Conversations Show 15 - 2008 11 02

Post-Show description: 

What would you do with a magic wand to change education? That was the topic for our conversation this week. It was from a question posed to Lisa by David Warlick. Alec Couros and Paul Bogush joined us. Although we didn't stick to this topic per se, there was much conversation around change in education and school. The folks in the chat room kept thing going as well.

Chat Log

11:37:28 Lisa Parisi: Hello all...we really will start show now.
11:37:49 Cathy E: audio is great
11:40:02 MariaK: Hello everyone. We'd love to have some folks join in the skype call.
11:40:09 courosa: @jan ... you know this is where I want to stay.
11:40:13 MariaK: Glad you all could make it.
11:41:04 jan smith: There would be a big wall going up if you took your bags in the direction of any border--but really technology has changed all that!
11:42:07 MariaK:
11:42:11 jan smith: I'm from Vancouver Island BC, Canada
11:42:19 MariaK: lisa's blog discussion
11:43:48 MariaK: 21st century learning webcast
11:43:55 Cathy E: I would give teachers the mindset to step out and take risk and try new things
11:44:51 jan smith: And at the same time David and Lisa were talking, my instructor for my master's class asked the same question about what would
11:45:12 Lisa Parisi: Hello Colleen
11:45:17 colleenk: Good morning all!
11:45:23 MariaK: hi colleen
11:45:23 Lisa Parisi: So Jan...what was the answer?
11:45:25 jan smith: But it is still true that schools provide the care in the day
11:45:29 colleenk: Hi Maria!
11:45:47 paulbogush: We need them especially because we have moved to 2 income families
11:46:08 jan smith: @Lisa, my answer is around changing the view of what failure is
11:47:48 jan smith: Agreed Alec--we have to pay attention to all learning, to see where student's passions are
11:48:15 paulbogush: That is great that they are let in--our kids are locked on th ebus until the bell rings
11:48:19 Lisa Parisi: Hello Everyone
11:48:48 kristina: @paulbogush how horrible
11:48:58 Lisa Parisi: Anyone else want to join the skype call?
11:51:15 jan smith: I like what Clarence Fisher says about how teachers become networkers for our kids--connecting them with who they should be reading (ie through blogging) how to follow their interests
11:51:32 paulbogush: Southbury schools have now schedule, no classes, no formal teaching, show up when you want to, etc
11:51:35 Lisa Parisi: Jan, I find this difficult in the climate of fear.
11:51:40 Cathy E: @Maria your audio is a little low
11:51:47 paulbogush: opps....Sudbury
11:51:53 jan smith: We have talked before about NCLB--
11:52:01 Lisa Parisi: Paul, come talk about it.
11:52:05 Lisa Parisi: Skype in.
11:52:22 MariaK: thanks cathy - will get closer to the mic
11:52:24 Lisa Parisi: My wand is waving, Jan. NCLB
11:52:40 jan smith: Maybe that is a vote away?
11:52:43 paulbogush: I am one handed typing while cauking the tub--let me clean up
11:52:49 colleenk: @paulbogush That school is just down the road from me.
11:53:00 Lisa Parisi: Colleen have you been there?
11:53:01 jan smith: Paul--you multi tasker you!
11:53:30 jan smith: Hey Nedra! How are you?
11:53:34 colleenk: A long time ago (10 yrs). Honestly - I didn't get it then. I think it's changed a lot since.
11:53:54 datruss: Hey Jan, thanks for pointing me here on Twitter:-)
11:54:09 jan smith: Hi Dave!
11:54:11 Nedra: Hi Jan, I'm good. I'll be listening in while I try to get report cards finished. Ugh!
11:54:35 colleenk: Sudbury Valley is having an open house this Saturday. I should probably revisit.
11:54:38 paulbogush: @colleenk where state do you live in?
11:54:50 colleenk: @paulbogush MA
11:55:03 jan smith: "ideal" is different for every kid, every family, every teacher
11:55:54 paulbogush: Cleaned up and fully engaged now--I am supposed to be working so will have to get back to tub before wife gets home in 15 min!!
11:56:00 joelzehring: We need transformative teachers to lead from the classroom
11:56:21 jan smith: Alec, your're talking about leadership--we all leaders and none of us is helpless
11:56:33 datruss: We are helpless in ways such as copyright laws coming to Canada.... handcuffs for educators
11:57:22 jan smith: Dave , don't you think there is still sooo much freedom, so much autonomy within constraints?
11:57:59 paulbogush: sorry lisa--I am on a new computer and all my buttons are in different places!
11:58:21 Lisa Parisi: That's okay...adds some excitement
11:59:13 datruss: In some ways yes, Jan... but curric & provincial exams make things tough for some.. if not impossible
12:00:21 jan smith: Yes, I see that perspective. As a Gr. 6 teacher, and a generalist, I am not facing as many of those barriers.
