Did you know? We need your help.

Will Richardson says he’s
stuck
. I say we need
a plan
. Karl Fisch says we
have a pretty good anticipatory set
. Will says what next?

We need action on multiple fronts: schools, universities, policymakers,
business people, local communities. But we can’t start moving without having some
important conversations. So with that in mind…

Karl and I are working with XPLANE to
update the Did You
Know?
video because it seems to resonate with folks. We’re going to update
some of the facts, reframe some of the slides, turn down some of the global
alarmism, and turn up the visual attractiveness several notches. Our goal is to
make a version 2 that resonates with folks even more than the first one. But
we need your help.

Imagine that you’ve just showed Did You
Know?
to an audience of educators (or business people or
politicians or community members). What questions do you ask to
start the conversation about what’s next? In other words, we don’t want people
to just watch the video, say Wow!, and then continue to do nothing.
What questions should we be asking at the end to facilitate people
talking about and moving toward the creation of 21st century school
environments?

Here are some possibilities:

  • What should we expect high school graduates to be able to do in this new
    era?
  • What should we be doing to help K-12 educators make the transition to this
    new world?
  • How can we tap into students’ existing knowledge and skills in this
    area?
  • What kinds of supports are schools going to need to become 21st century
    learning organizations and how are we going to provide them?

I’ll stop here because I don’t want to shape your thinking any further, but
you get the idea. Please submit your ideas for good
end-of-video questions, as well as any other suggestions you have about this
project, as comments on this blog post or on Karl’s post. Thanks for
making a contribution to this important endeavor!

14 Responses to “Did you know? We need your help.”

  1. I want to put more thought into this, but I wanted to get this down before I over think it.

    I showed Did You Know at a presentation with parents and teachers on using Web 2.0 applications to foster collaboration between teacher and student, student and parent, and parent and teacher. It was used as a starting point, a “Wow, we live in amazing times” sort-of thing. There wasn’t a direct follow up though.

    I’m preparing to do a training for teachers new to online learning and once again plan to use the video to kick things off. Again, I didn’t have a direct connection for what’s next, but here’s the text of the slide for the presentation after Did You Know:

    The Times are (have) Changing(ed) are (have) You?

    School 1.0 (http://davidwarlick.com/images/school1_lrg.jpg
    School 2.0 (http://davidwarlick.com/images/school2_lrg.jpg)
    Rigid vs. Flexible
    From Command and Control to Collaborate and Connect

    I hope this is part of what’s next and is of some use to this project.

  2. Some quick thoughts–

    I think the high school graduate of today must be able to think creatively, be nimble when it comes to work (that is, able to handle career shifts easily) and be able to make himself an expert quickly.

    Schools need to be thinking beyond small facts for some test. I don’t think it is possible to know everything right now and knowledge is growing. What do we do when we don’t know? I think we can support kids with more time spent doing research based projects. Help them discover ways to become the expert.

  3. Mishra & Koehler’s TPCK framework could be a useful way to guide the end-of-video conversation. Wes Fryer pointed this out after attending their SITE keynote (thanks, Wes). The framework proposes that there are valuable synergies in the overlaps between and among three big-picture areas of teacher knowledge: content, pedagogy, and technology. Rather than see them as discrete pieces, Mishra and Koehler suggest that we should be paying attention to them in combination. From their wiki at http://tpck.pbwiki.com/:

    “True technology integration is understanding and negotiating the relationships between these three components of knowledge. A teacher capable of negotiating these relationships represents a form of expertise different from, and greater than, the knowledge of a disciplinary expert (say a mathematician or a historian), a technology expert (a computer scientist) and a pedagogical expert (an experienced educator). Effective technology integration for pedagogy around specific subject matter requires developing sensitivity to the dynamic, transactional relationship between all three components.”

    What I like about TPCK is that it moves from a competency-checklist mindset to recognizing the nuanced creativity—they say “jazz”—inherent in good teaching and tech integration. If the goal is to foster teacher discussion about 21st century learning environments, this framework may help ground it in terms of what good teachers already do and know.

    Looking forward to version 2.

