What can you do on Monday that will accelerate the learning of the students that you teach? This year’s keynote at the BYTE Conference in Canada this month will answer this critical question but it won’t stop there.
If hearing presentations and discussing ideas can really lead to such improvements then we need to find ways of having these discussions more regularly. It is true that research into mobile phones, cars, medicine etc. has progressed so quickly over our lifetime but so has research in education. As teachers we need ways of collaborating to pull out the good research, share it, test it, keep the best and lose the rest.
There are lots of ways for you to be involved in the event. The easiest one is to get yourself a Twitter account and post a tweet starting with the following text #plearn. As soon as you send it you will see it appear on this page. You can suggest sites others may want to see, comment on the keynote when it starts or just comment on any of the content. I will pick out some and retweet them so that if you follow me @danbuckly you can read them that way instead.
Outline of the keynote
First in the keynote I will make sure you (and your school) are really certain of why it is you are teaching and what it is you are really trying to achieve. Then, in under 5 minutes we take the million different things you could focus on in education and get you to agree on just three. Once we have these ‘core aims’ we get started.
Hopefully by this time in your career, having devoted part of your life to promoting education, you have realized that you can’t call yourself an educator if you are not also a lifelong learner. Like an obese fitness instructor or a serial killer priest, you can’t have a teacher who has stopped learning! So I assume I have an audience up for the challenge of doing something new, active and positive on Monday.
By all means carry on being a lone innovator but I’m going to also try and convince you that working together in teams (usually called professional learning communities or PLCs) makes you all much more effective and allows learning to spread more quickly.
Next – the hardest part for teachers and presenters: personalization. How do you each leave the session truly ready for the next step when all of your next steps are different? I could present the same thing to everyone or, as a step in the right direction I could ‘Differentiate it’ so there was useful material for most people, some items for just a few, items for people new to these ideas and items for experienced teachers but to go beyond differentiation you need to make one critical decision.
Finally the evaluation of both you and me. How do you tell if the ideas you tried on Monday actually had impact and improved learning. This is critical because if they had no impact you need to stop doing them or completely redesign them. On the other hand, if they did have impact you need to share this loud and proud so others can learn from your work.
My evaluation…. by all means use the #plearn in your tweets to comment now but better still send me one on Tuesday after you have taken your next step.
After the keynote I will be providing workshops that go deeper into the ideas.
Link to the conference here
Link to the P-route and T-route models of personalization here
Scale to determine your current personalization here
Link to the underpinning skills of personalization here