IT Summit Summary

I’m just back from the IT Summit conference. In general, it was an outstanding conference in many respects.

People

Without trying to list the names of everyone, it’s apparent for most users of social media that face to face gathering times have changed in the past few years. I used to go to conferences and mingle with local colleagues and a few others I’d met a various functions and committees but there wasn’t much of a community. Now we meet people we’ve never seen and can enter in to meaningful discussion since all the banter and small talk takes place  in other spaces.

This conference brings together not only educators and administrators but also IT. I certainly commend our own IT team for focusing on students but not all do. This is a great way to have them understand that their clients are students and it’s a highly complex task to provide safe, secure environments that also enable them to have the access needed to use the tools that help them learn.

Keynotes

I’ve heard David Warlick live a couple of times but I must say this was worth seeing. David is a gifted storyteller but certainly connects to … Read the rest

Defining “Teacher”

We hear a lot about the changing role of teachers (I’m tiring of the phrases “sage on the stage” and “guide on the side”) but in reality students are still looking at the teachers as authorities. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but unquestionably it’s not all that sustainable considering the possibilities of disruptive education.

Content is Everywhere

So when sites like this emerge it simply highlights the reality that students should never have to settle for  second rate educational content.  If I were teaching Physics, I would be crazy not to invite Walter Lewin into my classroom at some point.  An economics or political science class could utilze the works of Alan Blight.  And while it might be easy to say, textbooks also provide a level of expertise, a well-crafted lecture or better yet a live Q and A with the author is a game changer.

So as I ponder what this should and could l00k like, I think about how that changes my role as a teacher. Again, this is not a new conversation but when you have to live it, it truly changes how you feel about education.   I still love to teach, which can … Read the rest

19:53 minutes worth of goodness

Alec Couros‘ presentation Open, Social, Connected really delivers on how to present for an online conference. The challenge of creating content for an online conference is a daunting and exciting adventure. While this year’s presentations were limited to 20 minutes or less, they weren’t and aren’t restricted to any specific format. We’ve yet to develop too many standards in what makes a good online presentation. I’m not ready yet to thrown down the rubric. There’s too much to be explored.

Where Alec wins is in his wise mix of media including public domain video and audio, thoughtful graphics and animation, green screen, humor and a personal touch. I’ve always enjoyed presentations that show me context. Who are you? Where do you live? David Warlick did a great job with this in prior keynotes and Clarence Fisher focused largely on place in his keynote last year. Alec begins his presentation by providing a context and allowing us to get comfortable with his content.

Since his content is about open content, Alec uses video from public domain to create transitions to his piece. In this way, it’s easy for us to follow.

His feature on twitter might challenge Common Craft as … Read the rest

Two blog posts in one

Part 1

If you’ve ever heard the first statement in a staffroom, the rest of the logic would follow.  Learning is what makes us human and to use this logic would suggest that schools can be inhumane institutions.

This is some of the thinking of Dr. Michael Wesch.  In the first 20 minutes or so of this presentation from his talk at the University of Manitoba, he makes such a clear case for the shift in learning due to a changing media. I love the fact that there are so many great conversations and folks dedicated to solid pedagogy which is not new. What’s new is the way new media is influences this. Wesch is the maker of The Machine is Using Us which demonstrates this shift.  The way we experience information and content is new and I’ve yet to hear a good argument to suggest it’s no big deal, let’s do school as usual.

I really want to get good and keeping both solid pedagogy and how it fits with new media in balance. What’s interesting is that the new media is leading people to push the edge of the envelope of innovation and get criticized because they … Read the rest

Telling the New Story…Year 3

This podcast goes way back to 2006 when I first interviewed Darren, Clarence and Kathy. Since that time, I interviewed them last year as well have had the three of them talk to a couple of my classes and various other PD events.

Here are the links to the other podcasts in case you missed it:

The post that inspired it all.

I’m always thrilled to chat with these people as I think they represent so much of what good teaching and learning looks like. I’m excited to say that next week the three of them will unite for the first time in Winnipeg. Those will also be some great conversations

This is also my first crack at an enhanced podcast. If you view this in itunes, you’ll have the ability to skip ahead or easily access chapters.… Read the rest