Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
His focus today is on 21st Century Learning and the current progress on it.
This is an interesting time for education right now.
A tale of Two Cities...The best of times and the worst of times!
What is really going on in Education right now:
- 1 Foot in the Industrial Age model-An old boat that looks a little rusty
- Drop out rates are high because the kids are "over-bored!"
- 1 Foot in the "iBoat!"
- The boats are moving apart from each other
- At some point we need to make a decision on where we are headed.
- This is the case all over the world
How do we get through this transition?
Churchill said, "You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing...After they have tried everything else!""The critical question: What do students need to learn to be successful in the 21st Century?
Unfortunately, we have a "rear view mirror" syndrome. We were all in school.. this prevents us from moving forward! We need to toss out the rear view mirror and focus on the future!
It Ain't what it used to be!-Berra
The best way to predict the future is to invent it! -Kay
Why do we need 21st century learning?
What do students now need?
How do we get there?
Trilling then lead us through "The four question exercise"
1. In 20 Years, when the child leaves formal education, what will the world be like?
- Like the Jetsons!
- Independent/Personalized Learning
- Increased Computer Capability
- Overcrowded and too warm
- Work from home, anytime, anyplace
- Digital Natives in control
- Disparity between haves and have nots!
- Learning is entertaining
- More communication, less boundaries, more connected!
- Quality of life based on access to technology
- Ability to learn and adapt independently
- Not always a "right" answer
- Culturally aware AND Globally responsible!
- REALLY good communication skills
- Growth minded!-Willing to believe that they can and should continue to learn!
- Keeping up with the technology
- Synthesize and evaluate information
- The easy way is not always the right, moral or ethical way!
- Finding Balance-Mind, body and spirit
- Connection with the natural world!
- Open minded
- Know how to "brand" themselves!
3. In your own life, what were the conditions that supported your peak learning experiences?
- Enthusiastic/passionate teachers, content and students
- Supportive parents
- Learning more important than behavior
- Not driven by grades-Importance of topic is valued
- Taking responsibility for own learning
- Connection and empowerment to rest of the world
- Travel, people skills
- Involved positive risk-taking
- Part of a learning community
Trilling: We have created a blueprint for learning!
What would learning look like if it was designed around these
Which skill is most important? Trilling says, "LEARNING! The profession of being an adult in the 21st Century!"
Trilling reminded us of home media technology in 1975 to today. He also notes that students are different today from how they were then as well.
- Personalized Learning
- Speedy access to online research, writing, sharing, project tools
- Social Tools
- High School Survey of Student Engagement from Indiana:
- 65% of students are bored every day
- 82% Material not interesting
- Not relevant
- No Teacher interaction
Businesses want: Oral skills, teaming, project management-AMA 2010 Critical Skills Survey
The Future World of Work-Routine work done by people or machines going to the lowest bidder. Creative work is where it's at!
He then showed the Partnership for 21st Century Skills Framework. If you look at the framework, almost all were mentioned in the audience response above!
He calls this the 7 "C's"
- Content Understanding
- Critical Thinking
- Cross Cultural Understanding
- Computing Skills
- Career and Civic Learning and Self-Reliance
3R's x 7C's =21st Century Learning
How do we do this?
Trilling then showed a clip from Dan Meyer's TEDxNYED talk:
"Every student is intuitively involved." There is no answer in the back of the book! Trilling says that like Dan Meyer, We need to "Be Less Helpful!"
When we "learn about learning" we know that we need context, caring, construction, competence, and community.
He then shared a "Deeper Learning" School Network whose schools use a project-based approach that introduces an authentic essential question to start the learning process. This network includes Edvisions Schools, which includes the Minnesota New Country Day School.
Trilling talked about the importance of the Essential Question in the Project Based Learning process.
He closed his talk with a wonderful story about a school in California that for 18 years has been working on a project that started with a simple question...
Monday, December 6, 2010
Carol McFarland, a Minnesota State Representative from White Bear Lake, Minnesota, came to share her thoughts on educational advocacy issues at the state level. Before she became a legislator, she was a parent volunteer and school board member. She reminded us that democrat or republican, you can not pigeon hole legislators, as they are all individuals. It is important to talk to both parties. Education is NOT about partisanship. She is on the Education Policy committee, and believes that there needs to be better alignment between K-12 and post secondary. What are issues regarding collaborating. Currently, cities, counties and townships do not have to go to the voters regarding expenditures. Schools do. This needs to change.
Tell your story, to ANYBODY and EVERYBODY! Engage your legislators, not just your local legislators. Contact committee members, but don't stop there! If you have individually done your work telling your story, when bills get to the floor, all will have heard it!
