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Main: HarnessingThePerfectStormInKootenay-Columbia

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David I look forward to reading your conversation. 27 Aug 2013 - 11:54:58

Now starting to read it. Just passed 10,000 feet, probably over Idaho. - dfw

Christine I wish I had my ipad 27 Aug 2013 - 11:55:13

Hmmm! I should add a feature to signal what type of device you are chatting with. I think I could do that. Might be helpful to me or just interesting. - dfw

Principaldd I miss my lawn chair... 27 Aug 2013 - 11:55:24

Yes! That must of been uncomfortable. It's really hard to expect you to sit and listen to one person for so long, in such small seats. I know that I've spent days at conferences attending sessions, and then the next day presenting the entire day, and sitting and listening made me much more tired. - dfw

Greg L grits - like cream of wheat 27 Aug 2013 - 11:55:28

Kate20 Grrrittts 27 Aug 2013 - 11:55:38

I personally prefer cream-of-wheat. I little more flavor. - dfw

Gareth Cryer I liked your analogy for life long learning! 27 Aug 2013 - 11:56:02

I like thinking of it as a learning lifestyle. Lifelong learning seems to me to be speaking of work. But today, it work, play, family, just about every endeavor requires us to learn and keep learning. - dfw

Dara That is grits with two syllables. 27 Aug 2013 - 11:56:03

Haystack Wake up Florko 27 Aug 2013 - 11:56:13

Principaldd In west trail we called them polenta 27 Aug 2013 - 11:56:21

It's just a different state-of-being. ;-) - dfw

Principaldd That's 3 syllables 27 Aug 2013 - 11:57:03

Gareth Cryer Is this ike passing notes in the classroom?? 27 Aug 2013 - 11:57:45

Functionally it is. But the purpose is different. Here, the teacher gets to read all the notes and respond to them. - dfw

Greg L I have that suit! 27 Aug 2013 - 11:58:42

"Naw!" I do wish I still had that neru jacket. - dfw

Karen Retro suit these days 27 Aug 2013 - 11:58:49

Bill Nice outfit! 27 Aug 2013 - 11:58:57

Thing is, it quite impress folks in that rural South Carolina school district. - dfw

Melissa the plaid suit should be our school uniform! 27 Aug 2013 - 11:59:02

Bernie @ wish I had my reading glasses. 27 Aug 2013 - 11:59:21

Kim canflip in Kelowna issued the same flash drive 27 Aug 2013 - 12:03:14

Melissa ive got that nifty device 27 Aug 2013 - 12:03:43

Marilyn Is that what I have to use for my furniture budget Principal D 27 Aug 2013 - 12:05:44

Kim Parents need to hear these things too 27 Aug 2013 - 12:08:09

Often, when I work with a district for a number of days, I will volunteer, free of charge, to do an evening session for the community. I agree, these are things they need to hear, just as much as teachers. The community is often a barrier because of their own outdated notions of what education should be about. Interestingly, I will sometimes get a thousand in attendance and sometimes on four. - dfw

Karen Prepare your students for their future. 27 Aug 2013 - 12:08:12

"..the future they are going to invent." - dfw

Doug Skills req'd? 27 Aug 2013 - 12:09:50

The need to be skilled resourceful learners, with the confidence to invent their own answers/solutions when need-be. What's difficult for us is the fact that these skills can not be easily itemized and that's what teachers like to do, to sequence a list of skills. It's experience and a productive conversation about that experience. I'm reminded of Bill Edwards, my freshman vocational arts teacher. - dfw

MikeV This is why "educating" is more important than "training" 27 Aug 2013 - 12:09:51

An interesting distinction. I wonder what the difference is according to Webster.
The question that occurs to me is what best suites the act of preparing children to pass a standardized test, educating or training. - dfw

Marilyn Skip that furniture budget, obviously! 27 Aug 2013 - 12:10:00

It has been interesting watching the school furniture industry trying to define desks and other items that suite 21st century education. - dfw

Bernie "I'm not preparing students for my future" - I like that. 27 Aug 2013 - 12:11:26

..and if we buy into that, how do we decide what our children need to be learning. Thinking that we can fill 13 years of their lives with standards, outcome, etc. is the height of arrogance. There are certainly basics, fundamentals of literacy and the knowledge that gives us all a common context, but beyond that, our children need to be developing and practicing their own personal skills of learning. - dfw

MikeV Should coding be taught in schools? 27 Aug 2013 - 12:11:39

That's a great question and a very prominent conversation in the edtech community. My feeling is that they should learn to code, but not like we traditionally teach grammar. We should present them with a sandbox environment where they learn to make computers do interesting things by learning and building with code. It's not for the sake of making them programmers, but to making them thinkers.
My son majored in computer sicence for one year, but hated it, because they were teaching programming the same way that I was taught grammar, that it's all about syntax. I love to program because I'm self-taught. I think of something I want to computer to do for me, and then find and assemble the commands, like building blocks, that make it happen. - dfw

Oz Skilled at learning to learn 27 Aug 2013 - 12:12:01

Principaldd Should a passion for coding be a PLO? 27 Aug 2013 - 12:12:25

Not sure what PLO is. It's not a passion for coding, its a passion for building. Some will not find that coding is their way, and may, instead, prefer carpentry tools, or writing, or... The passion should be for building something that is of value. - dfw

Bill Need to read Dan Pink 27 Aug 2013 - 12:15:06

Read Drive. It's a fascinating book. It seems that the carrot-stick motivation that we've used for decades simply doesn't work. What works is, and no surprises here...

