Alan November @ ICTEV

These are the notes I took during Alan’s keynote “Should I publish for the world or my teacher?”

  • Giving kids opportunities. We’ve tried to fit technology into school instead of using it to rethink school.
  • Get rid of the word technology. The words are information or communication. Technology is only the vehicle to get what you want. ‘what information do you want to be the best possible teacher? What relationships do you want with teachers, students, global?’ right information at the right time. For teachers, students and parents. We don’t have right information or relationships.
  • John Hattie says peer tutoring best for learning change.
  • Math is an example of this. 6th grade classroom. Most teachers don’t publish student work for the world to see. Place a value on student work. The moment the boundaries are expanded of who sees the students work can be so empowering. Can contribute to learning this year, next year and the year after, etc. Students then want to do better than other students or better than last time. Some screencasts took students 3 hours, rather than 7 minutes of homework. Students get critiques before publishing. Some students think teachers don’t explain things very well, they assume they already know. Student teaching students, teachers should have a library of tutorials. Saves teachers time. We all need to consider to do this. Use Jing. ‘In order to teach it, I needed to learn it.’ Take responsibility for quality of work, take more care. 24,000 views. No grades. The more you grade creative work, the less they’ll do. Children given a global voice and inspire other children. This is not happening in schools as it shifts control from teachers to students.
  • Kids write their own stuff. Reviews but not graded.
  • Grading creative work is counter productive. Grading rote work is neutral.
  • Skype for making connections far and close. A school had great success bringing in grandma from India via Skype. So they brought a grandparent in via Skype every few days. Teachers learning about children and family. The school then mailed a book to Irish grandma who read book to kids via Skype. Talked about her own story as an immigrant. Teacher audio recorded book reading. Made CD for students who didn’t have anyone to read to them. Kids would listen over and over and over again. Kids ended up with an Irish accent!
  • Family involvement is no. 1 predictor of student success. Grandparent day transformed elementary school. Relationships.
  • Every classroom should be a global communications sector. Every teacher should have Skype. Teachers will be brokers of human connections. Connecting students to authentic audience worldwide.
  • In US teacher is the endpoint for all work. End of information flow. Irony is once assessment is given, students never reread piece or reflect. Break boundaries; space, time, relationships, information. These boundaries describe what we know to be school. If we don’t break these boundaries, school will remain the same.
  • Ask teachers about their best unit of work. Then, change how you could build on it using tech. Ask teachers to tell you what creative work looks like.
  • Showed how to search Google by country. Look up country codes. Site:in for sites just from India.
  • Problem teaching students to become creative thinkers with internet.
  • Research has shown that people don’t bring critical thinking skills from one medium to another. We need to teach teachers critical Internet thinking.

ASLA XXII conference presentation: Developing a Personal Learning Network for fast & free professional learning

Having designed the Victorian PLN program for the School Library Association of Victoria and the State Library of Victoria in 2010, I thought this would be a good opportunity to share some of the tools that will help library staff engage in fast and free professional learning.

My presentation took place on Tuesday 4 October. The presentation is below and the links for the session below that. I hope it helps!

Google Teacher Academy Sydney April 2011

Yesterday afternoon I discovered via email that my application for  #gtasyd was unsuccessful. After taking to Twitter to share my news, a few things quickly became evident. A lot of quality teachers missed out, a lot of quality teachers got in and a number of people obviously have Twitter blocked in their schools!

Last night, Henrietta wrote an excellent post on resilience, which explained how I was feeling much better than I could manage.

In November, my darling 8 year old niece, who excels at the track events in Little Athletics, participated in a ‘multi event’, which is like a pentathlon but with only five events. Scoring is determined by times in track events and distances or heights in field events. She won four out of five events, yet didn’t win the gold medal. She was initially disappointed, but quickly picked herself up and decided she wanted to practice discus and shot put, her only weaknesses, to try to improve.

Weeks of practice over the Christmas holidays were fun and challenging for her. Her excitement at doubling her discus distance in two months and getting a terrific shot put PB was a testament to what a Principal of mine used to say; “you never know when you’ve been done a favour”. So I’m going to take a leaf out of my niece’s book and look forward, try harder and enjoy what I’m doing. Because for her, winning is good, but having a go and having fun are always the best bits.

Congratulations to all who’ll be going to #gtasyd and thanks to the State Library of Victoria for promptly arranging and alternative day for those who missed out. And a big thank you to my Twitter colleagues who were quick to console and congratulate those who didn’t make it and those who were successful respectively.

*As an addendum, my gorgeous girl won every event at Little Athletics this week for the first time ever during non-championship competition. Another PB in shot put (yes!) and high jump. Well done darling. The practice has paid off!