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Friday, November 16, 2007

Live Blogging Educating for a Flattening World with Alan Preis



Educating for a flattening world presentation (I will embed the presentation from my ustream later,but you may go over there and view it now.)

Alan Preis, Atlanta International School

He showed the Did You Know 2 video.
From audience response, many people have still not seen it. (Man version 2 of this video is really high quality!! Wow!

I like that, we are living in exponential times. 1 out of 8 couples married in the US met online.
I like BG - before Google.

Such an important message -- we can't solved problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. I honestly didn't realize that the Flat Classroom was in Karl's new video update! I have to show my students this video!!! Wow! (http://shifthappens.wikispaces.com) Man, that Karl Fisch is brilliant.)

Things have to change.

Thomas Friedman says that the real story of the dot com era was the fiber that was being laid during the dot com era. That is the story that few people understand. We're left with a legacy of the infrastructure of the way the world is working.

*Alan has a backchannel however, twitter is down and I can't backchannel without people to "talk" to. Twitter would have at least 4-5 more people in this great presentation!

This is an excellent overview of the book. Alan is doing a great job. If you want someone to understand the book, this is a good presentation to watch.

The real story of Y2K had to do with the programmers working on this problem and where they were located. The methods set up to allow people in India to do the programming for this problem.

*I keep trying to backchannel, but it is just me talking to myself. I like the idea of a facilitator. We'll see how it goes in my session!

He hates the classic response, "PANIC!" The world is changing whether we want it to or not. It is an opportunity... we must use it as a drive to improve the way that we teach!! (Alan has a great perspective!)

What skills are needed? Collaboration, processing, synthsizing, cross disciplinary thinking, global awareness, consuming and producing information.

"Our students aren't just learning polymonials sitting at a desk... they also need to know how to work with others." Alan Preis, Atlanta International School

1/4th of us in the class are getting more than 100 e-mails a day. Do students know how to process and weed through this sort of innundation of stuff. How do they decide what to do? What do they do?

Synthesizing and cross disciplinary thinking. A special kind of individual to make connections to be able to see things that specialists on their own cannot see. How do we teach that?

Global awareness -- Many students lack a fundamental understanding of the world. He is talking about their tandem learning approach... his daughter is learning tandem with their friends. His daughter was on skype and they practiced their language skills. AT the end the girl in France says "When can we have her over to play?" Didn't realize that her friend was half a world away.

Global mindedness, and important principle. We need to start seeing students as consumers and producers of information. How many have students published on wikipedia? Research shows when students are publishing for a global audience that they approach the task differently.

Students need to be well versed in navigating around things. How can they find things quickly? Be aware of what resources and how to get there.

Credibility -- evaluating credibility. He cannot get the kind of information he needs for things. He's talking about wikipedia.

(From Vicki
If Wikipedia has a footnote, my students use the footnote. If there is no original source in wikipedia that it footnotes then I teach them how to be wary of it.)

These are critical skills and before Wikipedia it was hard to teach it. Wikipedia opens the door to evaluate the sources.

Great example, a guy in the audience says, a great flatteners in his life was when he got a free encyclopedia on a CD-ROM with a pack of cheese. An encyclopedia used to be such a status symbol and people had to scrimp and save just to get it. And now you don't have to even buy the cheese.

Information is almost becoming free. Most of what his students are learning will not be of any relevance in terms of the language. Have a computer to buy for my five year old. It will change over the next five years. He is a fan of teaching concepts not the specifics. We should teach concepts and fundamentals, the strategies of learning technologies.

We must expose students to varied sources of information. As students get older, we want to flip the paradigms of teachers and learners.

He is in the process of building a global language exchange. Building collaboration of languages. He has two classes where his students are posted in French and the students in France are posting on the wiki in English and there is a dialog that is beginning to exchange.

He is talking about when he talked to my students.

People asking how do you set those up. He says that there were 2 pieces -- they had to find a school and they had to build a collaborative environment on wikispaces. (This is similar to what I've found in the 7 steps to flatten your classroom.)

The importance of information filtering and time filtering.

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