Alan November

I heard Alan November speak today.  Actually, this was the second time I’ve heard him in the last 4 months. He is bright, humorous, articulate, and spoke on the challenges of substantive technology implementation in the classroom.

Bottom line: with globalization of high speed connectivity our desk jobs can be immediately transported to China or India at a fraction of the cost of keeping them in the United States.  In order to make our children economically viable and reduce the number of young people in the boomerang generation (those returning to live at home ages 18 – 29), we must rethink what skills are required to live in this digital world.  For an expert of my notes from his 3 hour presentation today, check out the Continue Reading section of this post.  You can also check out Alan’s blog.

* With globalized network connectivity, teams can now continue work around the clock (24 hours a day) to solve the problem you were working on when you left the office to go home.  The problem can be sent to Japan when you leave the office.  The problem can be forwarded on to Germany when they leave the office.  When you wake up and return to work, you take it from where the people in Germany left off.  Technology can move a job in an instant anywhere in the world.

* We are talking about economic viability.  To offer our youth economic viability, we need to provide them with 3 skills:

# Information literacy: Students need to be able to tear apart information layer by layer.  Technology brings forward a lot more information, and most of it is crap.

# Working effectively and proficiently with people around the world, understanding them, their culture, beliefs, and values is essential. We must teach our children to understand the world in which we all live.  Every classroom must become a global communications center, expanding the boundaries of learning into the world.

## The sad truth is that the world hates us.  I have never seen it so bad as I travel.

## Don’t misunderstand, they love our jobs.

## And now they can get our jobs through telecommunication.

# To be economically competitive we must be self directed, have no need for a boss, have no dependant relationships telling us what to do.  If a company has to hire a boss for you, you’re too expensive.

* Switzerland had university professors cut 40% of their lectures out.  They wanted to underscore that students must learn on their own, be self-directed.

* As educators, we can’t create a dependent relationship between the teacher and student.  Teachers need to consider teaching children to design their own homework not just assign them the homework.

* In newly designed high schools, students come in and go to work at their own computers and own desks, log on and direct their own learning.

* Some schools now post the spelling list online, all grade levels, so students can learn the next grade level’s words when they have finished their present word list.  We can’t continue to drip feed our curriculum to kids any more.

* People tend to treat other people the way they have been treated.  If you feel you are not a self-directed teacher you will not teach children to be self-directed.  Students need to be required to answer 3 questions when using the web as an information source:

# What search engine did you use?

# What are the forward links; host:www…  from Altavista

# What are the external links; link: www…  from Altavista  Other little tidbits: * host:edu + *** limits the host to whatever you type in parenthesis, as in edu * url:k12 + *** requires what follows to be in all web addresses found * host:gov will probably contain primary sources * host: sch will give you british websites–must include the space * host: ac.uk will give you schools in England * netlingo has the web codes for countries * gsn.org = global school network, an excellent source * blog: *** allows you to search blogs for ***

* The Way Back Machine documents the entire web every year

** Compare and contrast a website then and now

** web.archive.org is The Way Back Machine’s address

* epgy.org Stanford’s site for gifted kids curriculum

* nara.gov The National Archives

* noodletools.com will tell you what search engine to use to get the answer to your question

** single best list he has found

* trackstar.hprtec.org is also very cool

* thinkquest.org is where kids talk about and build academic websites * library.thinkquest.org contains many kid-produced academic websites

* The 1 to 1 laptop inititiave will make the teacher the facilitator as curriculum becomes available.

** Every school needs an online design team.

** We need to teach our students (and our teachers) to outsource if someone can do something better

** LA & SS need to know primary source documents:

* One school presses a DVD every week from video shot by an iSight camera filming the class

* It will be about information, critical thinking, and relationships

* Ask your students for their best thinking on how to use instant messaging, and other technologies appropriately.

* You must plan for every kid to have a laptop

** Students will steal content more than they ever have before

** Teachers need to design asignments that students can’t download the answers to, requiring more structure not less: Use these 2 sites.  Teachers will have to ask hard hitting critical, thoughtful questions * Collaboration is wonderful, find a teacher in another part of the world teaching it and connect.

* LA and SS need to use blogs.

* Build authentic external assessment. *

* Portfolio: where the work goes makes a difference, web-based * Have students do an assignment from another teacher’s website or have them find another teacher’s website on the topic

2 thoughts on “Alan November”

  1. Let’s start with you! I’m so glad you discovered Moodle. I uploaded it to the server tonight. Configuring it will take a bit of time. I’ll let you know the url when I’m done, and we can start with a class for teachers on OS X. As we learn, we can share. This has awesome potential for the Academy assignments!
    Check out Martin’s PhotoFrame software. It too appears really cool. And this man is sharing his ideas with the world–making it a better place. Wow! What a special soul.

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