Thursday, July 30, 2009

Alan November - Managing the Transition

Session #7 - Alan November
Leadership: Managing the Transition

Raw Notes
Age of the Smart Machine, by Shoshanna Zuboff (1989) - study on technology and the return on investment, very poor in education. Technology has not increased productivity in schools or improved test scores.

  • Automating research shows incremental improvement with no real increase in productivity. Critical thinking on decline because of distraction of technology. Zuboff would make this case. Train teachers to understand assessment, and design of assignments. Stop training which button to push.
  • "Informating" - 3 things:
  1. Give people access toinfo they havent had before. Info is life blood of solving problems.
  2. New ways of people working together - more powerful than giving indivuduals tools. The power is the network not individual.
  3. Depends on first 2. Empower people to take more responsibility for quality of their own work. The ultimate organizational goal is that everyone feels responsible for quality. Culture of schools based on teachers owning the learning. The longer you stay in school the more dependent on teacher managing learning for you, and you lose self direction, self initiation.
The systems that manage the organization needs to change. Ex. role of teacher - classes limited by children learning what the teacher already knows. Teacher evaluation - industrial model looks at ability to control behavior and manage classroom. What if teacher is asked to leave room and students given a problem they should have learned, and evaluate capacity of students to initiate and perform independently. Zuboff's research says systems/processes need to be changed in order to use technology effectively. This is classroom level, the closed loop. Open the loop and break the capacity to stay the same.

Family - schools aren't designed to help but keep family out of school. UK much more concerned with all-family services (and are now one system in Scotland). How do we help parent's get info they never had. Ex. Skype parents in and watch a student during a classroom presentation.

Automation means you are not shfting the locus on control. It does shift when you informate. This is a lever to get better quality. Ex. Japanese tolets gives them access to their own medical analysis - raw data. They can take more ownershp of their own body because they have better data. In education kids will have access to more info than we can control. How much are we automating and how much are we informating at CCHS?

Key leadership point - make sure technology is aligned to curriculum. Give students new role - redefining job description is a system change. Pioneering educators give students new jobs and are more in charge of their own learning.


Suggestion Google Custom Search to engage parents and open loop. DO THIS FOR CCHS LIBRARY! Builds capacity in the home to support learning. This is where we need to pay attention. Invite faculty to same search engine and add all favorite websites. Right now teacher websites look like individual classrooms. Need collective wisdom to be available to all students at all times. Ex. post all vocab for all grades for all students for instant feedback via free online sites - this is a shift of control. When you build one search engine everyone needs to be in the same room. Do this by department/content area. Custom search generates unique URL, invite (99 limit)> collaboration > email to contribute BEST resources to search engine. Harness team to work well together. Embed code as widget > get the code > insert in textbox / html box.

Cloud Computing - tools, content all moving toward web, end of hard drive. Business demands this because collaboration is more powerful than individual word processors. Collaboraton is the power. Microsoft betting the company on this. New Office will be collaborative. NOW is the time to teach students collaboration.
GoogleDocs - example of cloud computing. Try this with Chairs. Also create Ning.

High Tech High - students own learning, highest minority test scores in USA. At start of school kids asked to tell teachers how to teach 10 most difficult concepts.

Sub-Committee on Globalizing Curriculum - Students need to learn to play nicely with the world. "general gage" "american revolution" universities in UK for results, get UK perspective. Find out how UK teachers teach American Revolution.
Way Back Machine to find dead URLs
Use internation domains for searching

Get to Informate - organizations fight this shift in control because they want to survive they way they are.
Teach children to work with people around the world, teaching them collaboration, the number 1 global skill. Every classroom a global communication center.
Change job description of kids to become responsible for own learning, custom search engine and collabortaive platforms are examples.

Teacher Observations: family involvement and engagement with new technologies, teacher evaluation in class with students and teacher out of the room

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