Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day at NJECC

There was some wearing of the green today in honor of the holiday, but mostly NJECC's annual conference was a celebration of "Tools and Techniques for Change." Who better as a keynote speaker than Ian Jukes, self proclaimed educational evangelist! Not only did Mr. Jukes give a rousing keynote address but he also presided over a large audience for several hours in the afternoon. His focus was on changing education from a system based on TTWWADI (that's the way we always did it) to one that prepares students for their future rather than our past. Today's students are digital natives. Their brains work differently than those of past generations, mostly by virtue of the barrage of visual media youth are exposed to and choose to use. Digital natives think differently; they think graphically. Did you know that the United States has the shortest school day as well as the shortest school year of any nation with a compulsory education system? As Mr. Jukes pointed out: We're still giving children several months off so they can help with the agricultural harvest of a century ago! In the afternoon session Mr. Jukes was very animated, though admittedly quite exhausted, as he gave example after example of ways in which our current educational programs need overhaul. He continually repeated (and had us repeat) eight key points:
1. Catch up and embrace the digital
2. Teach the whole new mind
3. Literacy isn’t enough; Focus on fluency
4. We need to shift our instructional approach
5, Let students access information creatively via means found in their native environment
6. Let students collaborate
7. Students should be able to create products that reflect content and process
8. Re-evaluate evaluation

Check out Dale's Cone of Learning for a real eye opener!

Another provocative session was titled "Yes You Can! Conquering Copyright Confusion." Kristin Hokanson (Media Education Lab, Temple University) shared lots of information about Fair Use and the best practices for preparing students for media use, both inside and outside the classroom. The purpose of copyright is "to promote creativity, innovation, and the spread of knowledge." Many of us have based our understanding of copyright and fair use on negotiated agreements between media companies and educational groups. The agreements give the appearance of being the law, but they are not. Check out the Media Education Lab's website!

For all the people who attended Lori's and my session on Web 2.0 Tools you can use in your classroom, you can access our presentation below. We'd really appreciate it if you'd also take a few minutes to fill out a survey about Web 2.0 Tools. Thanks so much!

No comments:

Post a Comment