In two weeks, Oklahoma State Superintendent Janet Barresi will host the “Oklahoma Digital Learning Summit” in Oklahoma City. This is an invitation-only event. I’ll be attending as a board member of the Oklahoma Distance Learning Association. (ODLA) This promises to be an interesting and important opportunity to listen, learn and share. I’ve seen a draft agenda and know both Richard Culatta and Tom Vander Ark are scheduled to speak to us. I’m thankful to have an opportunity to attend and participate in this summit which should further reveal the roadmap of school reform and proposed legislative changes for our Oklahoma schools.
As far as I know (please correct me if I’m wrong and share a link as a comment) our Oklahoma SDE has not yet created a website for the summit with information about the schedule, speaker presentations, speaker handouts, etc. In Jennifer Lindsey’s January 11, 2012, article for “The Daily Ardmoreite” newspaper, Superintendent Barresi was quoted on the subject of the digital learning summit:
Barresi said she would have a summit to address issues concerning digital learning in April, describing the virtual learning world as the “wild, wild west,” because of a lack of regulations. The summit would be open for people across the state to express their opinion.
In advance of this event I’m reading several different books as well as other publications. I want to commend them to you whether or not you’re planning to attend April 19-20 in Oklahoma City. The publications I recommend reading in advance include:
- Book: Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing the World by Tom Vander Ark (October 2011)
- Website: The “10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning” from DigitalLearningNow.com
- Report: The “Roadmap for Reform” (available as a PDF file) from DigitalLearningNow.com
- Report: “The online learning imperative: A solution to three looming crises in education” (PDF) by former Governor Bob Wise & Robert Rothman (June 2010, published by the Alliance for Excellent Education)
- Book: “Liberating Learning: Technology, Politics, and the Future of American Education” by Terry Moe and John Chubb
- Book: “Disrupting Class, Expanded Edition: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns” by Clayton Christensen, Curtis Johnson and Michael Horn
I commend these materials for reading NOT because I am in 100% agreement with everything these authors espouse, but rather because these specific authors (from what I’ve read and heard to date) specifically articulate the “vision of digital learning” which our Oklahoma state superintendent espouses and is advancing with our governor (Mary Fallin) and fellow Republicans in the Oklahoma legislature. It is very important to understand the different assumptions and elements of this agenda for educational change. There are some very good ideas in these books and documents, but also some issues of concern. It will be great to have opportunities to learn more directly from state officials as well as edreform advocates like Tom Vander Ark and Richard Culatta at this summit.
I do not know yet what the official Twitter hashtag of the event will be (I asked this weekend) but will share it when it’s announced. If you are an educator attending the Oklahoma Digital Learning summit or interested in these issues, and are not YET on my “Oklahoma-Ed” Twitter list, please let me know via a Tweet or with a comment here. This summit will provide another good opportunity for networking and sharing, just as the outstanding OTA/Encyclo-Media conference did in February.
On that note, save the following dates:
- Plan to attend OTA/Encyclo-Media this fall. The date has been changed to Oct 2-3, however, and the call for proposals is open until May 4.
- The next month, in November, there will be at least THREE digital learning events in Oklahoma City for educators. The first of these will be the OU K-20 Center’s Innovative Learning Institute on Tuesday, November 6th.
- The Friday of the same week, the Oklahoma Distance Learning Association (ODLA) Fall conference is scheduled for Friday, November 9th at Rose State.
- The Fall 2012 Oklahoma Creativity Forum will be held a week later on Tuesday, November 13th.
It’s going to be a fall full of opportunities to learn “face to face” as well as digitally about education and educational resources in Oklahoma! Remember to follow the Oklahoma EDUshare website, contribute, and join the Oklahoma CCSS Diigo group to share resources as well.
The conversations at the April 19-20 Digital Learning Summit will be important to follow. Thankfully, digital learning affords us more opportunities than ever to stay in the loop as we face a variety of changes together.
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