Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Alan November

Alan November tried to address what are the problems of today - how can we shift from planning for technology to the quality and application of information and communication. He touched on how the teacher's role has to change. An interesting issue was the notion that schools are going to have to service families more. In particular, with the changing of jobs, adults will need frequent retraining. People who have had bad school experiences are going to have to be lured into schools for positive experiences.

In the US there needs to be more attention to all aspects of the child. Education without decent health care and living space can change little. I am fortunate to live in Canada where health care, at least, is addressed.

Session notes:
What is the compelling problem?

Why are companies no longer funding education? "Why would we fund public education when we can hire engineers overseas? " Up until now you had to fund your own country.

Peter Swartz - The Art of the Long View
using scenarios He worked for Royal Dutch Shell - when oil embargo hit the company
The world is undergoing unheaval and we are trying to fix the current reality.
Stanford University is offering Virtual High School - $12000 / year. - how can you compete with that?

Every library should become an online learning centre -
We have not made tan overwhelming case for technology

If you build scenarios, than compare it to what you have at the moment. The pressure to change is close - no change and then a cataclysmic event (9/11). Process engineering - looking at why things are done and is there a better way to do it? Incentives to change don't exist in education (no competition). should go out into the real world - what are the conversations (internal, customers/suppliers,) apply to education system - what are your relationships with the families. Communications technologies. If we compared education to companies - big gap. Best practices not necessarily in the field you work in. We are used to comparing education against other education settings. Need to look at vision and mission.

Airforce academy hires every student they teach. Measure quality years after graduation. Education measures quality at the moment of the last test. Should be looking at long term - how did we prepare students? Training - asked CEO of HSBC - what are the most important skills - empathy because we operate world wide we need people who understand a different cultural point of view. Passion (Marco taps into empathy and passion).

Have to end technology planning - we need learning results planning. Need to take technology out of title. You are viewed differently if you come as a technology person or as a "empathy and passion" coordinator.

Job description of a learner - who owns the learning. Shift ownership to the students. It is happening despite schools. What are the ways we can get students to own learning - give them real jobs (e.g. I need a podcasting team for the school). Teachers have to know what a podcast is - needs students who know how to do it. No more staff development unless every teacher brings 2 kids with her. What do kids think is important?
Must put a team of children together to put together a code of ethics. The kids must own the code of ethics. It is now greater than AUP. Code of ethics is to protect kids when they are not in school. Role of the child is to help parents. Have to ramp up on family engagement. (In Kansas - producing math videos to help parents) - take advantage of all those colour TVs and DVD machines. Kid videos on how to help parents help learning at home. Reexamine relationship betwwen school at home. Research says family involvement is a huge predictor of student success.

Students can research teacher websites and bring them to the teachers. You have to know what your competition is doing. Do your teachers know who the best teachers are in their field? When the teacher in the room gives assessment - it is harder. Students in IB program more willing to accept criticism when it comes back from unknown marker. Need every teacher to join a learning community - an international community - then creating authentic audience. Students need authentic audience.

New job description of teachers (need to rewrite job description of the family, the learner)
-extend the boundary of social discourse beyond the classroom
- comprehensively manage services across ... (in England - education, social services, medical services)
You have to find real problems in the world and base your curriculum on real problems.

We need to extend our top performing students much higher. Bringing the bottom up leads to mediocrity. We need more gaps across the board. The people who can afford it have bought out of NCLB.

Work on job descriptions
students, teachers, families, leaders - need a mix of all people in each group to do this.
Create a protocol for observations to benchmark other professions (is there a gap between the world we are sending students to and what we are preparing them for?)
Re-engineering of quality control with families. Can take advantage of technology to engage families. Invest in every home, especially in low socio-economic areas. In UK - have picked the most poverty stricken areas and are putting computers into homes. Will be more in family-education business. If we change the family it impacts the child.

By blocking cell phones, iPods.... we are preventing students from thinking about these devices in creative ways. Every school needs a student team to meet monthly (not in leader's office) what are you doing outside of school? what do you hate the most? make link between the outside and what you hate.
Every leader should have a blog.

Every family have a blog. Every teacher will blog. RSS will bring all relevant content to blog. Empower every family with RSS feeds with connection to all teachers. It's not about technology planning. it's about redescribing jobs......

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