I just got back from a week long trip to Dallas to connect with family members that I had not seen for quite some time. It was wonderful to connect with them once again but I missed the opening of the K12 Online Conference. Of course I knew that it would be there “always’ due to the diligent work of Darren, Lani, Sheryl, and Wes. Boy do we owe them a round of applause!

ClarenceFisher.jpgI started with Clarence Fisher’s “Classroom 2.0 Keynote”. What a way to return to work! Clarence has a warm, personal way of communicating and I loved roaming through his town, school, classroom, home and the inviting outside environment. His keynote was outstanding and so on target for the things we need to be thinking about aspects that we need to be considering and working on regarding our concepts of Classroom 2.0.

Clarence talked about meeting the challenge head-on and redefining what happens in classrooms.

Points Clarence made that are crucial:

  • Pedagogy is the most important thing to think about. It is in teaching. We have to change the way we teach. If we continue to teach kids to memorize, to spit information back out at us, we are not helping anyone. We are not solving any of the world’s problems and we certainly are not helping them get a job with someone who wants them to think creatively and differently. We need to look at how we teach.
  • The second thing is tools. It’s not just any tool but it is about tools that promote collaboration that make it easy for kids to talk to each other, to exchange ideas and viewpoints, and make it easy for them to make connections on their ideas about learning. So let’s get the focus on there.
  • Another important factor is the relationship we have to information.
  • We want them to see themselves as legitimate creators of information, who are questioners of information, who are able to see if things are real, to tell truth from fiction, and see bias and viewpoint. To be a good citizen is what is important and to be a good thinker no matter where you live.
  • Most of us have a mandated curriculum. Obviously we need to teach it but our relationship to that curriculum and what is in that curriculum needs to undergo constant change. We need to be constantly looking at it and trying to decide what is it that is important. What do kinds need?
  • The most important thing that needs to change when we think about changing classrooms is our attitude toward classrooms and towards education and not only us but really society’s attitude toward education.

Clarence went on to talk about technology assessments and what is important there. He says we really need a way to track kids’ activities in classrooms. Then we can adjust our practices in classrooms.

His keynote was inspiring. Don’t miss it! Thanks Clarence for making a difference!

Here is the link to the K12 Online Conference Schedule. Share it with your colleagues! This conference is the best! I can’t wait to enjoy and learn from more of the sessions.

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