More thoughts and notes from Alan

If you want to teach teachers how to use the technology, teach their students and then have their students teach them

4 project Questions
1- Global benchmarking
2- family learning portal
3- student as producers
4- innovation management

Single most important question we should be asking, about how technology can be used to improve teaching and learning?
– it is very important that we start with the right question

I think schools are doing many things with technology that will likely become obsolete, just like programming
– make sure the question you come up with should outlast the changes in technology for the next 10-20 years

My question:

How can we release the innovative and creative energies of students and teachers in the educational environment to produce and share authentic knowledge products?

When technology is present:
– students tend to be more oriented toward problem solving
– students tend to be more collaborative

Architects in England are drooling because in Britain (BSF: Building Schools for the Future) they are putting up the money to rebuild all its high schools

the tipping point of learning for me (Alan November) is getting kids to own and be responsible for their own learners
– fearless learners: learn anywhere, anytime, with anybody

Read “The Age of Unreason” by Handy
– change the flow of what people do in an organization if you want tot fundamentally change a culture

Book out in England, interviewed kids and asked them “The Voice of Children” what they wanted to see in a new school
– they say they want teachers who really know who they are as people
– they are looking for personal relationships
– kids are not asking for technology

Why don’t we engage adults when we have students presenting
– knowing powerpoint is NOT the important skill
– knowing the audience and presenting appropriately is the key

School where the curriculum is online
– kids feel like they own their own learning
– don’t depend on an adult to manage learning for them

I think we are going to have to change the job descriptions of the teacher, the student, and the family
– we need to figure out the roles in the organization
– what is the role of a student? should students own their learnings?

Harvard Business School problem solving model

1- come up with a good enough to criticize problem
– the first generation draft of the problem should just be seen by you
2- who is your network for review: who is on your board of directors?
– where is your global network?
3- Where is there evidence
– this takes good research skills (use a blog search engine like technorati, to get ideas from educator blogs)

Alan was
– the fastest way to learn about the London bombing was to search Technorati for blog postings on “london bombing”, because you had people on the ground right there in London posting blog postings

because these are blogs, you can interact leave comments, meet these people, etc.
– technorati

Also use bloglines for your searches
– you have to get a bloglines account for this problem
– Bloglines just searches for sites with RSS feeds is Alan’s website

Also use instead of Google
– works opposite of Google
– instead of counting the number of links coming into a website, it ranks based on the number of websites coming out
– Use to search for hub sites

Remember to use screen zoom when showing people

Most important part of Teoma is the right side of the screen, which is the refined results

Alan’s opinion is that RSS feeds are the most powerful technology available on the internet today (and I agree with this)

Opinion can kill a good solution
– need to separate evidence from opinion

Eventually you should figure out who the authentic audience is for your presentation

example: google for “miserable failure” and you get George Bush’s webstie

Single best trick Alan knows for internet research using altavista


Search in Altavista means there are 88,000 links going INTO Lessig’s website

Expand altavista search to just find K12 websites linked
link: url:K12

Most problems we give children are well structured and defined
– key is to give problems to students which are poorly structured / defined so students have to figure out what

Schools in Alan’s example have a unifying problem
– goal should be “teaching students to solve ill-structured problems”

Facts about US job loss:
– US jobs to offshoring: 17 percent
– 70K US computer programmer
– $8,250 India computer programmer
– $9,000 China computer programmer
– $300 approximately monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment in Shenzhen

In the year 2000, Singapore had a very top down, didactic curriculum with everyone learning and memorizing the same thing at the same time
– they have now figured out they have to teach creativity and problem solving in kindergarten
– their response is to teach young people how to be inventors

One of the most amazing experiences Alan has had was going to the US Air Force Academy
– since 1985 every cadet has had a computer
– long term, the students who are in a constructivist classroom can retain the knowledge more long term
– other students lose it faster and cannot retain it
– the military hires their own graduates

facinated by the idea of the middle college, taking 9th graders and putting them in community college environments
– students should be engaging directly with universities across the curriculum

Make sure you have non-educators on your review team
– if not, that will limit the quality of your work

Currently reading:
– The world is flat by Friedman
– The Tipping Point and Blink
– educators should subscribe to a business magazine, Fortune and Newsweek had cover stories about blogging

“As the Future Catches You” recommended by Joe Brennan

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One Response to Alan November ADE 2005 preso, part 2

  1. Brian Mull says:

    Just a quick correction on Alan’s website. It’s

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