These are my notes from Dr. Scott McLeod’s keynote at the OU K-20 Center’s MidWinter Conference in Norman, Oklahoma, on 29 January 2009. MY REFLECTIONS ARE IN ALL CAPS. The conference Ning is http://k20center.ning.com, and is open to anyone.

All presentation content and resources from Scott’s keynote are on: scottmcleod.net/oklahoma

Transitioning Oklahoma Schools…

started with Greg Whitby’s video on school change / reform
– there is a fundamental mismatch in the DNA of our kids and teachers
– we need a new pedagogical DNA for the 21st century
– co-constructors of knowledge
– we have to change that DNS so we can pass it on to the
– Stephen Heppell is right that we spent the 19th century perfecting the 18th century model of education

Acts are going to be 9 minutes long today
– small intermission of 60 seconds at the end of each act

Act 1: Our tools have changed dramatically in the past several decades
– desktop to laptop computers
– cell phones
“put your hand up if you cell phone does NOT have a camera”

[THAT IS A GOOD QUESTION TO ASK AN AUDIENCE]

Every one of your students is now carrying around a moon computer in their pocket
CNET quotation on

If given the choice between keeping their TV or mobile, US and UK children pick their mobile phone

music has gone digital too

My family calls our GPS “Gloria” and they did not like it when I turned the voice into Yoda šŸ™‚

Digital photography
– none of us will likely go back to film cameras because of the affordances of digital
– all of us are citizen journalists

YouTube video of kid laughing
– that video has a worldwide audience of 18 million people

[I AM NOT SURE A BABY LAUGHING VIDEO IS THE BEST ONE TO SHOW IF WE WANT TO HELP CHANGE EDUCATORS’ PERCEPTIONS POSITIVELY ABOUT THE EDUCATIONAL / CONSTRUCTIVEV USES OF YOUTUBE

Then there is the evil Facebook and Myspace
– YouTube is #3 most popular site on the web now
– Facebook and Myspace help us to connect with each other in ways that we find meaningful

Other examples
Club Penguin examples
Webkinz
– this is basically MySpace training

[I THINK

These tools empower us in ways we never have seen before
– question for the audience: how have technology tools changed the

our tools have changed and so has our information landscape
– David Weinberger’s book “Everything is Misc” chronicles this well

Another video “Information R/evolution”
– typewriter starts
– looking in card catalog
– using microfiche
– information has a specific place,
– I think this must be a Michael Wesch video (it is of course)
– almost 500 billion links on the Internet today
– English wikipedia nowis 15 times as large ad Britannica

As Clay Shirkey noted in “Here Comes Everybody”
– advent of the printing press slowly changed the common perception that everyone should be able to read
– now we are realizing that everyone should not only be a reader, but also a publisher

Russell Davies quotation
– web 2.0 “It’s not an audience, it’s a community”
– it is no longer an information push-out environment

we don’t just have eyeballs as an audience, we also have mouths
– look

Rupert Murdoch quotation from Wired 2006
Time person of the Year
– that meant “you” if you are controlling your digital destiny

we are just getting started as millions of minds are back hauled into global conversation

Quotation from Dean Shareski “If you generally think of the Internet as a ‘place to look up stuff’ you’re missing the best part”

New question for the audience: What was your favorite TV show growing up?
– new TV screenshot: Leave it to Beaver

Act 3: Jobs have changed
– books “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman and “Wikinomics” by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams

Labor economists like to look at the type of work people do
– manual jobs are disappearing overseas as fast as possible, mainly due to lower labor costs, less environmental regulations
– routine work is being replaced by software and machines, or outsourced

From Autor, Levy and Murname 2003, “The skill content of recent technological change, an empirical exploration” Quarterly Journal of Economics 188, 4, updated 2008

Examples of job replacement
– your local accountant, used to pay them several hundred dollars, now you can purchase tax software for about $75 that will handle all of those situations for taxes except the most complicated

think of your local attorney, needing a will, power of attorney, etc.
– if you know about the legal industry, they are basically dropping in names and numbers and charging you several hundred dollars
– now for a $40 piece of software you can do this and have the

only sector that has been growing in the last 40 years in the United States are abstract jobs/work: complex communication, critical cognitive thinking, where humans still have the advantage over machines
– problem solving, collaborative teaming

All those other jobs which were the story of the 20th century are on their way out

Richard Flordia (“Growth of the creative class”_ says we can divide the economy into 4 sectors
– agriculture
– working
– service
– creative

Sharp uptick is visible around 1980 with the intro of the personal computer

Dan Pink’s questions (author of “A Whole New Mind”)
1- Can someone overseas do it cheaper?
2- Can a computer do it faster?
3- Is what I’m offering in demand in an age of abundance?

China is rapidly becoming the factory to the world, even with the economic downturn
India becoming the backoffice to the world

For every call center opening in India, they have about 2000 applicants for that job
– they all speak English, and gladly work for about $250 per month

China and India alone have about 2.5 billion people, and staggering levels of poverty (Scott was in Mumbai about a year ago)
– the “other 20%” moving into middle class standards of living (half a billion people) is equal to the entire labor force of the United States and Europe
– we have doubled the number of global workers in the last two decades

Graph of prototypical US industry in 10 years if all goes well: much more creative work
– comparisons of what engeineers work for

How well do local communities understand this need to change for the new workforce

