32x32 pixels 'file icon' (PNG only)Last week I had the pleasure of being invited to discuss in an EdTechTalk webcast St. Gregory’s program and initiatives in 21st century learning this past year. The 22 minute conversation can be accessed here; scroll to the bottom of the chat transcript to find the speaker button.

From the heading:

Jonathan E. Martin, Head of School at St. Gregory College Preparatory School in Tucson, Arizona joined us to reflect on his first year.  We discussed how Tony Wagner’s Global Achievement Gap has framed the work he is doing with his faculty.  Jonathan led us through a number of assessments that St. Gregory is using to measure how collaborative, creative, and engaged his students are at St. Gregory.  Interested in the 21st Century School, this is definitely one version!   What a way to close out another another great year of podcasting.

I am also pasting in, after the jump, the chat conversation that accompanied the interview: I have to say, I was not able to multi-task powerfully enough to both fully engage in the conversation and also follow the simultaneous chat happening about the interview.  It was interesting to catch up with it later and see what people were saying.

How do other heads react to your strong use of Web 2.0 tools? Yes, this is a funny topic for some of my colleagues; many do, in a very friendly way, tag me as the blogger guy, or joke when in discussion, will this conversation appear on your blog?     Twitter seems entirely foreign to most, and is an easy thing to disparage when you don’t use it.    I think it is funny too how many other heads think of me as the “technology guy,” when I feel like I am far from being a technology expert, though I am an enthusiast.  Using blog platforms and twitter is hardly demonstrating excellent technological skills.   But I have had great support too; our Southwest association (ISAS) executive director has been very strong in her encouragement of my blog, and there is also a small circle of other Heads who blog regularly or are on Twitter who are terrific comrades and wonderful writers and web 2.0 users: Josie Holford is first among them.

Jonathan-time is always the number 1 identified barrier for the development of professional learning teams. How have you addressed this?? Have you changed the traditional meetings which focus on operations to allow for organic learning communities to emerge??

I think this is an incredibly important question, and framed exactly correctly.   During my 2008 blogging research, (the good high school project), I visited and spent entire days at 21 high schools, shadowing students.   One of the strongest emerging themes was the power of the correlation between the quality of 21st century learning I observed, and the degree to which the school allocated real time for faculty collaboration in planning and professional development.  In my first year, I took our calendar from once monthly faculty meetings to once weekly faculty collaboration and growth times, with a policy that the time could not be used for announcements or operations; next year, we are taking once weekly to twice weekly, expanding the role of our critical friends initiatives, and allocating much more time for collaborative lesson planning, assessment review, and peer coaching in technology integration.

