At ISTE 2012 Will Richardson did an ignite session (five minutes / 20 slides) where he shared 20 bold ideas for change. The presentation was powerful and fast. In case you blinked or sneezed, below the video are his ideas with commentary intertwined from us both.
- Forget open book / phone tests.
Let’s have open network assessments where students can use the tools they own and love for learning. School should not be a place where we force kids to unplug and disconnect from the world.
- Stop wasting money on textbooks.
Make your own texts with things like wikis.
- Google yourself
If we’re not empowering ourselves and our students to be Google well, we’re not doing a good job.
- Flip the power structure from adults to learners
Empower students with the tools and resources they need to go where they want to go and explore and develop their interests and passions.
- Don’t do work for the classroom
Support learners in doing work that is worthy of, can exist in, and can change the world.
- Stop telling kids to do their own work
That’s not reality any longer. Support them in collaborating, interacting, and cooperating with others.
- Learn first. Teach second.
We must come into our classrooms knowing that we are learners first. If we think we are teachers first, we are not giving our students the powerful learning models they’ll need to be successful.
- No more how-to workshops
Educators should know how to find out how to on their own. When we come together it should be to talk about how we are doing.
- Share everything
The best work of you and your students should be shared online. This will help us all get better.
- Ask questions you don’t know the answer to
The learning of high stakes tests with predetermined answers is not as powerful as the learning that comes from finding our own new and unique answers.
- Believe that you want to be found by strangers on the internet
If you think kids aren’t going to interact with strangers on the internet, you’re wrong. Let’s embrace that and support kids in being smart when doing so and learning a lot about the minds they are meeting.
- Rethink the role of the teacher
We should not be doing the same work that 20th century teachers did. Consider how technology can and should change our roles.
- Toss the resume
No one cares about your resume anymore. The internet is the new resume. What will people find when they look at who you are online? That is what you should be focusing on.
- Go beyond Google to learn
Build your personal learning network and learn with and from the people you know via places like Twitter and Facebook.
- Go free and open source
We have a budget crises, yet schools are wasting millions on things that are offered for free.
- Create an UnCommon Core
Don’t ask how you will meet the common core, empower kids to think about how they will change the world.
- Stop delivering the curriculum
This is no longer necessary. Information can be accessed without a teacher. Move beyond delivery to discovery.
- Be subversive
When Lisa (was he talking about me?) is told to do a standardized test, stand up and say NO! We have to be disruptive and push back.
- Stand up and scream
Tell everyone that education is not about publishers and politicians but rather it’s about what students and parents want and how teachers can best give that to them.
So, what do you think? Which ideas resonate with you and how will you start to implement them in your environment?
Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.
Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.