  4. Quick note before I head out for spring break with the Pie Dudes in response to the slideshow and your question regarding questions:

    The most important element I feel that needs to occur in preparing our children for tomorrow is to empower them to be critical thinkers. (Along the lines of what Roger’s response was.) While there may be a plethora of information online, who is to say that information is reliable, factual and trustworthy? As this increases over time (a short time at that), the information could potentially become far less with respect to any of those factors. This in turn goes back to what brought me here initially, the arguments about rote memorization of seemingly useless facts in grade school. Are they truly useless or is it a possibility these are foundations upon which to aide the child to develop his and her own abilities to think critically and objectively? Granted, these are fast becoming outdated ‘examples’ that need to be updated, but let’s not be too hasty and throw the baby out with the bathwater either.

    I think if you delve into the comments at YouTube you might be able to assemble a nice selection of follow-up questions. What I’m grasping at here was what the very first YouTube poster said. The poster is 16 and a bit freaked out there’ll be a supercomputer that can think better than humans when s/he becomes an adult. I doubt you are aiming to scare the children of our future, so I’d urge the conversations to center around what Roger suggested — what do we do when we don’t know the answers to questions? Get together a game plan of sorts that helps the children feel more comfortable and adults more capable. Man, I hope that makes sense!

    Yeah, more on this when I get back. Have a spanking-great week!

    Kath

  5. Excuse me while I put up a straw man to knock down:

    Here is a quote from the USA Today website from a teacher of 40 years:

    “Regarding your findings that students spend the majority of their time listening and working alone…we did, and we turned out fine. Please remember that we take our tests alone; and, that especially in urban areas, working with an equally, educationally deprived classmate will not enrich the student.”

    This is the problem with old school mentality, and the current emphasis on testing in public education. People mistake what students are being prepared for as being “testing.” For those of us adults who have worked in offices (or even out of them), we know that we don’t sit in a cubicle fill out a bubble sheet all day to get paid. We create reports/products, we work with others (in person, by email, on the phone). We meet and “brainstorm”. Hmm, this sounds like group projects in a classroom, doesn’t it? In fact, as your email from a women working on a team with members she may never meet can attest, more and more projects in the workplace are being done with such groups. Here’s my money quote:

    Should we preparing kids to take a test in a cubicle or work together effectively on a team to produce something real and concrete? Should we prepare them to work professionally and effectively on the Internet, or leave it to MySpace to teach them netiquette?

    Use any part of this you feel is appropriate, and “mash” it up as you wish.

  6. Very quickly:

    Most of the teachers I show this too (and usually show this after having my teachers read “The New Face of Learning”) often ask the question: “will we be necessary in the future?” or “what will teaching look like in a few years?”

    As unsettling as “Did You Know?” is, I think the second version should point us in a more definite pedagogical directions and show us where we might be headed as teachers.

  7. One question, posed in Karl’s format:

    “Ask your congressional representatives and senators AND ask your state educational department leaders –
    ‘Now that YOU know, what revisions should be made to NCLB during reauthorization and/or made to state accountability systems designed under NCLB to better position the regulatory leverage on local educational practices?'”

    Thanks to you all for pulling this together. Many of us are part of that ripple/tidal wave of dissemination that Karl has summarized in The Fischbowl.

  8. I’d like to see a way to help teachers feel comfortable in answering a question with “I don’t know … but I’ll try to find out.”

    Some of my most valuable classes were those where I brought back answers to questions, collected during the past few months, when I attended a conference of local physics teachers.

  9. Some questions for consideration in your effort:

    How can we re-imagine schools to include sustainable living practices?

    What role will nation-states play in our future? How can we give our students greater access to global thinking, and to learners across the globe?

    How do we ensure that our stated values retain their integrity (so that ‘creativity’ does not equate to more poster projects and book report dioramas)?

    How big should a school be, anyway?

    What is literacy? Are there multiple pathways to literacy?

    How do we engage the disenfranchised public? Does connectivism extend to all?

    What is the (are the multiple) potential intersection(s) of biology and technology? What forms might technology take in years to come? At what level are we comfortable with the many possibilities?

    How does our current bureaucratic structure enable/disengage learners from the kinds of changes we are envisioning?

    Perhaps more questions later. Wonderful idea. Thanks for having it. jp

  10. Our program, Michigan Leadership Improvement Framework Endorsement (MI-LIFE) (http://www.mi-life.org) uses an edited and revised version of Karl’s “Did You Know” as as an anticipatory set to dramatically impress upon school administrators the urgency of, minimally, becoming familiar with the Web 2.0 technologies, but more important, to begin to understand that changes in pedagogy must happen if we are to stanch the drop-out flow and, as Marc Prensky says, “Engage students instead of enraging them.” A walk-through of these new technologies along with classroom applications follows, and “Did You Know” really connects the dots for adminstrators.