13:55:25  fredbartels -> Room 1: Hi Sarah.
13:56:08  fredbartels -> Room 1: Hi Jonathan. I enjoy reading your blog.
13:58:07  Jonathan Martin -> Room 1: Hi Fred, Hi Sarah.
13:58:21  Jonathan Martin -> Room 1: New job Sarah?   Is that right?
13:59:51  fbartels -> Room 1: Hey Alex… how’s the iPad?
14:00:44  alex.ragone -> Room 1: Hello Everyone!
14:01:20  fbartels -> Room 1: getting an echo here
14:02:40  sarah h -> Room 1: hi–Just getting used to my new nettbook
14:02:45  sarah h -> Room 1: netbook
14:03:12  sarah h -> Room 1: although a nettbook sounds cute
14:03:22  fbartels -> Room 1: Sarah, Have you started at your new school?
14:04:27  sarah h -> Room 1: not yet–although I went to a meeting yesterday that was really exciting and got me over my graduation weepies 🙂
14:04:47  fbartels -> Room 1: Hey Matt
14:05:34  sarah h -> Room 1: I bought a 299 netbook at costco yesterday to use when I give up my tablet.  Been interesting!
14:05:35  fbartels -> Room 1: Sarah.. end of year is hard enough without changing schools.
14:06:16  sarah h -> Room 1: @fred–true that!  Hope yours is going well 🙂  Or are you done already
14:06:21  matt montagne -> Room 1: hey all
14:07:00  sarah h -> Room 1: JM is hard to hear–is it my costco netbook?
14:07:06  fbartels -> Room 1: Kids graduated on Friday… just tieing together loose ends.
14:07:17  alex.ragone -> Room 1: Hi Folks!
14:07:26  fbartels -> Room 1: Sound is good here.
14:08:15  matt montagne -> Room 1: to me two ’21st c skills’ are ethics, empathy, and entreprenuership
14:08:30  matt montagne -> Room 1: I think of the ethical breakdown with BP in the Gulf
14:08:41  sarah h -> Room 1: @matt–yes!
14:09:02  matt montagne -> Room 1: *not just BP in the gulf of course
14:09:45  fbartels -> Room 1: Question for Jon. How do other heads react to your strong use of Web 2.0 tools?
14:10:05  sarah h -> Room 1: I’ll second the question
14:10:19  alex.ragone -> Room 1: http://www.cae.org/content/pro_collegework.htm
14:10:36  sarah h -> Room 1: same question with CWRA
14:10:54  alex.ragone -> Room 1: Lots of assessments that align the curriculum with 21st century skills.
14:11:03  matt montagne -> Room 1: nice article here on striking a balance between consumption and creation:http://radar.oreilly.com/2010/06/makers-versus-sponges.html
14:11:54  fbartels -> Room 1: Hi Bill… overwhelmed yet?
14:12:12  Brandon_ttg -> Room 1: Hey
14:12:24  alex.ragone -> Room 1: Reinventing Project Based Learning: http://www.amazon.com/Reinventing-Project-Based-Learning-Real-World-Projects/dp/156484238X
14:12:28  alex.ragone -> Room 1: Hello Brandon.
14:12:35  sarah h -> Room 1: And how do you define ready?  How do you convince that if you wait until ready, you’ll never. . .
14:14:03  wstites -> Room 1: I think the big this is that when people hear Problem Based Learing or any other teaching model they questions the professional development behind it
14:14:09  wstites -> Room 1: and the what’s going to give
14:14:27  wstites -> Room 1: what else are you “doing” that this is going to be added to or replaced
14:14:28  matt montagne -> Room 1: for Jonathan-time is always the number 1 identified barrier for the development of professional learning teams. How have you addressed this?? Have you changed the traditional meetings which focus on operations to allow for organic learning communities to emerge??
14:15:00  wstites -> Room 1: (Sorry for all the typos, still jet lagged from Ireland)
14:15:45  matt montagne -> Room 1: PBL, laptop learning, etc are all things that require teacher collaboration for maxium effectiveness. How are you providing the infrastructure for this to happen??
14:16:43  matt montagne -> Room 1: I’d like to see us provide more opportunities for true “team teaching.” eg, 2-3 teachers in the classroom as the same time facilitating (not 2-3 teachers rotating through teaching duties)
14:16:46  wstites -> Room 1: Twitter is one of the best tools for professional development and being able to see people are thinking within disciplines
14:16:52  alex.ragone -> Room 1: Jonathan’s blog: https://21k12blog.net/ and on Twitter:http://twitter.com/JonathanEMartin
14:17:31  alex.ragone -> Room 1: Critical Friends Groups: http://www.nsrfharmony.org/faq.html
14:17:44  matt montagne -> Room 1: I like the “friends” model…we need more “non-evaluative” teacher support structures
14:17:45  sarah h -> Room 1: @matt it is hard to do.  Mosaic of thought describes some good teaming (not a new book).
