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ISTE 2011: The Global Learning Imperative

The Global Learning Imperative: How do we, as teachers, help empower our students to take their learning experience global?

Alan November moderated this session, featuring Kathy Cassidy from Prairie South Schools in Saskatchewan, Michelle Anderson, Principal in Deer Creek Schools in Oklahoma, and Larisa Shelkin, Founder of the Global Technology and Engineering Consortium in Boston.

November started by a story about asking "What is the most important 21st Century skill?" to the CEO of the biggest bank in the world. The banker said, "empathy," because we need people who can evaluate the dynamics of a big project from the perspective of others. The worst people at this are Americans.
He asked some West Point teachers the same question, "Patreaus had asked his staff to read, 3 Cups of Tea. The mission had changed from win the war to win the peace. Empathy is a critical skill in this endeavor.

Michael Wesch, said empathy as well.

Blocking social media that allows s…

ISTE 2011 Keynote John Medina: Brain Rules

The session began with ISTE President, Holly Jobe, sharing her vision, including authenticity, and student centered learning. I was impressed with her philosophy, and her background with the Pennsylvania Classrooms for the Future program. I think ISTE has made a great choice in leadership!




This year's keynote was John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist, and author of Brain Rules. I first heard of Dr. Medina a few years ago through Garr Reynold's Presentation Zen Website, then I bought the book.I blogged about his ideas about multi-tasking, here.
Medina talked much faster than I could take notes on (Still not used to typing on the iPad), so I will share the Twitter feed here of the keynote for important quotes that were shared:




How does formal neuroscience apply to Ed tech or education in general?
He says we don't know!
Still, certain mythologies have evolved:
We only use 10% of our brain's capacityThere are people who are Left brain dominant and others who are Right…

Edubloggercon Session 2: The Flipped Classroom- the Full Picture

Jackie Gerstein suggested this topic because she believes that the teacher is no logger the
"only expert" in the room. She has a great presentation on this here. It's worth the time to view!
Flipped Classroom: The Full Picture
View more presentations from Jackie Gerstein She feels that students can find these videos to get the information from experts rather from the teacher, who may or may not be an expert.
Here are some notes from the conversation:

An AP History teacher shared that he assigned lectures on Monday's and had small group discussions in a blended format over the next two days. Teachers without good discussion skills benefit from smaller discussion groups, and as we found in Edina, students can go deeper into topics of interest.
This teacher starts the year lecturing and showing them how to take notes and get information from the lecture.He requires the students to show their notes in order to participate in the small group discussion. This has proved to b…

Edubloggercon Session 1: How do High performing districts make the shift?

At the first conversation of Edubloggercon, I lead a discussion on the topic of high performing districts and what motivation they have for making "the shift" toward a more student-centered, tech infused model.  Scott Mcleod pointed out before the session that in many ways, it's harder for these districts to change, when the current model seems to be working for them.
In many ways, it takes a "leap of faith" for a district like Edina to focus on higher level, student-centered learning, or project-based learning without having an implementation dip. In fact, to many, that dip CAN'T happen.
The constant increase in Adequate Yearly Progress requirements, also put strain on districts.

Someone mentioned that this MAY be an opportune time for change, because of Common Core Standards going into effect. In Minnesota, the new Language Arts standards are an open door...an increased emphasis on non-fiction along with digital reading and writing mean opportunities for …

ISTE 2011

After an arduous 16 hour train trip, via Washington, I've made it to Philadelphia for ISTE 2011!  I am excited for the learning that will be taking place over the next few days, starting today with Edubloggercon. Edubloggercon is an "unconference," where people submit ideas for conversation and sessions are created. It's an informal time to discuss "big" ideas. This year, I submitted a topic relevant to our district, "How do high performing districts maintain excellence and meet mandates while exploring shifts in learning?"
Over the course of the next few days, I'll be sharing here some of my learning and take-aways, including my presentation on our "1:1 Laptop Learning Journey," which is the title of my poster session on Monday.
Here's a nice photo of all of today's participants, via Peggy George

iPads vs. Netbooks the Final Answer?

ere This school year, I've had the pleasure of working Molly Schroeder leading a group of 29 staff through a Teaching and Technology Cohort through Hamline University. We are currently studying assessment, and one of the course outcomes is to assess what technology staff would select for their classroom. I posed to them this question: Would a laptop/netbook or ipad be a better tool for student use?I broke the participants up into groups and had them research the topic, giving them suggestions here and here of places that had chosen either option. To evaluate the project, I asked them to use this rubric, developed by Doug Johnson for Large Scale Technology Adoption. They were asked to come to a consensus, and then present their findings.
I found it interesting at the time, that some participants followed the rubric religiously, while others seemed to follow their gut feelings! Here was one of the presentations that is representative of the overall impressions:


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