Thursday, May 8, 2008

Why change? Why now?

For WSFCS staff, I am aware that YouTube is blocked by our site but this video is worth seeing if you will check it from home.

**This is also being posted on http://divastechnology.blogspot.com




For the past several months, I have been preaching to district and school level technology staff that we must spend a MINIMUM of 15 minutes a day learning new information. This will not keep us ahead of technology and learning but it will help us keep the pace. Each day, I find myself spending more and more time (mostly at home much to my husband's chagrin) and it does get my head "spinning" to quote Carol Grandy.


During my time last night catching up on my Google Reader and my Twitter feeds, I came across the video above on YouTube. Although I have used other videos to discuss change and the 21st century skills, this may be my new favorite. I have now watched it several times, stopped and started it, and written down a few notes...


"Every device turned off is potentially a turned off child."

By school board policies, we ask our children to check their devices at the door. We worry about the cheating and the lack of attention paid to school work. As I read David Warlick's post on AUP dated today May 8, 2008, I found myself cheering for a school who is thinking outside of the box and connecting kids rather than disconnecting kids. Here is what he said...

Then, taking a minute to thumb through the April issue of Technology & Learning Magazine (Welcome Kevin Hogan), I ran across six schools in Brooklyn who have given cell phones to their students — a total of about 2,500. Each phone is preloaded with with 130 minutes of talk time. Students can be rewarded with additional minutes for good behavior, attendance, homework, and test scores.

Kids are living in the "NEARLY NOW" It is not quite synchronous. It is a place to reflect, research, and repeat. It is a great world for learning.

Don't we want this for our students? Don't we want this for us? As educators, we need the time to process the information coming at us and then reflect on what it means to us. If that becomes part of our daily practice, we can model it for our students.

"We have a classroom system when we could have a community system."

No matter what your politics are, we ALL know "it takes a village." Our system is trying to focus on developing Professional Learning Communities. 21st Century Skills call for global awareness. We need to think big not small.

"If I want the students to make global connections, give the tools to the teachers first. Provide them with opportunities [for global connections]."

Our kids are starting to understand global connections. It is time to get our teachers to rethink the possibilities. As I moved from my classroom to a school-level position to a district-level position, my eyes were opened to my community and that allowed me to have a better understanding of my roles and responsibilities. Students and teachers will benefit from connecting with others. It can be the most powerful staff development/learning environment. A great example of this is Twitter. As I began to use Twitter, I quickly was in touch with educators from around the world. Suddenly, I heard about projects and resources being shared by classrooms from different countries, states, and systems.

21st Century Learning is not about memorizing facts. Do you know how to find information, validate it, synthesize it, leverage it, communicate it, collaborate with it, and problem solve it?

This became clear to me a little over a year ago when, at NCaect, Will Richardson spoke and posed the question, "Is it important to memorize the state capitals or know how to find the answer?" Karl Fisch states in his "Did You Know 2.0" video that by 2010 information will be doubling every 72 hours. How can kids memorize information (all new information) every 72 hours? Isn't it more important to teach students how to harness the power of information, evaluate it, and communicate it?

"Teach a man to fish..."

"This is the DEATH OF EDUCATION BUT THE DAWN OF LEARNING."

How exciting! I want to be part of a community that is focused on learning for all. Why change? Why now? Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach says, "Teachers who don't use technology will be replaced by teachers who do." I plan on working for schools for a long time. Hope you'll join me!

21 comments:

swalker said...

"Teachers who don't use technology will be replaced by teachers who do."

Even when I was in the "regular" classroom, whatever that is, I wanted to use tools and technology to motivate and engage my students. There was almost no need to sell the curriculum to the students on what we were working on because they wanted to use the technology. To use it - they HAD to have content. As a teacher, I just had to make sure that content was meaningful and relevant.

Now, with the multitude of ways students can express themselves, the OPPORTUNITIES are mindblowing.

Jacquetta Morrison said...

Very good points by the both of you. Marlo I enjoyed your comments and they were right on the mark. I found this article that I wanted to share from LeaderTalk dealing with those issues also.

http://www.leadertalk.org/2007/03/technology_inte.html

nancy shrewsbury said...

I am firmly convinced schools have to find a way to make technology available for kids and teachers. No excuses.We can't afford to leave those computers in the corner gathering dust and keep on teaching the old way. Kids will love the opportunity to use them. Teachers need to know how they can integrate technology on a daily basis. Thankfully we are getting that chance here at Bolton. I can't wait to dig in! I know it is going to be the best learning experience I have had in many years!

Leslie McMillan said...

The video is very powerful! We as educators must embrace technology and change our teaching as technology changes. Our students are counting on us!

Educating from the HEART said...

I believe that we, as educators, have to be dynamic in educating the Net Generation. If we want our students to be interested and if we want to be effective in education we must embrace technology. Our purpose is to be a positive influence and to impart knowledge in our students who are the professionals of tomorrow. If we use technology it will excite them to learn, that excitement will ignite a love of life-long learning. Then we would have accomplished our goal - a society of educated individuals.

Hayley Gilliland said...

While watching this video, it reminded me that as my years of high school and college came to an end, I too was one "of the kids" learning in the nearly now. I have grown up with technology. Examples being a computer, internet, cell phones, texting, facebook, myspace, etc. (It is amazing that I can get directions on my cell phone when I am lost.) During my years in college as a graduate assistant it was my job to oversee that one of my lecture classes was hooked up and online to a rural county in West Virginia. Being that I am from rural WV I had the opportunity of going away to college in the second largest city of WV. However, many people do not have that luxury. Therefore; I could understand the benefits of these students receiving the same type of education as me via the internet. It is not their fault they live in a remote location and it takes hours for them to get to a major city where they could attend classes. I believe that technology can do only great things for our students and our world just like the video states. It is our job as educators to understand it and embrace it.

