Rethinking Learning
conversations about the future of teaching and learning
Barbara Bray
be creative, innovate, take risks, unlearn to learn
Oakland, CA

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DELC Conversations
By Barbara Bray    December 10, 2009 -- 09:20 AM

I am very lucky to have been invited to join the Digital Education Leadership Conference (DELC) for a second year. The invitees come from all over the US and are respected leaders and innovative thinkers. Last year we worked on the Studentsí Education Proclamation.

We started with a Kick-Off Dinner with the theme: Careers of the Future. Steve Heard shared a great video trailer of The Futures Channel that helped us brainstorm what the future of education will look like. We were given homework to come up with either acronyms like LOL, proverbs, or a prequel to a movie.

Everyone came up with some cool and even funny responses. Here's a few acronyms: eom (end of message), lq (laughing quietly), kutgw (keep up the good work). Elluminate set up web conferencing ability and Tandberg coordinated video conferencing with CILC in Indiana and Texas.

Innovations US Education needs right now

Listening to Josh and Chuck from "Stuff you should know" Podcast where they are sharing some great sites. Iím trying to capture all that they are sharing: iLabs, MIT Courseware, Science Mystery which are all deep personalization - online education specifically tailored to each student - brain-based learning.

Preference prediction - keeping tabs on individual customers to customize push technology
7 billion people make prediction software - could this be used for education similar to how Amazon finds similar books based on searchs?

America's Place in the 21st Century: Creativity
Reed Agnew from ThoughtForm, Inc. shared how creativity is hard work. Place is important. Form gives thought power by making it visible and engaging. Buildings can make a difference. An example is ThoughtForm's building in Pittsburgh, PA where creativity is encouraged with whiteboards everywhere. Doodling is encouraged. Thoughtframes are a way to diagram information.

John Eger, Professor of Communications and Public Policy at SDSU asked the question what makes someone creative?  We need to bring creativity and passion into learning environments. Eger talked about following your passion and mentioned geniuses who were creative: Einstein played the violin, Morse painted portraits. He shared that music enhances science comprehension. Here's a few of the books shared that leaders may want to read.
Student Panel: Stuff We Should Know
How can you talk about innovation and creativity without asking students? Four exceptional seniors from Elk Grove and LAUSD on their future, if they have been prepared, and any recommendations they would like to offer teachers. One student eloquently mentioned that teachers need to get to know their students to build trust. She is in a court school with a 12:1 ratio so she is getting real support and direction from her teacher.

An Education Stimulus Round-Up
Jerel Booker, Associate Commissioner for Educator Quality and Standards, Texas
Keeping with the Texas Technology Plan, incorporating Tecnologyh in EdTech Programs, Texas Steps Up and Virtual School Network. Concern about signing on to common core standards.

Dr. Catherine Cross-Maple, Deputy Cabinet Secretary, Learning and Accountability, New Mexico
Electronic Student Management system where students are responsible for their education from 7/8 through higher education. Showing proficiency is the challenge.

Tori Hatada, Director of Federal Policy, Office of the Secretary of Education, California
Discussions on making state eligible. It is all about academic achievement and real reform. Go to to provide comments for the plan.

Connecting Technology, Workforce Development and School Transformation
Katherine Tsamasiros, Director, Solutions Design and Engineering Group, New York City Department of Education
Classrooms are old school. eRate $ can wire more than classrooms. Look at wiring collaborative spaces with access points in the hallways with bean bag chairs so students can collaborate anywhere, anytime. Architect infrastructure that meets the needs of the people you are supposed to serve. Disruptive Innovative Programs where students collaborate with subject matter experts in authentic learning experiences. Visited High Tech High where students demonstrated problem-based activities.

Joe Oliver, Director of Instructional Technology, LAUSD
Channel restrictions to positive uses. Infrastructure includes community. CTE path/ROP/Adult Program - embracing new sets of careers.

Kelly Calhoun, EdD, Chief Technology Officer, Santa Clara COE, CA
Shared how NASA Ames Research has student programs where students solve real world problems.

Ruthie Farmer, Director of Strategic Initiatives, The National Center for Women and IT.
Shared how important it is to inspire more women to choose IT careers. Did you know that only 53% of the computer science bachelor's degree graduates come from U.S. universities and only 18% of those degrees were awarded to women.  By 2016 there will more than 1.5 million computer specialist jobs available. However, in the US in 2008 only 24% of professional related occupations are held by women down from 36% in 1991.

Interesting comments we heard

Empower kids to learn on their own or from each other.
More with less. Now everything with nothing.
What have you read recently?
Freedom to go where their interests take them.
Rejected to expected.
Cell phone netiquette.
Self Directed Learners instead of Bell Directed Learners.

Thanks to Marina Leight, VP, Center for Digital Education and staff and all the sponsors for a very interesting and informative day.

Categories: "Delc" "Conversations" "Thinktank" "Education" "Leaders" "Leadership"

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