Tag Archives: napa

Free Webinar : 21 Century Skills Author – Charles Fadel

When researching for the prior  post I came across  a opportunity  that I was sure any reader of this blog would be interested in. It is about a unique webinar  focusing on 21st century skills and scheduled for Tuesday, May 18 at  5pm Pacific and  8pm Eastern. The webinar, hosted by Steve Hargadon, features Charles Fadel who is co-author an of 21st Century Skills: Learning For Life In Our Time. This is a book that I have read and continue to review and learn from. If you have the opportunity on May 18 be sure to attend, if you can’t check the archive as stated later in the post. As always, you can follow me on Twitter (@mjgormans) and visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki loaded with resources, reflections, and ideas for your journey in 21st Century Education.  Now some more detail! – Mike

I have been a long time fan of the 21st Century Skill integration, especially since my first visit to the original  New Tech High School in Napa Valley, California. I visited this wonderful school with the thought of seeing awesome technology and walked away with an revelation of an even more amazing school culture dedicated to real learning. I was beginning to understand that educational transformation is not about the technology, it is the process which is made possible due to  technology and learning culture.  It was after this, and my last round of degree work at Johns Hopkins, that compelled me to begin writing this Blog and Wiki. Charles Fadel, the featured guest on this  Elluminate webinar, presented by Steve Hargadon, is a global leader for education at Cisco Systems. He is also  the Cisco board member at the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and Innovate/Educate (an organization dedicated to advocacy of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)).  His book 21st Century Skills: Learning For Life In Our Times and accompanying DVD co-authored with Bernie Trilling, Global Director For Oracle Education Foundation, is a must for anyone dedicated to 21st Century Learning.  A favorite phrase I carry with me from this book is the notion of “Teach Less… Learn More“, a mission developed by the Singapore Ministry of Education. I am certain that Charles Fadel will  provide attendees at this webinar plenty to reflect on. If you have an interest in 21st Century Skills, STEM education, and Project Based Learning then be sure you attend the live webinar, or listen to the archive. Be sure to also get a copy of the book and its included DVD! I am sure you will walk away with a better understanding of 21st century learning and a confidence to lay the needed foundation in your school. Please note webinar  information below as listed at Steve Hargadon’s Website.

Date: Tuesday, May 18

Time: 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern / 12am (next day) GMT (international times here)

Duration: 60 minutes

Location: In Elluminate. Log in at http://tr.im/futureofed. The Elluminate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early. To make sure that your computer is configured for Elluminate, please visit http://www.elluminate.com/support. Recordings of the session will be posted within a day of the event at the event page.

A big thank you to Steve Hargadon and the people at Elluminate and Learn Central for sponsoring such a wonderful opportunity.Thank you for joining me on another journey in the quest of 21st Century Educational transformation! As always you can follow me on Twitter (@mjgormans) and visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki loaded with resources, reflections, and ideas for your journey in 21st Century Education. See you on the road to 21st Century Learning! – Mike


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

It’s not the Technology. It’s the Culture of Learning!

cell_uindy

I have the honor of joining a panel discussion and presenting at the CELL educational transformation conference in Indianapolis on November 16 and 17. I will be blogging about the unique and innovative concepts talked about at this conference.  This posting reflects on my first formal experience with PBL two years ago as I encountered educators and students at the New Tech High Schools in Napa Valley and Sacramento, California. I have included links that showcase some outstanding videos on PBL and links to help you reflect. There is no way I can really relate the experience other than reiterating – it’s not the technology! I hope you enjoy my reflections and explore some of the links. Thanks for joining me once again and always feel free to join me at the 21centuryedtech Wiki. –  Mike

This week I will be attending and speaking at the CELL (Center of Excellence in  Leadership and Learning) Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. The theme of the conference involves facilitating a collective initative by all educational stakeholders that is necessary as they face the challenge of finding tomorrow’s opportunities for today’s students. This conference will attract nearly one thousand diverse individuals over a two day period (Nov 16-17) in downtown Indianapolis. It is  sponsored  by CELL which is located at the University of Indianapolis. CELL’s efforts are rooted in the vision that all students, regardless of background, should graduate from high school prepared for postsecondary education, training, and success in the 21st-Century global economy. With primary funding from the Lilly Endowment Inc., CELL has leveraged resources to unite schools, communities and businesses to make substantial, sustainable, statewide education change to improve academic success for students.

