Irving ISD and the K12 Online Conference – My Notes and What I Learned

We began the morning with a brief overview of the K12 Online Conference and then watched Chris Lehman’s keynote for the Leading the Change strand.  As always, I agree with Lehman’s ideas and assertions.

The Voices of School 2.0 – Some of the ideas I relate to most from the keynote…

  • What is it that we are willing to unlearn and re-learn to make our schools better?
  • Break the barriers of traditional teaching – people learn more with a human connection.
  • We need to make our schools more inquiry driven.
  • What would happen if we started viewing school as real-life instead of just preparation for real-life?
  • What would happen if we dared kids to change the world?
  • We need to discuss meta-cognition with students.
  • We need students who can learn when they leave us.
  • Move away from the recall-based classroom
  • Project-based learning does not mean doing projects along the way – true project-based learning is the work that is valued most
  • If you really want to see students engaged then give them a project so they can create and apply what they have learned
  • Certain technologies are not additive – they are transformative

– Great discussion ensued about balancing what students want to know with what students “need” to know.

Presentation One – Current Leadership Models are Inadequate for Disruptive Innovations – My notes and thoughts

Presentation based on books The Innovator’s Dilemma and Disrupting Class by Dr. Clayton Christensen’s

What is a disruptive innovation? Disruptive innovations change the game. They repsresent new paradigms.

– More than need line

– Good enough line

The lines of progress sustain innovations – over time products get better and better.

Implications for school administrators

  • Most admins have not realized that K12 is facing disruptive innovation – personalized learning
  • Our existing educational model is not a given – public education is being complacent
  • Schools are not immune to the natural laws of disruptive innovation
  • Number of K12 students taking an online course has grown exponentially (growth in charter schools, home schooling and alternative schools)
  • What is now new and different will soon become common place

What can admins do?

  • Start with under-served students
  • Do not wait for “stakeholders” to jump on the wagon
  • Use different metrics of success
  • Allow the spin-offs to compete directly with the old paradigm

The time to move is now, so they are not eclipsed by new entities that better meet the needs of learners.

Hmmm…. thoughts the presentation spurred…

  • How does one move a district or school towards disruptive innovation?
  • How do you balance doing what is expected by you (from the state, district, school, etc.) while still moving towards teaching in a disruptive way?
  • How does the traditional model “fit” within the disruptive innovation model? Is it thrown out entirely? Used as a basis to begin?
  • Are students open to changing from the “traditional” model to a more disruptive one? Is their a learning or adjustment curve for students?

Presentation Two – The Lie of the Community – My Notes and Thoughts

Presentation by Bud the Teacher

This presentation is more of a conversation… difficult to take notes on. It is more about building your network and discussing how that network works for you.

  • What is a network?
  • What is a community?
  • How do you build a network?
  • Expose yourself to people who think differently than you.
  • Should students create their own personal networks?

Whole group discussion…

  • Using Google notebook for vocabulary, interactive notebooks for social studies – archived for next year
  • How much time do I give up teaching them the technology? It takes time away from content. – Horizontal teaming important when teaching technology skills.  Students will work on learning the tech skills outside of the classroom.
  • Learned about back channeling – “How do you grade something like that?”, “Do you have to grade everything done in your class?”
  • Idea to use Voice Thread to respond to a question by video instead of text only
  • How do we come up with good questions and problems for our students to solve? How do we intersect these questions with the curriculum?

Although the group was pretty small, I think the discussion went pretty well. Most of the eductaors present were pretty positive about their experience with the K12 and liked the face-to-face discussion piece. We will be hosting the second session next Saturday. Please join us.

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