12:01:49 datruss: ...and last year I taught Planning 10 and did a Ning Network and gave out no marks other than report cards the whole term... you can do things differently- I agree
12:02:16 jan smith: There are models that are doing what Ale is talking about: our district is funding Professional Partnership to allow time for teacher innovation around projects of all kinds, great for learning & collegiality
12:02:42 jan smith: (I have no idea why about is a link!)
12:02:48 datruss: COLLABORATION is key - "Learning Conversations" among teachers!
12:03:17 courosa: but even saying "creating a school" is within a mindset
12:04:06 jan smith: Your ning work is brilliant, Dave--and all the work you do with staff to push the boundaries out
12:04:18 datruss: Old constructs - not sharing... the idea is if I share 'this' a teacher from the grade before will use it... not thinking about open ended but rather about specific content- Frustrating!
12:05:11 Cathy E: I am so lucky - everyone on my staff will share
12:05:24 datruss: Who is talking now?
12:05:28 Lisa M Lane: visions of John Holt
12:05:46 jan smith: thant's Paul Bogush
12:05:51 Cathy E: But sharing and collaboration are twi different things
12:06:02 Cathy E: *two
12:06:27 jan smith: How do you see them as different, Cathy? Is there potential for synergy between the two?
12:07:49 Cathy E: Just because a teacher is willing to "share" a great lesson at a staff meeting - does not mean she/he is collaborating
12:08:18 sheila: Better late than never . . .Hi all!
12:08:23 datruss: Collaboration is mutual learning, sharing can be more content/lessons etc
12:08:29 Lisa Parisi: Hi Sheila
12:08:38 jan smith: Agreed, Cathy, and here is the next sentence: "That's great can we do it together?"
12:09:00 Lisa Parisi: Yes, Cathy...we have lots of sharing...not much collaboration
12:09:52 Naomi Harm: Is there audio today besides the chat?
12:10:06 Lisa Parisi: Yes, there is audio.
12:10:13 Lisa Parisi: Edtechtalk A
12:10:14 sheila: Yes! Click on the icon on the side.
12:10:43 Cathy E: To me - collaborating is gathering people together and pulling the best ideas/info/data from the group
12:10:50 Naomi Harm: Hmm. I click ont the icon as usually but it keep booting me out. I will continue to try
12:11:19 Lisa Parisi: try listening in itunes
12:11:20 jan smith: Not the ustream icon--the channel icons above that
12:12:16 Naomi Harm: I understand- Iam trying the audio icons not the ustream- ahh needed to reboot iTunes- error message once again- thanks lisa
12:12:20 jan smith: Cathy, I agree, but people who have never collaborated need a starting point...I find sharing my time (to help with tech for eg) is a gateway to collab
12:12:32 Maureen/bcdtech: Do you think that kids today are less likely to be independent learners than in the past? It seems that kids at my school, from a very young age are in "lessons" constantly- in school and out. Never have time to be curious and follow that. Need "expert teachers" for everything.
12:13:23 paulbogush: @maureen Yes, but I think teachers like it that way, and work to keep it that way.
12:13:24 jan smith: @maureen, some of that is extended child care...
12:14:06 Maureen/bcdtech: @jan smith- yest some of it is, but it seems like the parents are looking for experts to teach their kids- from soccer to art.
12:14:08 Lisa Parisi: I agree Maureen. Ask kids to go out and play. They don't know how anymore.
12:14:13 jan smith: @maureen, I am finding through blogging that my kids are following their passions
12:14:18 Lisa M Lane: we have trouble with that at the college level even
12:15:58 datruss: Yes @Maureen so true, I outsource music, dance and sports because schools don't do that
12:17:28 datruss: Read this by Christopher Sessums and watch the video for a very different kind of school
12:18:01 paulbogush: I find the kids who come from higher socio economic level have a harder time with freedom, and asking for choices
12:18:22 courosa: interesting Paul
12:18:23 paulbogush: They are more used to being told what to do, and less likely to take risks.
12:18:41 paulbogush: More concerned about getting things right and getting good grades
12:18:51 Maureen/bcdtech: @paul- I agree, most of the kids at my school have wealthy parents and their lives are scripted for them.
12:19:07 jan smith: @paul, that's because they are geared toward the reward of grades like trainedseals
12:19:46 Bryan: Excuse my ignorance, but this is my first time tuning in to this great conversation. Are these talks archived or available as a podcast?
12:19:48 Maureen/bcdtech: @paul Their parents worry about college when the kids are very young, and start making sure that all the doors are open for them. Not in a good way.
