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ISTE Keynote #3 – deforestACTION Student led, project based, learning that works

June 27, 2012

I am sitting here in the second row with Jean-Paul Gaboury from Grand Prairie Catholic and Jackie @jdliesch who is working with a 1:1 project for an International school in Ecuador! She’s one of those cool people that we call librarians, that really take care of everything!

Here’s a blurry picture from the front!

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Just in case you were wondering Bob, this is what it looks like from the front…

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Leslie Conery
Deputy CEO – ISTE

Leslie challenged us to share what we’ve learned over the past few days with other educators and folks from our school jurisdictions. Do more. Expand more. Get more people to become ISTE members and take part in SIG’s. (Besides, ATLE members get a discount on ISTE membership – no good reason not to be an ISTE member!)

Dr. Willie Smits
deforestACTION
Lived and worked in Indonesia for almost 33 years.

+ Chris Gauthier, Liza Heavener

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Todd’s Note: Okay, so after listening to the entire keynote, I am a little disappointed. Dr. Smits makes lots of conclusions and judgements but doesn’t have any content to back it up. There were two essential themes in the keynote: Deforestation is bad and kids can be engaged to make change. There, I’ve summarized it for you, you now don’t have to sit through what was a largely inappropriate keynote for this crowd. I felt like I was listening to a Greenpeace and Microsoft Ad for an hour, and it wasn’t an hour well spent. Okay. I’ll stop now. The rest of my notes from the keynote follow.

A number of years ago, Microsoft Partners in Learning asked students what the most pressing global issue was. The answer they received was “deforestation”.

DeforestACTION is about
Monitoring and Safeguarding
Growing new Forests
Learning about and gaining respect for nature
Collaborating with other young people from around the world.

Deforestation is linked to worldwide needs but causes local problems.

A series of crisis
the nutrient crisis
Nutrients have moved from where they were, to other places creating problems
the fisheries crisis
Impacts fishing, hydro plants
the energy crisis
the financial crisis
the water crisis
the raw material crisis
the biodiversity crisis
loss of culture / knowhow
food security
the climate crisis
the melting ice crisis
Taking real action
Seems like the various conferences just have people agreeing to talk again, but no real action. Dr. Smits suggests that maybe we do it with young people.

The Rise of the Eco-Warriors – Project Borneo
Dr. Smiths held a casting call for people to come to Borneo for 100 days. 14 people were selected. We watched one 2 minute video submitted by one guy named Mark.

Forest = Food, water, energy, medicine, life, future

Losing focus. Dr. Smits has made lots of comments about deforestation and the world’s problems, but I’m having a hard time see the relevance. So far it feels like a commercial, someone trying to convince us something he believes, but isn’t directly related.

Brought in Liza Heavener, who was one of the 100 Eco Warriors, just returned 2 weeks ago.

Observing, Monitoring, Helping, Growing Trees, Education, Connecting.

Trying to type something worthwhile, but having a hard time. A couple more minutes of this, and this post will be over.

Whoa – something people missed, Liza just said she was trying to find a way to turn her 100 days into a full time job – is she looking to save the world, or looking for work?

driving 21st century skills through innovative teaching

Chris Gauthier – teacher in Australia (is actually a Canadian)
Second love is teaching, first is animals. Moved to Australia to take zoology and be close to Steve Irwin’s zoo.

46% of students surveyed said they found school boring

88% of year 6s in Australia said that taking part in activities to protect the environment is important to them.

91% of year 6 and 89% of year 10 students supported the notion that real change can happen in students in schools act together.

“Youth are not the leaders of tomorrow, they are LEADING TODAY!”

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