Podstock 2012....it's a family reunion of unrelated educators. Getting to really hang out with friends in a family atmosphere is great. Awesome lunch & dinner conversations with people trying to grow as educators. We missed Lori & Sherry, but Nedra was here this year. Met John & Robin from the Plurk network and we added many new people to our network. A few of us went to a movie on Friday night, comfy theater with wait service. Kevin, Michele, Kay, Nedra & I went to the Cabaret Old Town on Saturday for an 80's revue.
This conference was the first time that I presented a workshop. I shared about screencasting (I made a website with links to all the resources) and how I really want the students to do it as assessments. Hearing their voice really lets you know how they are doing. I asked for the 1 1/2 hour session, but only got an hour session. I wanted us to have time to make & share a first screencast, but that was not to be. I tried to go through the tools & tips quickly, but there are just too many things involved in a great screencast that you cannot get through all the options in less than an hour. I was one of a few sessions to use a backchannel for people to share or ask questions (thanks gang for watching that for me & contributing). My friends said the session was great (thanks friends). Most feedback was also good, a couple wanted something different.
Now for my thoughts on the session. I really wish we had time for everyone to try some of the tools and ask questions & share right then. I even thought that I could do 30 minutes sharing tools & 30 minutes creating ; no dice. There was not even enough time for me to make one to show the steps in action, unless I had done that as the intended purpose. So for an hour sessions, after the intro to what it is and student examples, maybe just demo making one, then go for people to try things and ask questions. I did feel like I was lecturing and stuck at the front of the room. I don't like that feeling. I "never" do that with my students. I did not make it past the first few tables. Though friends felt that I had the whole room engaged. If I can get a longer session, then I can go through all the tools. I was very surprised that more presenters did not use a backchannel.
Inevitable - Mass Customized Learning.
My friend Sherry Crofut (@SDSherry) gave me this book at ISTE12. (Oh yeah, I went to ISTE to hang out with friends and make some new connections. Only made a few new connections but had great time talking shop with friends).
I really like this book. It is like someone has been listening to my conversations about education and put most of them in one place. "Ineveitable" because education needs to change and someone is going to do it. "Mass Customized" because the technology exists & is being used in other industries to do this, we just need to learn & incorporate it into education.
Our system of education needs changed. Kids don't love going to school and are not truly prepared for their future. We do research on best practices for learning then ignore them (start time, learning styles, learning rates, multiple intelligences, motivation...). But it will take people with vision, not managers, and a true strategic design, not just a group "strategic plan" where we make adjustments to the system. We have tweaked for years and it has not had an effect.
The book discusses the past, questions to ask, process to go through, and lays out a foundation for a new education paradigm. They discuss the leap to Learning Community, with Learning Facilitators and Learners. There is a mix of web based, 24-7 access material, and face to face learning. They posit that 40-70% of what we want learners to learn can be done at least as well if not better via online, leaving time for the things that need face to face. Motivation will shift to intrinsic because we will be :
1) meeting learners at their readiness level
2) accommodating personal learning styles
3) learning through content that is personally interesting
Schwahn & McGarvey have ten most important "Babies" that we must keep :
1) Learning rates vary and prior knowledge is significant to learning new knowledge
2) Motivation spikes with learner interest
3) Learning styles differ and intelligence is multi-dimensional
4) Success breeds success and influences esteem, attitude, and motivation
5) Mistakes are inherent in the learning process and specific feedback enhances learning
6) Requisite complex reasoning skills can be taught/learned
7) Real world contexts/problems enhance learning
8) Learning is social
9) Technology as teacher
10) Schools/teachers control the conditions for learner success
They also have some "Bathwater" that needs discarded
-Grade levels will be replaced by continuous learning
-Students permanently assigned to specific classrooms will be replaced by temporary groupings dependent on learning needs of particular learners at that particular time
-Class periods/bell schedule will be replaced by time frames for learning based upon the nature of the learner outcome
-Courses/Curriculum will be replaced by learner outcomes and Information Age communication technology
-Textbooks will be replaced by the nearly unlimited information available on the web
-Paper and pencil records will be replaced by computers and data storage devices
-ABC grading will be replaced by demonstrations of learning outcomes and electronic learner portfolios
-Report cards will be replaced by online, real time access to each learner's records of achievement bu only those who have been identified as having a need to know.
-Learning happens in school will be replaced by the community is the learning community
-Nine month school year will be replaced by learning by anyone, from anywhere at any time
What do you think? Want to talk about these ideas?