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ISTE 2014 – Brew’d Awakening! with Ron Clark

June 30, 2014

These are my notes from the various sessions and conversations and activities at the ISTE 2014 conference in Atlanta

This session was a breakfast invitation from Promethean that featured Ron Clark and a number of his students from the Ron Clark Academy. Ron spoke briefly about teachers and schools in general, and then did an incredible demonstration of Promethean’s Classflow software with a real class of students.

Huge thank you to Promethean for sponsoring a very tasty breakfast, and a great opportunity to see a stellar educator, class, and product in action!

Ron Clark
Ron Clark Academy


Four types of teachers:

These are the teachers that carry the school. They arrive early, stay late, never complain, love it. BUT, you have to watch out, because school is first for them, and someone else is carrying their family and other commitments, so they may need help in those areas. These are the ones that do incredible things, that help students be most successful, and that really make the school as incredible as it is. They don’t usually want help.

Joggers run their own pace, they generally put in their time, and might focus on one project per year and make it happen in a big way. They want to be seen and get credit for this. They think they are runners, but they aren’t. They complain to everyone and pick things apart.

The Walkers are getting pulled along by the bus. They complain about “Why are we going so fast?” “Why do we need to change anything?” They cause a lot of tension, and generally bring the overall mood down. Kids make it through their classes despite how the walkers teach.

If the bus was a Flintstone bus, they have icked up their feet, and let everyone else carry the load for them. They complain all the time, the don’t add any value to the school whatsoever.

This variety of teachers is hard for administrators – can’t treat everyone equally.

When you put your energy into a Rider, it’s like a black hole, sucking all your energy away and virtually no benefit.

When you put your energy into a Runner, they try a hundred things, and three will fail, yet 97 will be successful. But you can’t break the spirit of the runners. As you focus on the runners, the energy of the entire school goes up big time. And with the runners, if you give them just a few minutes, just a few, of encouragement – they can carry on, on their own, for days, and even weeks.

Ron then started to talk about Promethean Boards and the ClassFlow product specifically:

When you are teaching the kids, you need to connect with them. Talking to the board is not talking to the students. Get out and get around. Need to have energy and passion, and be happy while you are working.

Ron demonstrated the potential of ClassFlow with his class and with the audience. We got a brief glimpse into how Ron works with his students and with his school. Classflow is an incredible interactive free software package that allows for class response via any device. I actually connected using my iPad mini, instead of using the provided Promethean Tablets. I used a web browser, and I was connected in moments, and it worked fabulously.

ClassFlow is an interactive, free, online software package that you can connect any device to, on any network, and allows teachers to send information to the device, and collect info from it, while interacting with students. It is super easy to use, and allows an amazing amount of student teacher interactivity.



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