ISTE 2010 – Day 2 Takeaways

Also known as Alan November day. Here are nuggets from two great sessions with Alan:

Alan November
Empathy: The 21st-Century Skill blog /  podcasts

Globalize the curriculum

Develop contacts with teachers and children around the world

Overseas students work harder than their teachers. How do we do that

CEO of largest bank in world: most important skill for global business
= empathy

Michael Wesch (videos on YouTube
Anthropologist) – independently also says empathy

West point mission study commissioned by Petreus: old mission = win
the war
New mission = win the peace

Difference is not adding technology to old curriculum.
Do we need to change our mission?
Test scores as mission is way to fail.
Impose NCLB on other countries if we want to win

How you set up your search determines what viewpoint you get – what do
they think in turkey? Use root zone database for country codes

Assignment: what are British kids essays like on the American
revolution? “American revolution”
Compare and contrast brit and American point of view. Find email
address of teacher who is responsible for content.
Will students be more prepared for the skype debate with the Brit students
or for test on subject: was revolution inevitable?

All content involving other countries or cultures should involve
finding their viewpoint

Starting in kindergarten!

Public schools were put in place for democracy

Tools needed to become president are blocked in most schools (social

Digital Learning Farm: Students as Contributors

We have undervalued the contribution that can be made by kids in our

Strategy for improving learning is to focus on the conversations
between kids

Purpose, not just relevance for school “work”

Students could design tutorials for the entire curriculum

Not grading produces better work if there is purpose in the assignment

First day of school
Give kids top ten most difficult concepts and ask them to help teach it

See hitech high
Best test scores in CA

Shift control of learning to students
And responsibility

Rich media stories of what they learned that week
Do not grade these ! Reduces quality (dan pink )

Rotating scribes (or scribe teams) as benefit to learning, sharing,
social integration , and formative feedback to teacher
-by end of year kids have written the textbook, adding much of their
own content

Team of kids:  find all the applications of a cell phone for learning

Have kids contribute to building custom search engines (and teachers)

“Can I answer my own question too?”

Official researcher (rotating) finding best resources during each
lecture to place into custom search engine

Global communicator too – find global contacts related for each lesson
for authentic interaction and other viewpoints

Use – kids raise money and decide who to give it to

Have kids create or edit wikipedia entries

ISTE 2010 – Leadership Bootcamp

This was the first year of the leadership bootcamp at ISTE, with help from TIE Colorado. Not the best use of everyone’s time, but not a bad first year. Chris Lehmann’s (blog) lunch address was worth the day in itself. Most of the sessions in the three tracks were focused on professional learning networks, or some variation thereof, and there was significant overlap between all of the sessions. And as usual, there was plenty of do as I say and not as I do.

Here are the nuggets from Chris’s lunch address, though, which I thought were very valuable and worth repeating:

Angelo Patri
Innovative educator early 1900s. Look into what he was up to

Education not training

Citizens not workers

Responsibility instead of accountability

Innovation not change

Technology like oxygen
Ubiquitous, necessary, and invisible

Neil Postman – check him out

Read Dewey again. Just do it

What’s good not what’s new

Empower teachers and students

Students should sit on every panel making divisions about the school

Not how will we fix schools but what do we want them to be

Focus on the middle third

Not me making you better but you and me making us better

ISTE 2010 – Day 1 Takeaways

OK, please forgive the stream of consciousness here. This is mostly a compilation of my notes from these sessions, with some added thoughts. here and there. Unless otherwise clear, the ideas here are from the presenters ( I don’t want to misrepresent any of the genius here as my own). Everyth9ing written here is something I considered powerful or important.

Karen Cator, Department of Education
Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology

National Education Technology Plan

Personalized learning, not individualized learning

Measure what matters

Embedded assessments – real-time feedback loops

Technology as force multiplier

Excellent presentation of the Beta version of the NETP. She says it’s close to version 1.0, after the latest round of feedback from educators.
She outlined some of the major challenges and opportunities that will be involved getting to where we need to be. The one that is on my mind lately? Assessment: Defining what is important to measure, and determining how to measure it. Everyone seems to agree that performance assessment is the best (only?) way to measure what is important, but there are huge hurdles. Agreeing on what is important is the first step. But even if that could be agreed upon, is there a way to objectively measure performance in a comparable way that can be used to ascertain the success of methods? Performance assessment is inherently subjective to the reviewer (or is it? – challenge me!). And if so, how can there be a national standard, or even a state standard for proficiency in a given area? Is it ever possible to get away from standardized tests if the goal is to compare outcomes across systems? Should we move to community standards?

Gary Stager
Creativity 2.0: The Quest for Meaning, Beauty, and Excellence

Gary’s blog

All media construction should mirror the writing process

Successful 1:1 programs changed everything when the computers came in

Students should feel intellectually powerful

Learning should be non-coercive

Kids need access to expertise and need relationships with adults

Knowledge is a consequence of experience

Make thinking visible

PBL (Project Based Learning)
If the scale or prompt is too large you narrow the possible outputs. The problems must be bite sized, but large enough to enable depth.
Elements of successful PBL
See slides on site ( – don’t seem to be there yet)

When students come up to teachers in later years they always want to reminisce. Teaching should involve more of the kinds of things they reminisce about.

Mitchel Resnick
Lifelong Kindergarten: Keeping Imagination and Creativity in the Learning Process

Imagine, play, share, create, reflect

Tech should enhance this, not just make the current information-through-funnel model more efficient

Leigh Zeitz and Angela Maiers
It’s Not about the Gadgets, It’s about the Possibilities!


We’re trying to put new things into old structures = confusion

Internet is about network and community not just another place for
students to find, memorize, and regurgitate data.

Synthesize, communicate, evaluate
These need to be basic skills, not just graduate level

Book: disrupting class
Must read

Chris Dede – must read blog