“You wouldn’t s…

“You wouldn’t send your child to a pediatrician that practice medicine from the 1970s. Why would you send your students to such a school?”

Awesome quote from a Project Red webinar about the need for urgency in adopting technology in education. Will post link to webinar when it’s up.


Processing a great two day TIES workshop, even with crazy weather.

I presented two sessions on Monday, so most of my day was taken with that. I did catch a couple of sessions:

  • Android and Friends: got some great suggestions for device agnostic tools, such as Primarypad.com, Screenleap, Infuse Learning, Cloud On and Layared
  • I missed the Simon Sinek keynote, but it sounded excellent. May try to find a TED talk.
  • My session on primary sources – -a couple of the sites people liked were Beyond the Bubble, Crash Course, Piktori and Thinglink
  • Chromebook session with Molly Schroeder: I’m checking out Chromebooks for my son’s school. They are thinking about buying a cart of Chromebooks to replace an aging cart of MacBooks. Chromebooks are a real possibility. The new version is $249 + $30 in maintenance. Info from this session: https://sites.google.com/a/flippededucation.com/flippedevents/home/ties-2012/chrome-and-chromebooks-in-the-classroom
  • Keynote for iPad: I have recently discovered Keynote for the iPad. I will never look back! I love love love it. So, was excited to see a presentation by Chris Russell all about Keynote. Chris always has great tips and tricks, and I learned a few new things. Fun to say hi, even if just briefly. (Chris – your show was incredible, by the way! My daughter was drooling at your facilities….)

Tuesday: Much more relaxing, no presentations.

  • Doug Johnson on Technology Manifesto. I so enjoy hearing Doug’s talks. I’ll go, no matter the topic. He’s funny, incredible insightful, and leaves me with many new perspectives and ideas. This session was no different. Here are his materials, including the Manifesto and powerpoint slides: http://dougjohnson.wikispaces.com/manifesto.  I have to say, reading this manifesto sounds different than at the session. He’s a strong proponent of tech, and using it to embrace existing best practices. the manifesto sounds almost anti-tech. Some of the comments I got from the session:
    • Is there an articulated goal for tech use? An educational outcome that you want?
    • THere are NO jobs that do not require tech skills.
    • Tech itself doesnt‘ improve achievement. It’s tech used to support best practices that does.
    • Good examples: using Google docs to support writing. It’s the collaboration, wide audience that improves writing, not Google docs. Or, Google spreadsheets allow data to be visualized instantly, allowing discussion of which graph/chart is best.
  • Hierarchy of Tech Needs
    • Adequate Infrastructure
    • Efficient admin
    • Expanded resources
    • Improved teachings
  • Thinks librarians should be the tech trainers

Keynote: Tony Wagner

I do love a good keynote. They can be impractical, yet so incredibly inspiring. Tony Wagner didn’t fail. His had great quips, tweetable comments. Critical of standardized tests. Critical of multiple choice tests, of tests that are content recall (um – most of my daughter’s tests!)

  • It’s competencies, not content that should be valued now. No need to memorize content
  • Survival skills:
    • Effective written and oral communication
    • Collaboration
    • Accessing and analyzing info
    • Curiousity and imagination
  • We need people who can identify and solve problems, not spit back content (50 state capitols example)
  • Global achievement gap…
  • Critical thinking is learning to ask the right questions
  • Teachers that make a difference are the outliers. Culture of school is at odds with learning to be innovative:
    • School values individual achievement. Innovation is always a team effort
    • Schools compartmentalize knowledge – subject specific instead of cross discipline
    • Schooling involves deeply passive approach. Innovation requires creating, not consuming.
    • School is a risk averse environment. Awards compliance – for kids and teachers. Innovation is the opposite
    • Culture of school relies on extrinsic motivation of grades. innovation needs intrinsic. Parents, teachers who raise innovative kids emphasize PLAY, PASSION and PURPOSE.

He has some great ideas, such as sample testing – not testing every kid every year. Require capstone projects. EVERY student should have a digital portfolio! Teachers, too.

Great Keynote. I need to look for his TED talk, and requested his book from the library.

Brad Flickinger

Great ideas for ipads. And, guess what – he only has 12 in his school!

Zen Design

Oh, how i needed this session! He had some great ideas for better design in slides. Quick rundown:

  • Remember the Grid and the Power Points. (seriously – yes)!
  • Have pics go off the slide
  • Use FACES
  • lay text over an image – fabulous idea
  • Use images. Use images. Use images. If a picture can say 1000 words, let them
  • Books: Presentation Zen by Gar Reynolds


I finished my day with a techie session — using HTML5 widgets with HYPE and iBooks Author. It reconfirmed my plan to build some NL content in Author. I just need more time!


In the exhibit hall, I connected with Providence eLearning. They are publishing some great iBooks about classical literature. Interesting conversation about epublishing models. I need to connect with them.

This was a different conference for me, in that I knew so many more people! Roseville people were there, bummer I didn’t connect with any. I talked to a number of the folks I’ve worked with recently: Charles Duarte, Craig Roble, Ryan Canton, Chris Hesselbein, and Marti Starr and Rebecca Slaby, who presented with me. Also saw some folks from edcampmsp, and Mark Diehl from Little Falls. I must say these connections start to make a conference like this a whole different experience — one where the connections start to become the primary learning opportunity. We made plans to continue working on projects, which is super exciting.

On a personal note, I am really bummed I didn’t see more Roseville folks there. I give them credit for getting stated, but every time I attend one of these conferences, it just confirms how far they have to go. It’s a paradigm shift, a change in philosophy. I don’t want my kids in this environment anymore.