My first encounter with CELL occured when I was investigating the  New Tech Network , an organization which initally started in 1996 as the New Tech High School of Napa Valley, California. It later partnered with the Gates Foundation and set out on a mission to replicate the Napa pilot throughout the nation. There are now 41 schools located in nine states serving over 8500 students across the nation. New Tech states that its goal is to “help schools fundamentally rethink teaching and learning, empowering students to become the creators, leaders, and producers of tomorrow.”  New Tech incoporates three key concepts. First they promote  “a new instructional approach that engages learners”. New Tech incorporates project-based learning (PBL) as the center of the instructional approach. PBL is facilitated by  technology and student inquiry to engage learners with issues and questions that are relevant. Teachers design rigorous projects tied to state standards and customized to local community and student interests. Students collaborate in teams to acquire and apply knowledge and skills to solve problems.  Next, ” New Tech builds “a culture that empowers students and teachers”. It is trust, respect, and responsibility that become the center of the learning culture.  Students are put in charge of their own learning, becoming self-directed learners, while teachers are given the administrative support and resources to assist students in this realization. Last, New Tech maintains that “integrated use of technology”  is essential for 21st Century education. In a New Tech school the smart  use of technology supports an innovative emphasis promoting unique instruction and a powerful classroom culture. Take a moment to view these videos  found on the New Tech site involving  small school projects and learning through projects. It will help you get a better understanding of project based learning at New Tech. These videos  could be used as a great conversation starter with educators contemplating the use of project based learning in any school or district. 

When making that first trip to New Tech almost two years ago, I was prepared to walk into a building where technology was at the center, driving a powerful and cutting edge learning atmosphere. It didn’t take long for me to realize that technology was not the center, the students really were. New Tech created a powerful learning  culture with students owning and directing their education and the shared learning community. Problem solving, intrinsic  motivation, collaboration, and engagement were all central themes. Technology was a somewhat invisible, yet powerful force, facilitating a synergistic environment. It was amazing to hear high school students talk with the same pride and enthusiasm for their school  and learning as one might often hear in a first grade classroom. I left both Napa and Sacramento with a new belief in PBL and technology  integration, along with a real appreciation for positive and powerful student centered learning communities. If you live near a New Tech school, it is worth taking the time to visit.

Since that visit, I have become more aware of the outstanding efforts that CELL is making. Their New Tech facilitation in Indiana is just one of many outstanding services provided by CELL. The CELL web site is  filled with outstanding reflections  and research, such as an interesting  study on impact of PBL  and student achievement. I am excited to share with you in future postings  new ideas I aquire at CELL’s conference as I investigate sessions covering  STEM education, project based learning and problem based learning, 20th Century vs. 21st Century skills, community partnerships, early college, and successful transformational techniques.  I am sure that speakers such as  Uri Treisman from the the University of Texas at Austin, Michael McDowell from the New Tech Network, Tom Carroll, president of the National Commision on Teaching and America’s Future, Ken Kay, president of the Partnership For Twenty-first Century Skills, and Brad Jupp from the US Department of Education will provide much to reflect on.  I also have the honor of  contributing to a panel discussion on project based learning in the middle school and presenting a session on resources for project based learning. If you happen to be at the conference, please stop by and say hello.

In conclusion, there should be more initative toward school cultures that promote student centered learning and project based learning . While New Tech has made some inroads at the high school level, initatives at all levels is still lacking and needs to be pursued. I invite you to join my 21centuryedtech Wiki and learn about resources and programs available to students and teachers to promote 21st Century learning. I am sure that CELL will reinforce the important message I heard at NMSA last week. It really isn’t the technology, it is the culture that puts students in the center of learning.-

-Mike

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized