The morning started off with David Warlick’s keynote from the K-12 Online Conference at 8:00AM EDT. The time spent today on my own professional development, while sitting at my desk, in my office was quite amazing. Not only the technology that made it all possible, but also the shear number of people participating in the conversations surrounding the keynote, all of us connected by invisible threads through our social networks. People who have never met face to face, yet interact as if old friends through blogs, twitter, edubloggerworld, classroom2.0 just to name a few. To many of us the content of the keynote is not new, things we have all been talking about and struggling with in terms of what has to change in the educational system to reach our students, to prepare them for their future which we cannot predict. For me the presentation was somewhat disjointed, I understand what he was trying to show but all the moving from one place to another did not add anything for me.
Today David spoke of how the walls in education are coming down, with the use of the available technologies, the building of networks for student use as well as our own. Our children have to be able to participate in world connected through online networks, communities, something they already do well on their own time and something we as educators need to bring into our classrooms. Our children understand how to remain connected through their conversations, it is who they are, how they interact, what they have grown up with. David said we must change our teaching strategies to reach our students as the people they are, rather than the people we want them to be. How we teach, how we learn, the way we live is and has changed, schools must change as well if we believe we are preparing students for life. I still find so much resistance to change the way information is presented to students, to use new tools in the classroom, for adults to want to learn how to use the tools through which our children are engaged. Here are three things mentioned in the keynote this morning, we should be aware of them each day and find a way to incorporate them into our teaching and learning.
- Students are information savvy, but not tech savvy, they don’t know how to work the information they have and find. There is energy in their confidence we need to harness the energy and allow them to share information, form communities and give them a place to safely make mistakes.
- There is a new information landscape and it is participatory, it connects, it flows. We must learn to participate, to create experiences with and for our students
- The future is unpredictable one we cannot describe, the best thing we can do today is teach our children, our students how to teach themselves, to learn, unlearn and relearn.