I have to admit that I was pretty tired after learning all that I did today at the IT-Summit Conference, but my brain was quite content after feeding on the knowledge about literacies, SMART technologies, open networking, and how schools are in a serious need for a change. Here are some of the key points and my learning from a few of the sessions that I attended today.
Reading Across a Dozen Literacies – Jamie Mckenzie
- When talking about literacy in class, find common words and categories to allow interconnection to take place – Education focuses only enhancing reading and mathematical numeracy; this is not the best thing because students should be good at all literacies
- Students need to embrace complexity; our job as a teacher is to take simple minds and have them question complex issues
- Good ideas form over weeks and thoughts need to be shaken off balance in order for a good idea to be thought of -Researching should be more than just scooping and smooshing
- Research should involve one’s own ideas – comprehending > considering > wandering > wondering > pondering (all interchangeable)
-Visual Thesaurus (www.visualthesaurus.com) is a great visual diagram of one’s wandering thoughts
-People have lost their ability of natural and environmental literacy/the ability to ‘read’ signs in nature and the environment
- Because of this, people today grab onto complex scientific situations and make simple decisions
- Explore possibilities – be open-minded
Integrating SMARTboards Into What You Are Already Doing – Melissa Gavel
- When working with technology, expect the unexpected and plan accordingly
- A board is just a tool – use other tools also i.e.) SMART Senteo, digital cameras, laptops, projectors, etc.
- You need your own board in your own classroom to fully embrace the interactive experiences available; does not work best if students have to go to another room to use it or if it is transportable
- Senteo Clicker: gives students who don’t volunteer answers a voice; all can answer anonymously and not have to raise their hands; give the same clicker to a student every time and the clicker will save the information/data
- Senteo Clickers involve many forms of answers: multiple choice, true/false, yes/no
- Smarttech.com has slides/lessons/etc available for you to use
- Include as many students up at the board as possible and have the rest of the students working on the same sheet at their desks
- Discussion at the board = power of collaborative learning; can see lots of light bulbs going off
- Students never get bored of the board; it seems like a fun game in their eyes even after years of using it
Be Kind Rewind – Clarence Fischer
- Society is changing so how can classrooms/education change to keep up with it?
- Are kids different today?
- It is your role as an educator to find out what is interesting to your students and incorporate that into your lessons/classroom
- Students know all about having access to the world because of society; therefore, why take that away from then when in the classroom
- 20% of Canadians are on Facebook
- 85% of people born after 1980 are on a social networking site of some sort
- Classrooms can be a snooze to some kids because they are used to getting a lot of stuff from lots of places at different times of the day – realize this and make adaptations!
- We have kids ‘power down’ in class when they are not really used to this
- Allow electronic devices (laptops, ipods, etc) in your classroom to promote open mindedness and save your school division a pile of money
- Digital Native vs Digital Immigrant does not always mean young people vs old people – can be vice versa
- Tools don’t really costs anything anymore; software is free online
- Facebook and blogging will probably be dead and done in less than 5 years due to the constant change in societies
So now what? How do we support the chance of society in our classrooms?
1. Classrooms should be considered studios – kids work when its best for them, expanded time and space, lots going on at the same time
2. Teacher = Network Administrator – connect students with knowledge and help them navigate through to the information you know they need
- School = preparation for life, but what if school = life?
- Networks = Power = Schools=Community=GLOBAL
- Audiences drive but communities drop in - Collaboration with others provides motivation for students to find their voice
- We want kids learning together and thinking together long term
- Students need choices to show what they know; use a variety of tools and students will learn what they are good at - Students need to see rules out front in order to successfully meet the goals and objectives
- We are responsible to teach kids in a way that is meaningful to them
- Be aware and make choices for the benefits of your classroom – change needs to happen slowly but fast enough to make it happen
- Technology will not transform your classroom but will make it more authentic and engaging – more opportunities to reach more students and for them to make connections
I was not exaggerating when I said my brain was full – I learned SO MUCH today! I cannot help but look forward to all of my learning in tomorrow’s sessions!
The evolution of the web on the mobile medium is completely inevitable… I’m looking to Generation Y. They’re the mobile generation and they’re going to be the guardians of the web in the coming decades. -James Pearce