to make a living out of digital citizenship, but we would more rapidly succeed in creating better citizens both in virtual reality and reality.
Saturday, March 06, 2010
The Word Cloud from our discussion of the needs and attributes of the Class of 2024
We met to discuss this seemingly distant future with our Board's education committee and a group of curriculum leaders for grades PK-4. A wide ranging discussion ensued, including visions of the future demand for world resources and the resulting need to be more resourceful and environmentally aware, and the need to be connected globally, not just to impoverished countries that need a share of our bounty, but to cultures across the world that are as developed as ourselves and therefore give us a different perspective on ourselves. We wondered about how to balance the future of online courses and connections with the eternal need for personal relationships and emotional growth and development. There was hope we will provide our students with the tools and attitudes that will make them innovators, creators, and collaborators. But the conversation just kept coming back to one main theme: we need to give them time.
Time pervaded all of the discussion, as can be seen in the word cloud. Time for students to relax and discover things, to play outside in unstructured moments, time to delve into a subject that inspires them and actually take their ideas to a conclusion, time to breathe and cultivate their thinking, time to focus on studies that are important to their development without the burden of homework for homework's sake. Of course the time issue related to our teachers as well: time to learn new ways of approaching students, time to develop authentic ways to integrate technology, to teach more languages, to be able to offer service learning experiences both locally and abroad.
The big questions that emerged in the end was the ever-present issue of our school schedule, both daily and the annual school calendar. In order to offer additional language courses, the opportunity to explore robotics or other engineering in depth, to develop meaningful relationships across neighborhoods and borders must we extend the school day? the school year? Do we change the schedule to a more European model where school sessions are punctuated by longer, more frequent breaks but school continues through most of the summer?
It will take much creative thinking and willingness to change our familiar routines to meet the goals of our lofty brainstorming. There are solutions, but they are not necessarily rooted in our current conceptions of what is important and therefore will require a leap into the unknown - not a leap educators are comfortable with as a rule. I look forward to continuing this discussion as our schools wrestles to define itself in the future.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
The panelists opened with statements about their view of the future of learning. Comments included:
· The future is networking and interconnection
· We have to adapt to our students - we have to stop telling our students to adapt to us.
· Technology that enables/culture that empowers/teaching that engages are required.
· Back to John Dewey - His ideas were about putting students in touch with their own learning. An example is project-based learning
· School life should be more like real life.
· Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself - John Dewey
All of this led to a discussion that was not so much about what learning will be like in the future, but was a message to the 4,000 assembled educators about the future of teaching. Add to the list above the following challenges to teachers at all levels:
· Teach teachers that it's okay for the classroom to look like organized chaos. Group dynamics is the big thing. Teachers are facilitators.
· Return us to an age when students were taught in a more intimate way, when they were in touch with families.
· Teachers as facilitators -- no longer “the sage on the stage”
· Start with the teachers: Re-light the lightbulb in the head. Remember what it feels like to be a hungry learner.
· Rather than "covering curriculum" we can help our students uncover meaning.
· We can help guide them in school about appropriate use and time spent online so they are more thoughtful about the time they spend at home. That means engaging in online work at school to start the dialogue.
· We need to reach our kids - include them as smart participants and honor their interests.
And finally, we ended with the thought that really challenges all of our teachers, possibly beyond their comfort zone:
“We are so comfortable with what we have today, we look for confirmation of our existing hypothesis. We look in the rearview mirror. The future either looks like the present or a lot like the past in most of our imaginations.”
How can we extend our imaginations to meet and comprehend the present, then to look forward to our student’s real world future (not our imagined one)?
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Whenever I am asked to speak about what we do in Technology classes, I always say we try to engage students in authentic work that is enhanced by the technology. The listeners always nod approval, but I doubt they have a clue what I’m talking about. On Wednesday I got to hear students articulate how having access to digital tools has enhanced their learning as they engage in a challenging, yet innovative high school curriculum.
On Wednesday I attended the three-hour workshop at NAIS given by Howard Levin and students and faculty from the Urban School in San Francisco. The Urban School is a 9-12 school that has had a 1-to-1 laptop program for 12 years. This was the third time I've heard Howard speak about his school - the first time his focus was the nuts and bolts of starting and maintaining a laptop program, the second was about his incredible work collecting oral histories with students. (www.tellingstories.org/) This workshop opened the doors of the school (without going on site) and gave us a sense of how students and teachers engage in "digital practices" that enhance the learning and build relationships between students and faculty. Howard explained that he is discouraging the work “technology” and encouraging the term “digital practices” to describe the integration of digital tools in the curriculum.
What made this presentation powerful was the students who stood up to describe the ways in which having ubiquitous access to digital tools has enhanced their learning and enriched their school experience. Teachers introduced a project and then the students stepped up to describe how the digital practices were a significant aid to their learning. There was an example of students deconstructing a challenging poem by sharing their initial reactions in an open conversation online that collected responses and clarified meaning for them before they discussed it in class. In science they created short films using stop motion to demonstrate understanding of important concepts. For history, a student shared the process she went through as she used primary sources to research life in medieval times and then created a newspaper that demonstrated her understanding of life in that period. Another student spoke eloquently about how important it has been to have access to notes and lectures online after class because her learning disability makes it challenging to absorb everything in one session.
Each student (and I only share a few examples here) made it clear that the laptops and the digital practices have given them more access to learning, ownership of the process, and the opportunity to find creative ways to demonstrate their understanding. If you ever wondered how ubiquitous access to technology can change a student’s experience, the work the Urban School is doing makes it clear that courageous teachers, willing to imagine what is possible, enable students to learn ways that best suit their learning style and inspire them to get deeply involved in the learning process.