Cells and Bells

Below is my reflection on the K12 Online Conference 2008 Preconference Keynote. I’ve followed the format of our Willard K12 Online Conference Credit Form.

1. Your name: Janetta Garton

2. Name of session: It Simply Isn’t the 20th Century Any More Is It? So Why Would We Teach as Though It Was? By Stephen Heppell

3. Conference strand: Preconference Keynote

4. Essential questions posed by the presenter or presenter team:

  • If Germany, Korea, Japan, and India are not the leaders in car production, whilst the USA, China, India lead in cinema production, then which few counties will dominate learning in the 21st century, and why?
  • We put 25 children in a room because they are born between 2 Septembers. We ring a bell and expect 1,000 teenagers to be simultaneously hungry. We teach biology, then ring a bell and teach technology but have a global shortage of bio-technologists…What other aspects of our learning lives are simple for convenience, but have not relationship to stands in effective learning?
  • If a student was asked to define essential literacies for a teacher, what would he include?

5. Takeaways:

  • From the start, the power of technology was in its ability to connect people. People want to feel part of community; enjoy working at a distance but not synchronized; like having the ability to swap ideas, thoughts, and reflections. Sense of us-ness is what people love about the Internet, what is powerful. The Internet is about people sharing and communicating.
  • Today, humans doing mindless jobs replaced with robots doing mindless jobs. We need smart kids now. Content is not king. Having stuff is not what it is about. (Copyright doesn’t sit well in our new world.)
  • Technology has changed the world of learning, The monopoly is disappearing. There is a multiplicity of people providing learning and providing education. Home schooling is on the rise. Having a national curriculum dominate a country is no more. There will be so many options, schools will have to fight for the attention of students.
  • Our factory modeled assumptions about learning (cells/bells) are gone. Democracy of learning is appearing in great school designs where we develop a sense of us, a bond. Schools/learning is going global. Learning communities of today build on mutuality and are flexible.
  • What is happening in today’s economy could happen in education. Our new world is moving to perfect competition. “They” are disappearing. It is us, there is no they. Death of they and beginning of us. If we ignore this, education will face the same collapse as our economic system, a new model of learning is needed. The old model will disintegrate.

6. Questions you have after viewing the presentation: I don’t have any questions.

7. URLs of session and further resources: http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=268 http://phone.heppell.mobi

8. What did you gain from the session in terms of your personal professional development? This session made me think about how our concept of school is changing. It doesn’t have to be a building. It can be a virtual community. Knowing how and where to find the information is key. The practice of collaborating with others to create new understandings is more useful than working independently on the same problem in order to reach the same conclusion.

9. How will you apply the learning to your professional situation? This may include both “quick wins” and longer-term changes. I’m reassured that my efforts to make free, professional development resources available online for our teachers is important and a good use of my time.

I’ve submitted this reflection by leaving a comment on the session’s blog page that includes a link to this post. I’ve also completed a Salary Advancement Hours to earn 1.5 workshop points towards the District’s pay scale.


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