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 hereScott 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…. 😉 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?”

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