These are my notes from the opening speeches and Don Knezek’s opening keynote address at the 21st Century Learning @ the West Lake Expo, titled “ISTE’s Global Digital-Age Learning, Teaching, and Education Leadership Skills.” This conference is taking place at Xi Hu, China, also known as West Lake. West Lake is in the center of Hangzhou, China, which is about an hour by bus southwest of Shanghai. MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS. BECAUSE WE HAVE A MIXED AUDIENCE OF ENGLISH AND MANDARIN CHINESE SPEAKERS, TRANSLATORS ARE PRESENT TO TRANSLATE EACH PRESENTER’S WORDS FOR THESE OPENING SPEECHES.
This “21st Century Learning @ the West Lake Expo” conference is jointly hosted by Hangzhou Normal University (China), Kean University (USA), and the College of Education, Zhejiang University (China). Co-Sponsors include the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education (SITE), the Association for the Advancement of Computers in Education (AACE), the Buck Institute for Education (BIE), the ICT Education Committee of Educational Technology in China, the Association for Educational Technology of Colleges and Universities in Zhejiang and the US-China Friendship City Association. Participating organizations include the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (AECL), the George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF), and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).
Comments from Dr. Mike Searson of Kean University
Marco Polo called “Xi Hu” or West Lake “…without doubt the finest and most splendid city in the world.”
Reminder that 2300 years ago China ushered in the first educational technology revolution via the printing press!
Comments from Dr. Zhengfan Lin, former President of HNU
“The 21st century is the era of information. The one who is effective in the collecting, organizing, using and creating of information in the information age will walk at the forefront of the times.”
Comments from a representative from the College of Education, Zhejiang University [HER NAME WAS NOT IN THE PROGRAM, I DID NOT GET HER NAME]
According to the China Internet Network INformation Center, thru 31 Dec 2009 china had 298 million Internet users, accounting for 22.6% of the Chinese population… The majority of Chinese Internet users belong to the new generation: 35.2% are teenagers ages 10-19, 31.5% are 20-29, 29.2% are older adults
As educators and researchers, we need a strong vision about tomorrow’s school
Hangzhou is an ancient city and was the capital of China for more than 200 years in historical times
Now comments from Don Knezek
We are a nonprofit organization interested in bringing digital age learning to young people around the world
– going to share the expectations we’ve developed working with representatives of 40 different countries
– goal: prepare a generation of digital age learners
– preparing them for their future
The paradigm shift:
– from the agricultural world, to the industrial world, to world of info, knowledge and communication, to the world of creativity and innovation
Creative thinking and innovation is critical
– all our organizations need people who can exhibit creativity and innovation
Charles Darwin quotation: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
ISTE prepares people to adapt
– while we have technology in our name, technology is not our major focus
– excellence in teaching and learning IS our focus
What we seek are the strategies technology enables for transforming learning environments
– from traditional environments to emerging learning landscapes
creativity, innovation, authentic learning is present throughout this framework
What does ISTE really do?
– gleaning from the masses and repackaging for use by the educational community
We have a major conference in 2010 in Denver, we also do conferences in Singapore and Dubai
INTERESTINGLY, I JUST TRIED TO ACCESS ISTECONNECTS, ISTE’S BLOG THEY STARTED THIS YEAR. (I BLOGGED FOR THEM ON CONTRACT FOR THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF 2009.) IT IS BLOCKED HERE IN CHINA, BUT THE MAIN ISTE.ORG SITE IS NOT BLOCKED.
ISTE does almost nothing alone, we are the critical partner in digital age education
What do we know?
National boundaries don’t matter
– expectations for technology are global
– a shared vision is critical
– knowledgeable leadership is key
– essential conditions are essential
– skilled teachers are necessary
– measurement must inform transformation
We know we must focus on developing human capital and capacity
– shared vision
– implementation planning
– consistent and adequate funding
– equitable access
– we just revised our standards
– brought together educators and business people in huge forums, and ask them to tell us what is new: rom 1998 to 2008
– number 1 answer: globalization, multiculturalism, and competitiveness
– a learning landscape that is increasingly digital
– implications of the continuing digital divide
In 1998 we were worried about an earning divide
– in 2009 we worry about a learning divide
– students without skills and access are students with comparatively less educational opportunities
forums also highlighted
– new tools and new structures
– implications of current accountability strategies
Teaching as a world-is-flat enterprise
– preparing teachers against up-to-date, international standards
– teachers “fit for export” (Philippines sending teachers to China and US schools, in LA as an example)
– globalization of education
– bringing an end to teaching as an isolated endeavor
Emerging digital tools
– learning management systems
– online and embedded assessments
– sub-laptop handhelds and smart phones
Standards provide a unifying framework to:
– establish focus
– clearly communicate expectations of excellence
– provide a roadmap to the future
– Brazil, Costa Rica, Canada, Isdia, Malaysia, UNESCO, more..
NETS for Students, Teachers, and School Leaders
– we look at standards not just as competencies/capabilities but as a package: competencies, conditions, resources for implementation, and support for assessment
tens of thousands of students and educators around the world contributed to these standards
Critical question: What do students need to know?
– how to use technology to learn
– “What students should be able to do to learn effectively and live productively in an increasingly digital world…”
In the US these have been adopted as national educational technology standards
Now comparing NETS-S 1997 to NETS-S 2007
– at the top now: creativity and innovation
– students demonstrate creative thinking,
If students need new skills, then teachers need new capacities as well
– difference for teachers is instead of just managing a classroom and using technology, teachers now have a responsibility to inspire creativity and innovation
– a responsibility to model digital age learning and work
– teachers need to be co-learners with each other and with students
– so one time preparation is not enough
– teachers must be willing to learn from students
We also need enlightened leadership
– we need leaders to participate in the digital world
MY WIFE JUST NOTED (AND I AGREE) WE ALSO NEED PARENTS WHO ARE PARTICIPANTS IN THE DIGITAL WORLD!
We need to ask what engages digital-age learners?
– it is not innovation around the edges
— length of the school year, class size, LMS/CMS, etc
It is students changing the learning experience
– students use tools available outside of the classroom
– use tools used by professionals
– work collaboratively in teams for authentic project and problem-based learning
– through simulations and serious games
– teachers model 21st century learning and work
– a culture of co-learning and personal relevance
– assessment is for learning; enriched accountability
– learning, teaching and assessment are no longer isolated, individual endeavors
I THINK THIS ARTICULATION OF WHAT ‘TRANSFORMED TEACHING AND LEARNING’ LOOKS LIKE IS VERY IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND AND BE ABLE TO PERSONALLY ARTICULATE. ALL OUR LEADERS SHOULD BE ABLE TO ARTICULATE THIS KIND OF VISION, AND THEN POINT TO SPECIFIC EXAMPLES
Shame on us if we don’t use technology to change learning experiences!
It is hard
We have five challenges for educators
1- study digital age learners and what engages them
2- foster creative and inventive thinking for innovation
3- understand what tools and strategies are available
4- sustain our own learning and development
5- prepare to contribute in an increasingly multicultural setting
YES, THIS IS RIGHT! THE FOCUS ON OUR NEED TO COLLABORATE IN MULTICULTURAL SETTINGS IS SO IMPORTANT. WE ARE TOTALLY MISSING THIS NEED AND FOCUS IN SO MANY OF OUR U.S. SCHOOLS TODAY, I THINK.
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