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Friday, October 16, 2009

The Keynote I'd Like to See at ISTE 2010: Vote and Share Yours




This is your time to contribute.  A massive debate is emerging over at ISTE's keynote discussion forum and as part of this massive edublogosphere (maybe it should be renamed edutweetosphere?) ISTE has crowdsourced one of their keynotes for ISTE 2010.  I've put in my two cents.

Right now, two of the proposals that seem to be running through twitter are Kevin Hunnicutt's proposal and that by Scott Mcleod.  I'll share those proposals and then my personal thoughts and then share with you my own proposal for the keynote.  (note that just because someone proposes it DOES NOT MEAN that person is going to DO the keynote - right now it is about content - phase 2 is about speakers.)

From Kevin Hunnicutt  (go to the ISTE forum to cast your vote for this one.)





Thoughts from Me:


To me, it is not just about the trends.  I think that ISTE will be chock full of trends, tools, and tactics.  I think that keynotes should take us past the cool factor into that gray place in our cerebral hemisphere that connects new pathways between our left and right brain to help us understand how to effect change.

Scott McLeod has a good point on his post that we must impact leaders.

But to me, it is time to pull in the research on change and the book that has totally transformed my thinking and put the transformation at my school in overdrive has been the Influencer: the Power to Change Anything by Kerry Patterson et. al -- if we have the chance to ask ISTE for what we want - I think we should consider not just asking for more of the same.  If I want trends, tools, tactics, I have those in all of the sessions.

But we want to change all attendees of ISTE.  We're not talking tactics, we're talking strategies of change.  Influencer talks about two types of change leaders that need to be involved before change can happen:  formal leaders and opinion leaders.  We have got to tap into BOTH.

Yes, I love tools and I totally adore Kevin Hunnicut, the man who proposed this (He's the founder of Tweetwood Mac, after all ;-)  but I really think that this keynote should be more and we should push ISTE to ask for some people who can transform our thinking.

The authors of Influencer who also wrote Crucial Conversations are those I wish that they would bring because they are not just about hype, but are about transformational change based upon the research and can inspire us as individuals to be the kind of people who transform classrooms.

This about helping these children in our classrooms who are desperately needing to be reached in the ways that they learn.  These kids are drowning and dropping out of school.  We just don't need to talk about more tools that are going to leave so many glassy eyed and lost but about making a difference in the ways we can to have wide scale positive incorporation of technology into the classrooms in ways that reach kids.

I just feel like that the tools will change by next year but that if we can learn how to effect change then we can be transformed.  My prop is http://iste2010.uservoice.com/pages/30480-iste-2010-conference-keynote-topic-suggestions/suggestions/353624-transformational-influence-finding-and-leveraging-the-small-behaviors-that-make-a-big-difference?ref=title

but also take a look at Scott McLeod's which is in the same vein.

Scott McLeod's Proposal (go to the ISTE forum to vote and discuss)





So, since I posted the original thoughts, a pretty cool conversation is happening -- I'm including it here in reverse order:


Vicki Davis
Scott, the research shows you need BOTH. So if we can incorporate both wouldn't that be a better keynote? Again, I think this exclusive approach limits people because NOT ONLY admins will be at ISTE but people from all areas. Shouldn't the keynote be more of an appeal and of use to everyone and not just to admins. Let a smaller session be just for admins but let a keynote be for all of us.
Otherwise, you end up with unempowered, disheartened teachers and IT staff who know that because their principal is not on board that they have no hope.
Patterson also wrote a book Crucial Conversations which is about this very thing -- how can teachers, IT directors have the crucial conversations that turn admins and principals into advocates of technology and not opponents. YES, we absolutely have to have admins on board it is ESSENTIAL but if we cannot be an admin we should be able to influence an admin.

Scott McLeod
Vicki, I'm a big fan of the Influencer book, but the research is pretty clear that opinion leaders / teacher leaders / IT leaders / whomever get stymied if formal leaders (principals, superintendents, boards, policymakers) don't get it. Why? Because it's the formal leaders that have control over all of the important variables: money, time, personnel, organizational vision and direction, etc. Teacher / IT / opinion leaders are an extremely important part of the equation - and I'm a strong believer in shared, distributed leadership - but the bottom line is that formal school leaders must be the key focus if we want long-term, systemic change to occur.

Vicki Davis
Scott, the research shows you need BOTH. So if we can incorporate both wouldn't that be a better keynote? Again, I think this exclusive approach limits people because NOT ONLY admins will be at ISTE but people from all areas. Shouldn't the keynote be more of an appeal and of use to everyone and not just to admins. Let a smaller session be just for admins but let a keynote be for all of us.
Otherwise, you end up with unempowered, disheartened teachers and IT staff who know that because their principal is not on board that they have no hope.
Patterson also wrote a book Crucial Conversations which is about this very thing -- how can teachers, IT directors have the crucial conversations that turn admins and principals into advocates of technology and not opponents. YES, we absolutely have to have admins on board it is ESSENTIAL but if we cannot be an admin we should be able to influence an admin.

So, aren't you dying to hop in here and chat on this one?  Then, please do by going to the ISTE forum with Scott's Proposal and weighing in.

OK, so, it is no mystery that I'd like Patterson or one of the authors of Influencer: The Power to Change Anything, Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High
, and Crucial Confrontations: Tools for talking about broken promises, violated expectations, and bad behavior at ISTE.  They research change and isn't that what we're talking about?  Don't we believe in research based best practices or do we just want to hear the anecdotes of another person who may or may not apply to our situation?



Here it is in text form:


Transformational Influence: Finding and leveraging the small behaviors that make a big difference

The current research on positive influence (Influencer: The Power to Change Anything by Patterson et. all) talks about high leverage behaviors and promoting systemic change using the 6 areas of influence. We need to look at the research of change as it relates to incorporating the technology in ways that research shows will improve learning.
But we're dealing with people here - until we get past the technology and learn how to work with people, we will forever be stuck talking to each other. There are areas where systemic change IS happening.
We should try to get Patterson or one of the speakers to ISTE and also have them lead a panel of educators (principal, admin, IT director) to talk about the 6 aspects of change and help people consider the human aspect of what we're trying to do as well as build upon the research about positive change in organizations.
It should also include a component about what it takes to be an opinion leader, the person who truly can transform an organization. Yes, technology is important but until we understand the people we will forever be relegated to being underutilized and mis-implemented as the regular classroom remains unchanged.

Does it really matter what Kevin, Scott, or Vicki think anyway?
So, here is the beautiful thing. Sure, Kevin, Scott, and Vicki can hammer away at each other sharing their thoughts and opinion and surely that may influence the opinions of some.

But Scott, Kevin, Vicki or anyone else cannot truly vote in this keynote.  This keynote is the first crowdsourced keynote from ISTE and I clap and would yell with a million voices a thank you for the gutsy move that this took to say "Hey, let's let people do this."

So, this will morph, change, evolve, and be hashed out by you and me and all of us.  And I"m going to tell you something - if you don't jump in here and vote or talk or propose, you lose your right to complain.

That's right.  You have totally given up your complaint ticket by abstaining on this one.  This is your keynote my friends and I don't care WHO wins this should not be about who is liked the best but about what needs to be said and what we need to learn as educators.  Personally, I think that the leading topics aren't what we need as a keynote, but hey, I'm only one person.

Get in there and vote and share:  Power to the People!



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