    Coincidentally, I just came across a “visually enhanced” version of “Did You Know,” rebranded as “Shift Happens,” available on Slideshare at http://www.slideshare.net/jbrenman/shift-happens-33834/

  11. I read one post on this thread, and am wondering how stupid the public is regarding education. What do you espect from a dumbed down curriculum??

  12. I wouldn’t say stupid Cindy, but rather, ignorant, and the sad thing is they think they know about it because almost all of them spent some time in school. Their memories, their not always accurate memory of their memories, and images they have constructed based on what they’ve seen or heard in the media have a huge influence. OTOH, when I’ve done work on local bond/tax measures to raise money (at that time requiring 2/3rds majorities–very difficult) people believed teachers (they polled very high “on people you would believe if they said we need this money”.) This happened in a school district (Oakland, CA) that was extremely dysfunctional, but the public still trusted the teachers (they hated the schools, the school district, etc). So, I think if teachers/educators say this is what we need, and make a good, easy to comprehend argument, we can move this issue.

  13. Hi Scott,

    Thanks for posting recently the links to alternate versions including spoofs. I didn’t like ‘Did You Know?’ for a few reasons, and am glad that you plan to reduce the global-alarmism aspect (I live in Scotland… and Im quite sure that if all the jobs in Scotland were moved to the US, you’d still have a labour surplus… so what? Is it likely to happen? Should I be worried? Should I let that factoid influence how I teach?)

    While I still hope one day to find time to prepare my own response, I’ll give you one correction for your slides:
    The world superpower in 1900 was NOT England. You could have said it was The British Empire, Great Britain or even the United Kingdom. These answers could all be correct. England did not have an independent parliament at that time (and still does not). Its like listing District of Columbia as the current #1 world superpower.
    Two million views, and how many spotted that?
    🙂

  14. Hi Scott,
    I really enjoyed ‘Did You Know?’ and had no trouble with the global-alarmism. I’m concerned that you feel the need to downplay the global-alarmism and to make the presentation attractive. As an educator and administrator, I feel that far too often we sacrifice reality for a dose of whatever feels good, whatever makes everyone happy, or whatever looks visually appealing. Your initial project was on target. Why water it down…and for whom…and to what end? Hopefully you’re not ashamed of the good work you did, or that you’re feeling politically compelled to “make others happy” as we educators so often do.

    “Karl and I are working with XPLANE to update the Did You Know? video because it seems to resonate with folks. We’re going to update some of the facts, reframe some of the slides, turn down some of the global alarmism, and turn up the visual attractiveness several notches.”

    What will be served by turning down some of the global alarmism? What will be served by making it visually appealing?

    Look at the excerpt below from a recent CNN article: (http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/04/03/dobbs.april4/index.html)

    “I’m not alone in the view that free-trade-at-all-costs has harmed American workers. Princeton University economist and former Federal Reserve Board vice chairman Alan S. Blinder has joined Nobel laureates Paul Samuelson and Joseph Stiglitz and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers as skeptics of the benefits the faith-based economists in this administration love to tout.

    Blinder is now stating loudly that a new industrial revolution will put as many as 40 million American jobs at risk of being shipped out of the country in the next decade or two. Blinder has said, “Economists who insist that ‘offshore outsourcing’ is just a routine extension of international trade are overlooking how major a transformation it will likely bring — and how significant the consequences could be. The governments and societies of the developed world must start preparing, and fast.”

    Scott, while this information itself may turn out to be totally inaccurate (who knows?), I don’t think educators need to be sugar coating the impact of globalism. Not trying to sound rude here, but simply saying that we need to face the music rather than burying our heads in the sand. The potential of loosing 40 million jobs in a decade or two is nothing that needs to be “turned down” or made “visually appealing.”

    Outsourcing is already happening rather quickly. It’s even happening within the field of education as students can now be tutored from abroad. This is nothing new:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-05-22-india-tutor_x.htm?POE=click-refer

    I could continue giving example after example, but will stop here. Believe in what you say, “We need action on multiple fronts: schools, universities, policymakers, business people, local communities. But we can’t start moving without having some important conversations. So with that in mind…”

    So with that in mind, important conversations can NOT happen unless educators begin dealing with reality – not appealing words and pretty pictures.

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