I really have no idea what the best way is to capture and share my learning from #BLC11. I have so many new things to think about, people to learn from and tools to explore that I don't know the best way to organize it. So, I am thinking I'll just reflect and share my thinking about each session I attended. I'll do this in several parts because it is far too much for one post.
One of my favorite things from BLC is that I discovered a few new people to learn from. I was tempted to go to all sessions offered by a few people I have learned from over the year but decided to stretch myself a bit and see speakers I was familiar with (Shannon Miller, Kathy Cassidy, Angela Maiers) with people I had never had the opportunity to hear.
The conference was kicked off by Dr. Eric Mazur (@eric_mazur)of Harvard. It was a great kick-off to the conference as he asked us to really think about the meaning of education and that we must move beyond education as "information transfer". He shared a great classic video clip of Father Guido Sarducci's Five Minute University to support his thinking about the problem with lecturing in school. This video provides a humorous reminder of how important it is for us to really think about our goals for education.
Dr. Mazur's led us through some ways that he is expanding his classes by teaching through questions and the ways in which technology is allowing that to happen in lecture halls of 500 students. His big message for me was that it is not the technology, but the pedagogy that matters in education. He said, "Technology should be at the service of pedagogy." Loved that quote!
You can watch his entire keynote on BLC's website: http://novemberlearning.com/videos/
THE SEARCH IS SOCIAL by Angela Maiers
Following the first keynote, I attended Angela Maiers' (@angelamaiers) session called "The Search is Social". This was a powerful talk about how google and other search engines are changing the ways we, as consumers, get information. Angela talked about the importance of the social piece of information gathering and invited us to think about what this means for our students. Angela graciously shares what she learns with the world and you can access her presentation and some thoughts around it on her site. Here are some highlights:
*As teachers who are teaching Internet search skills to our students, we want to focus on teaching dispositions of being a web participant, not the product of a search. She suggests that to do this, we pay attention to behaviors and explore real time content together. She reminded us that every day the web evolves so when we teach web search, we are never in the role of master. She believes that we have to be learners in the moment in front of the kids using think-aloud.
*Up until recently, the social components of the Web have been separated from the data part.(Facebook separate from research, etc.). Our behaviors and dispositions with each of those were different. But now, they are no longer separate. We must legitimize the social piece of research for our students. She explained that Web 3.0 means that we, as web users are the web.
*She talked about the importance of strangers in research. How often do we take the advice of strangers on sites like Trip Advisor, Amazon, Zappos, etc. when making a decision? We use this connected voice of strangers to make decisions about lots of things . But she asked us to think about the ways we position strangers to kids on the web. That doesn't negate Internet safety but since people are not defining the web community, we cannot negate the impact of information from strangers.
*Our responsibility is to teach kids how humans interact with information and what it means to be a contributor of this global community.
*Angela went on to explain how Google and other search engines are now showing us what it is that it thinks we want to see. The search engines control what we get access to and we each get access to different things based on our circles. She recommended "Beware Online Filter Bubbles" TED TALK by Eli Pariser to better understand these ideas.
*Network literacy is far more important than information literacy. This is about more than consumption of information but about becoming part of the digital community and managing your digital footprint.
*She ended talking about the company, KLOUT, that analyzes your social influence and gives you a score. This is the part that is changing--our social influence matters in lots of ways and this will become more important as time goes on. Definitely worth checking out!
MORE #BLC11 Reflections to come later this week and/or next!