Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Little Less Talk, A Lot More Examples

This week I presented at the Nebraska Council of School Administrator's Technology Conference in Kearney. This year's keynote speaker was David Warlick. David has one of my all time favorite videos, recorded for the K12 Online Conference. During his opening keynote this week, he talked about how students are in an information abundance age because of advancements in technology. But that isn't necessarily what our classrooms look like. Sound familiar? I thought so. Whether it's been NETA, ISTE, or Educon, I'm starting to feel like someone is just playing a recording of "21st Century learners are being educated in 19th Century classrooms." Obviously, not everyone has taken this to heart. But why not? Why haven't we moved on from this being the main idea of keynote after keynote? I'm sure you can come up with many excuses - money, time, "way it's always been done." But some schools have. Where are they? Why don't we hear more from them at education conferences? True integration, not pilot programs. True change in your school, not once a month, "ah that looks cute and fun" professional development. We had this discussion following the keynote. And so it was decided to bring some of those schools together to share their successful transformation. 
I would like to put together a panel presentation for NETA 2012 with Nebraska schools that are educating 21st Century learners in a 21st Century learning environment. The presentation would be centered around the what (you are doing), how (resources were pooled to make "it" happen), and why (it was necessary) your school became a 21st Century learning environment. I have already contacted one person, but I need some more examples. I would like to have a variety of school sizes and backgrounds. If you have examples of schools I should contact, please drop them in the Comments section or send me a message on Twitter. Thanks for your help!
The message of what a 21st Century education should look like isn't being heard by everyone, for one reason or another. I would like this panel to become an example and resource for schools looking to move their learning environments forward. As David says in his video, our schools are gardens, and each student needs a little different cultivating and care to grow into something wonderful. We need to gather our "master gardeners" together to 


Lynne said...

Great plan, Josh!

Norris high school has made tremendous changes in their policies and practices over the past couple of years. Ryan Ruhl is their prinicpal. Charlie Huxley is the assistant principal and Noel Erskine is the tech coordinator. email:

J Allen said...

I will give Noel a call. He and I've chatted in the past about a few different things. Thanks for the lead!

epaopao said...

Josh, I am game. This is the exact thinking that brought the Cardinal Tech Conference to life. As much as I wanted to wait so that I can make the correct changes to our AUP and policies, I couldn't. I feel that we can no longer wait. I told my teachers that if you are uncomfortable with what I am teaching them, then it is working. Having done this I am now forced, purposefully, to get my AUP and any changes in policy done. I am thankful that my admins now see the big picture, allowing me to bend the policies, and allowing me to take from their time with their staff, to achieve the overall goal of implementing tech to benefit teachers/students. Keep me in the loop. Thanks, @epaopao