Monday, June 30, 2008 in the Classroom

I couldn't go to the National Education Computing Conference in San Antonio, but I was able to watch a great session on using streaming video in the classroom, right in my kitchen while I made dinner!
Free video streaming by Ustream

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Partnership for 21st Century Skills in Minnesota?

I attended a meeting today at Pearson with Mike Booke, a school board member from Marshall, MN and Dan Meyer, CEO of Atomic Learning regarding bringing the Partnership for 21st Century Skills to Minnesota.
The focus of the meeting was on:
1)The importance of the 21st Century Skills Initiative
2)What the Framework is
3)Where do we go from here in Minnesota?

Dan Meyer from Atomic Learning gave the initial presentation, and then turned it over to Mike Booke. He apparently is a school board member in Marshall who is leading a grass roots effort to make this happen. His superintendent was there as well. Marshall has incorporated the Framework into his district's strategic plan.

Meyer spoke about looking at what has worked in other states:
1)Develop stakeholder consensus
2)Embed 21st Century Skills into the standards
3)Embed 21st Century Skills into Professional Development and pre-service learning
4)Embed 21st Century Skills in Assessments

Booke said they are taking a 3-Prong approach to working towards implementation in Minnesota:
1)Seek and get State Policy-Maker Endorsement (They’re meeting with Commissioner Seagren this afternoon to gauge her support.)
2)Establish a Minnesota Partnership for 21st Century Skills organization.
3)Establish Regional partnerships for implementation across the state.

They are looking at forming a steering committee to work on this.

They took suggestions from around the room, one of which was to put them in the context of STEM. This will get the Governor’s attention!

Also including the Minnesota Business partnership and possibly incorporating it with the "Minnesota Promise" initiative will help.

They are supposed to be forwarding out their presentations and will e-mail participants the outcome of this afternoon’s meeting.

Since there is now no one in the Department of Education assigned to Educational Technology issues, for any change to occur, it looks like it will need to be from the ground up. Here's hoping that this initiative is a step in the right direction for improving education in Minnesota!

World Mosaic Created From 1001 Web 2.0 Logos

World Mosaic Created From 1001 Web 2.0 Logos

Posted using ShareThis

This site is a map made from the logos of over 1,000 Web 2.0 applications! They expand when rolled over and link to the site. Very cool!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Revenge of the Right Brainers: Daniel Pink at the U of M

On Tuesday, June 3, while 30,000+ people were gathered in St. Paul to hear Barack Obama declare victory, there was a slightly smaller gathering in Minneapolis to hear noted author Daniel Pink at the University of Minnesota.
I decided to go the old fashioned route, and blog on paper, but the technology failed me! My pen stopped working on the first page!

A link to the audio from this talk will be here shortly.

At the request of the participants no photography was allowed, so here's my view from the "Bob Uecher seats!"

Pink and Darlyne Bailey, Dean of the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development, had a lively conversation covering many topics in Pink's three books. The following list (Pink said he likes lists...a lot!) include topics with relevance to K-12 education.
  1. On how educators can balance creativity with critical thinking, Pink maintained that the two sides were linked, and that as K-12 educators we needed to teach for the students future as opposed to their past. The jobs that students will have 20 years from now may not even be named yet, and so teaching critical thinking and creativity together is imperative.
  2. The K-12 buildings of today look and smell the same as they did 30 years ago! Research is showing that students who learn in "well designed" spaces have higher test scores. He advocated having students involved in the design process of educational space.
  3. It is more important to lead a life of significance than a life of success.
  4. "The way to change the system is to start changing the system!"
  5. "Too much of the work we make students do exists in artificial 'school world'." He mentioned writing a paper for a class compared to an article for the school newspaper as an example. The more authentic learning the better. (Sounds like "schooliness")
  6. As educators we should model and reward authenticity.
  7. He mentioned the best way to foster right brain thinking was to include autonomy, mastery, and purpose. He spoke of Best Buy's Result's Only Work Environment as a model for companies. (Could it work in education?) When Google gave employees 20% of their work day to work on things they wanted, 50% of the company's new offerings that year came from that time!

In her first question of the night, Dr. Bailey spoke about the syncronicity she felt when she was offered her new position and Pink's book came out. There was great interconnectedness. I felt the same thing when Pink started talking about educating students for their future, not our past, much like John Dewey over 60 years ago! (See video here.)

"Go Wireless" Pilot video

I put this video together for the "Go Wireless" Community of Practice pilot next fall.
Some of the images I took myself, and many I found on Flickr, using the advanced search for Creative Commons licensed work with Attribute/Share alike licenses.
The music came from a band called The Heavens, which I accessed on Jamendo, a music sharing site.