Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Connecting the 4 C's

Posey County's inaugural eLearning event has the distinction of being the farthest south of any of Indiana's Summer of eLearning conferences. Their "Connecting the 4 C's" was a collaborative effort between the MSD of Mount Vernon and the MSD of North Posey, whose superintendents opened the conference together, each extolling the concepts of Collaboration, Creativity, Communication, and Critical Thinking.

The Office of eLearning's resident social media guru, Michelle Green, led one of the first sessions of the day. Green worked with educators who were wading into Twitter for the first time, helping them understand how their profile and picture helps others connect with them. Are you tweeting on behalf of your school, or classroom, or connecting as an individual? Green says that focusing on WHY you are on Twitter will determine how you establish your profile and settings. Connect with Green and the rest of the #INeLearn team during our weekly chat. For more tips from her session, check out Green's presentation here.

One of the things that technology creates in our schools is a greater potential for project based learning (PBL). Ryan Steuer from MagnifyLearning led a session guiding participants through the steps of a quality lesson. Steuer said, "It is not about our teaching, it is about kids' learning." Collaboration and Creativity were in high demand as educators constructed landing modules to protect their marshmallow astronauts. Then they discussed aspects of a good PBL lesson, like the entry event, facilitation, and assessment of learning.

Our kids are increasingly digital. This is a fundamental truth that drives so much of why we endeavor to educate students about how to avoid the pitfalls of living in this digital realm. This idea of Digital Citizenship was the focus of Tim Wilhelmus' spotlight session. One of the critical pieces students need to understand, Wilhelmus said, is that once you share, you no longer control your audience. The power that social media has to amplify and rebroadcast messages means that we all must be more careful than ever that our Communication is something that we can be proud of. For great resources to address digital citizenship with your own students, start with this scope and sequence from Common Sense Media.

The keynote talk was delivered by Will Richardson, a perennial favorite of Indiana audiences. Richardson cited Seymour Papert as the first to point out the disconnect between how we learn in our "normal" lives, versus the kinds of learning we do in school. The way students learn in a world of abundance means that they don't have to wait to learn about the things that interest them. Richardson pointed out that this is a very exciting truth, but it also fundamentally changes the role of formal education. Further emphasizing the need for change, he reminded that "Our curriculum is just our best guess about what kids need to know to be successful in the world. The problem is that it hasn't changed much in a hundred years."

1 comment:

  1. I learned a lot at the first session about Twitter! Thanks, Michelle Green!