Monday, December 8, 2008

TIES 2008: Today's Evens, Tomorrow's Odds

Keith Rysoski, Superintendent of Stillwater Area Public schools talked in his session about "Thinking out of the Box".
Teachers need to facilitate the learning, but we put them into a box that makes it difficult.
If we want them to think outside of the box, we need to get them out of the box.

He used a video of an amoeba to illustrate that students are constantly learning and changing. We should be asking kids questions like:
Why is it moving, why does it change, what if we shown a light on it or dropped saltwater on it? Instead, we ask them to draw and label the parts, then assess them and are satisfied.
He asks buisiness leaders what skills students will need to have to be successful in 2021, the year this year's Kindergarteners will graduate?
What is technology- He brought out a microscope to illustrate that technology appears in many different ways. Just look at the phones kids have today!
He said that if you want to start a one to one program, just to have a one to one program, don't do it.
Look at what are the skill sets that kids will need to be successful, besides reading, writing and math.
Look at the 21st Century Skills. Just because creativity is not on a state test, that doesn't mean we should ignore it. What are we doing to prepare kids to be better tomorrow than they are today.
He used the 1989 San Francisco earthquake to illustrate the many authentic learning opportunities he was unable to introduce to his students because each student didn't have a laptop.

1. At the HEART of what makes the Oakland program successful.
Belief in NOT the technology-Kids, opportunities, access to information, creative expression. "I am successfull and I didn't learn that way!"
Passion there will be people against you! Because it's what's right.
Determination only successful if you are determined

2. The HEAD component is:
Role Playing If you were comfortable in the old paradigm (desks in rows, sage on the stage, etc.), teachers need to facilitate learning, not dictate learning! Teacher: "I had to remember I was the (Insert discipline here) and they were the technology expert" Where are the students in the classroom
Professional Development-After 6 years, teachers going to conferences need to talk with others who teach the way you do. Make connections to allow this conversation about instruction. THE KEY!

Cell phones out on the desk using them as student response systems.

3. HANDS component
Rule Book-How do you make sure they won't do something that their not supposed to? Expectations! If you think they won't follow,they won't! Stillwater meeting Parent-"You can't give these to the kids, they'll throw them out the bus window!" Student-"These same people who don't trust me with technology are the same ones who call me to babysit!"
Roll Out/Roll In plan He would prefer the roll in didn't happen, but allowed for more extended learning
All Hands on Deck-Minimize down time. Have a plan in place.
Lids Up/Open- Teachers decide when kids will be using them. NOT all the time. Don't be afraid to say, "Lids down!"

He showed a series of pictures of students using their laptops in class and pointed out that this was not a computer class, it was integrated in regular classes.

One to One Learning Initiative, not Laptop initiative!!!!!
He encourages people interested in starting this initiative, to begin, and end with Professional Development-This is not Technology professional development-It's tied to the curriculum!
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