Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Reform Symposium 2010 - Pre-conference thoughts

Reform Symposium

Saturday evening I will be presenting for just the second time ever. I was very honored to be asked to participate in the Reform Symposium and I have enjoyed the challenge of preparing the presentation. One of the exciting things for me about this weekend is the unknown. I have no idea what it will be like to present online. I have no idea how many participants will be in my session. I have absolutely no idea how my presentation will be received. I also have wondered from time to time if I will be providing the participants with any valuable information that they can take into their classrooms or into their school. Twitter and social networking have been great for my professional development over the last year. However, sometimes it seems as if we are all "preaching to the choir." Will my session be made up of a bunch of choir members? My goal the next few days is to finish preparing a presentation that will provide opportunities for all educators to take at least one idea or activity back to their classroom or school. Join me on Saturday night at 7:30 EDT for my presentation HOTTS (Higher Order Thinking/Technology Skills). This session will show teachers how technology can be used to help bring their students to the higher order thinking skills of Bloom's Digital Taxonomy. Each taxonomy level will be discussed and different ways that technology can be used to bring students to that specific level of thinking.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An Administrator's Responsibility

I was asked today what I think an administrator's role is in 21st Century Learning. Here was my response.

The most important aspect of 21st century learning is getting our students to be lifelong learners. I want to try and encourage a joy and a desire in my students to constantly be learning. Even when they do not have that joy or desire, I still want them to be able to find ways to learn. They have to know how to use technology, collaborate, to read, to write, to solve problems, etc. Since education, technology, and the world is changing so quickly, our teachers also have to be committed to lifelong learning. In order to keep up, our teachers must be learning about new technology, new methods, and the needs of our students. When teachers are lifelong learners, they are a great example of 21st century learning for our students.

Where does the administrator fit in this picture? Administrators should also be lifelong learners, just as it is expected of the teachers. They must encourage professional development and collaboration among their staff. Although there are great professional development opportunities and great personal learning networks available through social media and professional organizations, don't forget about the potential collaboration opportunities in your own building. Use your faculty to collaborate, train, and teach each other.