Daily Archives: June 28, 2009

NECC 2009: Opening Keynote Malcolm Gladwell

Notes from the NECC 2009 Opening Keynote with Malcolm Gladwell. Just some general ones, as my laptop battery died about halfway through. The live blogging of the keynote is here, here, and here.¬† Scott McLeod posted a few more useful links, including this critique by “Bummer Boy”. Liz Davis wonders how to put Gladwell’s ideas into practice.

Update: Curriki now has a summary of the keynote.

“I never talk about something that my audience knows more about than I do…”

So he starts out by talking about Fleetwood Mac…. ūüėČ and uses it as an example for what it means to become successful and what meaningful learning is

Mastery takes a long time: 10,000 hour rule, i.e. 4 hours a day for 10 years to master something, e.g. like chess, music. Many people underestimate how much this really is.

“Behind learning there has to be an attitude of effort”, so how do we communicate this attitude to our kids? E.g. being good at math is not an innate talent, it’s a matter of effort.

You build on your failures, not your successes. You compensate rather than capitalize. For example, how do you get through school if you’re dyslexic?¬† You learn leadership skills such as delegating or problem solving.

In all, the keynote was good and entertaining, but I sort of missed hearing at least a little bit about how digital tools can and should play a role in all of this, both inside and outside of school.¬† This is especially in regards to the central question of the keynote:¬† “How can we create learning environments where people can flex their compensation muscle as well as their capitalization muscle?”

NECC 2009: Sunday Leadership Symposium (Working Groups)

Notes from¬†group 1: ¬†“Access to High-Quality Learning Experiences”:

What would it look like to achieve this goal:

All students have access to high quality, rigorous learning experiences

  • Access to technology and personal devices
  • Administrator support
  • Focus on what kids are going to do. Learning has to be truly ubiquitous with guided practice and leadership. Harness the learning that goes on despite of school
  • Customizable learning environments that are student-driven
  • Globally connected
  • Complex projects
  • Broadband access with individual student devices and unfiltered access.
  • Student-centered
  • Equity of access
  • Hands-on activity, collaboration, student-produced knowledge
  • Personalized learning determined by students
  • Different paradigm for a place called school/classroom (learning space? Could be space and time)
  • Opportunities for teachers to learn
  • Inquiry-based learning
  • Authentic, nothing seems above us, one-click, creative and critical thinking, directed, differentiated, multimedia, continuous, customized, Pre-K – 90 learning

Mike Kozak comments:

Importance of 1:1, device doesn’t matter!!!!!¬†Students and teachers need the tools. 1:1 is becoming more of an expectation. Research shows that engagement and motivation goes up. For intervention strategies, 80% of improvement is at the student level.

Bandwidth: Access is key!

Online Education: mostly post-secondary now, spiral this down to K-12.

Opening Education Resources (OER): content, tools, and software. Biggest hurdle is time to find, explore, and integrate.


Best Best Recommendations from table groups:

  • Powerful, real-time, collection tool
  • We propose the creation of an education-system supported, high-quality cross-cultural collaboration system, like the eTwinning program in Europe or the Flat Classrooms Project, that provides for synchronous and asynchronous, formal and informal,¬† classroom-to-classroom and student-to-student collaboration with an emphasis on participating in real-world issues.
  • More focus on using technology skills (application), not the skills themselves.
  • PK-90, Continuous, Individualized, standards-based Learning.
  • Bandwidth, access, focus on learning experiences.
  • We need to engage in a revolutionary system that is more open and transparent¬† for both teachers and students.¬†¬†
  • Use White Spectrum to provide online access for schools and libraries and museums within their community. Take this cost out of school budgets and make it part of the overall infrastructure. (Stan Silverman) This is already paid for by the public.¬†Use devices that students have now and that their families own (use cell phones for student response systems in the class rather than buying student response systems). Make school buildings available for learning by community members outside of school hours or school days so there is true lifelong learning. Let grannies and teens learn how to do things they want to learn, side by side and from each other.
  • Personalized, customizable, and flexible learning environment based on national standards that includes access to any type of technology and resources needed.
We need a comprehensive online system, securing the white space spectrum, incorporating and supporting 21st Century skills, accessible anywhere anytime, that incorporates the capabilities for a personalized, flexible learning plan, cross-cultural collaboration, authentic performance assessment, and open learning resources.
This is step one of what will be a long process of sorting and sifting.

NECC 2009: Sunday Leadership Symposium

¬†Notes from the opening comments….

Opening panel:

Pamela Griffin: Importance of professional development.

Stephen Hockett: Talked mostly about data-driven decision-making and how it can work, but closed with an example of teacher with mobile devices. The teacher said that learning became more student-centered and about discovery, and that teaching is less about control. Advice: we spend too much time teaching 20th century skills with 20th century technology. We need to think outside of the box, use mobile devices, and giving teachers time to work with technology (pd).

Jeff Levin (Highland Tech High School graduate): graduate from a standards-based school…. “When students are given technology to use for learning, in some cases this can be good, and in other cases this can still be good.” Technology is a very strong asset to students. Advice: Remember that there are things that students are going to dislike about technology. Students will also use technology for things that teachers did not intend.

Dan Roberts: Technology has empowered people at his school,¬†Saltash.net, ¬†including students, teachers and staff. Let students use technology, it’s ok to fail. Learning has become more independent learning, both inside and out. They let students use what they have in their pockets, i.e. mobile phones, for taking pictures and video, and taking notes. Advice: not use technology for the sake of it, but to improve learning. “The opportunities are endless.” Students should have a say in their learning, give teachers and students an opportunity to take risks.

Obinna Johnson Ukwuani: Importance of the hands-on aspect of education using technology, especially in science, “it fortifies learning”.

Overview of National Ed Tech Plan

Linda Roberts: Build on what we know, but don’t be limited by it. We need a plan that will be used:

  • compel action by having a vision and very clear goals;
  • drive policy; and
  • spur investment (the trickiest part). Investment is money at national, state and local levels; investment in the system; and investment in people (we need them to make the plan happen, they need to feel vested in this venture)!!

Barbara Means: Technology has become a factor in its own right in education. Bases for goal setting include new education priorities, research, new and emerging tech capabilities, …

Technology’s potential to support four educational transformations:

  • Access to high quality learning experiences;
  • Remaking the teaching profession;
  • Providing info to create a transparent educational system and continuous improvement at all levels;
  • enhancing collaboration and content management to derive cost savings and

Planning activities (plan is to be created in 8 months, i.e. done by the end of 2009/early 2010!!):

  • Outreach to key stakeholders
  • technical working group (includes John Seely Brown, Aneesh Chopra, Roy Pea, Barbara Means, Linda Roberts, Chris Dede, Barry Fishman,¬†etc.)¬†
  • commissioned research and data analyses
  • solicitation of white papers and view points/comments
  • public website (edtechfuture.org; as requested by the Obama administration for purposes of transparency of the process). Will go live on 6/29.