Pam Moran and I shared this and facilitated this conversation today at educon: our thanks to the attendees for the rich and meaningful conversation.
January 27, 2013
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January 25, 2013
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Benchmarks, projects, inquiry, presentations— these words trip off the tongue of Science Leadership Academy as easily and frequently as do the words test, quiz, and paper for most “regular” school students.
But, in contrast, they do so with a different intonation, a tone of pride and seriousness of purpose.
I’ve just completed spending a day visiting classrooms in session (last time I attended educon, this day was a snowday and school was cancelled) and speaking with, listening really, to SLA students, as this was the agenda for day 1 of educon.
There are many things to be impressed with and excited about at this school– to be sure. So student centered is it that one friend here, Greg Bamford, observed in conversation, “The sign of SLA’s student-centered genius? When you walk into a class, everyone’s working – but you have no idea who the teacher is.”
It is a a cliche, perhaps, of Educon observations that these students are especially articulate about and proud of their school– and I heard this loudly. Students told me they think their PBL education is far preferable to the norm, that it “requires they become more independent, responsible, and collaborative, that it is better preparation for college and life.”
They say that at first their friends at other schools are jealous that, mostly, educon students don’t have tests and quizzes to stress about, but that envy diminishes as they recognize increasingly how demanding it is to have “benchmarks” every quarter in every class.
But what interested me most specifically was how fluent these students are with the school’s “jargon,” its practices and concepts of inquiry driven, project based learning. Every student I spoke to went there, explained it to me, often patiently in the manner of someone who has to explain it often, and proudly.
In working with educators on developing PBL, project-based learning, so often these days, I often hear– and anyone who works in this field often hears– the response that as much as the teachers think it is valuable or important, they regularly encounter push back from their students– their students don’t want to do PBL. (more…)
February 1, 2011
I’m just back from Philadelphia and my first (but not last) Educon— this was the fourth Educon. It was a terrific experience, and I feel deeply indebted and appreciative to Chris Lemann, the staff and faculty, and the students, of Science Leadership Academy, our hosts.
EduCon is both a conversation and a conference.
And it is not a technology conference. It is an education conference. It is, hopefully, an innovation conference where we can come together, both in person and virtually, to discuss the future of schools.
Its Axioms are as follows:
- Our schools must be inquiry-driven, thoughtful and empowering for all members
- Our schools must be about co-creating — together with our students — the 21st Century Citizen
- Technology must serve pedagogy, not the other way around
- Technology must enable students to research, create, communicate and collaborate
- Learning can — and must — be networked
I am writing this from a hotel room in Hermosillo, Mexico, where I am spending a week introducing St. Gregory to schools, families, and students here, exploring possible collaboration, exchange, and enrollment opportunities.
10 thoughts about Educon:
1. Innovation matters. (more…)