May 6, 2008

Digital Learning Update

Once a year I get about 30 minutes to try and share with our Board of Education all that’s happening with digital learning in our schools. I call it the State of the Union address. I created this 7 minute video that touches on a few things happening locally. I find that this is a much more powerful way to communicate learning than a standard report which I also provided.

After the video, I talked for a few minutes about trends I see and what where we need to be headed. The Board members responded with some great comments and questions. One Board member recognized that while he might not have the understanding of how learning and education is changing, he knows we have to do a better job sharing this with parents. Another mentioned his excitement for a virtual school project that’s currently on hold. Still another shared a story about his granddaughter who asked him about bio-diesel fuel and when he didn’t give her the answer she wanted said she’d ask Mr. Google. It’s clear they embrace the future.

I was clear to tell them we don’t have all the answers. I told them that many schools can’t figure out how to handle cellphones but they need to begin involving students and understanding its power. To demonstrate I asked if they knew the population of China. While they debated I texted 466453 and “population China” and had the answer set to me before they could come up with an answer. I emphasized that it requires shifts for our teachers and while we have some great examples of those that are on their way, we have a long way to go.

I came across this video from Susan Young after I presented. I wished I had it earlier. I think it would have told them even more.