These are seismic shifts

Act 4

schools haven’t changed much

The fundamental question: how can schools change and adjust
– we have

SCOTT IS MAKING THE POINT THAT IS IN THE 2009 HORIZON REPORT, THAT WE NEED TO CHANGE CURRICULUM AND ASSESSMENT

THE TEACHERS SITTING BEHIND ME IN THIS SESSION RIGHT NOW ARE SAYING, “I DON’T WANT MY SURGEON TO NOT MEMORIZE THE PARTS OF THE BODY AND KNOW HOW TO OPERATE ON HER. I THINK AMIDST MAKING THESE KINDS OF STATEMENTS AND ASSERTIONS ABOUT PROCESS SKILLS AND HIGHER ORDER THINKING, IT IS IMPORTANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE FOR THE AUDIENCE THE NEED FOR FOUNDATIONAL SKILLS. THE ANALOGY TO LEARNING THE PIANO AND OTHER MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS IS APPROPRIATE HERE. KIDS STILL NEED TO LEARN THEIR MULTIPLICATION TABLES (THE 12 X 12 MATRIX) TO SUCCEED IN HIGHER ORDER MATHEMATICS. ONCE THAT FOUNDATION IS THERE, LOTS OF CREATIVITY CAN BE REALIZED. SCOTT IS NOT SAYING KIDS DON’T NEED FUNDAMENTALS. I THINK SOME AUDIENCE MEMBERS ARE INTERPRETING THAT. I THINK IT IS A PROBLEM THAT MANY TEACHERS ARE VERY COMFORTABLE WITH “BACK TO BASICS.” AS OTHERS HAVE OBSERVED, HOWEVER, MANY OF OUR SCHOOLS HAVE NEVER GOTTEN BEYOND THE BASICS. REF THE SLOGAN OF THE UCO COLLEGE OF EDUCATION: “EMPHASIZING THE 3 R’S SINCE 1890”

KIDS DO NEED FUNDAMENTALS AND BASICS. WE HAVE TO RAISE OUR EXPECTATIONS OF STUDENT ACHEIVEMENT, HOWEVER. NO, THAT STUDENT

Time quotation “How to build a student for the 21st Century”

David Warlick and Clarence Fisher quotations

[HOW FANTASTIC TO HEAR SCOTT SHARE QUOTATIONS FROM DEAN, DAVID AND CLARENCE ALONGSIDE RICHARD FLORIDA, TIME MAGAZINE, ETC. THIS IS GREAT MODELING OF THE POWER AND RELEVANCE OF EDUCATORS BECOMING GLOBAL PUBLISHERS]

Now showing COSN “Changing to Learn” video

Now going to discuss four levers which can move us forward

global awareness
– have to get beyond memorizing foreign capital names and foods they eat
– need high quality learning experiences where 21st century skills are the core lens through which

10 states have adopted the Partnership for 21st Century Skills
– Oklahoma is NOT one of them

Graph of student engagement in school
– engagement nose dives (kids have tasted the honey, then bread and water never tastes the same)
– kids get to taste the honey at home

MY NEIGHBOR IS MAKING A GOOD POINT ABOUT THE DIGITAL DIVIDE: NOT ALL STUDENTS ARE IN THIS WORLD OF SHARING AND COLLABORATION. I ALSO THINK THE POINT NEEDS TO BE MADE THAT ENGAGEMENT IN SCHOOLS HAS BEEN A PROBLEM FOR A LONG TIME BEFORE “DIGITAL NATIVES” ARRIVED ON THE SCENE.

Our kids are mostly passive information consumers

Lever 2: is a robust online environment
– example is the Florida Virtual School
– providing over 1000 courses
– have a 20,000 student waiting list
– the more Oklahoma can do on this front the better

Lever 3: Technology
– quotation from Chris Lehmann of SLA: technology should be like oxygen: ubiquitous, invisible,

we have to stop pretending it is a paper world

Lever 4: We have to invest in our leadership
– the people who are in charge of leading our schools and universities are often the least knowledgeable about this environment
– yet they are in charge
– if the leaders don’t get it, it is not going to happen
– substantive change never bubbles up from the bottom”

I DON’T ENTIRELY AGREE WITH THE STATEMENT ABOVE. I THINK CHANGE COMES BOTH FROM ABOVE, BELOW, AND FROM THE MIDDLE

Miguel Guhlin quotation: No one jumps a 20 foot chasm in two 10 foot jumps

We have to stop being ruled by fear

Our digital landscape
– digital natives, bridges, immigrants, undecided, and the refugees
– HEY THIS IS MY GRAPHIC AND IDEA! HOW COOL! THANKS SCOTT!

Our Digital Landscape

We have to make strategic investments in our children’s future

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2 Responses to Notes from Dr. Scott McLeod’s keynote at the OU K-20 Center’s 2009 MidWinter Conference

  1. Larry Keyes says:

    >>>>
    Examples of job replacement
    – your local accountant, used to pay them several hundred dollars, now you can purchase tax software for about $75 that will handle all of those situations for taxes except the most complicated
    >>>>

    I tried this substitution several years ago and it was a disaster. Our new treasury secretary, Timothy Geitner also had a problem….it was partly because he was using tax software that he failed to account for $34,000 in taxes for several years in the early part of the decade. So, maybe some jobs are being replaced, but accounting and finance are still growth areas in general. Personally, I’m not at all convinced that the web and computers cause jobs to be lost at all; I’d argue that software development and IT management in general are a few bright spots in the economy right now.

  2. Scott McLeod says:

    I appreciate the pushback, Larry. The number of people who file their returns using tax preparation software increases every year. That means fewer monies going to accountants (as well as fewer people doing it by hand on paper).

    There’s a difference between overall job loss and job loss by sector. Some sectors are robust. Others are disappearing rapidly. ICTs, software, globalization, etc. are leading to job losses in some areas (and causing job increases in others). That’s what I had hoped to show with my workforce charts…

    Thanks for taking notes, Wes. The baby video was meant to illustrate that kids can reach big audiences, not to show the power of YouTube. I might need to pick a different video!

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