Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Beyond Buzzwords


Published on

Presentation given at TEDxTLN as part of the National School Boards Association Conference
April 2010

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

Beyond Buzzwords

  1. 1. Lucy Gray University of Chicago CEMSE 1Monday, April 12, 2010
  2. 2. Beyond Buzzwords 2Monday, April 12, 2010 My name is Lucy Gray and I’m an education technology specialist at the University of Chicago Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education. I’ve been blessed with opportunities to visit schools and to interact with other educators who are concerned about the state of education in the United States. Today, I’d like to share with you four themes that I believe need to be addressed if we are going to improve our educational system. My conjecture is that our educational ills are complex and are not going to be solved solely by the accumulation of more data, more rigorous academic standards, and weeding out of ineffective teachers. Yes, these things are important, but we must look at how learning is changing first and foremost. Let’s get beyond buzzwords that are really related to fear.
  3. 3. Have we reached another Nation at Risk moment? 3Monday, April 12, 2010 In the news: Changes in the publishing Industry Globalization & the Economy College Tuition Test Scores Data-driven Decision Making The list goes on... Noted Stanford education professor Larry Cuban wrote in his blog last October: “Were national and state leaders to openly acknowledge that blaming teachers as a group for the ills of poor schooling and then expecting those very same awful teachers to turn around and work their hearts out to remedy those ills is simply goofy. Over 3.5 million teachers do the daily work of teaching; they teach reading, wipe noses, find lost backpacks, write recommendations, and grade tests. No online courses, charter schools, vouchers, home schooling, or any other star-crossed idea that business-driven, entrepreneurial reformers design will replace them. So blaming and shaming teachers into working harder is no recipe for improved student learning. Surely, like any group of professionals, teachers have to be prodded and they have to be supported. Prodding they get a lot of; support is where these so-called leaders fall down badly.”
  4. 4. EdWeek: State of Mind Disheartened 40% Idealists 23% Contented 37% October 2009 4Monday, April 12, 2010 DISHEARTENED teachers are more likely to: • give their principals poor ratings for supporting them as teachers • express concerns about working conditions, student behavior, and testing IDEALIST teachers are more likely to: • say they became teachers to help disadvantaged students • believe their studentsʼ test scores have increased a lot because of their teaching • say that good teachers can lead all students to learn, even those from poor families or who have uninvolved parents CONTENTED teachers are more likely to: • report excellent working conditions • be experienced in their profession • work in middle- or higher-income schools • believe their studentsʼ test scores have increased a lot because of their teaching
  5. 5. Before we expect and the data to change, students to step up, teachers to work harder than ever, administrators to lead with vision, we must engage and re-inspire. 5Monday, April 12, 2010 In my world, we often refer to the digital divide.We clearly have more divides to address.
  6. 6. 4Social Media 21st C. Skills “Generational Diversity” Learning Environments 6Monday, April 12, 2010 Through examining these four themes, we can re-imagine schools.
  7. 7. Social Media “Online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other.” “Social media are works of user-created video, audio, text or multimedia that are published and shared in a social environment, such as a blog, wiki or video hosting site.” 7Monday, April 12, 2010 Here’s a quick review of social media definitions. There is no doubt that kids are taking to social media as consumers and producers of content. Social media should be embraced in schools, but unfortunately many schools are taking a reactive stance towards leveraging these technologies. Here’s the story of one school which believes in teaching kids about social media in the context of school.
  8. 8. The School at Columbia 8Monday, April 12, 2010 The School at Columbia is a progressive, K-8 private school on the the Columbia University campus. It embraces social media in many different ways.
  9. 9. 9Monday, April 12, 2010 Columbia uses Google Apps for Education, including as a place for classes to communicate about their independent reading. Kids write book reviews for each book they read. This collection is searchable and organized by class; students are encouraged to leave comments about their classmate’s book reviews.
  10. 10. 10Monday, April 12, 2010
  11. 11. 11Monday, April 12, 2010 The School at Columbia also has its own social network built using the open source Elgg platform. Each kid has their own profile and avatar. They are guided through the profile development process as part of helping students’ to explore their identities. Profiles are also used for historical figures. Everyone’s profiles are tagged with keywords in a tag cloud. If you click on one of these keywords, you’ll find other profiles that are linked by the common area of interest.
  12. 12. Lilyʼs Journalism Project 12Monday, April 12, 2010 A former high school classmate of mine contacted me through Facebook. She’s a journalist and screenwriter living in LA and is currently running an after school journalism class for kids. One of her students was interested in educational technology, so Jodie arranged for her to interview me via email. I kicked it up a notch by putting her questions in a Google Doc spreadsheet, sending the link out over Twitter to my educators friends, and Lily ended up with 23 additional interviews. Here’s a map of the locations of the teachers who responded. There was also a response from Korea and from New Zealand. How does technology change the way kids work?
  13. 13. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills 13Monday, April 12, 2010 Many of you are probably familiar with the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and their framework. Keep in mind that content is still important, but critical skills need to be woven into this content in order to adequately prepare our students. This underscores the importance of teachers teaching in an integrated fashion if they are going to touch on all of these skills.
