Last week, we began our campus inservice by viewing Darren Draper’s “Pay Attention” video, which generated some complex discussions. Bill Martin, an English teacher at our campus, commented afterwards that he felt it was critical to be thinking about the pedagogy involved in using the tools that Darren challenges us about in the video.
Chris Lehmann and Kristin Hokanson have posted similar comments on their blogs as well recently, and I agree completely. Chris comments after posting an incredible interview with his students at SLA about their learning:
“As we think about 21st Century tools and reforming education, we need to remember that we use the tools to leverage the relationships, to extend the relationships, to push a progressive, inquiry-driven, understanding-driven, project-based way of teaching and learning, but without the pedagogy, the tools are nowhere near as powerful.”
Kristin describes interacting with Arthus(a student in Vermont) in a spontaneous chat recently, who reminded her that the ability to teach students to think critically is vitally important. She cites his comments:
“Yes, we are content experts and we have lot to share but as Arthus said, the most important thing we can do is learn how to learn.”
My enduring enthusiasm for technology is because I envision how it can help us teach and learn better–not “entertain” kids, but teach(and learn), in truly transformative, globally connected ways.
The K12 Online Conference sessions begin on Monday, and one of the reasons I’m eagerly looking forward to the conference is because of sessions that will help me think about ways these tools can transform teaching and learning. I’m really looking forward to hearing Anne Davis’s session on “Putting the Pedagogy into the Tools,” and Clarence Fisher’s keynote, “Classroom 2.0” the first two days of the conference. (In fact, I’m looking forward to hearing all of the presentations, but time may not allow to hear them all “real-time.”)
One of the great things about the conference is of course, that you can listen to sessions months later, when you do have time, or when they pique your interest. The organizers of the conference have also just posted information on how to get professional development credit or even graduate course credit for the workshops.
And if you’re interested in learning about how the conference got started, or want to hear from some participants from last year (admission–I do appear in this podcast briefly), check out these great interviews from Chris Betcher’s Virtual Staffroom Podcast.
I’ve been a part of the pr committee for the conference, and I have to admit that one of the really fun parts of doing that is working on a committee with Chris–who I hadn’t met before. It’s pretty amazing to work on a committee via Skype with such dedicated educators from New York to Australia to Alabama(not to mention the time zone challenges involved!)