I have been wanting to post this blog for a few days and tonight after a long chat with some DEN Mead teachers at dinner, I knew it was time.
At MacWorld last week, I had the honor of meeting Dave Warlick. Now, I had heard several great things about Dave and when we had dinner together and he hung out with our team at the DEN and CUE party, I was pleased to find that he was humble, down to earth and extremely approachable. We had great discussions about many things from our favorite GPS machines for our cars to a Google Earth project that some of our DEN members will be working on. Then Friday moring, Dave set my mind a spinning. Now, I don’t have my notes with me, but here’s what I remember the most.
He gave a wonderful keynote and explained how our students are like a an octopus when they arrive in school, with several tentacles reaching out grabbing resources from a variety of places… iPods, Internet, iTunes, Podcasts, Video Games, on line chats, etc. Then, they come to school and what do we do?!? Cut those tentacles off! It seems that often times the only thing we really allow them to reach out and grab hold of is the text and workbook, and often times they don’t want to touch that at all. How true… seems like we have increasing technology in our world and in many ways we try to restrict kids from it in the classroom. (We had a great discussion tonight at dinner as to whether it’s the districts, lack of budget or fear of teachers that causes this.) Dave urged us not to be the “gate keepers” any more as kids are no longer restricted by knowledge boundaries. The gates are not there, but many of us are still standing their trying to control the flow. Now is the time to let that gate fly open, and not try to teach our students the information, but rather teach them how to discern the information to find out which has the most “authority.”
One of the greatest things I left with was a quote from a study that I do not know the name of… my apologies, I never was very good at citations… but it goes something like this. “Children today think that everything in their world is clickable… even their parents!” So, are you clickable? Are you making easy for kids to “remix” their content, not just consume it. With the digital generation that is entering our classes, what are we doing to help prepare them to be successful citizens in our non-linear world?
I encourage your all to check out Dave Warlick’s website, blog, and podcasts http://davidwarlick.com/2cents/ His blog is titled 2 cents… but I am pretty confident it’s a lot more valuable than that! He also has a Land Mark Project website http://landmark-project.com/index.php designed to help "redefine literacy for the 21st century. This site has more that 6,000,000 visits a month and you can add a few more to that count as I will now be a frequent visitor. CA DEN members are in luck… He’ll be at the CUE conference. Make sure to get to his session early and save me a seat if you make it there first 🙂