Session Hopping at Educon

During session 3 there are three different sessions I want to attend. There’s Sylvia and Jon’s “You Can’t Buy Change” as well as Alex and Dean’s “Learning in Public” and then Chris’ “What Happens When Kids Run the Building”.

I started out in room 304 thinking about “Learning in Public”. As I write this, I am watching a YouTube video of a kid showing how he made a bowdrill set. What? Did Dean just say you can show a video of you cutting your toenails and get 100 views on YouTube? … Anyway, he’s talking about the quality of the comments to this young kid’s video.

So what’s the skill here? Simple tagging can be an incredibly important skill in order to get your online content to the right audience. How do we teach kids to tag their content when they start posting publicly?

What’s the process involved in learning to work in new spaces? How do we teach pre-service teachers about this process? What do we mean by learning?

Dean talked about recording a video of himself learning to play the guitar. Next, a friend of his got several of his guitar students to record videos to help instruct Dean. This is cool, seeing the dynamic of 14 year old students become teachers using the medium of video.

One of Dean’s students, Stacy, is talking about her own experience with learning in public. She started using sign language videos available on YouTube, then Dean helped her connect with teachers of sign language in other countries. “It kind of felt more valuable… it wasn’t just for me.” In terms of proficiency, she spent 50 hours or so on it, so she doesn’t feel terribly proficient yet. She blogged about her learning experience and felt the best part of it was getting feedback from classmates and others.

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In room 204, Sylvia and Jon were chatting with participants about situations when students ask a teacher a question and the teacher has to say “I don’t know.” This moment of finality is different than saying “I don’t know but let’s find out together.”

There was an interesting discussion about who is responsible in a building when teachers use clickers for summative assessment rather than formative assessment. I’m wondering why it needs to be an either/or? It seems to me that each situation can be different and has to be looked at from various perspectives. This is also why I think it’s important for teachers to have time and space to discuss with their colleagues what they are doing in their classrooms and how to continuously improve on their teaching practices.

We watched a short video clip of a kid convincing his parents that he needed a dog and why it would make a positive difference. The slides included photos with captions, a bar chart displaying data, an overall convincing argument that showed he took the initiative to show responsibility. This was an authentic audience with an authentic purpose.

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