Monday, August 3, 2009

Redefining Literacy - David Warlick Keynote in Byron, MN

I am attending a day of professional development at Byron High School with David Warlick. This kicks off the first day of of their week-long professional development academy. Here are my sketchy notes

Says he and his SL avatar both came from a school system where students worked:
"In straight rows, performing repetitive tasks, under close supervision."

Shows us a photo of his office and explains that he, his wife, and many of his neighbors have offices like this.

Points to the telephone in the picture and describes how it is becoming obsolete.

Handouts in conference in AZ handed out a flash drive because they assumed everyone was bringing a laptop. Christian Science Monitor went 100% virtual because they found most of their readers were reading it electronically.

We produced 5 exabytes of information in 2007. Only 1% was produced on paper.

Experts tell us we are going to be wearing our computers soon.

GPS toe rings?

"For the first time in history we are preparing our children for a future we cannot clearly describe."

When he started as a history teacher he had no idea teaching would change in any significant way in his lifetime.

"I think we should stop integrating technology and start integrating literacy."
"Best thing to teach students how to teach themselves."

"Part of being literate today includes being able and willing to ask questions"

-Ask Questions

Demonstrates how to do URL backtracking and how to dissect an email address.

Demonstrates RSS.

add &output=RSS to the end of a Google search and you will create an RSS feed from that query

Demonstrates how to take data from a spreadsheet and use visualization tools to make it tell a story.

Just as important for students to learn how to communicate with images, sound, video, etc.

Contemporary Literacy
  • Exposing whats true
  • Employing the information
  • Expressing ideas compelling
  • Ethical use of information
Redefine literacy, so that it reflects today's information environment,

...and integrate that.

David used a backchannel for participants in his keynote. Here is the transcript from that discussion:

  • Jen (MN) : Thanks for sharing so many new sites with us! I am a little overwhelmed but excited to start looking at the new possibilities.
  • Jen Hegna (MN) : I am impressed with the number of people here listening today - what about those who are not? Will they understand the direction we need to go?
  • JenGreen (MN) : We need to start with critical consumer skills. Kids just seem to take everything in at equal weight and credibility.
  • Mindy (MN) : How do we help students move past wikipedia? And how do we help ourselves recognize plagiarism?
  • Jen Hegna (MN) : Is our classrooms adequately preparing our students for this world? Where do we start?
  • carolynne (MN) : where are we teaching excel skills like this?
  • Jen Hegna (MN) : I love the excel demo - real world application!
  • JenGreen (MN) : I could get so caught up in all this--how do you limit/sort/edit all this to keep your sanity?
  • Carl Anderson (MN) : here is the link: inst_the_history_textbook_wiki_project_invitation
  • Carl Anderson (MN) : Clay Burell at is running an open collaboration project this year for history teachers globablly to have their students question the facts in textbooks.
  • Jen Hegna (MN) : What value do textbooks have in our classroom in the digital age?
  • JenGreen (MN) : "I am not preparing kids for my future, I am preparing them for theirs"--this is a key shift that educators need to embrace.
  • sue (by) : Do you think actual destination conferences will continue?
  • Jen Hegna (MN) : How do move from "cell phones as a distraction" to cell phones as a learning tool?
  • Carl Anderson (MN) : Is this archival?
  • Clovis (NC) : I look forward to reading your conversation....
  • Jen Hegna (MN) : Fabulous!
  • plasticshore chat:welcome

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