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EDU 807 - Spring 2019 - Week 7 - Keynote from Yong Zhao

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Feb 16
Troy Hicks (Feb 16 2018 3:45PM) : Before viewing the video... more

… please be sure to read the Zhao et al article and visit Dr. Zhao’s website: http://zhaolearning.com/

As a prediction before viewing, in what ways do you imagine he will describe the role of technology in education?

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Feb 17
Melissa Blake (Feb 17 2019 11:21AM) : I think he'll describe it as both an individual journey (it won't look the same for every teacher/context/curriculum), but there are large-scale & general actions that can be taken, such as better PD, stronger support systems, and easier, reliable access.
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Feb 17
Melissa Blake (Feb 17 2019 11:22AM) : Oh, and probably being more open and honest with the benefits and "side effects" to all stakeholders.
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Feb 20
Miss Ashley Gabel (Feb 20 2019 10:16PM) : I second this! From his article/bio, I expect him to fully acknowledge the complexities of tech integration. Not only is it an individual journey for a teacher to select and implement, but for each student to experience whatever tech they interact with.
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Feb 22
Troy Hicks (Feb 22 2019 2:07PM) : Complexities and contexts more

One of the lines that I use often in PD sessions with teachers is something like this – “How might this work your kids, in your classroom?” I know that there is no single, perfect ed tech tool, so I want teachers to think contextually.

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Feb 17
Tiffany Sutter (Feb 17 2019 3:10PM) : I think his overall perspective is positive about technology and that the role of tech within education is growing and will continue to grow. more

That said, I think he will look at the factors which lead to successful integration. First, it seems important to have strong teachers in regards to their abilities so PD and training becomes imperative.

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Feb 20
Miss Ashley Gabel (Feb 20 2019 10:20PM) : His Ed Tech jokes are on point. 10/10, I laughed at all of them.
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Feb 22
Melissa Blake (Feb 22 2019 5:16PM) : Yes!
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Feb 16
Troy Hicks (Feb 16 2018 3:44PM) : What most educational technologies do... more

… consider Dr. Zhao’s point: “Most technology products have nothing to do with education; they all have to do with teaching and instruction, which forces people to acquire the same things. Which, of course, can cause serious problems.”

What are the implications of this statement? In what ways does Dr. Zhao frame his definition of “educational technology?” How does this definition align with (or push against) the types of “innovation” that we need teachers to engage in?

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Feb 17
Melissa Blake (Feb 17 2019 12:08PM) : It makes it seem like it's not about the learning or the learner. more

It’s about the teacher improving test scores at the same rate at the same time; what the teacher can impose on the student to improve achievement (not learning).

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Feb 17
Tiffany Sutter (Feb 17 2019 3:27PM) : He is making an argument against using the same technologies for every teacher and student in an effort to teach the same thing to everyone at the same time in the same order. more

If you look at the ISTE standards, they are encouraging innovation that allows students to research on their own, make their own choices of tools and products, and share what they find. All-too-often, thanks to the driving curricular standards, we don’t let students do this, and instead we force everyone into the same processes and tools to stay on the same timeline.

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Feb 22
Melissa Blake (Feb 22 2019 5:19PM) : I listened to a debate about this once. A counter-argument asked about management: how does a teacher manage students constantly manage students learning different topic/skills using different tools at different paces, and so on. I have no solutions.
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Feb 17
Tiffany Sutter (Feb 17 2019 3:55PM) : He says later that technology has been tasked with making the "Common Core" more efficient. We are asking technology to help teach the same prescribed curriculum to all in a faster, easier way. This is not what educational technology should be!
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Feb 20
Miss Ashley Gabel (Feb 20 2019 10:36PM) : The LAST thing I expected this tech-positive guy to do is sound like Selwyn, but here we are. Selwyn p.98 says "you must learn to predict the consequence of each move, and anticipate the computer's response. (see next comment for the rest) more

Eventually, your decisions become intuitive, as smooth and rapid fire as the computer’s own machinations." Zhao begins to talk about school as a factory trying to churn out identical students, which evokes an image very similar to what Selwyn painted in his critique about games. Interesting that one argument would be against technology, and the other for it.

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Feb 22
Troy Hicks (Feb 22 2019 2:12PM) : Decisions becoming actions becoming habits... more

This is an interesting point about how we interrogate our daily decision-making with tech. What are we using? When? Why? By continuing to disrupt our own thinking about when, why, and how we use tech in different ways, we are modeling a thoughtful, critical approach for our students and colleagues.

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Feb 17
Tiffany Sutter (Feb 17 2019 3:33PM) : Obviously, it's not ideal that we are graduating students globally who are deep in debt and cannot get jobs in their fields... more

However, it is (sort of) refreshing to hear that it is not just an American problem!

