Live from ASCD 2014 – During the first session, with the author of iPad for Dummies, Sam Gliksman, we were reminded that “Content was King” and learning was top down. In a nutshell, Sam talked about recent brain studies that show learning through technology as a very different process. Yet, we continue to force children to adapt to the way we were taught. The emphasis on student ownership and the real task of how to not just teach but learn these skills needs to be developed as opposed to the learning by listening model that continues to dominate the educational landscape.
Sam has a vision that conveys freedom and flexibility of learning, which he eloquently describes as the much-needed bridge between school and the outside world. Curiosity and trial and error propel learning and are powerful tools that need to be harnessed in the classroom. Teachers need to constantly be demonstrating learning within the classroom.
Many regard media as trivial, alternate, any video is great video – no standards have been established. He finished up by explaining the reality that seems to result when there is a lack of instruction and absence of any kind of media literacy standards. Now that is a novel concept!
First Keynote – Daniel Pink “If you really want to get serious about the Ed problem, we must have the courage to talk about educating the whole child.” He might have his degree in business, but he can talk about education like no tomorrow! What a riveting speaker and one of the main reasons that propelled me to come to this conference. Daniel didn’t let anyone down. He presented the following challenge: when you go back to your classroom, have two fewer conversations about HOW and two more about WHY, and you will find yourself being more persuasive. Spend just a little less time on the directions and little more on questions like Why are we doing this? Why does it matter? Why is it important? Daniel H. Pink is the author of several provocative, bestselling books about the changing world of work. His latest is Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.
I was given the gift of seeing and hearing my ultimate hero, Sir Ken Robinson, speak on Sunday about the present state of education. Incredible, doesn’t do it justice. We all know that the traditional classroom still exists from the industrialization model and that isn’t working! One of the most resonating themes that he repeats is the need to excite and engage students and the necessity to promote creativity, not stifle it. Man after my own heart!
Jane McGonigal was honored as one of the Tech & Learning’s Top Ten Influencers for 2013 It is not surprising why, Her quote says it all, “My number one goal in life is to see a game designer nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.” She is on her way to greatness, as demonstrated by her presentation here at ASCD examine brain research and gaming. What blew me away was the video clip of Find the Future at the New York Public Library Game. Why had I never seen this or heard anything about this before?
Breakfast interview with Sharon Jacobs, The ASCD Whole Child Award Winner from Washington Montessori School of North Carolina. WOW, thanks for your time and words of wisdom. I can’t wait to share the new jargon gleaned from the interview. The concept that we need to consider the “Whole Teacher” and recognize, encourage, and nurture their individual talents to help our children grow. Your reference to the “Testing Beast” and how we need to not let this take over our schools. The main takeaway for educators were your poignant words “look we have an opportunity every day not only to touch a child’s life and to have an impact, but you have a gift walking in the door, you have an opportunity to shape what this world will be…”
What’s Next: Michael F. Opitz & Michael P. Ford authors of Engaging Minds in the Classroom – The Surprising Power of JOY