12:20:04 datruss: Curriculum GUIDE not script
12:20:12 Jen:
12:20:41 jan smith: Bryan, yes, and the chat is archived too--you just have to wait a few days :)
12:20:41 datruss: Curric inspires shallow coverage rather than bredth/depth
12:21:48 paulbogush: last summer teachers worked to re-write soc stud curr and when it went to the board of ed they asked for an extra line to be put in--so six teachers had to take off one day of school w/curr director to add one line about the Mex-Amer War.
12:22:04 paulbogush: Have to run! Thanks everyone!
12:22:22 courosa: thanks Paul!
12:25:46 jan smith: Right Alec: we no longer have to hold all content in your head
12:29:13 Cathy E: Have to run - but as usual, ya'll are great!
12:30:33 datruss: Do you mean Science doesn't only happen between 9:40 and 10:20 ;-)
12:30:58 Gary: If you teach in a school system where there is standardized government exams at certain grades, you often do not have much choice. It you are teaching in grades or courses where there are not those exams, then flexibility is more likely.
12:31:26 Lisa Parisi: True Gary. I liked teaching 2nd grade because there was no testing.
12:31:29 courosa: @gary good point
12:31:30 jan smith: Devil's advocate: so do dinosaurs get taught/learned about every year, but not physics? How do you organize learning on a large scale?
12:31:36 Lisa Parisi: Fifth grade has three major state tests.
12:32:03 Lisa Parisi: Jan, maybe dinosaurs do but we add more
12:32:20 courosa: @jan important question, if there is no curriculm, is there an agreed scope, sequnce, skill set, ...
12:32:34 sheila: Can follow Robin Ellwood in Antarctica now. Live chat coming this week hopefully.
12:32:38 jan smith: If you add more, you almost always have to take something away
12:33:41 Nedra: We test our kids in second grade. And second grade spends the second half of the year practicing for answering the 4th grade test after every time they finish a chapter in a book.
12:33:49 Maureen/bcdtech: @jan smith I think that you have to help generate interest in all areas- you cannot depend on students interests all the time. I try to teach physical science, life, science. earth/space science etc. and the kids often find things that interest them that they never knew existed.
12:34:23 jan smith: Sorry must go, my sweetie has just made me a great breakfast...keep talking all!
12:34:35 Maureen/bcdtech: I think it all goes back to essential questions- regardless of topic.
12:34:41 sheila: I've just added a new unit on nanotechnology. Not in our curr. guide, but needed to add it.
12:35:00 courosa: @maureen I was thinking something similar, curriculum does certainly expose students to things they may not have been exposed to by themselves.
12:35:28 Gary: Do others have access to non-profit groups like this?
12:35:58 courosa: @maureen essential questions, and a huge repository of available content available to teachers and students
12:36:45 sheila: Primary sources are important.
12:37:23 Maureen/bcdtech: I guess I don't believe in throwing it all out- but examining what is important to learning how to think, etc. I know that the process of deciding is influenced by the powers that be, but if there is a reason to study the works of Shakespeare for example... let's look at why... can you substitute Achebe? It is too simplistic to ditch it all.
12:37:48 sheila: Create life-long learners.
12:39:03 datruss: Hard to inspire lifelong learning with a fixed curric. isn't it?
12:39:24 sheila: Absolutely!
12:40:02 sheila: Inspire is a better word! :)
12:43:06 Lisa M Lane: the *belief* and the *story* are the facts, rather than the content of the story itself
12:43:16 datruss: I think in some cases our bias is fair to share
12:44:29 courosa: @datruss but i would share that these are biases
12:44:36 datruss: battery just died... I'm reconnected now:-)
12:45:23 Gary: Does that mean that we allow non-science being accepted as an equal view as science (e.g.intelligent design vs evolution)? I think that would be dishonest to our students.
12:45:38 datruss: True Alec
12:46:04 datruss: But there are times that just choosing to have the conversation suggests bias
12:46:08 sheila: Then have the discussion, what is science?
12:46:29 Maureen/bcdtech: @Gary- no, but I do tell kids that I teach science and that God is religion and I don't teach it- they can ask their parents.
12:47:10 Gary: @sheila: Exactly and that "should" end it - unfortunately .....
12:47:16 datruss: Social Justice as a theme... I like that, so true Alec!
12:47:57 Lisa Parisi:
12:48:43 sheila: I enjoy teaching the nanotechnology unit brings up a lot of ethical issues too.
12:48:57 courosa: thank you lisa and maria and everyone!
12:49:15 Nedra: Good show, thanks
12:49:38 MariaK: thank you everyone. See you next week.
12:49:42 sheila: Thanks so much for my PD this morning!
12:49:42 datruss: Thanks all:-)
12:49:48 Gary: Thanks