Teaching, Learning, Technology and Personalization

A Discussion with the West Vancouver Administrators Association - June 23, 2010

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Learning Intentions:

  • Share ways teachers ands students are using technology to support learning
  • Challenge some assumptions about teaching and learning
  • Experience "Schooling 2.0"

School Reform is not new and not unique to our context in B.C. right now:

The work in New Brunswick is reflected in work happening, across, Canada, North America and the world. Other top performing jurisdictions are considering where they need to go next. Earlier this month, Alberta released its Inspiring Education Report that spoke about a system that is:

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Some big ideas at play in British Columbia right now:

21st Century Skills:

3 R's

  • reading
  • writing
  • numeracy

8 C's

  • critical thinking and problem solving
  • creativity and innovation
  • collaboration, teamwork, and leadership
  • cross-cultural understanding
  • communications, information and media literacy
  • computing and ICT literacy
  • career and learning self-reliance
  • caring for personal health and planet earth

Changing Skills We Are Looking For in Educuators:

    • Assessment Literacy
    • Instructional Expertise
    • Child Developemnt Expertise
    • 21 Century Learner

A lot of attention is also being given to authors including John Abbott (see the summary on page 7) and Valerie Hannon.

Questions used in a recent competition for principals and vice-principals in West Vancouver . . . .

Tell me how you think the future we are preparing children for will be different.
What blogs do you read?
What is an example from your classroom of students owning their own learning?
What is something new that you have learned in the last year and how did you learn it?

What has changed in the last 5 years?

We are finally moving beyond being excited about the technology. Presenters spoke about Thomas Friedman and The World is Flat, and showed the Did You Know Video with statistics about the changing world. We get it, the world has changed, so now what?

We now are embracing (and creating fabulous teachers' guides for) the social media we were blocking just a couple years ago.

Changes are Disrupting Every Industry

From the yellow pages to movie rental stores,there are many more extinctions on the horizon. Education is one of the very few examples where there has been little disruption . SethGodin predicts the fallout in education could be greater than that of the newspaper business.

What has changed (is changing) in West Vancouver?

Learning portal with class, school and district views
E-mail repaced voice-mail (and will soon become unified communication)
Embrace social tools including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter
Wireless Infastrucuture
Encouraging Personally Owned Devices
From trying to be technology leaders to leaders who use technology

20th Century Classrooms
21st Century Classrooms
Focus: memorization of discrete facts
Focus: what students Know, Can Do and Are Like after all the details are forgotten.
Lessons focus on the lower level of Bloom’s Taxonomy – knowledge, comprehension and application.
Learning is designed on upper levels of Blooms’ – synthesis, analysis and evaluation (and include lower levels as curriculum is designed down from the top.)
Passive learning
Active Learning
Learners work in isolation – classroom within 4 walls
Learners work collaboratively with classmates and others around the world – the Global Classroom
Teacher-centered: teacher is center of attention and provider of information
Student-centered: teacher is facilitator/coach
Little to no student freedom
Great deal of student freedom
“Discipline problems – educators do not trust students and vice versa. No student motivation.
No “discipline problems” – students and teachers have mutually respectful relationship as co-learners; students are highly motivated.
Fragmented curriculum
Integrated and Interdisciplinary curriculum
Grades averaged
Grades based on what was learned
Low expectations
High expectations – “If it isn’t good it isn’t done.” We expect, and ensure, that all students succeed in learning at high levels. Some may go higher – we get out of their way to let them do that.
Teacher is judge. No one else sees student work.
Self, Peer and Other assessments. Public audience, authentic assessments.
Curriculum/School is irrelevant and meaningless to the students.
Curriculum is connected to students’ interests, experiences, talents and the real world.
Print is the primary vehicle of learning and assessment.
Performances, projects and multiple forms of media are used for learning and assessment
Diversity in students is ignored.
Curriculum and instruction address student diversity

It is Not the Wild West

While we engage using new media, we need to pay close attention to notions such as privacy and security. We do this knowing that "scare tactics do little to influence (online) behaviour." An excellent starting place with Facebook and privacy is here.

Love the Learning and not just the Technology

Whether it is Google, Prezi, Wikispaces, or Edublogs or any of the thousands of other web 2.0 tools and regardless of whether you are using iPads or Interactive White Boards always focus on the learning first and the tools second.

LInks to Data Referenced

Safety and Technology Working Group - Youth Safety on a Living Internet - June 2010
PEW Institute - Teens and Mobile Phones - April 2010
CNET / Nielsen - Myths and realities of teen media trends - June 2009
Cox Communications - Teens may be more safety conscious than previously thought- June 2009
UCLA - Is Technology Producing a Decline in Critical Thinking and Analysis? - January 2009
MacArthur Foundation - TIme Spent Online Important for Teen Development- November 2008

Looking for Some Additional Videos to use:

80 Plus Videos categorized for technology and media literacy.
Top 20 TED Talks for busy school administrators. You can also find many of the TED Talks organized by teaching discipline here. My favourite TED Talks are Sir Ken Robinson 2006 and 2010 and John Wooden.

How can we transform the life of a child if we are unwilling to be transformed ourselves?