Reinventing Education for the 21st Century

June 27, 2007

Wesley Fryer Session: Reinventing education for the 21st century

Well, I will attempt to blog through this session, like the bigwigs do! I am waiting and just met Cheryl Oakes, from Maine. I have been listening to and watching her for years!!! I am so excited! After I heard her say Hi to Wesley Fryer, he introduced her to his presentation partner, I chased her down throughout the hallways. I have no shame. But she invited me to a WOW (Women of the Web) live podcast tonight at 9-10 p.m.!! I can’t believe it!! I hope I can attend that. We are still waiting, and will start on time soon.

(My comments will be in parentheses)

(I hope I get it close to the message.)

Web2.0, what is it, and how can we support it?

The above blog site is one for thoughtful comments..

Music is powerful.. we need opportunities to learn but we need to ask, What will we need to thrive in 2065.

How are we singing our song? Are we merely digitizing school 1.0?

It isn’t about being “on” the computer…..(so true-so many times it has just been about how much keyboarding or writing we do)

Poor teaching and leadership = easy—–easy to give worksheets, not to know the students, not to differentiate, …(I have seen that so often, and many times I just want to jump in and coach them, and share my tic tac toe menus and my tiered lessons and ideas—but you have to help the teachers move there themselves. It has to be their movement, and their shift in pedogogy)

You have to SEE change, and then accept change. You have to acknowledge and accept it before change can happen. -Lee Iacocca. The technology does not make teaching different. It just amplifies practice–either good or bad. (Wow! Powerful message there…just like anything you see in education where you have a “next best thing—without good professional development, you have just another Next.)

Teacher Movie–(Click here to watch the movie that Wesley showed here. It is quite entertaining and sad and interesting and funny all at the same time.) (This was a movie created my award winning educator Marco Torres and crew)

This is a good video to show to identify examples and non-examples…challenges us to think. Never stopping our reflective process. (this is where the power lies-reflection and then becoming that light that the reflection illuminates)

Personal Learning Network. (PLN)

(One of Wes’s biggest messages to us is to participate in the K12 ONLINE CONFERENCE, which is focused on online learning for all teachers. There will be 40 presentations, and teachers can attend all 40. This helps us plug in to the conversation.)

Book Report Story: Wes talked about a story about how teachers can open the doors with differentiation rather than assigning the exact same assignment to each and every student, differentiating the product based on interest (basically, I think that sums up the point. This part was pretty fast. I really feel that this is the crux of the entire ed tech gig. Meet each learner at the point which their interest or need exists. But that is “best practice” isn’t it? I am so excited to be part of that discussion. )

What are the motivators?

We do PBL, we do integrate technology, but we need to do better.

Alan Kay says-The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

What is school 2.0?

It is not 1 model. Education requires adaptive change.

Rather than putting a sexier wrapper on the same item, we want to transform education. Change the model, innovate, and change. It is because of leadership, differentiated learning. (yes, and yes. I agree with all of this. I feel that with the leadership on board, and with the empowerment of the teacher in the classroom you can do ANYTHING. Call me naive but give me a teacher who is motivated, and who has personal efficacy, and I’ll give you top-notch student achievement every time!)


What is convenient or what is best for kids? The bell shapes us, too. It is disruptive.

What does it mean “tolling of the bell”? We can recreate our own “tolling of the bell”! (Here, Here!!)

Seat time. (UGGG) …Let’s transform our learning environments into productive times from the first day of school to the last day of school. The roll of the teacher is extremely important. (This is my mantra!!!! And I think it takes leadership coupled with a vision of possibilities and accountability to make that happen.)

Who are your “yodas”? Can we be a yoda to someone else? Now a-days we don’t have to have yodas next door to one another. Today we don’t have to have them even in the same state, or even country. (Wesley Fryer has been one of my yodas for so long. I am so fortunate to actually be in the same room as him!! ☺ And while at NECC I had the opportunity to actually meet some of my other yodas—David Warlick, Terry Friedman, Cheryl Oakes, and I was with one of my best and favorite yodas, Kathy Wiebke. I also met several new people who are likely to become new yodas!!!)

Intellectual yodas.

Innovaters, early adopters, administrator vision, leadership vision, (youtube video–administration video)

~This video was inspired by Marco Torres and the “Teacher Movie” created at Lesley University in the summer of 2001. This video was created by administrators-to-be at the University of Central Oklahoma’s College of Education in Edmond, Oklahoma, on March 7, 2007. Borrowed from You Tube at URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-zY7d5ljSk

We need good leaders, voices of leaders, Dewey, Freire, Papert, Alabama best practices center, T & L Network, edutopia, tinkerspaces, projectfoundry (All great potential “yoda-ish places and people)

We need emphasis on creativity, project based learning (pbl), global collaboration, blended learning, to stop paying for seat time as well as digital storytelling. Emphasize the things that count! An opportunity for leadership!!! (WOW! And Yup! — I think to draw new folks into the conversation and to create new stories in this important shift, will help to move it along. I believe that this is happening, and it will happen, and as part of the process, I for one take that challenge to be a loud voice. I am officially jumping in to the water!)

At this point Wesley introduced Katie Beeden, his Co-Presenter.

Katie Beeden:

Greater Houston Education Collaboration

She helps facilitate between several organizations and helps to coordinate efforts. Really powerful. Magda El Zarki, Ph.D. (check it out)

WE don’t have to go to big conferences to learn or grow in any area. There are ways to collaborate on line, etc.

If you have an idea, then YOU have to make it happen. No longer do we have to wait for THEM. We are the “them.” 🙂

(I LOVE this message, Katie!! And I will be jumping in to this with both feet back home. I can definitely find a way and some folks to do this with, and I will be in touch!!!!!)

Well, this has been my first attempt at “live” blogging. It was hard, but pretty interesting. It is a cross between note-taking and reflection at the same time… I had to go back and add my reflection so I don’t know if you can really call it “live” blogging, but for a first attempt, I’ll post it and see what happens.

I do appreciate meeting Wesley Fryer, and our short visit at the end! It was quite a moment for me, and yet I was touched at how nice and sincere he was in person; just as I imagined he would be! Here’s a picture!

Wesley Fryer and I on June 26th!

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  1. Great job for your first time live blogging! It is difficult to listen, type, and think of reflections at the same time. I look forward to reading more of your blogs.

  2. Nancy, it was a thrill for me to meet you! I passed along your message to Bob Sprankle as soon as I made it back to Maine. He too was touched by your kind words. It really is about conversations and connections. Please stay in touch, your voice is important and will touch many others. BTW, the show is up at http://www.edtechtalk.com you can check out the conversation from NECC 2007 LIVE with WOW 2.0
    Until next time!

  3. Cheryl,

    I really hope to stay in touch. I want to get going with projects here in my district that will stretch and grow us inthe World Wide Web, and so as we begin to plan for the fall, I was thinking about your middle schoolers. I will be in touch, and just so you know, I already signed upon the WOW site. I’ll listen to the show today. (It was my b-day and we could not get there in time for the show….I was bummed, but know that we will stay in touch.)

    I can’t shut off my brain! You?

  4. Danita,
    Thanks! It was hard, but so invigorating! Then to editorialize, was like I was right there in the conversation. Very fun! Thanks for your thoughts.
    I’m checking out your blog as well….

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