BLC 2013 Conference Notes

by Beth Knittle on July 27, 2013

I had an opportunity to attend BLC 2013 in Boston for a day.  I always learn something while I am there, either in a session or conversations in the hall.  Below is a summary of the notes I have from the event.

Thursday Keynote
Dr Weinberg  Title of talk “Why hasn’t technology changed education?”

Dr.Weinberg contents that is has not changed education but it has changed learning.  What goes through my mind, then education and learning are not connected.

The premise is that knowledge is a reflection of the media, which hold the record of knowledge.  For the last thousand years or so print was the media of knowledge and therefore knowledge tended to be package in limited and linear format.  Today knowledge is shared and contained via the Internet it is unlimited and interconnected. It is also share ‘live’ and not as a finished product.  Errors exist and the need for web literacy and critical reading has increased.

My thought there is no such thing as settled, known, discrete. Learning is information it is connected, growing, and deeply layered. But when we read on line we scan and summarize we loose the depth of complexity of information and knowledge.  We want the abbreviated simple answer – our loss.

Dr Weinberg continues; Only disagreement and difference of thought make a value to learning knowledge if every one agrees a circle of yes men has negative value.

Knowledge is messy not orderly

Once knowledge was private owned by the author & publisher once printed it was “settled” and gate keepers libraries and book stores decided what was shared to reader

Now knowledge is public creates and shared in public as it develops it is never settles and always flowing.

Now that anyone can publish anything  we need to focus more on literacy and critical thinking, research skills.

There should not be any canon or go to websites or sources teach literacy!!!

There has never been anything that we all agreement on. We need to challenge and push back on facts and theories

My thought we need ask questions and accept when we are challenged and question.

Dr Weinberg recommends a look and Harold Rheingold’s the crap detector to support web literacy.

Conversation has never caused someone change there mind.

Not sure I agree with this. This tells me we never change our minds then does that mean learning stops. Or does the conversation inspire us or open us up to further investigate and learn.

For a different take on the Keynotes see Brad Ovenell-Carters notes, page 1 and page 2.

What I do like about reading others notes on the same sessions is that I can see how many people hear the same talk and pick out and take away different things.

Research, Inquiry and the Common Core: A Collaborative Journey and Smack down.
Joyce Valencia, Shannon McClintock Miller and Michelle Luhtala
Session Description 

Next up was Research, Inquiry and the Common Core.  You can see the session materials on their padlet.  This is a direct link to their slides.

80% of time must be on common core shared by all teachers – plea to add the things that were left out such as reading for pleasure, creativity and passion the other 20%.  Joyce in particular speaks with such passion about keeping those ideas in education.

The discussion also looked at close reading and a variety of tools to support the common core.  I recommend looking through the padlet there is great information there.

Future School
Brad Ovenell-Carter 
Session Description

I must admit I did not take many notes here.  Brad is a compelling speaker – he is clear, precise and provided a great session outline found at the description.

“No one remembers the great accounts of the Roman Empire”, we remember the creators.

If kids take notes and throw them out at the end of the year because they do not need them or find no value in them we have done them a disservice.

We had classical liberal education for elites that went on for thousand of years then invent public education for the masses to get common literacy and now first time we have the technology, the tools and access to information so everyone can have an liberal education that was once reserved for elites.

Like the emphasis on Trust – trust students, trust colleagues – trust is respect with out it not much happens.

Impromptu Session  Creating Sketch notes with Paper (53)
Brad Ovenell-Carter

Brad has a unique presetnation style by using sketchnotes to share his material.  He was asked by many how he does what he does, so an impromptu session was held.  The session reveiwed the app he uses called Paper by 53.  You can see examples of his sketch notes here.

We also discussed the notetaking strategies such as skecthing and how exposing students to this method may give them one more way for them to engage content as they take notes. It is not the outline format that is traditionally taught, as knowledge is not always linear but web like, a running theme through out most of the day.

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