Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Alan November asks "Who owns the learning?"

In the opening keynote of the GlobalEd conference, Alan November looks at some fresh ideas (fresh from him). He states that there is little to indicate that there have been significant or measurable improvements, on the whole, after the spending of tens of billions in technology.
He asks that there must be no more of the following:
  • No more Technology Planning
  • No more 1:1, students should have but that is not the central issue
  • No more Ed Tech - no more technology directors and less talk of technology
But have more on Learning Design - define problem as improving learning for all our children, then Learning Design is what we should be aiming for. 
(and November asks if anyone has changed their titles - well, we are now talking of T4L so as to emphasise that it is all about the Learning).
Critical questions to ask - do we have:
  • Right information about learning
  • Right relationships to support learning
Students - do students have the right information and the right relationships? "Our teachers know too much, but student tutorials are pitched at the right level", depending upon your friends are you probably will do better or worse at school. Build capacity of students to help students - less emphasis on teacher technology training.
So change in the relationships is vital: mentions Eric Mazur - designing an online community of his students (November says Facebook might be based upon this since Zuckerberg was in Mazur's class!), brings out an amazing treasure trove of information on how learning is happening.
(Mazur's presentation at BLC11 is a "must watch", 20% of learning achieved with the best lecture; figures out that students need immediate feedback with a lot of peer conversation, and that Sochratic approach is better; hence the flip classroom).
As far as professional development is concerned, November says that it is much more rewarding to be global, for your personal learning network to be beyond campus.
($1,000 pencils: students taking notes from teacher in class - a nice way of stating that 1 to 1 means nothing unless the pedagogy changes).
The knowledge of the teacher is in the way of the learning, says November, it is not about knowledge transfer.
November talks about the flipped classroom - here is the video from Clintondale High School which has gone through a complete transformation of pedagogy:

Learning design is the key, not the technology.
Question to ask is who owns the learning? And not how many computers do you have. 
November talks about new student roles for developing empowered learners:
  • Tutorial designers
  • Official scribes
  • Collaboration coordinators
  • Researchers
  • Contributors to society
  • Curriculum reviewers
  • and specifically:
    • Videographer
    • Photographer
    • Data entry
    • Live blogging
    • Interviewers
    • Skype connections
    • Backchannel
So, November asks:
  • Who owns the learning?
  • Are your students producing a legacy?
  • Who works harder in the classroom?
  • Are students publishing to a global audience?
But he says that TEACHERS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER to emphasis the need for learning designers.

An excellent thought provoking session.

1 comment:

Christina said...

This is a critical point - not just for K-12, but also for corporate learning strategy. As a corporate learning strategist I speak with many business sponsor who are either resistant to non-classroom modes because they will never be as good as face to face classroom, or want the latest technology because it's more engaging. The hard truth is neither mode is a guarantee of learner engagement or learning effectiveness. It's the Design that rules the kingdom. Ruth Clark has evidentiary support of this in her books, Efficiency in Learning.