Sunday, October 14, 2007

K12 Online 2007: David Warlick's 24 Hour Chat Log Comments & Dennis Richards' Reflections

K 12 Online Conference David Warlick Keynote Chat Transcript

Page 1

David Warlick:

Challenge is, how do I model for my children -- for my students. If we're preparing our children to be free-agent workers (and that's just a speculation), then perhaps we should help them to become free-agent learners.

DR: Powerful Learning Experiences?

I think this is the crux of the problem we face in schools today. Most educators were not taught to be free-agent learners so they don't know what we mean. Learning as we experience it in these interactive environments is exhilarating because it's inquiry driven, personally meaningful, open-ended, and intellectually stimulating. How many classrooms, schools and professional development experiences can be described with those words? We "hold administrators accountable;" "negotiate contractual articles" to define teacher common learning time; and lecture students, quiz them, test them and move to the next unit regardless of what they didn't learn so they are "well prepared" for high stakes test that decide if they will graduate or not. In the curriculum-frameworks-driven environment of schools today is they any room for "powerful learning experiences?"

Page 2

David Warlick:

He is my son, who learned to re-mix video by knowing how to find people who could help him learn what he needed to know to do what he wanted to do. This, in my opinion, is one of the most powerful messages of the video.

DR: Students and Web 2.0 Tools

Yes, David, but the message is hidden... Kids and even younger teachers are using many similar tools for personal reasons. If we can give permission and support to teachers and administrators to use these tools, they can begin to shift student use from the personal use of web 2.0 tools to its powerful use for learning. Imagine what educators and kids would experience if 30% of the time they were using these tools for learning? And as the percentage goes up for administrators, teachers and kids, we can use this new interactive environment to structure new boundaries around 21st Century Skills. That is when you will have the traction we need for students and educators to feel fulfilled in our schools.

Participant: (KS) I am in Higher Ed and the boundaries are prison fences it seems to me and most higher ed faculty are not ready to integrate tech into their content, talk about boundaries!!!

David Warlick:

This is so incredibly disheartening. What is it about a profession that is entirely about help people to grow, so reluctant to grow itself?

DR: Educator Supply Chain

Unfortunately, it is more challenging than just higher education. I am a member of a working group of professional educators, business representatives, and legislators in Massachusetts. We are working on legislation that world ensure systemic change reaches every classroom in the state.

The bad news is that we have a lot of work to do; the good news is that we have generated significant support around a common focus that seeks to improve the heart of education: teaching and learning.

The central issue is this: there is a common core of knowledge about teaching and learning, including interactive technology, for good professional practice that gets results for students. Large segments of this common core of knowledge are missing in action from each of the ten subsystems that form the supply chain for our teacher workforce. No one is accountable for seeing it even shows up in these sub-systems, much less in an integrated way. This is eminently fixable; but only if we redefine the problem and radically refocus our resources. (The same can be said for the knowledge and skills of school leadership.)

The ten sub-systems of the educator workforce supply chain are:

1. University Preparation Programs

2. State Licensing Requirements

3. School District Hiring Processes

4. School District Induction Programs

5. School District Supervision and Evaluation Systems

6. School District Professional Development Systems

7. State Recertification Requirements

8. School District Salary, Promotion and Advancement Policies

9. Individual School Working Conditions

10. Individual School Organization Culture

Participant: (Th) Bangkok is asking How do you infuse the concept of "learning how to learn" into a k12 curriculum

David Warlick:

Step 1: Model it. Rather than using textbook and other "packaged" content, use sources from the Internet that you (teacher) have found, evaluated, mixed and re-mixed, and then explain to your students, while you are teaching them, how you found it, how you decided to use it, how you combined it with other content, etc.

Step 2: Expect it of your students. Assign aspects of the unit to be learned independently by your students. Have them work in teams or whatever. Then, as they share what they have learned, ask them, "How did you find that?" "Why did you decide to use this source?" "How did you make it look like this?"

DR: "Chief" Learner

Interesting how this advice applies to administrators and teachers also.

I am a superintendent responsible for a school district with 4000 students. In my opening address to the staff, I modeled what I had learned at the November Learning Building Learning Communities Conference 2007 from Darren Kuropatwa. Over the next few weeks I will meet with the faculty at each of the seven schools in the district. I will be showing them what I have learned since then as I interacted with many educators on Twitter and through K12Online 2007. These people are friendly and willing to help those of us who are new to these Web 2.0 tools.

If you are the "chief" learner, I think you need to make your learning transparent and available to your colleagues. It wasn't easy for me to make that leap, but this is what I believe so I have decided to walk the talk!

In the end it has been lots of fun.... and rewarding too.

I ran out of time to offer more comments. I hope to continue over the next week or two.

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