These are my notes from Kevin Honeycutt‘s keynote address, “Trends, Tools & Tactics for 21st Century Learning,” at the 14th Annual August Institute, “Technology Runs Through It” conference at the University of Montana in Missoula. MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS.

Kevin’s website is kevinhoneycutt.org

Kevin Honeycutt presenting in Missoula, Montana

Opening comments from Nancy Marks, conference organizer:
- This is our 14th August Institute, we have over 400 this year
- who knew when we started 14 years ago and had 40 people at our first institute we’d grow like this?!
- some of our workshops will be shared as a podcast (check out our conference podcast channel)
- Follow our conference Twitter feed with the hashtag: #wildtech

I’M NOTICING HOW KEVIN HAS HIS KEYNOTE PRESENTATION ONSCREEN INITIALLY,
- INTRO SHARES WHAT HE’S PASSIONATE ABOUT

Starting with his own story
- taught art for 13 years in Inman, Kansas

I’m passionate about brain research because we teach brains
- if you pay attention to the outside package, you might underestimate that brain’s capacity
- I share stories because we remember stories, not facts
- we remember things in context
- we are temporal creatures who live over time

You ever meet a brilliant idiot?
- they can win Jeopardy but not change a tire

When you challenge kids, give them projects to do, they are engaged

“We’ll do the tests, but please let it matter”

I work with at-risk kids, the ones who bite
- you ever help a kid and then they get in trouble

It’s challenging to make the space for safety, to connect with a kid

I lived in 20 states growing up
- story of my crazy brother who

Our kids are playing on digital playgrounds without lifeguards

People are friending me on Facebook who I didn’t like in high school!

Group: “The Digital Grannies”
- they want to mentor their grandkids on Twitter and Facebook

I found out growing

It was always the kids who had EVERYTHING who were the meanest at school
- every once in awhile there were kids who would be nice, they leveraged their

I don’t preach to kids, that doesn’t work
- I try to talk to their hearts
- what is your ‘digital legacy?”
- everything I can Google about you is your digital legacy
- our kids are on the record
- I love digital because when we found the pyramids we learned all about the Pharaohs, because they had biographers
- but how long did it take for us to learn about the slaves who built them

Technology is anything invented after you were born
- Which of these are technology to you? cell phone, fax machine, the laptop, the abacus

All of us have a time when we thought music stopped being good
- for me, it was “Funky Cold Medina”

When my son came along, I have to embrace his

I am a “12 o’clock flasher” (it sounds bad, but it means all the devices in my home are flashing 12 o’clock)

When they found bacteria killed patients in surgery, some doctors said they didn’t have time to watch their hands
- problem was: they were killing people

You can only dream as big as your personal experience
- to move into a new life, you have to be able to imagine it as fully as your old life
- this is part of what we do: Helping kids IMAGINE who they can be

Question: Do I really need to know this?
- kids are asking in this situation for context

I always gravitated to the REAL teachers: three fingered shop teacher talking about bandsaw safety
- contrast those REAL teachers with the “Suzi cream cheese” teachers

The Honeycutt dream was to live in a double wide trailer and have skirting
- a mobile home isn’t mobile once the tires go flat, except in a tornado

My 2nd biggest fear, tornados
- my biggest fear: my dad
- he died at a party at the lake when I was 16

I want to talk about “the angels” (this is you, the teachers)

Mary Lou Burgoon
- the most dangerous place to be at school is alone
- are you brave enough to be nice to someone NO ONE ELSE is being nice to? (“What you do to the least of these you do to me”)
- she gave me a safe place to be
- when I graduated college, I went back and found all these people

Dorothy Anderson
- she believed in me!
- she gave me mail every week
- she sustained me with her letters
- she died 7 years ago and I love her forever, I am going to keep paying it forward because she had my back in 1978

My time in lockup: teaching in juvi-lockup
- you can never leave a pencil behind
- they have rubber pencils
- 15 minutes to hook em and 45 minutes to cook em
- without technology: it’s about relationships, it’s about trust

1979: The Digitor
- do you have one? It’s worth $1000
- the Intel chip inside was the first one ever
- it was a calculator with feet

I’m emotionally compromised, I’m damaged
- if you make me come in the front door, I’ll fail
- please let me be creative, can you give me choices?
- there is

I”m a digital dumpster diver looking for what works
- the schools I work with don’t have any money

Why this is benevolent:
- ever meet siblings, one is an A student and the other is flunking
- if I show you something new that none of you have seen, all of you have a chance at being great with this
- there is benevolence here (IN THE LEVELING POWER OF NEW DEVICES)

Mr Austin let me take the Digitor home, my family gather
- he used technology to win me back, to get be back into the boat

I believe this: Empowerment comes from being trusted to attack learning according to your own strengths

When I was in a new class
- “she wasn’t rewindable”
- if you just

If you waited till you were good at it to have kids how many would you have?
- just start

I don’t want to be stupid, certainly not in front of everyone

the benevolence of rewindability is a big deal

example of cereal box story that I built
- she gave me choice and she empowered me
- she saw me as a bionically powered learner
- she never let me be creative again all year

I could change education in 1 night: break into school and burn every file cabinet
- we need to shake things up, make things more interesting

we make our environment and then it makes us

Ever see “a kid launch?”
= they leave scorch marks on the pavement

Collect the keys
- this is a drive by
- you don’t have time to remember all this stuff
- learn a few things today, and make friends with others who can be

Digital Dumpster Divers
- this invites people
- dive in: click “Free tools you can use”

I’m smart, but my network is brilliant

Twitter is “thought casting”
- it is how good you build your network
- I only collect good people in my network: I don’t include people who cuss

Facebook, Twitter, Network, Plurk, and my Ning: I’m connected to over 10,000 people
- when we leave this conference we don’t have to stop learning, we can remain connecting

How many people typically read what our kids write?
Readers
- Blogs: 112.7 million
- My essay in class: 1

I had a college professor who saw me as a “C”
- if you’re going to guess me a grade, guess me an “A”

Kids as authors today: Lulu.com

As soon as we see a tool, we often categorize it and limit it
- Lulu is one of six tools on my site for self-publishing
- Kool-Aide stand on steroids

(I’M EAGER TO SEE KEVIN’S OTHER

Why do people buy “Who’s Who Among American High School Students?”