Robin Mace said...

I enjoyed watching this video because it really made me think about using technology to not only further student's education, but also using it to further a teachers knowledge of different subjects. Being only one of four teachers at our school that teach special education, I am often faced with many question about how to best serve the students in my class with a variety of disabilities. By using technology as a tool and making “global connections” I have found “chat rooms” where I can voice my concerns and questions about teaching students with disabilities. Often I am able to start dialogue with other special educators where we offer suggestions and support one another.

The students of this technology savvy generation have access to information using all different kinds of media. The day of paper, pencil, and textbooks learning is over. Teachers need to stay fresh and current and provide students with interesting ways of learning and gaining information. I can’t wait to better utilize technology in my classroom to help provoke learning.

Christon Rann said...

Technology is a powerful tool that can be used to enhance education. As educators, we can no longer choose to sit back and watch. Being advocates of lifelong learning means that we must jump aboard the technology ship with both eyes open ready to learn. We must be able to teach our children so that they will have all they need to compete globally.

The wonderful thing about technology is that it can be used to enhance lessons across the curriculum. Just imagine the possiblities.........

clayton2 said...

Wow, what a powerful video! If we as educators do not change and fast our students will be teaching us- maybe things we do not want to know!

debbie cormier said...

Wow! The students are already there in so many ways. They are the ones with these resources at their fingertips. We (educators) are the ones who are lagging behind.
We really need to be fearless and try everything possible to use these resources. Our 21st century learners really need us and we really need them!!

Audrena Garland said...

It is essential for schools and teachers to adjust their curriculum and teaching styles to fit the needs of our students. As the clipping mentioned our kids have a much more stimulating and rich environment outside of school than they do inside of school. It should not be this way. We as educators have to find fun, exciting, and engaging ways to simulate our students' thinking and involvement in school. If ignore the benefits of technology, we are setting our students up for failure.

allison barham said...

I wonder why it has taken us so long to catch on to this idea that there is such a huge disconnect between the lives students have outside of school and the environment they have in our classrooms. They are capable of so much technology and even being as young as I am, sometimes I have to have my students teach me something about a cell phone or mp3player. I think we all know that the issue at hand is not that students are leery of the technology or that they might not enjoy it. I used the laptops with my students frequently this year and every single time we utilized them, they were completely engrossed!
I also think it is a crucial point for us as educators to embrace the idea that our job is no longer to teach students what the "right" answers are, but rather to teach them about the tools they will use in the future to find and deem valid whatever information and knowledge they need.

bgibbs said...

I am overwhelmed by all there is to learn. If I can learn and subsequently teach even a small portion, then I will feel that I have succeeded.

Erika said...

I also found this video to be very enlightening, but also challenging. I find it ironic that I completed my entire teaching certification and Master's program online, but I did not have one class that dealt with how to teach students to use technology. I am very excited about the opportunity we have been given, and also about the effects it will have on my students.

Cachia said...

This video did a great job in illustrating how badly our education system needs to catch up to the times. There is no excuse for our education system to be ranked behind coal mining in terms of computer use. I grew up in the video game generation and am used to using all forms of technology throughout my life. Its very important for our students to know how to find and assess the validity of information that can found in today's society. I also feel that it can do wonders for their confidence level in that it encourages higher level thinking to research and assess the vast amount of information that can be found.

Michelle said...

One point that was made in the video is that standardized testing stifles creativity, which is a necessary skill for real world problem-solving and learning. With all the state testing we have to administer, we often feel pressured to teach our students to regurgitate facts and information the states feels these students should know. It doesn't really encourage their creativity or "thinking outside the box" skills. The video also talked about the school being only one of the learning environments our students are exposed to. Their learning takes place everywhere they visit or exist and that is in a world of technology and globalization. I think it is imperative that we make their school learning environment connect to the real world outside these brick walls. Technology is a tool that will bring a continuity to their holistic learning experience.

CATHY FERGUSON said...

I am now convinced I must change my thinking to meet the needs of my students as well as my computer skills. Wow! Technology is a way of life now and that is the way it is. My motto now is think big and not small.

SLICK said...

When I was growing up, computers just started to come into the homes for personal use. If you had internet and email, you were "rich"! There was one cell phone provider, and cell phones could not fit in your back pocket!!! I am not that old, and thinking back to how fast these changes happened, SCARY!! So, what next?
It is our responsibility as teachers/parents to embrace technology and educate our students/children how to responsibly use it to access the world. If we don't, someone else will.... Who is responsible?

D.McIntyre said...

I think teachers who teach using technology offer their students a bridge that connects their students with the real world. The last comments in the video on students finding information, validating it, synthesizig it and using it to solve problems are powerful and should be our vision as educators. This video was eye opening and powerful in getting us to really think about the impact and responsibility we have on/to our students as teachers and technology facilitators.

dsorensen said...

When I began teaching I was frustrated by the boundaries of the classroom walls. I wanted my students to experience learning first hand, not just through my words and actions.

Watching the video reinforced what I know now...there are no boundaries. Let's get into the real world!

bbrown said...

The Why Change? Why Now? video just reinforces the need for Bolton's involvement in such an exciting project. This will give us another avenue to reach our students, parents, and the WORLD! It's hard believe not to many years ago we thought we had accomplished something when we could use the computer instead of a typewriter.