Build coalitions! How many know that the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce has Education as a high priority! The problem is we speak different languages. They want a return on investment, and a strong work force. The battle scars of political elections make it difficult for people to get together to work on issues, but work together they must!
Letters are more effective than e-mails, since people took the time to write, rather than copy and paste an e-mail. This is significant! Make appointments to talk with legislators. It is more effective to write a short, sweet letter to tell your story. Robo-e-mails are less effective. Sometimes students are the best advocates, but make it genuine, not prepped! "Bills are a start of a conversation!" It may not pass, but it gets the conversation going! The Minnesota Department of Education has been cut so much that it is hard for them to advocate. Many omnibus bills are voted on whether bills have more good than bad. Approach legislators with opportunities and solutions rather than just telling them to fix it. Tell your story! She shared how her granddaughter's 3rd grade teacher has received grants to integrate technology into his curriculum. Ananth Pai, the teacher happened to walk by as she spoke. He said, the best thing you can do is invite people to your classroom! TPT did an interview on what he is doing as well!
Hillary pointed out that when teachers scrape and hunt for funding, it causes a difficult issue when trying to move something to scale. As advocates, this makes things tricky, because not every teacher can do that, and there are only so many grants to go around.
Just Show Up!
Jennifer Bergland, Director of Government Affairs for the Texas Computing Education Association Skyped in, to share how she started and what she does.
Legislation happens from those who show up! So show up! Instead of being intimidated by the process, remember that you are the expert that has information that can help legislators. The more you know them, the more they seek out you! Sign up for ETAN or other resources that push information to you!
She majored in Political Science, but she went into education because she loved kids. She worked as a Social Studies teacher, Technology Director and now the TCEA. She felt that her organizations were not doing enough to advocate for Ed Tech Funding. 7 years ago, she received funding for a Middle Level 1:1 initiative. As that project evolved, she realized the need to advocate at the state level for funding.
She worked with Tech Companies, the Texas School Board Association, and teachers organizations. She worked on a bill to allow districts to use textbook funds in a flexible way, so that they only have to buy classroom sets rather than one for each student, so that remaining funds can be used to purchase digital materials and equipment.
Advocating with Members of Congress
Joe Campbell, a member of Senator Amy Klobuchar's office who works on educational policy issues came to talk about what Senate offices are like and how they operate. They have 17 staff in the Minneapolis office, 25 in the Washington office, along with regional offices for out state.
At each office, there are staff who work on specific issues.
Senator Klobuchar reads every response from her office that goes to 5 or more people.
When engaging with a legislator, it is a strategic decision. If it is something that affects a small fraction, you may want to choose a smaller pool to meet with, where if it affects more people, you may want to contact more people.
To schedule a meeting, a member of the staff are always available. Be flexible.
Assume that staff know nothing, but that the member of congress knows everything. Use that time to get into the meat and potatoes. We are the experts! Senator Klobuchar will usually ask questions. Keep it simple, and stick with the agenda. Staff will stay after to discuss further! Be ready to share "the ask!"
It's important to make the effort. The more information legislators have, the better decisions they can make!
Another option is to talk with staff about issues and ask them to write "Dear Colleague" letters to advocate with other legislators to advocate and share stories that way.
Next we had a chance to share our stories and needs in EdTech Funding, and concerns over NCLB reauthorization. I had a chance to share my views on making the National Educational Technology Plan play a more important role in Educational policy.
Campbell stated that Senator Klobuchar is a strong advocate for investing in our national infrastructure, expanding access. Session participant, Josh Sumption, from Marshall, Minnesota discussed the issues in South West Minnesota, where at school there is great access, but at home they are still dial-up. The "school-to-home" option is a good one, but Hillary pointed out that it should happen, but not at the expense of E2T2 funding!
If you have an issue you would like to discuss with a representative from outside your district, right now, you are limited, because on the Web sites, you need to be a member of that district to contact. Campbell said that you should simply state, "I'm not from your district, but have an issue I would like to discuss with you. What is the best method?" Senator Klobuchar has also participated in video conferences from her office. She also stops in every county, every year. Given that Klobuchar is on the Commerce Committee, she may not have as much to say about ESEA reauthorization, but she will play a huge role in broadband infrastructure! Senator Franken is on the Education Committee, and will have an influence on ESEA re-authorization.
We closed the session discussing what we can do moving forward. For those that send an EdTech Advisory Network letter, Hillary would like us to send the response that we get, so that she can track responses. There are more resources on the conference Wiki if you would like more information.
- We are living in a period of revolution.
- If we are to collectively meet this revolution, we need to think differently about ourselves.