More Ruminations From NECC

Thanks, once again, to Kristin Hokanson, chair of our PA Leadership Council, for sharing her impressions from the NECC sessions she attends.   You can also read all her blog postings on her "The Connected Classroom" blog.

For more front-line NECC coverage, surf over to Ken Pruitt’s Conference blog.  Like Kristin, Ken is blogging about the sessions he attends and is posting accompanying resources.  Ken is also posting vodcasts of some of the sessions. 

Be sure to also check out the PANECC2007 wiki for up-to-the-minute coverage of fellow PA attendees. 

Monday, June 25, 2007


Looking for Global Partners

of the CFF teachers with whom I worked this past year and I spoke at
the end of the year about his desire to create a "global issues" course
in our HS next year. The vision is to choose some GLOBAL THEMES and
have kids from around the world to have peer-peer "conversations" about
them…So one of my themes for this year’s NECC was to investigate
global opportunities. I signed up for a session today and when I walked
in and saw a room full of iMacs, I KNEW I would not be disappointed 🙂
This session was done by some apple distinguished educators. Click HERE for the wikispace they have created.

Global Collaborative Resources










MA314 Classroom Innovations Series: Teaching and Learning in a Global Context  [Workshop : Hands-on]
Julene Reed, St. Georges Independent School with Lucy Gray
Monday, 6/25/2007, 8:30am–11:30am; OMNI International A

how to use technology and online resources to provide structured
experiences so students deepen their understanding of the world as they
explore environments outside the classroom.

They also had a handout with some great resources for finding global partners and projects.
































































Rock Our World
The GLOBE Project
My Wonderful World
Global SchoolNet Foundation
One World Youth Project
Jane Goodall Institute
Roots & Shoots
Global Voices
Global Learning
Kids World
Kids Around the World

know as we sit down to plan in September we will use some of these
resources. If you are interested in becoming a partner in our global
issues course, please let me know…
OH and if you have any ideas
about what ISSUES we should think about…should it be up to the
kids…are the issues we are concerned about in the US even ISSUES in
other areas of the world…the opportunities…

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Raising test scores with 21st Century Skills

Wow…the title of this session is every administrator’s DREAM.  How can we do BOTH.
Ian Jukes will
tell you exactly how and if you EVER get a chance to hear him speak, I
would highly recommend it. If you are in charge of curriculum in your
district you absolutely must take a look at the handouts page he has put together.
started his session by telling us that his job is not to educate,
irritate…give swift kick in your assumptions and looking at things
from a different point of view. He talked about how educators have an
unconscious mindset for what education should be…and quoted Lou Salza
who said it is "easier to change the course of history than to change a history course…"   TTWADI—that’s
the way we’ve always done it. Pervasive unconscious way we do things
and his societal examples were astounding. Having small children, I
really connected with the analogy he made of parents teaching child how
to walk independently…they continue to try and fail until they
finally get it right. Yet even when they are failing, we encourage them
until they do succeed. Why is it that we know intuitively that we need
to prepare kids for independence and yet we continue to create a
culture of dependence in our schools?

But he didn’t just talk
about the problems. He also gave some solutions. He said we need to
start to plan with the end in mind. According to Dale’s Cone of Learning
we remember only 10% of what we read 20% of what we hear 30 % of what
we see but 90 % of what we do. His idea was to use a 4 D approach:
Design, Define, Develop, Debrief.

Here are some of my notes on the approach:
Define: have you ever given a kid an assignment and gotten back
something TOTALLY different from what you expect: ready fire aim they
need to know exactly what they need to know before they go out to do
it. At the define stage, the kids need to identify what skills they
need to complete task
•    Need to define in performance terms

Must know before they begin how that performance is going to be
assessed. Determined in advance. Tell me what you think I just asked
you to do…define it in performance terms
2. Design: Have you ever
done a garden without thinking through it? Providing a step by step
plan in advance—prevents wasted effort and a logical strategy. In the
design stage things look good. Ask kids to come up with a plan in
advance: Might be working in community, parents, internet…doesn’t
matter WHO they learn from as long as they learn it—they have been
raised in a culture of dependency—unconsciously they feel that their
assessment should be from decontextualized source—if you are not going
ot lecture me, how am I going to get help—instead of TELLING them what
to do, I am creating a dialogue—
•    Determine what needs to be done
•    Determine the skills you need to do it

Develop: DO IT—put plan into action. Put paper into action. Kids asked
to create a real life product. This is NOT a linear process—when we
design a project there are always hiccups, always problems. It is
EXACTLY like the writing process—we ask them to apply what they learn
to perform THE END PRODUCT is important, but in order to improve the
product you have to reflect on the process

4. Debrief: Debug
CANEI constant and never ending improvement. Right now focus is on the
product of learning, not the process of learning. In real life the
responsibility of work happens long after the product…to prepare them
for their future (not our comfort zone) need to foster independence and
self reflection: What was learned, how was it learned, what were the
obstacles, what would I do differently. If focus is only on the end
Job is not look smart—shift responsibility of learning from me to them
When kids grad from HS, they shouldn’t need us anymore

HAVE to have the opportunity to FAIL in school there is no success
without failure. There is no BIG success without BIG failure….Edison
failed 1,000 times when making light bulbs rather than focusing on each
attempt, he now knew 1000 ways how NOT to make a light bulb.

thought the interaction….the how can we do this in OUR schools was
the best part of the session. So let’s hear it, how CAN we do this in
our schools.



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