Conferences, Pedagogy, School Libraries

NECC09 Roundup (part one)

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”

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