The annual pilgrimage to Chicago for Tech&Learning’s Midwest TechForum. Thankfully the plane arrived on time, the drive to the hotel was uneventful, and the morning is underway. The first speaker, Clarence Fisher, was truly inspiring. A middle school teacher hailing from Snow Lake in Manitoba, he challenged the audience to shift from the traditional view of a classroom to what our students need classrooms to be today and moving forward. Points which stood out:
- We need to get away from thinking about classrooms the way they have always been
- Inspiration and pedagogy should be synonyms (thought: how does standardized testing and data-driven lesson planning fit in with that?)
- The classroom should be seen as a studio
- Our students need to get comfortable with the idea that learning/information is/can be messy.
- Creativity is a national resource (thought: what are we really doing to foster that?)
- We need to use technology to engage and connect our students with the world. Find the way around the “no go” zones.
- If schools don’t change the way they offer education, schools will become sideshows. Students will attend and jump through the necessary hoops, but will get all of the information they need via the Internet.
A great keynote. Always good to take some time to reflect on where we need to go.
p.s. Listening to Clarence’s stories, I felt a tug at my heart, I really enjoyed teaching 7th graders. Not sure if I could do it now, but I sure loved it then.