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Edutech 2015: Day 2 Overview

I didn’t find Day 2 as enlightening as Day 1, but that may have been in part that Day 1 was long and exhausting and I was already feeling a little over-whelmed!

The first Keynote  was Eric Sheninger a ‘Thought Leader on Digital Leadership’ (I think I’ll award myself that title as well!)

Part of his argument was the school leaders need remove the excuses and obstacles and let others innovate.

He discussed his 7 Pillars of Digital Leadership

  1. Communication
  2. Public Relations – become the storyteller-in-chief
  3. Branding – create a positive brand presence that builds trust, admiration, and support for the work being done in schools
  4. Student engagement and learning – create learning culture where students use real-world tools to do real-world work; allow them to create artifacts of learning to demonstrate conceptual mastery. Focus on pedagogy first, technology second when appropriate
  5. Professional growth – create a Personal Learning Network (PLN) to learn anytime, from anywhere, and with anyone using social media to connect.
  6. Learning spaces and environments – design a school that looks, feels, and functions like the real-world
  7. Opportunity – the more you share about the innovative work taking place in your schools the more opportunities will come your way

He referred to the well-aired quote of the last year or two:
“Schools are doing a great job preparing students for a world that doesn’t exist anymore….”

He argued that we need to:

  • Get the instructional design right?
  • Put Pedagogy first, and technology second,
  • That Pedagogy needs to be the driver, and technology becomes the accelerator.
  • That it’s not about right or wrong, but rather where are we, and how do we get better;
  • As a Principal he was in the classrooms of his teachers 70% of time – saw each teacher 5x a year!
  • Have School environments that reflect the real-world – this enhances essential skill sets.
  • Put Coffee & wifi together – for the students – anywhere, anytime, ubiquitous, collaborative;
  • Have a MakerSpace, an open lab in the Library;
  • Recognize that engagement is not necessarily learning
  • And make school relevant

Here’s a link to some of his resources: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Z7GypUyJuFBn-5MVStr1PkW1EQGq1DfT2pOxDdI_PBQ/edit or Bit.ly/DigiLeadICLE15

And see his TED talk here:  http://youtu.be/mwrLVvORugw  

The next session that captured my attention was Ted McCain  of  Naple Ridge High (CA).

His talk was at double speed and full of America’s pre-occupation with simplification into lists, such as the 5 E’s of this; the 6 R’s of that and the 10 W’s of The Other, all given at a frenetic pace, but still containing much of value despite the almost cringe-worthy manner in which they were presented.

His 9 I’s of what student skills need to be taught and developed in class were of value, though they needed a lot more time to develop and unpack.

  1. Intra-personal Skills
  2. Interpersonal Skills
  3. Independent Problem-solving Skills
  4. Interdependent Collaboration Skills
  5. Information Investigation Skills
  6. Information Communication Skills
  7. Imagination Creativity
  8. Innovation Creativity
  9. Internet Citizenship Skills

He gave a great example of a traditional geography lesson on some cities in Japan and then an example of how much better it could be when you ‘put the problem first’.

Here’s an excerpt from one of his articles on this:
We must ensure that problems come first, teaching comes second.
This is the most significant change we can make to our teaching. It will force us and our students to take on a new role in the classroom. This approach is so powerful because it is in sync with the world outside school. Problems come before learning. In fact, it is usually a problem that sparks the motivation to go out and learn something new.
The reason problems are so motivational is that we often encounter real-world problems before we know how to solve them.
So if that is the case in the world outside school, then we need to do the same thing inside school. We need to give students problems before they know how to solve them while they are still in school. So they get practice that prepares them for the real-world they will encounter when they leave us. The key for teachers is to create problems that lead students into the material in the curriculum.”

For more from Ted McCain see  Bit.ly/infosavvy21

A good quote I heard on Twitter: “Challenge-based learning” is the future. Project Based Learning with attitude!

The Final Keynote was from Dr Heidi Hayes Jacobs – see http://www.curriculum21.com/
She argues that the three new literacies are:

  • Digital,
  • Media,
  • Global

She argues that we live in ‘a new time’ where we need contemporary roles:

The student needs to be a professional learner; a media critic of TV, Film, and the PC mediuim; a Media Maker; a Global Ambassador; a Contractor; an Innovative Designer; and so on!
She also argued that we, the teachers, need to be all these things as well to be effective role models!

A good quote: “Every school needs a ‘green room’”
She also spoke on the Disruptive Trends such as learning analytics, micro-credentials, competency-based learning, and personalised adaptive learning.

And to finish with a quote from the ‘scary’ educational futurist Ian Jukes whose Closing Keynote last year was amazing:
“Education is a service that is poised for serious disruption. What happens when there is ‘Uber University’”




  1. Pingback: Edutech 2015: Day 2 Overview | Computational Th... - June 4, 2015

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