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Feb 20
Miss Ashley Gabel (Feb 20 2019 10:45PM) : OOf, those stats were hard to hear! Hoping he gets to some kind of solution to these problems (and I hope it involves Ed Tech :))
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Feb 17
Tiffany Sutter (Feb 17 2019 3:36PM) : "Technology changes the value of talents" more

This is powerful for us to consider because it begins to shift the conversation. For instance, while it’s amazing to have a student who can compute mathematical equations in their heads, if you can plug that into an app or a tech tool and get an answer, what is the value of that talent? Now what for that student?

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Feb 17
Tiffany Sutter (Feb 17 2019 3:38PM) : His example about email shifts the talents the other way which is interesting as well. Would we consider a student who cannot do any basic math in their head but say they can use a calculator?
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Feb 19
LeAnne Schmidt (Feb 19 2019 8:48AM) : “Technology always defines the value of talents.” With this comment, I began considering the words “outmoded” and “adaptive”. Outmoded teachers retire or transition out of education unless their position frees them from that concern. more

Adaptive teachers persist, but some are so adaptive that they have no stabilizing keel.

Years ago I saw Ian Jukes speak and he talked about disruptive innovation, lifting up the example of telephone operators who moved a cable from on slot to another. Being outmoded made it possible for them to do work more valuable for human beings than mindless, repetitive tasks.

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Feb 20
Miss Ashley Gabel (Feb 20 2019 10:53PM) : Leanne, I was going to go in the opposite direction with the exact same quote, and point out that there is the possibility with each new innovation that we uncover new talents that may prove to be valuable. more

Taking your comment into consideration, I think time is likely to be a constraint. Once a teacher has been labeled ‘outmoded’ there aren’t a lot of ways to come back from that. Technology redefining the value of talents would likely be more useful to children who may have previously ended up in a repetitive-task job, but through technology have the opportunity to discover a talent that would previously have laid dormant. Does that make sense?

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Feb 22
Troy Hicks (Feb 22 2019 2:13PM) : Holding steady... more

An interesting point here… what are the ways in which we think about our own guiding principles, our “north stars” that help us make decisions about technology use? How do we help model, for students, the kinds of intentional, purposeful decision-making that we want them to take up in their own technology use?

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Feb 22
Melissa Blake (Feb 22 2019 5:23PM) : And there has to be some sort of balance. We can't let every little "new" thing sway us. Those teachers who I see as successful have some level of consistency that isn't lost despite the other ways they adapt.
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Feb 16
Troy Hicks (Feb 16 2018 3:43PM) : The Race Between Technology and Education more

In the next few minutes, you will hear Dr. Zhao describe changes in schooling from the industrial revolution to the modern economy.

Consider the argument that he is making about automation, globalization, and the effects on the middle class.

Then, consider the ways in which (many) educational technologies function and how they do (or do not) students and teachers as knowledge creators.

In what ways do the technologies that we use encourage, allow, or entice us to be innovators? What effects do these technologies have on our contexts for teaching and learning?

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Feb 17
Melissa Blake (Feb 17 2019 12:25PM) : Middle class=shrinking due to jobs being taken over by technology. New jobs and new middle class require redefinition. more

In order to not be “substitutable” the middle class needs to learn collaboration, innovation.

Traditionally, creativity has not been valued in education, but technology has the potential to change that if used appropriately, effectively.

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Feb 17
Tiffany Sutter (Feb 17 2019 3:41PM) : Too many tech tools are geared for the teacher to "create" something and push it to the students to interact with. The change comes in when we give the tool to the students and ask them to create with it rather than just interact with our content. more

Melissa, you’re totally right that creativity is shoved out of education in favor of the standards. The standards rarely ask students to collaborate (only recently has this concept been added slightly) and innovate, but rather regurgitate facts and details deemed important by the standard creators.

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Feb 22
Troy Hicks (Feb 22 2019 2:16PM) : Giving students control... and creativity... more

This is a good point, Tiffany, and I think that we need to constantly be thinking about the ways in which we both encourage and (to sound a bit didactic) demand that our students use the technology as a creative tool. This is difficult to do in the constantly busy school day, but I think that we need to be diligent about moving students more and more toward creation and away from consumption (alone).

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Feb 22
Troy Hicks (Feb 22 2019 2:08PM) : Welcoming creativity more

My hope is that you are beginning to think more about when, why, and how to push students into an active, creative mode for using technology. As you note, part of the systemic problem is that we are shown systemic solutions, but they don’t work in all classrooms or contexts.

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Feb 16
Troy Hicks (Feb 16 2018 3:45PM) : The New Middle Class more

In this segment, you will hear Dr. Zhao discussing “The New Middle Class,” consider the point from his article:

“One of the important ingredients to the successful integration of innovative uses of technology in schools is the teacher. Teachers vary on a wide range of qualities and attributes, some of which appear to be particularly relevant when discussing technology integration in classrooms. We found that the way an individual’s pedagogical beliefs interacted with the technology they know and decide to use affected the likelihood of successful technology integration.”