We need to let kids become published authors

Story: “Saving Me” by April Dawn
- Paperback book $5.52, Download $1.25

If this girl came into the Emergency Room with a broken leg, we wouldn’t say, “Why don’t you sit down and think

When you find a new tool, you need to TAME it
- example: I published two of my plays on Lulu to figure out the tool

Story of April: for the first time she cared about spelling
- that’s exciting

If you do this, do it for YOU
- let it be personal before it becomes professional
- we too often create prisons instead of playgrounds in schools

Publish letters by your Dad from the war, grandmother’s recipes
- do it first because you love it

Our high school this year is publishing our yearbook on Lulu
- do a search on lulu.com and find other schools publishing their yearbooks
- then you don’t send the check to Jostens, you support fundraising

This is the “Some Pig” principle

Kids submit and their work has to get approved
- example

Talk to your shoulder partner about this

If you don’t know why, why do it?
- how is easy today: you need to know they “why”

[TALK TIME]

NOW KEVIN IS USING EXPOSE ON HIS MAC TO SWITCH TO HIS WEBSITE

I work to create an environment where everyone is invited
- this middle space is intentional

Story of electric football game (the one that vibrated to make the players move)
- Quarterbacks see through time, and see to throw the ball where the receiver is going to be

I expect to get a current education, not one which is convenient because you’ve recycled 30 years

Example of project: The cereal box of now
- using Google Sketchup
- don’t think: “I’ll tell the art teacher”
- STOP: this works for ALL of us

Trojan horse learning: Asking your students who aren’t reading Poe to design the setting in a part of “The Raven”

What does it means to “do a 21st century collaboration?”

Be careful what you call kids’ work, you’re usually wrong

I bought the Wii-Fit because I’m a Wii-Fat
- I have lost 15 lbs on the Wii the past few months

13 buttons dis-invited us on a video game

Now shifting to a demo of Google Sketchup
- it has

I stopped teaching technology and started teaching WITH technology
- we don’t “teach pencil: teaching about compassed graphite sandwiched between wafers of wood”

there is a big barrier there where people think they need to be experts

Google Sketch up: leave the guy (the person) to include your scale

I flunked geometry but did awesome in art: how could that be?

Now doing a demo of Google Sketchup
- draw a square,

Opening an example of the human brain
- 8 years ago software that did this cost $30,000
- now I’m doing my report as a 3D virtual docent
- now shooing the Viking ship

Showing video of Kim Herron’s

Innovation dies from domestic violence: You do it

We need leadership which frames this for people
- that thanks our pioneers

We are moving at glacial speed in a time of exponential change: this is a problem

tell your story, frames are important

Call it what you want: give it a frame

Bringing kim Herron to our district was like strapping a rocket engine to a bi-plane
- we often fear those people

Kim Herron: kherron [at] usd448 [dot] com (she gave me permission to share her email address, she would LOVE to collaborate with you

I am in my second term as a school board member in Kim’s district

Now YouTube story: my first guitar
- kicked out of a music store for ‘thought-lifting’

MY COMMENT: LISTENING AND WATCHING KEVIN SHARE THIS STORY I CATCH A GLIMPS OF MY FUTURE. I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO LEARN HOW TO PLAY THE GUITAR. KEVIN INSPIRES ME TO BELIEVE I CAN…..

KEVIN ALSO INSPIRES ME TO RUN FOR THE SCHOOL BOARD IN OKLAHOMA CITY. NOT BECAUSE IT WILL CHANGE THE WORLD, BUT BECAUSE I CAN, AND BECAUSE I CARE. AND MY KIDS GO TO SCHOOL THERE. AND WORDS MATTER.

For some kids, I”m good enough to be a teacher for
- many kids are not brave enough to get past blisters
- my question: “Are there cognitive blisters?”

Great closing demo by Kevin of digital musical tools! I recorded the last 6 min 40 seconds of Kevin’s preso on my iPad2 and posted it to YouTube:

MY COMMENT: THERE ARE FEW EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE PRESENTERS I’VE SEEN WHO ARE AS INSPIRING AS KEVIN. HE HELPS US CONNECT WITH SO MUCH THAT MATTERS: WHY OUR WORK MATTERS, WHY RELATIONSHIPS WITH KIDS MATTER, WHY WE NEED TO TELL AND SHARE OUR STORIES. WHAT A TREAT TO GET TO LEARN WITH KEVIN TODAY, AND MY DAD WAS EVEN IN THE AUDIENCE TOO! KEVIN IS 1 OF MY TOP “YODAS” FOR LEARNING AND SCHOOL LEADERSHIP. YOU ONLY HAVE TO LISTEN TO HIM PRESENT FOR 60 SECONDS TO FIGURE OUT WHY.

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  • Angie

    OK — I’m a Digital Granny, altho not for the reasons Kevin suggests. 
    Telling your stories?  It’s pretty rude to tell your stories if you haven’t been asked.

  • http://wfryer.wpengine.com Wesley Fryer

    Are you saying people should get permission of those included in stories before telling them to an audience online?

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