Greg L I have the Daniel Pink Drive book - who wants it? 27 Aug 2013 - 12:15:46

That's the one! - dfw

MikeV Coding= math + physics + language + problem solving. Not bad... 27 Aug 2013 - 12:16:01

Interestingly, this was our focus during the earliest years of computers in the classroom, helping students develop higher order skills and learn to use math as a language, through programming. Logo was the first one, and is still alive and well. If you want to learn more, read Mind.. by Seymore Pappert. It's a little thick, but says a lot. He's been called the father of educational technology. - dfw

Shannon Hurrah for the arts!!! 27 Aug 2013 - 12:17:24

Hurrah! It's about communication. It's just as important as math and science, for the same reasons. - dfw

Karen They are not human; they are smart and connected ;) 27 Aug 2013 - 12:19:31

They are different. They've grown up in a different information environment and have helped to invent the culture of that environment. - dfw

Karen @greg. I do pls 27 Aug 2013 - 12:19:51

Bill Our students are different. They are not us. 27 Aug 2013 - 12:20:20

Principaldd Perfect ... That's the end of the class reunion! 27 Aug 2013 - 12:22:01

Actually not. My last class reunion (40 years) was so different, because so many of us had re-discovered each other via Facebook. Another element of this is students who move around. I've worked with a number of international schools, that serve the children of diplomates, corporate workers, etc. It has meant so much that these children can continue to enjoy the friendships that they develop and engage in more friendship-making because they know that they won't end when their father or mother gets posted to another embassy. - dfw

Greg L @Karen - I'll send it through school mail. Sorry - not an e-book 27 Aug 2013 - 12:23:13

MikeV I like that - let the kids use their tentacles. 27 Aug 2013 - 12:24:07

But we have to figure out how to " curriculum through those tentacles." I think that one thing we need to do is reflect on how we use our own tentacles to learn, and purposefully cultivate our tentacles (personal networks) for learning. I can't tell you how much mobile technologies (iPhone/iPad) have excellerating my own learning. That I take my window on the world around with me enables me to constantly adapt. Of course, adapting is becoming tiring to me. Speaking at these new year kickoffs, and seeing all you young teachers makes me thankful that I'm not starting from scratch, that I'm nearing retirement. You have a great adventure ahead of you. My adventure is spinning down. - dfw

Shannon It's not about teaching them to use technology, it's about becoming part of the conversation. 27 Aug 2013 - 12:25:49

Yes! One of the most revelatory conversations I've overheard was one that my son was having with his geekie high school friends about a video game they'd been playing. It was the conversation that Vera B. Hoyle, my senior english teacher had tried to get us to have about Shakespeare. They're having those conversations. We need to join them. What's promising is that we (teachers) are starting to play those same games. - dfw

Nathan Information is a raw material for students 27 Aug 2013 - 12:27:33

My first book was called, "Raw Materials for the Mind," and was about working information. - dfw

MikeV @nathan this is worth watching 27 Aug 2013 - 12:33:08

It's on my list. Thanks! Lawerence Lessig, a law professor, has written a lot about remix culture and copyright. He says that copyright laws are way out of date. - dfw

Bill Disciplines are interconnected. So should our curriculum 27 Aug 2013 - 12:35:48

Bingo! - dfw

Shannon Who's truth? That is the question. 27 Aug 2013 - 12:37:22

It's the truth of the goal. Does the information help you accomplish your goal within an ethical context. - dfw

Principaldd Its an integrated/interconnected world ... Learning needs to be 27 Aug 2013 - 12:37:26

Treena FaceTime with a partner across the room? 27 Aug 2013 - 12:37:51


Yes! But it is because your country and mine are WAY to much under the control of the telcos. There are several countries that have made high speed Internet available to all citizens. Finland recently declared high speed Internet to be a legal-right to all citizens, because they realized it was in their self interest for all to be connected to today's prevailing information landscape.
The legislature of my own state recently passed a law that prevents towns from creating their own Internet service. It happened when one down created one that gave its citizens 10 times the speed as neighboring towns for lower monthly fees. AT&T and Time Warner didn't like that and contributed more than a million dollars in campaign moneys to get the law written. - dfw

Shannon I agree. Richer families have more technology. 27 Aug 2013 - 12:46:36

We've decided that all citizens should learn to write, not use the wealthy ones. If more and more of the information is networked and digital and exclusively networked and digital, then what's the point of being able to read, if you can't access the text. For the same reason that all children should learn to ready, all children and citizens should have access to the information. It's a national problem. - dfw

