Alan November’s Keynote: Putting Responsibility Back in Children’s Hands

Alan November, November Learning

Notes taken from November’s talk at the St. Clair RESA Symposium on
21st Century Learning

August 13, 2008

Port Huron High School

  • Marco Torres and his students’ video
    • Invite students to step up and be teachers themselves
  • My talk is not about technology — it is about new roles
    for the learner and the teacher that are enabled by the technology

    • I am going to suggest that you get rid of your technology
      planning committee
    • What is the problem that technology is trying to solve?
      • We originally focused on teaching — what if we focus
        on learning instead?
      • The solution is not the technology — it is information
        and relationships
    • We need to have a global learning committee
    • Who owns the learning and who should own the learning?
  • A Plan to Shift Control of Learning to the Learner
    • Don’t mistake this shift of control as me saying “we
      don’t need the teacher,” because we do and they need to be even more
      creative than before

      • Job 1: Curriculum Review Team
        • Put students in charge of reporting on class
          activities and curriculum review
          • Each week, have a student be the official
            photgrapher, recorder, reporter, and producer and these students create
            a curricular review through a podcast
          • The important piece is not about the podcast, but
            about the context for teaching in learning

            • Teachers should bring two kids with them, one of
              them being the “mess up” kid, when they come to technology training
      • Job 2: Tutorial Design Team
        • Bob’s Primefactor video
        • All the children produce short movies about concepts
          presented in class

          • My question — how do you ensure that students get
            all the content if they focus in on producing only short segments
        • Using Jing
          to construct a screencast that can replace long sets of instructions
        • We want children to contribute to the curriculum and
          learn good quality design
      • Job 3: Scribe Team
        • Someone takes the official notes and posts them to
          the class blog
        • Importance of note taking, especially in math as it
          results to operations
        • Google Docs for collaborative note-taking
      • Job 4: Researcher
        • One student is sitting at the computer finding
          answers to questions that are raised in class (not the teacher)
        • Globalizing the curriculum
          • Kiva: loans that change lives — microlending for third world countries
          • Global giving team
      • Help students manage their own learning and contribute
        to their communities, as well as other communities around the globe

Author: Troy Hicks

Dr. Troy Hicks is a professor of English and education at Central Michigan University. He directs both the Chippewa River Writing Project and the Master of Arts in Educational Technology degree program. A former middle school teacher, Dr. Hicks has authored numerous books, articles, chapters, blog posts, and other resources broadly related to the teaching of literacy in our digital age. Follow him on Twitter: @hickstro

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