Saturday, November 16, 2013

Lets All Move to New Zealand?

This morning I was woken up at 6:30am to my 6 year old in my face..."MOMMY, I need you to teach me how to rainbow loom!" While I was trying to process what he was even asking, he grabbed the iPad and said "Nevermind, I'll ask YouTube." 

My favorite thing about the iPad Summit was that it was NOT about the iPad. It was about transforming education to meet the needs of today's society. We don't need to teach them "stuff". They can find out whatever it is they need to know, as my six year so nicely put it, by asking YouTube.  The iPad is just the driving force of change. 

Are educators still standing in the front of the room playing PowerPoint Karoke to unengaged kids who could easily Google or YouTube the majority of the state standards for their course?  Can educators be empowered to force their kids to ASK questions of the unknown?  Leverage student interest and develop experiences around them while naturally incorporating digital citizenship.  School could be SO much more fun and purposeful.

My favorite moments from the Summit:

Dr. Ruben Puentedura - The SAMR model is not a ladder you climb, but it is instead a web that you use to develop more enriching, authentic experiences for kids.

Patrick Larkin - For change to occur with educators, schools need leadership that can have hard conversations when necessary.  Empower your educators with visible, encouraging, supportive leaders.

Reshan Richards - Quite possibly my favorite comment of the conference - You don't learn about curriculum, you learn through curriculum.  (A close second would be "Oh crap I almost just fell off the stage...don't tweet that.")  :)

Richard Wells - Schools in New Zealand are completely allowed to design their own curriculum to meet the needs of their culture. There is NO content in any of their curriculum, only processes and thinking skills.

For example: Why do American schools force students to learn specific content that possibly will never benefit them in their future? An objective from the TEKS (Texas): "compare the structures of viruses to cells, describe viral reproduction, and describe the role of viruses in causing diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and influenza." An objective in New Zealand "Analyze a New Zealand health issue".   Why are we so focused on facts?  Our kids are missing out on the connections and big picture because they are too busy memorizing the 5 steps of lysogenic viral replication.

Anyone that ever has an opportunity should attend the EdTech Teacher Workshops.  It is inspiring to be with so many other teachers and administrators that have the same desire to make a difference in education. 

No comments:

Post a Comment