Sunday, February 3, 2008

Session 1000: David Warlick: Harnessing the Changing Shape of Information

I’m waiting for the session to start – David Warlick is sitting right in front of me speaking with Stephen Heppell – the two of them will be doing a session later today. On a screen in the front of the room there are a variety of quotes from 11 year olds from a science exam. For example: The magnet: something you find crawling all over a dead cat. Vacuum: a large empty space where the pope lives.

Peggy Thomas is introducing David Warlick. He is from N. Carolina – I look forward to hearing his southern accent.

Also showed Our Students Our Worlds – wiki documents that the presentation is based on.
Password for wiki is teacher. David invited us to edit his handouts on the wiki. Why? Because we learn from each other. He also said that his presentation is available on Slideshare. Can embed into wikis, blogs webpages by using Slideshare. He spoke about Second Life. There is an island for Second Life called EduIsland. Second Life
Can create a virtual library on Second Life. Suruawang Dapoto (that's what David W. is called in Second Life)– showed us his avatar.

David spoke about what education prepared students for - straight rows, close supervision, repetitive tasks – but this is not the future.

He says that the cell phone is revolutionizing our culture.

How much information is accurate 2oo2 – 5 exabytes of info added (37 x Lib of Congress)- .01% was ever printed. We need to be teaching kids how to use this info.

More and more professional communications will be virtual. Clothing is being made that is fully connectable ie cellphone embedded in the jacket. GPS toe ring!!!!

First time in history we are preparing our child for a future we can not clearly describe. What do we do?

Three conversion conditions:

1. Unpredictable Future
What students learn is not as important. How they are learning is more important – teach kids how to teach themselves. (He cited the book TheWorld is Flat). Workforce requires cooperaration.

Richard Florida – The Rise of the Creative Class. Similar to what Daniel Pink has written regarding the increasing need fro right-braqined thinking. 400 000 creative arts jobs in the next couple of years. Implication – just as much funding into the creative arts as science is needed.

Our kids are 21st century but learning in 19th century classrooms.

2. Info-oriented Kids
They are social, multi-task, use multiple technolgies, have diverse family structures. Kids are learning things because they are connected. We don’t understand the vastness of the digital divide. There is power in community
As teachers we need to teach kids appropriate ways to communicate ie make the decision to write in ways appropriate to task. Many video games are learning engines. How can we harness this for educations? Book: What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy – James Paul Gee
Machinima – collaborative movie making through game.
Kids see info as raw material – they use it to make products. Kids today need:
To work in responsive information environments
Communicate with other
Share personal experiences
Form and take part in communities
Ask questions
Illustrated their accomplishments
Invest themselves
Safely make mistakes

The nature of info has change. We need to redefine literacy.

3. New information landscapes.
We can now make information find us. For example, RSS feeds, digitalization. The 3 Rs are:
Reading – exposing
Rithmetic – employing
Riting – expressly ideas
Many students are more literate that our students – Classrooms are flat.

Our job is to teach kids how to teach themselves. Not literacy, learning literacy, habits of literacy, a learning lifestyle.
Problems – Humans have a tendency to pay attention to people who think like us. We need to teach kids to question all viewpoints and look for all viewpoints.

Note: I keyed my notes during the session. Please excuse me if some content doesn't make sense. Just go to the website for handouts: This will also take you to a wiki called Our Students, Our World upon which this presentation is based.

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