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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

eLive - keynote 1 - Alan November

I’m going to try and blog this live, so my apologies in advance if this doesn’t make much sense – please ask questions if you want more detail
(Incidentally – I’m sitting next to David Muir, Educational Blogger who I just met this morning – he is also blogging this – check out his take on the message from Alan here)
“The past is over” – G. W. Bush!
Start asking students – “What do they know?” Shift of control – the learner comes up with their problems to solve.
Ask kids what they do with computers – compare school with home – at home they are doing IM, collaborative Photoshop – why do we not let our kids (and staff) use IM in school? FEAR – we are comfortable with what we know. We use a computer as a pencil – we don’t use technology in activities that we don’t already do in other ways already
Ask students - What’s on your website – They answer - music, pictures, making connections with other people!
We ‘use’ the internet – kids ‘do’ the internet
We need to talk to our students and ask them what they do – why are we blocking it?
We need to use IM creatively.
Give role models of appropriate use
Schools in some way have become the learning police – we block, but they use it at home.
IBM as a company generate 10 million IMs a day – communication is the number 1 application that we block!
Dan November (Alan’s son) organising his class by IM – some kids doing maths, some doing English some chemistry – collectively they are managing the homework of the entire class without the teachers knowledge. Enterprising? What did the school do? Discipline the kid. We are teaching communication out of our students.
The problem is not technology – it is how we use this technology
Who owns the learning happening in your school?
The Victorian model the teacher owns it – now we have tools that kids can learn faster than adults – therefore we need to rethink our model.
We need to rewrite the job description of a teacher:
Diagnostic skills – how does this child learn?
1. Kids are social
2. Kids are territorial
We need spaces for kids to call their own, and space for kids and staff to collaborate
Kids need to own the learning – being self directive, motivated. You need to have the life skill of being self dependent – the Victorian model is where the kids are dependent on the teacher.
How long does it take to remove the dependency? It takes months
Time, space and how people relate to each other – we need to change these 3 things – without doing this, the all the technology in the world will make no difference
Using software today, a test can be created in real time as the pupil is sitting the test
Are we willing to free up the control so that they can learn at their own rate? This is a big shift from what we do at the moment.
Where kids feel so empowered that they don’t want you to interrupt them!
How do we remove the fear? How do we change the culture?
Create videos and podcasts to teach parents about what their kids are learning – the changes we are talking about will take 10-20 years to implement fully.
Type in ‘miserable failure’ in Google – you get the White House. How does this work? Do our kids know how this works?
Type in ‘Octopus’ – there is a tree octopus!? Kids of course believe this – why? They read it on the internet
Kids need to learn the literacy of information
Real staff development is not teaching staff how to use technology, but how to design meaningful assignments – never say ‘Go on the internet’!
We still teach as if print is the dominant source of information – when you ask kids where they find info, it’s the net
Switch from ‘google.com’ to ‘ask.com’ or ‘answers.com’ – they work in completely different ways.
Step 1 - Grammar of the net
Step 2 – Teach kids how to connect to the world
Step 3 – Change expectations as a teacher
Do you know that Toyota’s stock value is 12 times the size of General Motors?
The role of a teacher is the network – build relationships around the world.
Kids would rather present to the world, than to one person in a classroom
www.fanfiction.net stories written by people in the style of authors.
Why do kids have avatars and pseudonyms? When you are not using your real name, you are more willing to accept the criticism – in school it is harder as it is your real name – anonymity really helps

We need to expand the boundaries of our learning – the classroom walls don’t matter anymore.


Anonymous Lynne said...

I just discovered today that you can do a Higher Unit (ie at Int 1/Int 2/Higher) in Internet research. I am going to be teaching (or rathering mentoring) a language course next year which is going to reply mainly on the Internet and encourage independent language learning. It was difficult to find a qualification for this, but we think they could do a Unit on Internet research and one on Oral presentation skills over the year.

7:05 pm  
Anonymous john said...

Hi Andrew,
Thanks for keeping me up todate. I was in the middle of posting an almost live comment at lunchtime here in school, but I got distracted (pesky kids;-)) before I hit Publish.
I am not convinced that all of our children are as switched on as Alan November suggests. My un-scientific survey here give me half my class with a connection at home (not necessarily for their use).
I also think that extending good practice (we don’t use technology in activities that we don’t already do in other ways already ) is a good way to use ict, an increase in purpose and audience is valuable.

9:33 pm  
Blogger marlyn moffat said...

yes yes.... Mostly agree. Thank you for that...but how did you do it? Bluetooth with your mobile....on their network?...While he was talking? Very quietly? David typing very quickly?
David sent a picture of his dog and its teddy to the teddy blog! John from Sandaig is going to talk about the teds tomorrow and wanted me to bring one to be photographed with him! Got a workshop for parents on blogging etc. next week....the kids are ahead you see! So I'll pull them in to do the talking. Had them do a teaching lesson to the depute on web behaviour and she was gobsmacked with their savvy!
' We use a computer as a pencil – we don’t use technology in activities that we don’t already do in other ways already' Trying to be larger than that, but gotta build the worldly skills with ones so young first. Seems we are a few rungs up the ladder, though.
Cinders, not at the ball, in the Wee Toon, greetin'. Glean what you can Buttons and pass it on! ;-)

11:34 pm  
Blogger ab said...

Lynne - that sounds really exciting - keep me posted!

john - I think you are right. Alan often projects an impression of our kids that doesn't quite sit. Many do have great skills/knowledge/access, but many don't. There is nothing wrong IMO with using technology for present tasks - this may encourage staff to become comfortable using technology and then try out some new things?

Marlyn - wifi is what the windows and linux people call an airport - the conference has free wireless internet access everywhere - the 21st century, eh? Fabulous!

9:36 am  
Anonymous Lynne said...

Will do Andrew - looking at a couple of the outcomes I might need your help, but most of it looks like what they have to do all the time anyway.

I'm going to some conference in Stirling next week on Learning Teams(?), not 100% sure as was only asked yesterday. Anyone else going to be there?

10:31 am  

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