Here are my notes from this morning’s keynote by Tony Wagner, an author and expert on innovation.
Teachers using tech for test prep, there is so much more.
Knowledge is free, so what do we do now?
So what is a teacher for?
The stunning pace of the changing workforce.
The no longer cares how much our kids know, it’s what they can do with what they know.
What is the teacher’s role?
These are survival skills for today…
- Critical thinking and problem solving. Asking the right questions.
- Collaboration across networks. Peers leading through influence.
- Risk Takers.
- Effective writers and communicators.
- Accessing and analyzing information.
- Curiosity and imagination.
The global achievement gap. What is happening in our schools and what the world needs.
Now we see kids with BA degrees that are unable to get jobs.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Innovation is what is needed.
“A creative problem solver.”
Curious, creative, imaginative.
These are what’s important, but are we “schooling” these skills out of our students.
The teachers who make the greatest difference in successful kids, were outliers of education.
Culture of schooling:
- schools celebrate individual success
- compartmentalism of information
- deeply passive approach to learning
- reward compliance
- relies on rewards for motivation
There is no innovation without trial and error. “F” is the new “A.”
Play, passion and purpose are what is needed.
Sometimes kids need to be bored, to learn how to become un-bored.
We have to create and new way of accountability. Assess the skills that matter most.
Digital portfolio from kindergarten on.
Pathbright.com for portfolios.
Motivation: Google rule 20% rule applied to every classroom in America.
The role of the teacher is to be a coach for excellence.
Every teacher needs to be an effective coach. Bring play, passion, and purpose to your teaching.
If you’re a teacher in Colorado, then don’t miss out on one of the best edtech learning opportunities of the fall. Check out Edcamp Colorado.
- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke ElementaryRead More
I still vividly remember the day I came home and announced to my wife that “I quit!” I was done with teaching.
Maybe it was because my wife was a middle school principal at the time and had dealt with teacher meltdowns before or maybe it was because my wife was my wife and knew my limitations, she just looked up and said, “oh really?” I think she knew that I just needed to blow off some steam and re-group.
It wasn’t just one particular thing that set me off, it was the culmination of many things that caused me to become disenfranchised with teaching. I remember thinking to myself in many different teaching situations that this “wasn’t what I signed up for.” I was turning into another cynical teacher — who realized that perhaps the mountain to education reform was just too big and too steep to conquer.
My wife gave me some time to cool down before discussing my options. She started by asking me to explain what was so wrong with my job. I thought about her question for a moment and then explained that I had thought that technology would make my classroom so much better, and that teaching would be better with technology as well. I was a tech teacher for crying out loud — this should be my dream job. After many different conversations on the matter over the period of a couple of weeks, I decided not to quit my job. I decided instead to change my job.
The problem, as I soon figured out, was not the technology itself, but it was instead what we did with the technology that matters. Teachers who take their infamous worksheet that they had since the 70′s and then just make a Google form out of it, aren’t exactly embracing the capabilities of technology. The status quo does not get better with technology, in fact I would argue, it gets worse. So the hard reality is that teaching does not get better with technology per-se, we as teachers must use the technology to make things better.
My second problem was that I thought technology would make better students. But it doesn’t. Students who are not challenged will turn in junky tech projects. Students who are not challenged will be bored and cause trouble. Don’t believe me? Tell your students you will now be reviewing how to make bullet points in Word – step-by-step for 60 minutes. And then watch as your class falls apart. I came to realize that to our students technology can be really boring because we are now challenging them with it.
When I came to these two realizations, it was summer and I had some time to fix the issues that I was facing. I decided to revamp my entire curriculum, every lesson was going to be great, even if it was something like bullet-points. I studied online courses from Atomic Learning on every program I had on my computer to make sure that I knew every facet of them so that I could push my students to use their technology to the most.
By the time summer was over, I had a new tech curriculum and three new tech-clubs that I was going to start at my school. What I got back was the dream job I had always wanted. As it turned out, technology wasn’t the problem, I was. That was over six years ago, and thankfully I haven’t looked back since.Read More
#edtech #mlearning #edchat
Wow! I must have hit a nerve with educators when I wrote my first draft of the Education Technology Bill of Rights for Students last month.
I got a boat load of emails (about 90% positive and 10% negative), and based those emails I would like to add these to the original:
11) I have the right to use the cloud. I hate to save things on the school’s server, especially since I cannot get to it from home. In the world I live in I can access my files from any computer from anywhere, that’s why I love the cloud. Which is why I get so mad when DropBox and others things like that are blocked. And no, I will not save it to a flashdrive. I’m a kid, I lose, break, wash, etc. flashdrives like nobody’s business. Oh, and by the way, I love Google Docs and hate MS Word. Just to be clear. There is a bad side to cloud computing — I can’t really tell you that I left that file at home or that the file I made a home is not compatible with the school’s computer. Which has been a great excuse for forgotten work for years.
12) I have the right to use alternative forms of data entry. For example if I want to use my thumbs to enter in my essay — don’t freak out. My thumbs can handle it. Or if I want to dictate my essay to my device — that should be okay too. The world is not going to end because I don’t hand-write my rough draft. I still believe in nice handwriting, but cursive is dead, so quit trying to kick this dead horse back to life.
13) I have the right to use apps that cost money. Don’t tell me to, or make me use only cheesy free apps, when a $2 app will do a 1000 times better of a job for a project I am working on. We don’t have to only use only free stuff (I know some are good). Because when I listen to you tell me to use only free apps when I have a $5 Starbucks in my hand, it seems sort of silly. I can handle a $2 or $3 app.
So here are another three, keep the ideas coming.
- Brad Flickinger, Bethke Elementary School
#edtech #edchat #elemchat
Today I was asked by an elementary teacher, “How do you know what technology to teach young students?”
My answer was simple, “Commonsense.”
I then explained that when I look at what a student leaving my elementary school needs as far as tech skills before entering middle school I get the following list (in no particular order).
- Keyboarding Skills, since in my school district keyboarding is no longer taught in middle or high school I need to make sure that my kids go off into middle school knowing how to type at least 30 words a minute.
- Basic Word Processing, it is really a no-brainer that middle schoolers do a lot of written reports. Students should know the basics of word processing, and I don’t care what you are using; MS Word, Pages, Google Docs, they are all basically the same. Students should know how to change fonts, change size, bold, underline, italicize, change font color and alignment.
- Basic Presentation Software, often times teachers will give students the option of presenting information to the class, so students should understand how to make and edit slides and the basics of what makes a good presentation.
- Basic Spreadsheets, I don’t spend a lot of time on spreadsheets, but we do a little. Things like entering info into cells and how to do a simple formula so they get the gist of what spreadsheets are all about.
- Internet Seach Skills, students need to know how to search the Internet for information (using more than just Google) and then how to decide what information to use and what to ignore. Again, this is a strong skill that students will use everyday in middle and high school.
- Internet Safety Skills, you can’t just throw our students to the wolves of the Internet, so you need to teach them how to keep themselves safe while online.
The teacher I was talking to nodded his head as I explained these six areas that I focus my tech instruction on so I knew that he agreed with my commonsense approach to edtech. But then he asked me, “But I thought you make a lot of movies and podcasts with your students, so where do you find the time to teach these basics?”
I then explained that I hide these skills inside the projects that I do with kids. In movie making they do reseach online, write a scipt in a word processor, etc. Usually my projects involve all of the six areas that I focus on. Something I like to call “Ambush Teaching.” They never see it coming.
- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary SchoolRead More