  14. 14. Pedagogical Shifts New models of teaching and learning are emerging New literacies need to be taught strategically Standards and accountability arenʼt going away Going global have never been easier 14Monday, April 12, 2010 Consider: MacArthur Digital Media Initiative Google Search Curriculum There’s no reason for classrooms NOT be connected to classrooms outside of their school at least. New models of teaching and learning are emerging •Rigorous content + 21st century themes •“Sage on the stage” to “guide on the side” •A return to constructivist and thematically integrated teaching approaches New literacies need to be taught strategically •Development a search mentality •Cultivation of student personal learning networks (PLNs) •Digital media literacy Standards and accountability aren’t going away •Assessments need improvement Going global have never been easier
  15. 15. The Key School Faculty read Learning by Heart by Roland Barth Examined standards from a variety of sources Brainstormed a list of 21st century skills, literacies, and habits of mind Voted to narrow this list to environmental stewardship, global perspective, life skills, service learning, diversity, and differentiated instruction Faculty “followed their passion” and chose a study group; charged with certain goals 15Monday, April 12, 2010 Here’s an example of how a school can take on the challenge of 21st Century Skill teaching. Other important facts: Groups have been in place for three years. The focus skills have driven capital projects to curricular projects. Groups have reported out to various school community groups: trustees, divisions, departments, parents, etc. Groups have also worked with outside consultants and visited other schools.
  16. 16. “Generational Diversity” 16Monday, April 12, 2010 Generational diversity is a new concept to me and it popped out to me in an a recent article in District Administrator. The basic premise is: How do we capitalize on experience and innovation in our schools by looking at generational learning styles? After reading this article, it occurred to me that this seems to be an overlooked area of school management. This is not directly related, but after reading a Project Tomorrow study, it also occurred to me that we need to look at schools and technology from a longitudinal basis. How are we preparing our students for the long term? I believe that we are dealing with multigenerational issues in educational technology; it’s not a simplistic matter of digital natives vs. digital immigrants. Young teachers may know Facebook, but do they know how to integrate technology effectively and meaningfully?
  17. 17. Beloit Mindset List 17Monday, April 12, 2010 How are you prepping your faculty so that they understand your students?
  18. 18. Generational Pyramid State of the Internet 2009: Pew Internet Project Findings and Implications for Libraries The vast majority of online adults from all generations uses email and search engines. While there are always exceptions, older generations typically do not engage with the internet past e- commerce. Basic online entertainment (online videos, playing games) E-commerce (online shopping, banking, and travel reservations) Research and information gathering (product research, news, health and religious information searches) Email and search Active engagement with social media (visit SNS, create SNS profile, create blogs) More advanced online entertainment (download videos, music and podcasts) More advanced communication and passive social media use (instant messaging, visit SNS, read blogs) The majority of teens and Gen Y use SNS, but fewer maintain blogs. Online adults older than Gen X are less likely to use SNS. 18Monday, April 12, 2010 How are you planning to meet the needs of the various generations represented in your faculty? In this particular scenario, how are taking into generational differences when planning for professional development around technology?
  19. 19. 2007 The year internet connectivity became almost ubiquitous in schools This means kids who just graduated were in 10th grade current juniors in high school were in 8th grade current freshman were in sixth grade 19Monday, April 12, 2010 Are they really digital natives? Adults have different learning styles. Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Gen Yers Kids have had different levels of exposure to technology. The period of time at which our schools have been wired is fairly short.
  20. 20. Implications Increased need for targeted, sustained, and thoughtful professional development. Increased need for strategic, thoughtful human capital planning. Increased need for long-range planning and vision around skills sets required by students at various points in their academic careers. 20Monday, April 12, 2010 How are you supporting the needs of adult learners with very different learning styles? How are you supporting the needs of adult learners with very different learning styles? How are you preparing to students in relation to changing technology? How is your school changing to meet the new needs and desires of students? How are you balancing student engagement and rigor?
  21. 21. The Third Teacher 21Monday, April 12, 2010
  22. 22. Learning Anywhere Personalized instruction Personal learning networks Mobiles School Design 22Monday, April 12, 2010
  23. 23. School of One 23Monday, April 12, 2010 Summer school pilot Middle school math Flexible space Personalized curriculum Regular assessments Variety in delivery of instruction Lesson plan bank Partnered with publishers
  24. 24. So what? Social networks: Be open to letting your kids drive the technology use in your classrooms. Engage them in the ways that they are already learning outside school. Generational diversity: Change will not going to happen without schools using a team approach to examine longitudinal goals. 21st century skills: The art of teaching comes through via the weaving of 21st century themes into core content. Give guidance and thought to curriculum and programs. Learning environments: Start thinking about the whole learning environment. Personalized learning for both students and teachers is increasingly important. 24Monday, April 12, 2010
  25. 25. Lucy Gray links: 25Monday, April 12, 2010