School 2.0: Adaptable vs Knowledgable

I just left this comment on a message board with some pre-service teachers: What is more important to be adaptable or knowledgeable? (think dinosaurs) The word adaptable and adaptability have been floating around in my head for some time now and how they define what we are trying to do in the 21st century and why it is so hard for us to put our finger on what School 2.0 means. I then read this from David Warlick But it’s why I want to think about the term School 2.0 in a different way.  Rather than referring to 2.0 as a version number, we might refer to it as a value of velocity.  School 0 and school 1.0 are schools that are not changing, that are not adapting.  School -1 and School -2 are schools that are going backwards, which, in my opinion, describes U.S. education over the past six years.  School 2.0 is a school that is dynamic, rich with content, equipped with  information tools, and deep with knowledge-building conversations.  School 2.0 adapts! I agree, and it’s becoming more clear to me why School 2.0 is so hard to define. School 2.0 is about adapting to the changing times, about adapting to the skills/knowledge/resources that our students need to be successful once they leave us. The problem is schools want concreteness. We like our mission statements our vision statements we like knowing that there is something we are meant to accomplish. What if School 2.0 was defined by it’s adaptability? School 1.0 was about knowledge and being knowledgeable in your field. You only needed to be adaptable when a company downsized or you were laid off. But in today’s flat world you need to continue to adapt, continue to learn, because if you don’t someone else, be it your neighbor or a person in Asia will. School 2.0 understands that this is just the beginning and there is no end, that everything new leads to something else new. If you think we’ve reaching the end, then I encourage you to watch this video. This brings me back to a post I did just over a year ago when I talked about schools being in a state of perpetual beta Perpetual Schools: A theme for many educators is the idea that schools are ever evolving to meet the real-time demands of students. Rather than release scheduled theory updates. Educators...

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It's just hardware!

Yesterday I, along with about 10 other educators from my school, went to the first Apple seminar for international schools held here in Shanghai. Apple has sent a team here to “break into the international school market in Asia.” They are based in Beijing but travel around Asia promoting their products and what they can offer to schools who are looking to either go to a full 1:1 program or just looking to get more technology in their schools. I get teased a lot from fellow teachers who are Mac lovers for being the “Dell guy” because I do own a Dell computer. But I can run both platforms (although I’m a little rusty on OS X) and at the end of the day it’s just hardware! What follows are brief notes that I took from the presentation: Title:Digital Tools for Digital Kids: An Apple seminar for international schools Apple’s Education VisionA world where all students discover their own special genius Basic SkillsTechnology Fluency21st Century LiteracySense of Self Talked about wikipedia being a powerful tool even though we can’t access it here in China but not about the connectiveness of information. The challenge is: Change managementChange pedagogy Standards for Authentic Instruction Higher order thinkingDepth of knowledgeConnectedness to the world beyond the classroomSubstantive conversationSocial support for student achievement  Case Study taken from Mabry Middle School An iChat with Dr. Tyson from Mabry Middle School. (Thank you Dr. Tyson for staying up until 1am to chat with us here!) What needs to be explained is how Dr. Tyson has set up his school. The difference between Mabry and the regular Middle School format as in technology support, administration expectations for staff, and administration support to try new things. Dr. Tyson said when he was hired he was seen as the “Geek Principal”. Question was asked after middle school what is the high school like where these students go? Is it just as computer friendly? The short answer…..no. Showed movie on Stem Cell research from the Mabry Film Festival. Students as creators of information. Not a lot of notes for a 3 hour presentation. I made it about an hour and a half before I shut the lid on my laptop (yes a Dell) and started drifting into Jeff’s World. I do not blame Apple’s Educational Speaker/Rep and actually he did a pretty good job of showing what iLife can do. We...

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Distance Learning…get creative

I wrote a blog entry over at techlearning yesterday called New ways to communicate talking about some of the new ways technology can impact learning in school. Wednesday I had a chance to try some distance learning out on my own. I work on two difference campuses that are, by taxi, about 2 hours apart. I’ve picked up a class this semester on the Pudong Campus, therefore limited my time on the Puxi campus helping teachers there. Here’s a picture I took of teaching the class. We have a state of the art video conferencing system that connects the two campuses. It’s mostly used for teacher meetings, and to my knowledge this is the first time it’s actually been used to teach a class. On the left is the AP Abnormal Psychology class in Puxi and on the left is my computer screen. We took about an hour to set up new blogs for them and walked them through the back side of WordPress. It’s been awhile since I’ve worked directly with high school students and I found it very refreshing. The best part is, as I was walking them through how to register for a new blog step by step like I do with the 5th grade, two of the students said “done!” I hadn’t even gotten to the part where they were to put in their e-mail address. So I changed my plans and told them to explore and if they had any questions to ask. So they went off customizing there themes. Two of them even put clustrmaps on their blogs before class was over. While the students were self discovering their new blogs. I was walking the teacher through step by step how to set up her blog. The students were helping her when she didn’t understand something. When all the technology works….teaching this way is fun!...

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The US is more powerful than the YOU

There’s been some talk around groups in the blogosphere. Some really good discussion happening over on Bud the Teacher’s blog. David Jakes had a great post as well. What’s got me thinking about groups is it’s the US that makes this place powerful not the YOU. Does Time Magazine have it wrong? The YOU, to me, is the people that use these great tools. If you use wikipedia, read blogs, watch YouTube videos. That’s the you, the you that uses the knowledge and entertainment. The US are the creators. Those who edit wikipedia, write the blogs, and create the videos. All of this is done in a collaborative, connected group and sub-group world. I belong to many different groups in this connected world and there are sub groups within those groups. My groups look something like this. Educator International Educator Technology Specialist Blogger Educational Blogger edtech blogger techlearning blog nextgenteachers blog utechtips.com blog Baseball Fan Seattle Mariners Basketball Fan Gonzaga Bulldogs I can keep going but hopefully you get the point. Just because I belong to one group does that mean I can not belong or take part in the larger group? Let’s take nextgenteachers.com as an example. Yes, it is a group of bloggers/teachers coming together to talk and discuss technology in education. We are a group, but we still all have our own voices in the large group of the edblogosphere. At the same time I can still be part of the techlearning blog. A group with a different mission, different audience. Does that make one group better than another? I’d argue no, just different. Just because I belong to a group of baseball fans that follows the Seattle Mariners, does that mean I can’t appreciate baseball as a sport? Follow baseball as a sport, as a season? We join or form groups because we like communicating with people or find people that have things in common with us. I created the blog utechtips.com and made it a group blog by inviting people to post and be contributors to the growing knowledge there. The site is now a group of 5, all of us from my school here. We are a group who all have something in common. We love tech and we all work at Shanghai American School. That’s not to say the group won’t change. The love tech part I’m sure will always be there,...

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