Off on our DIsruptive Adventure

Last spring, my husband and I decided that we would get our son (7th grade this fall) an iPad to have at school. His school has made some steps in the right direction: Google Apps, laptops for the teachers (FINALLY), but most important, their pedagogy is already in the right place – for the most part.

His school is very much about student centered curriculum, with students constantly creating things, working in collaborative groups, and building critical thinking skills through mostly project based curriculum. There are few tests, and he took his first standardized test in 6th grade – just to give them some practice. These things I like, and it is why we keep him there.

However, there is a pervasive attitude of NO CELL PHONES (yet a huge percentage of kids have them) and that technology is bad. While they did purchase a few iPads for teachers to work with this year, there was little, if any, professional development. One teacher told me he liked using it, but couldn’t possibly see how students would use it. Oh my. 

There is no official “BYOD” policy, but many kids do just that. So, we are going to as well. It’ll be an iPad.

I’ve told my son that by getting this device, he agrees that he will experiment with doing assignments differently than he’s told. (For a rule follower, this will be hard!) We’re going to work together on some homework, and if we feel that more learning would happen using the iPad, we’ll do that.

He’s also agreed to let me blog about it. So, here’s to more posts about our new disruptive adventure. 

Learning 2.0 Conference

Awesome conference this week — it’s FREE and VIRUTAL, so no need to travel. I’ve listened to a couple of sessions and keynotes while doing other work. 

While the live sessions are the best, the sessions are all recorded so you can listen to the ones you miss. (It’s a long conference!) 

I watched Marc Prensky’s keynote on Tuesday. He was, as usual, full of good quips:

  • everyturned off device is a turned off mind


  • every day we discourage use of tools is a day we deny kids their birthright as 21st century citizen.

I also participated in a great session by Peter Young at San Jose State University about research he’s doing on effective digital content delivery. It was a fun session with fun conversation and questions. There isn’t much solid research about effective delivery, so it is great to have this resource. For example, do you know the optimal podcast length and why that is?