A friend of mine and higher education professor I greatly respect, Dr. Cyndi Danner-Kuhn, is sharing a presentation in two weeks at the Dean’s Leadership Symposium at the University of Missouri for other professors. She asked me for some ideas and suggestions for her presentation. These are my thoughts.

Nicholas Felton - Feltron lecture
Creative Commons License photo credit: vectorfunk

Focus on content and purpose rather than just on tools. It’s easy to focus on tools, but people are less interested when you take that focus. Show off digital curriculum examples. I have a bunch on:
http://handouts.wesfryer.com/curriculum

You’re making a case for the depth and breadth of curriculum available when everyone has access to a digital platform.

I would make the focus creating, communicating, and collaborating. I call these the three C’s of the 21st century. (As opposed to the CCC of the depression era!) This is the focus I took in my MASSCUE keynote, and I think it’s very strong. Learning is more than consumption, it is about remix. (Constructivism) Helping students become media prosumers better supports learning from a Marzano perspective (non-linguistic representation and time on task are two elements that are clear) and also helps students become more media literate, develop and refine 21st century skills alongside traditional literacy skills, have differentiated opportunities to show what they know, have multiple pathways to learn, etc. Use terminology with which you know the audience is already familiar: differentiated instruction, learning styles, assessment and accountability, and building professional learning communities. Resources and slides for that MASSCUE preso are online, feel free to use any of this which is helpful:
http://handouts.wesfryer.com/keys

Try and keep it an accessible conversation by giving participants time to talk. Show a video, and give them some time to respond and reflect on it. Some of these videos can be “changing landscape” videos, others can be specific examples of student work. I have a lot of good options on:
http://wfryer.wpengine.com/resources/videos-for-pd/

It’s a fine line to walk with a higher ed audience, not getting people on the defensive because you are criticising the established ways so much and advocating for change. The “Introducing the Book” video can be good to set the stage in this respect with humor: the world is changing in huge ways which challenge fundamental assumptions we’ve had all our lives (especially with respect to access to information and communications channels) and that’s a key thing you want to help people recognize. “The 4th Screen” is also helpful in this regard. Wesch’s videos can be good too, but they can also overwhelm.

One of the best things you can do is bring in someone, even for a short time, over video to talk with your audience. I’d recommend using Skype, but you can try iChat or Google Video too. I’ve had fewer firewall issues with Skype generally than iChat. Both Skype and Google Video Chat are cross-platform, so that is a bonus. You can reference how more mainstream media sources (like CNN and Oprah) are using Skype now to bring in expert voices, and this should be happening every week in our classrooms. I wrote about this Monday on ISTEconnects:
http://www.isteconnects.org/2009/04/20/skype-and-twitter-going-more-mainstream/

Please give me a call if you want and we can discuss more. I’ll be glad to share my PPT or keynote decks for any presos I have also with you, if you want, just let me know which one(s):
http://www.wesfryer.com/teaching/

This will be great and you will do great! Let me know how else I can help. :-)

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