14:18:10  alex.ragone -> Room 1: St. Gregory works with Tony Wagner:http://www.gse.harvard.edu/~clg/aboutus2.html
14:18:31  matt montagne -> Room 1: @sarah h…the stanford design school is really doing some interesting things in the area of multidisciplinary teacher collaboration
14:19:27  matt montagne -> Room 1: the d.school will have 3-5 professors from totally different disciplines facilitating a 10 week class…they truly team and collaborate-eg, they don’t rotate teaching duties by taking certain weeks like we tend to see.
14:21:01  matt montagne -> Room 1: what is really hard is that teachers like to create repeatable projects…this almost seems to be the aim and focus in some cases
14:21:15  alex.ragone -> Room 1: St. Gregory Students Discussing the College Work Readiness Exam:https://21k12blog.net/2010/04/01/st-gregs-students-discuss-on-video-the-cwra-college-work-readiness-assessment/
14:21:17  matt montagne -> Room 1: not that repeatable projects are bad, but they tend to lack authenticity
14:22:21  matt montagne -> Room 1: how do the students react at St. Gregory?? Many of our students actually prepare prepackaged into in a textbook, the college driven curriculum, APs, etc
14:22:58  matt montagne -> Room 1: *prefer instead of prepare
14:23:12  matt montagne -> Room 1: *info instead of into
14:23:18  matt montagne -> Room 1: wow, my typing is horrible
14:23:20  sarah h -> Room 1: oops–sorry, fingers failing me on this keyboard.  I wish I had done some more research on why some collaborations duirng the early years of 1:1 worked and others involved alternate teaching instead of co-teaching
14:23:48  alex.ragone -> Room 1: Periods 75 minutes and every other day @ St. Gregory
14:23:59  fbartels -> Room 1: Jon… Can you paint your vision of how, ideally, your school will be significantly different five years out?
14:24:04  alex.ragone -> Room 1: 100% Direct Instruction impossible in 75 minute blogs.
14:24:14  alex.ragone -> Room 1: Great one, fred.
14:25:15  matt montagne -> Room 1: what would happen if schools like ours, for 1-2 days each week,” didn’t schedule ANY classes???
14:26:13  alex.ragone -> Room 1: @matt — that’s 20% google time.
14:26:53  sarah h -> Room 1: A lot of schools have week-long (or longer for seniors) project weeks.  All week on one project that students choose.
14:27:00  fbartels -> Room 1: Matt, I would love to try this with the kids determining the content for the 20% as at Google.
14:27:07  matt montagne -> Room 1: @alex…I wonder if a less rigid school schedule is in our future…the kind of learning that we talk about doesn’t fit well into 50 minute blocks (or even 75)
14:27:22  sarah h -> Room 1: @alex–yeah google time!  What if we asked teachers to use 20% of class time to try out ideas?
14:28:10  sarah h -> Room 1: @Matt as a prelude to blowing up the schedule?
14:28:13  matt montagne -> Room 1: @fred…it sort of gets at Pink’s bit on ‘autonomy’ . For the most part, kids have near zero autonomy right now…it is no wonder why learning experiences that are highly ambiguous are often a challenge for kids
14:28:54  fbartels -> Room 1: Jonathan… sounds like a great vision…I’d love to teach there!
14:29:18  matt montagne -> Room 1: @sarah…perhaps…our schools have these committees that evaluate the schedule for two years and at the end of the evaluation, they might tweak the schedule by adding 5 minutes here, adding a block there…to me it is going to require something dramatically different
14:29:25  matt montagne -> Room 1: nice job, jonathan!
14:29:30  sarah h -> Room 1: Can’t wait to share the audio of this one–I’ve been going back to listen to old eps
14:29:40  sarah h -> Room 1: Thanks Jonathan–great show!
14:29:42  matt montagne -> Room 1: Another great season of 21st C learning!!!!
14:29:51  fbartels -> Room 1: @Matt.. completely agree!
14:30:15  sarah h -> Room 1: @Bill–how are you doing?
14:31:13  fbartels -> Room 1: Not to downplay Alex’s 23 iPads, but yeah Bill, how are you doing with 1000 MacBooks?
14:31:34  sarah h -> Room 1: @fred–I was going to say it. .  .
14:32:13  fbartels -> Room 1: Alex and Arvind, Thanks as always! Off to watch a little N Korea/Brazil action.
14:33:21  wstites -> Room 1: @Sarah h – Good
14:33:23  wstites -> Room 1: busy
14:34:34  sarah h -> Room 1: its a fun time!  try to keep some minimal blog journal–you’ll love looking back at it!
14:35:22  sarah h -> Room 1: bye!