Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Keynote Kick-Off with Alan November - Notes

"What do you do with technology when you are not in school?"

Confirm what you are already doing.

I don't like technology. it breaks, especially in front of audiences.

Helps expand relationships with kids and access to information.

West Point 1985 act of Congress required every student to have a laptop. First university to make this requirement. They hire all of their graduates (6 years). Possible that a student will be a field commander later. They have data on results of learning that most schools don't.
Change in mission. Win the war > now the goal is to win the peace. (Should the mission of K-12 change?) New curriculum, new skills. Massive wrenching change for institution and faculty.

Teaching graduate program in info searching. Now have to teach students that there are different points of view. Example: impact of pope's speech in Turkey.Serious real-life problem with bad results.
Google results return Western results w/ no Muslim perspective. This does not support the mission to win the peace. West Point wants students to find alternate perspectives to find the truth, to win peace. Knowing the language of digital search addresses this problem. You don't know what you don't know, and it isn't your fault because you were never taught.

Caught in transition from paper to digital.

Should we teach American kids that there are other points of view?

Class of 2010 - demographers created working label "Boomerangs" > children of Boomers.

Alan's Advice on How to Get Kids Out of Your Parent's House:
critical thinking in the web (syntax, grammar)
"the medium is the message" - Marshall McLuahn

(Students didn't know how Google algorithm worked) students look at top page, don't change search engines.

What can YOU do?
1. Announce that you don't know everything
2. Hire the kid who breaks in
3. "Hire" the kids to teach you the tools you need - they want to be helpful

Peeling back the web to validate information
Google -

altavista - seach engine for finding links into a website
this search engine returns far more links to main site

How should teach this? Should it be embedded in what you teach?

High Tech High, San Diego - highest standardized test scores in CA, but they don't teach to the test. They ask the students to find solutions to teaching the most difficult concepts in your curriculum, Have them come back with examples in diverse media formats.

Assessment - assessing final product rather than process of getting to the final product. Assess how the kid got there.

Kids have a developmental need to connect socially with other people
YouTube phenomenal growth - show students the work of other students from around the world - this is cross-curricular.

The mission of education: Brain research shows that if a kid goes home and does homework and makes a mistake, the mistake is embedded in the brain. The longer the wait for the feedback the less relevant the learning and the most damaging the mistake.
Need to give different kinds of homework, like looking at vodcasts.
Bob Sprankle, Welles, ME - We have underestimated what young children can do. Children can watch a review of what was learned the week before, that they produced. No mistakes, they love to publish.

What's the difference between regular homework and producing/publishing for class? Homework is for self and doesn't matter. Publishing for authentic audience increases value, learning, enthusiasm in learning. When kids produce tutorials there is HUGE traffic. Students who take notes off a pod/screen cast do better than those who take notes live during class.

Change in culture of teaching/learning where kids take more responsibility for learning in the class. WHO should own the learning? US ed system designed for teachers to own the learning. Teachers work harder than the kids. These new tools can change this power nexus.
  • Literacy more than reading paper. Internet is a core literacy.
  • Global perspectives, alternate POV. Skype is a social connection, and kids thrive on social authenticity. Share/publish globally. Kids will listen and go back over it because it is their voice. This is FUN!

Robin's Ideas/ TO DO:
  • prof development Google docs/forms (essential equity issue)
  • Google workshop - basic search
  • Deep web search tools - tricks and grammatical tools to validate web content
  • Jing workshop
  • IDEA - "Play in the Sandbox" workshops around themes/tools. Group exploration.

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