I am currently in Nashville, TN at the National School Boards Association’s T + L Conference. Below is an attempt to summarize each session I have attended thus far and any big ideas I was able to take away.
Global Learning Initiatives: Building 21st Century Literacy for Student Success in 21st Century Life
This was lead by a team from Broward County, FL. The big idea here is the implementation of GLIDES (Global Learning Initiatives through Digital Education for Students) in all of their schools. The concept here is that each school selects an essential question and then classes or teams of students work together to create a digital product to address one component of that question. Amazing essential questions and amazing student projects! This is one of the essential instructional strategies I need to take back to our district. Powerful learning taking place there!
Social Networking Research & Presentation: Lost Opportunities: What Happens when Districts Disallow Web 2.0 in the Classroom
This was a 2 part presentation. The first part was from NSBA on a study they commission on Kids’ Social Networking Habits. Interesting data. Glad someone is finally collecting some. Part 2 was from McREL on their experiences with going into districts to work with schools on 21st century learning only to discover that most of the tools they need are blocked by the district in the name of security and student safety. Again we see the need to educate students to be safe rather than just blocking. I am getting concerned about our own filtering practices. Time to take another look at what we are filtering. Saw an online resource I was not familiar with – 21classes.com
Keynote Address: Peter Diamandis – The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create it Yourself
Inspiring, just the way a keynote should be. Peter is the CEO of X Prize and Zero Gravity. Got me thinking that we should do a scaled down version of the X Prize for our school systems to inspire them to rise to the challenge of preparing all students for the 21st century! I would love to see what we could come up with.
Personal Computing: New Solutions for the Classroom @ Web 2.0
Jim Hirsch from Plano, TX lead this session packed full of 21st century learning tools. I love going to sessions like this one because I always pick up a handful of new sites that are so cool but I knew nothing about. Here is Jim’s list. And another one.
New Literacy for 21st Century Students: Reinventing School Libraries for the Digital Age
John Canuel from Jefferson County, CO lead this session. We focused mostly on what 21st century literacies are and how they can be applied to libraries. Sounded to me like the Librarians in Jefferson County are also doubling as Tech Coordinators.