Tracy So we are about asking the right questions. 27 Aug 2013 - 12:46:59

Marilyn Are we responsive or reactive? 27 Aug 2013 - 12:47:27

What a good question. In the context of what I'm talking about, I would say that the distinction is that for today's children a learning experience that responds to their learning is better than one where they are waiting for someone on the outside (teacher) is reacting. Of course that doesn't mean that we should never react to them. But we need to understand and work toward facilitating experiences that are responsive. - dfw

Greg L Facts are free ... Putting info into knowledge is where we add value 27 Aug 2013 - 12:48:20

Yep! - dfw

Marilyn Learning to ask the question is critical 27 Aug 2013 - 12:48:40

Yep! Yet we teaching them to answer questions, not ask them. - dfw

Bill We need to teach our kids how to learn 27 Aug 2013 - 12:48:58

We need to help them learn to learn. It's a personal endeavor. We all have our own techniques and tricks. In a time of rapid change its not what we bring that the same as everyone else that brings value. It's what we bring that different, how we think solve problems that's different. Another reason why high-stakes standardized testing is so harmful. - dfw

Kim Back channel our classes & groups 27 Aug 2013 - 12:49:20

Shannon I just read something the other day that said loneliness has increased since social networking. We still need to have real conversation. 27 Aug 2013 - 12:50:32

Yes. I think it's a human need, to have the electricity of eye contact. But I wonder, how were they measuring loneliness. - dfw

Shannon Philosophy. Bring it back. 27 Aug 2013 - 12:53:44

You know what I'd bring back? Rhetoric, the art of making logical argument. Sometimes the only thing we have to determine if information is true is logic. - dfw

Bill Good students are not necessarily good learners 27 Aug 2013 - 12:58:59

They're good at being taught. I think that one reason I'm a "good learner," is that I have some sever hearing problems and also a particular flavor if A.D.D. that causes met to think very randomly. Get nothing out of class. So I'd have to take the textbook home and figure it out. - dfw

Tracy Hurray for the practical arts!!! 27 Aug 2013 - 13:04:24

Kere We build and break stuff everyday in kindergarten 27 Aug 2013 - 13:04:28

Hurrah for building and breaking. - dfw

MikeV Libraries should have "maker-spaces" 27 Aug 2013 - 13:04:45

There is a philosophy of education called Reggio Emilia, that originated in Italy right after World War II. Classes are situated like pods around a common space that is like a studio or workshop. Children are encouraged to spend time tinkering in there. - dfw

Mick Reminds me of PDP. Every question was answered, "Well what do you think?" Need students to find answers on their own without annoying them. 27 Aug 2013 - 13:06:30

..and give them permission to invent them. - dfw

Marilyn I like this guy...promote those decoding and validatin 27 Aug 2013 - 13:44:53

It's a critical part of being literate. - dfw

Marilyn Skills! 27 Aug 2013 - 13:45:14

Karen Settle a bet? Where is your temple photo from? 27 Aug 2013 - 13:52:41

I don't know. It's a creative commons photo I got off of Flickr. Just go to and search for HDR. Magnificent photos. - dfw

Karen 'Numbers can tell a sorry ... ' 27 Aug 2013 - 13:56:20

It's what math does. It helps numbers to tell their story. - dfw

MikeV He's an expert at making technologies interact with each other 27 Aug 2013 - 13:56:37

pkinghorn Another day has passed and I still haven't used algebra 27 Aug 2013 - 13:57:19

I didn't tell you how, at the end of my first afternoon of of teaching myself programming (the computers our school got were without software) I got on my knees and thanked every algebra teacher I'd ever had. Algebra is the language for making numbers behave the way you need them to, to make the computer perform the way you need it to. - dfw

Principaldd Download times are directly correlated to teenager bio rhythms ... 27 Aug 2013 - 13:58:00

:-) - dfw

Principaldd where's the library of links on the main site? 27 Aug 2013 - 13:58:07

Principaldd @pking ... If bought the 8 pack ... You were using algebra 27 Aug 2013 - 13:58:51

Keri I'm wondering if you can post the links for the music site and others? 27 Aug 2013 - 14:05:29

They are in the Online handouts. For making the music, I was using Intuim. But today I use Logic, or an app on my iPad called Music Studio. - dfw

Shannon Here here!!! 27 Aug 2013 - 14:19:33

David Main site is 27 Aug 2013 - 14:31:30

Greg L Pecha Kucha = 20 slides for 20 seconds each with limited text. Google it 27 Aug 2013 - 14:42:02

It's a cool thing to watch - an art form. - dfw

Greg L Pecha Kucha -> 20 images not 20 slides of text 27 Aug 2013 - 14:51:09

Greg L need a mike on people to hear their ideas 27 Aug 2013 - 14:55:51

Greg L Collaboration between students & teachers us key 27 Aug 2013 - 16:49:24

Greg L Collaboration between students & teachers is key 27 Aug 2013 - 16:49:42

Thanks so much for participating and for adding to my learning. - dfw
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