Sunday, June 30, 2013

Change the World Through "Connected Learning"

By: Michelle Andron, Elementary Vice Principal at Emek Hebrew Academy

The new ISTE tagline is “Connected Learning,” and that’s definitely the vibe that I left the conference with. Connection is the key to changing the world. Connecting, as in sharing of ideas. Connecting, as in engagement. Connecting, as in building relationships. Connection leads to innovation and makes it possible for us to change the world. When the incredibly inspiring keynote speaker Adam Bellow talked about how his childhood dream of being Superman transitioned into his drive to change the world in a very real way, I think everyone in the room felt like unlocking the superman within. This was my first time at ISTE, thanks to the incredible generosity of the AVICHAI Foundation, and I made sure to cram in as much as I could. I attended several sessions, spotlight presentations, all the keynotes, spoke to countless vendors at the EXPO and participated in the nightly Avichai reflection discussions. An overly saturated sponge doesn’t even come close to describing the feeling I had post ISTE. So, as I continue to work on synthesizing everything I experienced in the four amazing days at ISTE I leave you with some thoughts, quotes, and reflections that inspired me to change the world.

  • Teaching starts with building relationships. Students only care what you know when they know you care.
  • “We need to do more listening and less talking.” -Alan November
  • With content literally at everyone’s fingertips the most important skill we should teach our students is how to ask questions.
  • “You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ but I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why NOT?” - George Bernard Shaw
  • You must take risks in order to innovate. “Innovation is the intersection of fear and bravery.” - Adam Bellow
  • We need to embrace and celebrate failure! When playing video games, people fail 80% of the time but those failures force players to try new things, problem solve, and think critically. We need to encourage kids to take the risks, learn from failures and love the process.
  • Project Based Learning is really Passion Based Learning. Give up the locus of control and let students wonder, explore, and question things they are passionate about.
  • We need to give students more opportunities to collaborate, create and share with global audience. A global audience can be a tremendous motivator for disengaged students.

All of the above are important because we need to do a better job at GETTING OUR  STUDENTS ENGAGED! We need to take risks, innovate, and inspire our students and everyone around us to change the world!

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