How are we preparing teachers to be creative? To be creators? What do we need to consider about the role of teacher education and professional development in an education system that, unfortunately, doesn’t encourage or reward creativity?

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Feb 17
Melissa Blake (Feb 17 2019 12:32PM) : PD has been too inconsistent! more

Too often, teachers do not have a say in what they learn, nor do they have the opportunity to observe others or collaborate (coaches, teams, mentors). Can teachers change their beliefs? Of course, but they need to see effective integration in action, not just hear about it at a one-time conference. They need guidance, ongoing support, time, and help adding creativity in a productive way.

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Feb 17
Tiffany Sutter (Feb 17 2019 3:54PM) : Modeling and TIME!!
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Feb 22
Melissa Blake (Feb 22 2019 5:25PM) : And not time that is filled with busy work. I think there's a miscommunication about what effective district-provided time looks like.
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Feb 17
Tiffany Sutter (Feb 17 2019 3:53PM) : His article made the germane point that less successful tech integration and projects occur when it is too far away from the "norm" of the school culture. more

The best way we can then make this change is school-wide. It will not be enough for one or two teachers in a building to be the pocket of change. There will be pushback, distrust/dislike, and eventually dismantling of the program in order to go back to the status quo.

I’ve seen innovation (through and with technology) work really well in schools, but it’s been the whole school and the design of it from furniture, class schedules/setup, tech availability, and types of work and grading.

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Feb 17
Tiffany Sutter (Feb 17 2019 3:58PM) : I've also always had an issue with making all these changes in teacher education programs but not making sure that current staff have the proper PD and training. more

Someone who has been teaching for 10 years has likely never received the types of training that current undergrad students receive. They are only 1/3 of the way into a career but don’t have the skills to move forward for 20 years. Why don’t we give current teachers more time and abilities to better themselves? By helping the future teacher, we rely on them finishing their degree and finding a job before those skills make it into the classroom. Why don’t we do a better job of helping those who are already there?

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Feb 19
LeAnne Schmidt (Feb 19 2019 9:01AM) : “The rise of the nothing” — What end goal are we chasing? If Common Core and other homogeneous systems are focused on churning out likemindedness, then for the sake of employability and value in a demanding society, we must shift to what will fill gaps. more

The gaps of uniqueness are where the future will thrive, provided that the uniqueness is marketable and valuable.

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Feb 16
Troy Hicks (Feb 16 2018 3:43PM) : What kind of education do we need? What can technology do? more

As Dr. Zhao closes his talk, consider his ideas of the new paradigm:

1) Every child should have personalized learning (and ed tech is the best way to do this)

2) Product-oriented learning (not project-oriented learning)

3) Education must happen in a globalized context

Return to the conditions for technology innovation and consider how any one of the eleven elements could be tweaked or changed in order to enact this paradigm shift.

If you were able to work on just one element (for instance, helping to change teacher’s perceptions on “knowledge of technology and its enabling conditions”), what might you do in order to meet 1, 2, or all 3 elements of this new paradigm?

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Feb 17
Melissa Blake (Feb 17 2019 12:43PM) : Every child should have personalized learning more

In the article we read by Zhao this week, he discussed the influence of the “innovator” or the teacher on how effectively technology is integrated, and I agree. Of course, there are other sub-variables within this, but I like that there are different ways this can be approached: instructional strategies that match the individual teacher’s pedagogy, PD, relationship with students…they have the power to learn and the power to inspire, teach students to take control of their own learning. When students are empowered, they can work WITH the teacher to make choices regarding how to develop skills and learn content. Sometimes those skills and content will be mandated, sometimes not, but choices should be a part of that as often as possible. These should reflect the student’s interests and future plans.

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Feb 22
Troy Hicks (Feb 22 2019 2:10PM) : Personalized learning more

This is definitely a topic we will be pursuing… soon. Thinking about what “counts” as being personalized, whether through the software/AI as compared to what teachers do to scaffold and support learning in different ways.

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Feb 17
Tiffany Sutter (Feb 17 2019 4:35PM) : For me, no systemic change can occur in isolation by one awesome teacher in a classroom. It has to be bigger. more

Looking at the element of school culture is important to make these bigger changes. Students know they go from one class to another every day, every year, for four years and are told what to learn. But if the culture itself shifted to an autonomous learning environment (maybe even with growth mindset) we could better meet the first element of the new paradigm. If all classes cultivated students’ interests and abilities (or even overlapped and stopped having 55 minute periods in sequence) we could better encourage creativity because this expectation would not be different from the “norm” of the school.

DMU Timestamp: February 17, 2017 01:10

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