Virtual BLC — I’m already on Information Overload!

skypechat.jpg Day one of the BLC is done, and I’m already on information overload, even though I am not even there! There are some very nice, generous educators attending this conference. Today I was allowed to virtually sit in sessions given by Dean Shareski, Marc Torres, Marc Prensky, and Ewan McIntosh, all through the invitation from David Jukes to “sit in” via a skype chat. In the last one there were 10 to 12 virtual attendees. Some were right there in the same presentation, but some (like me) were here at home reading along, eating up every little crumb David Jakes and others were sharing!! It was awesome. Notice the picture from my skypechat participation!

So what’s got me on information overload?

Marco Torres presented “Lights, Camera, Learn: Movie-Making made Simple & Fun,” gave me some terms to use (such as the word “cuts”) and analyzing video samples, counting the cuts, and asking what skill is that in literacy? A possible fun and enlightening assignment could be to make an effective ten second video, and see what your kids can come up with. This is trueme_on_jakes_desktop.jpg higher order thinking skills, especially now that Bloom’s highest level is “Create.” Lots of synthesis and evaluation go into creation. I gave David Jakes a new term to roll around in his head—HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills). I think he liked it. [UPDATE: Link to skypechat on David Jake’s site]

Marc Prensky – “The True 21st Century Literacy Is Programming: What Should we be teaching our kids and how to do it” Basically there are many tools available and we need to be modeling their use and teaching our students to use them as well.

Ewan McIntosh – “Is Your Public Body Public?” Ewan had five points, and if David Jakes posts the Skypechat, I’ll direct you straight to that. But major impressions I left with center on using the tools (once again). There was a side discussion of how empowering it would be to allow tools such as skypechat as a way to learn. Would there be misuse? Another conversation (skype subchat I guess you might call it) dealt with failure, and whether or not its okay to fail? A comparison was made to video games and their addictiveness, despite failure after failure. Those who play video games learn from their mistakes and keep trying. They don’t dwell on the failure itself, but rather learn how to approach a problem they encounter differently to have success. Do we as educators discuss our failures or student failures enough? Are there opportunities to try again? That’s deep! This group shared videos and websites, and so much more. It was powerful!

From Will Richardson’s blog posting yesterday, Will Richardson made the point that how can we truly expect teachers to encourage the use of Web 2.0 tools for learning? We as educators need to spread the word about the tremendous amount of knowledge and/or professional development that is available out there for US as educators. According to Will, only when a teacher values the tools for their own self learning will they try using them for student learning. I agree with this statement whole-heartedly. My SCASA Summer Leadership Institute presentation this past June centered on getting buy-in from k12 administrators by showing them the tools they could use to learn all about tools of the 21st Century. My goal, I shared with them, was that they would begin to utilize the tools themselves, and then hopefully model the use of tools to their faculty and staff.

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