Thoughts about Lausanne Laptop Conference

My head is full and spinning. Hearing from folks at The Urban School made me optimistic that we are on the right track. Seeing how many schools are moving to 1:1 computing is energizing!
I am looking forward to meeting up with FA teachers again to talk about the program.

I was surprised how few people at the laptop conference were blogging themselves. I have learned so much the past few years, though I have to admit my own blogs are more link-filled than reflective. I would like to change that.

Will’s recent post is worth reading. What is getting in the way? Lack of time? Fear of change? I can’t believe it’s a lack of interest.

Another Session-Tuesday am

Using Video and Images to Enhance Scientific Understanding
A counterargument to the alarmist speakers:it’s important to differentiate facts, he says (Urban School). Don’t worry if you are not podcasting, blogging, downloading iTunes books and lectures all at the same time.

Urban School focuses on depth over breadth, value student ownership of their work

What are some of the benefits of students visualizing their understanding?

Students have the ability to see/relate dynamic processes

Interactive Physics his favorite software

a molecue–if you can’t rotate it, you can’t understand it (Odyssey helps you do this) He gave students an assignment to make their own animations to demonstrate their understanding of a chemical concept (took one lab class to do this)

Using video analysis software, they can immediately create graphs and tease out meaning of it

Students understand the relationship better, the question is much more like the scientific method…models the scientific method. Then used video analysis software to analyze (data studio?)

Students who struggle with math are helped with this visual learning–begs question: how necessary is the math? When so much of science is analyzed on the computer…
All learners benefit

He uses these for review, instruction, and keeps all vids online

(using clay) iMovie or Movie Maker

Dynamic processes require a dynamic medium

He took his students to a trapeze school; students each required to "swing"; each student wearing a motion detector; videotaped

They focus on finding ways to increase student understanding –choose software that matches task (all software is not necessarily science software)

Tech dept does not teach software to students–all tech skills are taught by teachers in the classroom

At Lausanne

Will’s keynote:  My notes..which I’ll try to organize later…

Blogging has transformed his learning. He has more questions than answers. Web allows us to publish and share/not just read. World is changing-for students…not how much content they know but can they find it. Teaching them to be lifelong learners.

Will says:

Politics–the youtube campaign. Will’s blog on Obama’s page. Check out the fundraising stats.

physical space limits you. candidates have pages on myspace…open primary next Jan on myspace site.

file sharing (for all the ethical dilemmas) is here. how are we going to deal with it? use it?

journalism, businesses–all changing. IBM on second life People check conversations first before purchases..what does this mean for advertising?

BUT-education is not changing, stuck in same paradigms. Kids sense of privacy is different from ours. Legalities..what’s allowed? we need to figure it out

He’s learned more on his blog in the past six years than all his years of schooling. A powerful place to be

He is "findable" on the internet…

Kids are beginning to build networks…some are powerful. Fan Fiction is a place where people can write another chapter to novel, tv show etc. Kids are connecting with others’ who have same passion.

Showing a myspace page….highly provocative, thousand "friends"

Do we ‘teach’ myspace? No one does…..we can leverage these connections

Meg, author of Princess Diaries, has great myspace page-comments she gets about her books are from her readers

(Will has calming influence on his audience–he presents "dangerous" ideas in a way to make us think.)

Social networking is not going away.

He can find info on cell phone using googl–saying nowhere in his daughter’s curriculum teaches her to use cell phone to find information

We have to make students smart consumers of the technology…they must learn how to do real collaboration

Using IM and google docs to collaborate (happens in business world) How do you co-create information? Plagiarism is a conversation we will have to visit and revisit …

Great story about kid using wikipedia to do research

We have to be skeptical users of information (MLK site…I won’t link)

We have to teach our students to read in a hypertext world

Our teaching has to change, our own practice has to be different…an internet connection in our room means we’re not the smartest people in room

We can connect our kids to real people and that’s a powerful thing. Our classroom cannot be four walls anymore

The work we ask the kids to do can be meaningful.(Radio Willowweb)

work "should have wings"

The transformation is the connection to other people, the networks

He asks: who are your teachers? how do you learn? how are you building your networks? How are we modeling our learning?