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ISTE Keynote #1

June 24, 2012

Here we go! Sitting in a room, elbow to elbow, with 20,000 of our closest friends. Good thing I remembered to put deodorant on!


Watching a preview video – hmmm, perhaps it’s not super interesting yet. Oh look, commercials! Wahoo! Whoa, lots of videos, and they are okay…

ISTE President Holly Jobe
Holly did a brief introduction, and spoke exceedingly well. ISTE is fortunate to have someone with her skill! Holly introduced and thanked a number of Board members, and reminded us that the Board is adopting the Carver governance model. And they are hosting a session about some of the changes coming.


Whoops, forgot to turn the cell phone off, and a train whistle went off in the introduction. Yikes! Probably will get charged $50 on the way out!

Don Knezek


Introduced new CEO – Brian Lewis – effective September


Karen Cator – Director of Office of Educational Technology, US Department of Education.

Video about trying to bring broadband to all corners of the country, from FCC re: E-Rate program.

Video from US Education Secretary Arne Duncan sent a video address.

Hmm, reminded on Twitter that when people are introduced, they’re getting their own theme music!

Karen Cator was awesome! Spoke really well, was engaging, and seemed genuinely interested and knowledgeable about the topic. Way to go Karen!

Redefining Horizons: Encouraging Students Passion to Achieve
Sir Ken Robinson – Moderating a panel


Sir Ken spoke briefly. He sounds and looks just like we’ve seen on his videos. Nice to see an honest presentation. He has great humour, and spoke about how what has happened in the last 10 years, although unpredictable, was more predictable than the next two years. He has recently updated one of his books.

“Americans don’t get irony” so he’s been told, and he is going through the process of getting citizenship. It’s a cultural irony. He knew when he saw the legislation “No Child Left Behind” – as the author obviously gets it. Millions of children left behind.

Ken notes that our own children are unique and incredibly different, and diversity is important – yet we try to emphasize compliance and conformity in our education system. We now have the technology and the capacity to personalize education for every student. 1/3 kids in ninth grade don’t make it to the 12th grade in the US. So if a third of a Dr’s patients died, would anyone go to that doctor? If a third of the businesses failed….

Panel to discuss some important questions. Panel is Shawn Covell, Mark Prensky, Mayim Biyalik

Shawn Covell

(on behalf of Qualcomm?) Mobile technology will improve people’s lives. Qualcomm is based in San Diego, largest employer in SD, with 23,000 around the world. Have spent more than 18.5 Million Dollars on research? Seems kind of low. People have more access to mobile devices than safe drinking water, electricity, and even toothbrushes. Number of mobile devices will surpass the world’s population this year. More people pay for movies on their phones than buy cable, or total circulation of newspapers worldwide.

Shawn’s introduction was a bit of a commercial for Qualcomm

Marc Prensky
New book: Brain Gain
Mark used his amazing technique of a kazillion slides to follow along with his presentation.

Things the brain does better (not machines)
Teachers ->; Providing Empathy
Students ->; Passion!

“Expanding Student Horizons” – Why do we want to? So they can find their passion
“Encouraging students passion to achieve” – Passion will lead us to achievement.
“Developing Students passion to learn” – Learn everything or learn about their passions?

What do we need to do?

Encourage teachers to listen, or we get cellophane kids.

Respect – mutual disrespect – divisions between natives and immigrants – war is over, the natives won!

Digital Wisdom – need a new balance of top down, bottoms up, old new, technology/pedagogy

Over 25 (50% of the world) making decisions for the other 50%

Overexpect – Expect more from our students, need to connect their brains to technology wisely.

Empower all teachers to DARE to do what’s right! Teachers know what kids need, but someone convinced them to just cover the curriculum.

Feel the fear – do it anyway = Courage

Today’s educators must be creative and daring.

Metaphorically – we can do more than we’ve ever done – it’s the meeting point.

Mayim Biyalik


Is an actress on Big Bang Theory and has a Ph. D. in Neuroscience

Had an amazing teacher when she was a kid, and that made all the difference for her.

Sir Ken: Engagement of kids – do we care?

Mayim – What works for her, working with her students, is using technology in only the best ways possible. Work with the specificity of each child. Is there a world outside of the classroom.


In the wrong environment, students will not have their best brought out.

Prensky – technology extends kids today, much more than they could in the past. It also empowers students. We now have ways to let you learn, when you need to, or want to.

Covell – Umm, umm, not sure why she is on stage with the others. Hmmm. Todd’s note. Not Shawn’s.

Sir Ken was trying to engage Covell in conversation, but she seemed a little overwhelmed, and afraid to go off script.

Sir Ken: Book “Artistry Unleashed”

Prensky: Coaching them to find something inside that makes them better, or bring out the “better” in them. Kennedy – Just bring a kindergarten teacher into the room, and we’ll see what amazing things can happen!

Sir Ken: Some suggest that kids are spending too much time with technology. Technology is not technology if it happened before you were born.

Prensky: We need to be cautious about how the technology will affect us. However, we live in a world where everything is streamed to us. The idea of kids doing it, is “Yeah, that’s the time we live in”.

Mayim – American Pediatrics Society is doing some good stuff and we’ll depend on them. All these said, it’s finding appropriate technology for the maturing brain. Needed a graphing calculator to succeed. Therefore following this logic, what if a student needs a particular technology to succeed?

Covell – Putting them in front of a screen for three hours, then feeding them, instead of engaging them. Hmm. Engaging should be the priority.

Sir Ken: If we design a system based on conformity, then let’s not be surprised with the outcome. Where will our current roadmap take us?

Mayim – I don’t know what the world will look like, but our children should have a full variety of understanding of what they could do. But also freedom to live the life where they are skilled in using the tech.

Prensky – if we take everything off the table, what will we still teach? Most kids will get there in spite of what we do, but what about the others? What do we do with the kids in the middle? We have little idea on how to prepare our kids.

Sir Ken: We are at the beginning of “it” not the end of “it”.


From → ATLE

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