I’ve already blogged about the Opening Session, and those that follow me on Twitter know how excited I was by the PowerPoint presenters. Despite that, I went into each session hoping for the best and expecting to learn from the presenters.
Enable Reading with 21st Century Skills
- The skills mentioned were nothing new: digital reading portfolios, graphic organizers, iPods, gaming and webchats.
- audio capture allows students to hear their progress (great for beginning readers and auditory learners)
- graphic organizers (my thoughts: what about using a wiki?) show connections between characters, plot, events and choices.
- the presenter is spending most of her budget on iPods because “it’s what the kids want most” – she wants students to read along with the audio, underlining the words they don’t understand so they can look them up later (yes, you read right: underlining in library books – and students aren’t expected to erase so that others can see that they’re not the only ones to not know the word)
- CranuiumCore was heavily promoted as a way to really grab reluctant readers (among other plusses, the set-up forces students to defend their answers/choices)
Best Practices for Encouraging Learning 24/7: Models that Work!
- This was one of those sessions that did not live up to their billing: rather than talking about extending formal learning beyond the school day, the presenters talked about more informal learning (like gaming) with no real connection to the curriculum.
- Best piece of advice? Don’t implement change during the school year, hold summer sessions instead.
Effective Leadership in an Era of Disruptive Innovation
- My vote for best presentation/session at NECC (my thoughts: if you’re not reading Dangerously Irrelevant, you’re missing out)
- Book to buy/read – Clayton Christensen’s Disrupting Class
- Organizations that don’t “get” change will disappear – you can’t retrofit the ‘new’ into the ‘old’
- Shift is difficult – you run into the realities of the present day
- What’s going on?
- personalized learning
- existing model is not a given
- shift will sneak up on school organizations
- Massive changes will be here by 2019 – we’ve got ten years to get it or get out
- 1/2 our classes will be on-line
- we need to understand the natural laws of change and start moving now
- the winners will be those that appeal to niche groups now and build beyond “too much”
- winners should start competing with existing organizations today
- Biggest problem? K-12 education is stuck in “good enough” and “business as usual”