Thursday, July 1, 2010

iste 10 - my take away

a global 
innovation lab 
working on 
digital equity

1. dangerous that i found twitter - and could see that i wasn’t crazy.. that others were doing/thinking the same

2. dangerous that i had my first meetup with those i follow at iste10

3. dangerous that i had a good zoom out revelation - and saw where the mindset of the masses of those at such a conference are - not to mention the masses of all of ed

4. playing it safe is risky, dangerous can save the world

perspective from my vantage listening in to ISTE 10:
  • There are a lot of really cool things happening.. many pockets of innovation.
  • The masses are tweaking really well. It’s tough to move in an institution. Switching four 66 min blocks to two 44 min and two 88 min can even be deemed edreform.

I’ve personally felt our district wide Innovation Lab - where kids are creating their own courses was a huge mind shift. But at ISTE 10 I realized we are limiting even that.

My biggest take away from the conference:
  • There were many shiny- cool gadgets.
  • There were awesome ideas buzzing about.
  • There was tremendous energy in a large group of people that want to make change.
  • At the end of the day... this will only serve a portion of the world’s students.

Two words/images/concepts that I immersed myself in while carpooling with a district colleague - (yes serendipity can happen in the same town):

e q u i t y
We (30 students and I)  wrote up standards of access we believe will redefine school.
digital equity (access prior to iste) - process - connectivity
While we knew what we meant.. equity is a more universal term for these three concepts, especially access - which is now switched to digital equity.

We believe we are going to scale and level out - because we crafted it a true disruption (low cost, low impact.) We are hoping that other districts will join in fall 2010. 

Conversations this week have me thinking thought - it really isn’t a true disruption. Not everyone can join. Not the kid in Chicago or the kid in Uganda or the kid 5 blocks down. None of them have web access. Not just at home - not at school either. Funny how similar the stories of digital equity are when talking to Uganda and to rural and/or impoverished US communities.

So we’re crafting a pre (or along side) plan to create the equity.
Rather than a district Innovation Lab where kids/teachers are pulled in from each school,
a global Innovation Lab where kids/experts are pulled in from each country.

Obvious push backs - Why global? Why not ease into it? 

Well - why would we wait?
If we can send a man to the moon, create the sixth sense, ... why wouldn’t we dive into something that really matters. Something that could level learning to every person on the planet.. so that people and schools and money and whatever else you can list won’t determine anyone else’s passion. Something that will create a globe of people who really do want to make a difference - the means to do it. We all get to choose. We really can do whatever we want. But some are still waiting for access. Most are being incredibly patient.

And why don’t we do it in the same fashion we think learning best works. MIT is learning from kindergarten thinking... they are on to something. Let’s quit thinking it’s the exception.
Let’s find a tribe, a network - with no gender, age, sex, ethnicity, economical, geographical, etc... limits. People from anywhere. People that won’t be able to sleep until they figure out a way to fashion a structure to wifi the world. 

We should have stopped school to figure out the oil spill. We should do it now to create digital equity. We have to listen to people like Jason Fried and give up the way we’ve always done things. Switching minutes in the day.. just won’t cut it.

{after i wrote and read this.. i'm thinking... this will be my class per passion in our district innovation lab. digital equity - if you want to join. open sourced. out sourced. ...}

While we’re fashioning that - let’s start having everyone start using their own tools, or provide them with some. There are ridiculous amounts of recycle bins filled with cells. Let’s dismantle the service and start handing them out. Then let’s start connecting every kid to an expert tutor. At the very least - which would be incredible - we could connect those without teachers/mentors to Kahn Academy and Ted/BIF Talks...just to get them going.

c l u m p i n g
The second word I learned form the same brilliant mind... clumping.

We were watching a line, single file, of thousands of people.
I was commenting on how ridiculous is was.. the epitome of public school...follow the leader. Then she started to explain the global perspective.. that other countries clump (we’d probably call it cutting in line.)

Well - this got me thinking..
We’re not looking to cut.. our agenda is for everyone.
We are however, feeling the weight of responsibility. We are looking to boldly (and gracefully) clump our way to a solution. It’s that vital.

The process may entail a talk with the President, it certainly will entail passionate global conversation. It is what it is. Most of all .. it will involve shipment. We’ll make it happen. 

We know there are so many wanting the same... serendipitous connections make the magic happen.
1 goal

on the conference itself - 
couldn't all the perks we experience at such a conference be give backs instead of take homes? cool - you won this.. and it's going to... 
wondering how much we spent on paper. what if we calculated that and next year (when we're paperless) we budget it in as a give aways to those who could really use it.