Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Creating a New Culture of Teaching and Learning

These are my notes from Alan November’s keynote, “Creating a New Culture of Teaching and Learning,” at the 2008 OU K-20 Center’s 2008 MidWinter Conference in Norman, Oklahoma. My thoughts and comments are in all caps. I am recording this session and will post as a podcast, Alan gave permission, OU K-20 Center is also recording video to post subsequently…

Which department owned all the computers in schools in 1981?
– math dept

story of a kid breaking in to learn in the computer lab

getting kids to OWN their own learning is the key

I wish everyone in this room knew everyone else’s stories

football is the metaphor for academics
– let’s take the football culture of training and mentorship and rip it off for academics

someone here said yesterday she knew by 3rd grade she couldn’t do math
– kids decide they are not going to college sometimes by middle school

Showing SDSU video (scientist.dv) with Robin Williams narrating, of kids connected to a university professor working on an electronic microscope

we underutilize the TV at home
– kids should bring home DVDs of what they are doing at school regularly

we need to create capacities for every family to be a center of learning
– learning is 24/7

we have much more technology now than in 1981, then we just had programming

we need to help the family get more engaged

we need to redefine the role of the teacher
– in previous eras, the role of the teacher was to teach students what the teacher knew
– now, the role of the teacher should be building community all around the world

I am a big fan of children teaching children
– I am fascinated by the “old kind” of one room schoolhouses
– where older kids helped younger kids

there’s no such thing as a “third grade lesson,” I just do what is appropriate and repeat it as needed

we have to get rid of some of the made-up boundaries in our culture
– the world is more fluid
– we are going to have to let go of truth we believe is close to our hears: like “first grade”

– rounding a decimal part II featuring “bob” and “paul”


that is the Bob and Paul show

now: demo of screencasting with Jing
– demoing altavista history

let’s take the best qualities of the one room schoolhouse that we left behind, and restore the dignity of children as contributors to their school more than we typically do


get a 12 year old to show you how to use Jing

real question: should we value children as designers of curriculum, so the entire curriculum is in video format

when you tell kids, “read chapter 5” it may be too much
– instead, if you can show them a video…

Is some research on listening to an audiobook, depending on how the reader/actor emphasizes the words, it will

when a girl listens to two girls working on a math problem and figuring it out, that

I was the technology director in the school where Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was filmed

if kids just have access to their content at school, CHANGE THAT! what is that? I want to bang my head against the wall…
– is my attitude alright?

(showing messy desktop, audience laughing)

video from Wells Maine, Bob Sprankle’s Room208 how we make a podcast video

how do you do this in the classroom
– you can talk about this during “snack” each day

these kids are self directed and a team
– you have to go over last week’s work anyway, you might as well have a podcast

now demoing Audacity
– “Audacity turns any computer into a podcasting center”
– it is a myth, we have to stop the craziness that teachers have to learn ALL the technologies..

teachers need to control the quality of the content
-every classroom, every subject, standing homework: we need to review
– a lot of kids have mp3 players
– all kids don’t, I appreciate that

what worries me is that my kids’ school has ignored their mp3 player and treated it as if it was bad
– they have treated it in a way as if it has nothing to do with learning
– that is stupid
– instead we should say “you are holding in your hand one of the most powerful

too much fear

MIT has made a commitment: every course they teach is on the web
– the American high school: built on the web
– go to Singapore, you’ll see kids logged into MIT at school
– come to the US, you won’t see that much because kids can’t go to MIT

American children are not taking as much advantage of the top quality content from MIT as children in other countries are

a couple of my students in the college where I teach now are instructors at WestPoint

several years ago, head of WestPoint gave a direct order that instructors had to introduce Islam into the curriculum
– basis: you need to get good information before making decisions
– often there is another point of view

teachable moment: Pope gave a speech and quoted a 14th century scholar and was critical of Islam
– the next day there were riots in some Islamic countries and some people died
– Pope, speech, people died: this was bad
– gave this problem to my graduate student: I want you to find the impact of the Pope’s speech from Turkey

Google is the starting point for too many searches
– my student typed in “Turkey Pope Speech Islam”
– student was so proud, just showing off these search results
– problem with this: all these search results were from western news sources

so instead, we go to altavista
– use host:tr (holds results to Turkey) and do the same search
– now all the results are all from Turkey
– you understand these are two different points of view?

there is buzz going in Turkey: they can’t find the quote
– 14th century scholar
– what does that lead you to say if you can’t find the quote?
– we

it is not good to not know what you don’t know
– if you think you know, and go off and make a decision, that is bad

we can’t afford to have an educator at any level who cannot use media and the internet in careful and thoughtful ways
– this is a challenge to the faculty of education at any institution
– make a commitment: that any educator who graduates will be web literate and can take apart a webpage layer by layer

my children already use the internet more than they read boks

1964 Marshall Mcluhan, Dean of Faculty at the Univ of Toronoto, he predicted the internet
– coined term “global village”
– “the medium is the message”
– Mcluhan did a study: people who learned to be literate in one medium (paper, you are the paper people, you were paper trained) do not bring their critical thinking skills to the new medium (they still think they are reading paper)
– Alan is discussing Mcluhan and his ideas now, people’s inabilities to change their mental maps when the medium changes

most of our teachers today are NOT literate on the web

I do a lot of work in New York City, my parents were immigrants there
– I was substitute teaching in a class with 4th graders, in a school where teacher cars are locked up behind barbed wire

I had lost control over the students, so I pulled out my iPod with my microphone and said in a low voice, “I have an iPod”
– I told the kids if you will write some poetry with me (which was the class and assignment) I will record your voice and put it on the internet so anyone in the world can hear you

I read the research and heard that kids need instant feedback
– the kid heard what he did, and said “that’s not good enough, I need another take.”
– that would not have happened with a paper essay

I am convinced that if you change the audience for student work to the whole world, some children will work harder for the whole world than they will for their teacher

we have to teach children the ethics and responsibility of having a global voice
– kids will get facebook, myspace, etc
– we should teach kids about power in schools

every teacher should have an mp3 and a recorder

question about protecting kids and safety with publishing their voices

you give me any policy, and I will show you a way around it

an automobile is a phenomenally dangerous tool
– getting in the car to go to school is probably the most dangerous thing kids will do all day
– playgrounds are most dangerous, do you know what a predator will do with a playground?
– the family is the most dangerous environment statistically

one of my other students is the head of internet security for the secret service

dominant statistic in computer crime in this country is kids hurting adults

one more example

I love presenting to kids, I love to tease them
– article “Teaching Zack to Think”
– link to northwestern university, link is dead
– go off to
– waybackmachine
– there is the content
– the Internet is being stored frequently
– example is: Arthur R Butz


the school did not teach them this
– they are building their blogs without a sense of social ethics
– I have kids bent over and hyperventilating after I share that story

You all are doing amazing things here, this is as good as it gets


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One response to “Creating a New Culture of Teaching and Learning”

  1. Ericka H. Avatar
    Ericka H.

    “someone here said yesterday she knew by 3rd grade she couldn’t do math
    – kids decide they are not going to college sometimes by middle school”

    This is very true. Also, many students decide that they will not do math or science at this age as well. I recently attended a NASA meeting on the problems with math and science teaching and this same point was brought up. Kids get discouraged from pursuing these interests because they can be very challenging and they are often presented in a boring textbook way. Hopefully this trend will reverse…