David was his usual relaxed and non-intimidating self during the opening keynote for the K12 Online Conference 2007 today. It seems I may have been of the first, or one of the lucky ones internationally to be able to download the MP4 file. The keynote was uploaded just as my working day was finishing here in Qatar, at about 3pm. I downloaded the file (93 mb) in 6 minutes...gee that felt good compared to what I had in Bangladesh last year!
Inventing the new boundaries
David talked about the information environment that we find ourselves teaching and learning in having no real walls and that learning happens from people from all around the world.
As he stated: "In the 21st century we learn by teaching each other, we learn by sharing our knowledge and experience".
Other main points made:
- Side trips are the part of education that really defines an educational experience. What students learn that is different. There are NO boundaries any more. We are able to make connections like never before. Teachers and students looking for new boundaries, new borders....where do we get traction to move forward then?
- Educating a generation without boundaries will not work...we need to find them or invent them. We need to find new boundaries to be able to move forward.
- David, the last generation to look at his father and see his future (so he thought).
- We are preparing children for a future we cannot clearly describe. This has profound implications for education.
- Mobile technology, carrying on conversations, social networks, tentacles
- We make them the students we want to teach rather than who they are!
- The nature of information has changed...networked digital, participatory. Important to find, sort and evaluate the information
- What it means to be literate has also changed....holds up a Grolliers Encyclopaedia from 1961
- 57% of teenagers have produced original content on the Internet..how many of their teachers have?
- 3 new converging conditions...these have become new boundaries where we can gain traction
- Info savvy and tech savvy students: need to work in responsive information environments, to ask questions, to safely make mistakes, enormous energy there that we can tap into
- New information landscape
- Unpredictable future
THE MAIN MESSAGEhow to teach themselves ..the best thing we can be teaching today, how to teach themselves ..the best thing we can be teaching today, how to teach themselves ..the best thing we can be teaching today, how to teach themselves ..the best thing we can be teaching today, how to teach themselves ..the best thing we can be teaching today
While watching David's keynote I back chatted via the conference chat room with Bethany Smith, Jeff Utecht, Jeff Bailey, Neil Winton, Audrey and others...thanks team for being there to bounce ideas off.
A great start to the conference! Yes, the borders are transparent and the global connectivity is immediate.
Can we solve educational problems around the world....I think the power of positive thinking and collaboration will help us come towards this. I can't wait for the other papers to start next week.
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I had such a great time with our discussion during the pre-keynote. It really made the whole concept of an online conference more tangible and real. I hope we continue our conversations!
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