#EduroChallenge Day 2: Getting Excited

#EduroChallenge Day 2: Getting Excited

The Day 2 #EduroChallenge as we start school is all about getting excited about learning. There are moments when I’m not excited about learning until I’m in the learning process…and then once that happens I’m all in. Take learning how to ski for example. I didn’t want to learn to ski. I mean I wanted to ski but I didn’t want to have to go through the learning process. But once I was on the hill and learning I was all in. Sometimes the “Getting Excited” part doesn’t come at the beginning of the journey. Some times you have to be in the journey in order to be excited. The video above is just a little something I made a couple years ago skiing while I was learning how to use my Go Pro camera. Now that was exciting…..for me…not so much for my wife. 🙂 When we say “excited about learning” when is that moment for you when something challenging becomes something...

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The 4 Cs of Learning

The 4 Cs of Learning

You know the four Cs right? I mean everyone is talking about them. The four Cs that are going to change education in the 21st century? They are amazing! Do a Google Image Search for 21st Century Skills and you get a beautiful display of the four Cs. Great colors, wonderful wording and multiple ways to explain: Communication Collaboration Creativity Critical Thinking I look at this list from the lens of a 4th grade teacher, a tech coach, a consultant or a substitute teacher and I can’t help but think…really? This is new? There is nothing new in this list that educators haven’t been teaching and focused on for years. Don’t get me started on these being “21st century skills,” a phrase I gave up over 7 years ago. So why do these things keep coming up? As I work with schools and educators, we do focus on these four Cs. They aren’t new…but in a way they actually are new. How we view them is new, what they mean is new. In 2016 these four Cs have a different meaning. Communication: Teaching to communicate the way the world communicates Not sure if you have noticed, but we no longer write letters to each other. We write Facebook updates, Facebook messages. We write emails…lots of them actually. We write LinkedIn updates, Tweets, Snaps, and Grams. I’m not saying it’s right…I’m saying this is how the world, both socially and in the business world, communicate. So where are we teaching this in schools? Where are we teaching: How to create and send an email to a variety of audiences? How do you make contact with someone on Twitter and LinkedIn? How do you use Instagram to get your message across via images? Yes…communication isn’t new to education but how we communicate has changed. Are we teaching these new forms of communication? Where do they belong in our curriculum? At what level should we start and how do we assess these new forms of communication? Those are the questions we should be trying to answer in 2016. Collaboration: Across space and time Collaboration isn’t new. I remember doing group projects in elementary school in the 80’s. We collaborated on projects, on worksheets, on reading and science projects. Collaboration….getting along, working with others…has always been a part of education. So why is this a “21st century skill”? In 2016 collaboration means across space...

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Google and the Future of Learning

Google and the Future of Learning

What has becoming somewhat of a tradition….ok…it’s really just my geek side coming out (yes this would imply I have another side….not sure what that is though), I sat down on Thursday last week to watch the Google I/O conference. For years now I have watched the Google I/O conference as well as the Apple’s WWDC (coming June 8th) for no other reason (or so I tell myself) than to fill in teachers at my school what was announced and how it might impact them. When living and working in China and Thailand this meant staying up until 2am or so to watch it live and write an email that would be in every teachers inbox by the next morning. Now living in Seattle it means a cup of coffee, four devices and watching it on my TV. It also means I no longer work in a school or have teachers to send this to…so you get my thoughts this year. Basically a brain dump of things I’m thinking after watching Google layout the next year and beyond of the future of technology. Education was at the front of this year’s talk. I say that every year of course because I hear and see things through an educational lens. For example, Google’s new Photos app (Android, iOS) had nothing to do with education…or they just made it even easier for students to take pictures, create movies, stories and share those photos with their classmates and teacher. A common photo app on both Android and iOS devices with unlimited upload and storage space for all the photos and video you want to take. Yes…this can and will impact some classrooms. “Please take out your phones and record via videos and photos your experiment today please. One person in your group needs to be the recorder for the experiment and I expect to see written notes along with video and image evidence of what happened.” Google Expeditions One of the biggest educational announcements was the release of Google Expedition. A virtual reality toolkit for educators being released, I’m going to guess, in time for next school year. Using Google Cardboard and any Smartphone (again both Android and iOS) you turn every classroom into a 3D immersive experience. This is very early stages but if you think 2 or 3 years down the road what this means for classrooms it could be...

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Connected Devices Supersede Textbooks

Connected Devices Supersede Textbooks

So Wednesday’s blog post about iPads has created a bit of a conversation. Not only on the blog but on Twitter as well. I have even had schools asking me to review what they are doing and give my opinion. Now…let’s be clear, any program that puts devices in every hand of every student is a great program. My hope is we can get to a place by 2015 (or sooner) where this stops being a conversation because it just is. It’s just about past time for a device to replace paper and pencil at a substitution level and then build from there. At the same time what a connected device does (any device connected to the Internet), is change the learning landscape. If you implement a 1:1 program and the classroom doesn’t change, then the device sits at a substitution level and never reaches its full potential as a learning device. When you introduce a connected device in the classroom, learning changes…it has to…..otherwise why have it? Lynn University tweeted me earilier this week: @victormylonas @jutecht That’s an old article—we bought all freshman iPads ourselves. More recent: http://t.co/CVfAtHRlaa Your thoughts? — Lynn University (@LynnUniversity) September 5, 2013   So I went and read through the article they sent me. There are some good quotes in the article: “The price point will probably force schools to provide the devices to students, as the cost of hard copy textbooks go up and the cost of technology goes down,” said Chris Boniforti, chief information officer for Lynn “You’re better off giving every student tablets than buying all these books that will be obsolete in two or three years.” National studies have shown that the cost of textbooks has risen more than three times the rate of inflation during the past 35 years. A 2011 study from the U.S. PIRG, a consumer advocacy group, found that 70 percent of students at 13 colleges surveyed admitted to not buying at least one of their required textbooks. You can read it for yourself and what I think the article is hinting at is that the iPad isn’t replacing textbooks, it allows students a whole new way to access information. It also provides, what I hope, is professors a way to use the Internet and the wealth of fresh and up to date information to create their own “textbook” for their classes. Connected devices don’t replace textbooks…they...

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Making a Choice in an Endless Choice World

Over the last year we’ve been fixing up the condo we purchased in Seattle. As we’ve been doing the remodel we find ourselves doing research on such things as kitchen faucets. Who knew there were 1000s of different faucets and not only are there 1000s of different faucets, we have access to all of them. So on a Saturday morning my wife and I sit on the couch and start at opposite ends of the Internet and narrowing down the options. In a world of endless resources how do you find the perfect resource? How do you find the perfect faucet? You rely on others to help you out. I’m not sure how many faucet reviews I read, how many rating systems I learned on different websites, but I do know without all those reviews, without people taking the time to write about their purchases our job of picking the perfect faucet would have easily doubled. Are we teaching students to make choices in a world where choices are endless? There’s a skill to all of this, and part of it is making a decision based on the best data you can find and have at your disposal. Are we teaching students to find and evaluate data? Are we teaching them to read reviews ranging from 5 stars to 1 stars and make a judgement call a product, or a piece of information? I’ve watched people struggle with this world of endless choice and in the end I’ve watched people get so overwhelmed by all the information that they just pick one and hope for the best. We need to be teaching our students how to evaluate not only information, but information about products and services as well and how to use that information to make an informed...

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