Good day and welcome to the ISAS teacher conference.   I am delighted to be one of a set of bloggers here today, (find the full set here), and to have collaborated with Chris Bigenho in promoting and arranging a larger social media (twitter and blogging) dimension to the conference.   The host-site where you can follow all the blogging and tweeting is here:

Chris will be Liveblogging the speakers; my game plan is to try to take a slightly different tack.  For each of the six speakers, I intend to provide a post without a summary/narrative, but with instead three elements:

Resources: pertinent links for learning more.

Takeaways: Things you can do at your school soon from these speakers

Inquiries, or discussion questions:  Conversation starters for faculty/department/administrative meetings to continue the conversation.

First up: Pat Bassett, NAIS President, 2 presentations melded together:
Difficult, Fierce, Conversations & Schools of the Future: 4 Questions.

Resources and Key Points:

Jason Kern’s blog post about Pat’s talk. 

Jennifer Lockett’s blog post about the talk.

Recommended Book: Difficult conversations: How to discuss what matters most, Douglas Stone.

Heather Brothers book, Switch.  Terrific resource about change and psychology.

Other books about the Rider and the Elephant:  Haidt’s Happiness Hypothesis and Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow.

MacArthur Foundation report on Reinventing Learning for the 21st century. 

Dan Pink’s book, Drive:  What drives performance: Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose.

Use isenet as a professional network.

All About Explorers : the information literacy “trick” website.

The Six C’s: Communication (Writing, Public Speaking, Technical Fluency); Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Character, Cosmopolitanism.

What colleges need from college preparatory schools: Kids who can write, kids who aren’t too brittle, kids who aren’t alcohol addicted (!).

Pat Bassett’s blog.

Pat Bassett’s blog post on the 5C’s + 1

Great resource for reinventing learning and 21st century learning practices:

Makerbot 3D printers, under $1500!

Takeaway Action Items: 

Put a greater emphasis in communications about starting a conversation than in delivering a message.

Develop a “learning stance” in approaching difficult issues and conversations in your school.

Rethink grading toward Mastery, Proficiency, and Not Yet.

Join an online professional network/ PLN: personal learning network.

Define for your class, your course, your department, your division, your school: what are your equivalent to the 5C’s, what are your intended learning outcomes?

Start a K-12 robotics program.

Discussion Questions for Further Conversation

What are the difficult conversations we need to have at our school?

How can we help each other identify the deeper issues?

What are the race, sexual orientation, and class issues we should be talking about which we are not?

The difficult parent: How can we better approach by seeking better to understand what the bubble in their heads are, and where lies the source of their upset?

What does it mean to shift from knowing to doing in our classrooms, in our assessments, in our academic fields, in interdisciplinary learning?

How can we help students use what they learn to immediately apply to something meaningful, purposeful, relevant?

Can we eliminate grading, or in what ways might we be able to eliminate/minimize grading, as Pat Bassett recommends?

The Four Essential Questions:  What should we teach?  How should we teach?  How should we assess?  How should we embed the vision?

What are the skills and values that the 21st century will demand and reward?

What does your/ our school consider to be the essential skills: what is our own analogue to Pat Bassett’s C’s?

How can we shift teaching from “just in case” to “just in time?”

Visitors to the blog: Please use the comment option to offer your own resources, action items, or discussion questions.