I had the great pleasure this week of attending a colloqium with well-known ADE Marco Torres. At this event, we got to hear in a conversational atmosphere from Marco’s substantial international perspective on how technology can engage learners and transform learning. The man himself teachers at a large (5000+) highschool in California, where he has just been named Educator of the year. He is also a member of Barack Obama’s education team, and has worked with Apple, George Lucas and the Mythbusters.
The topics of the day were digital storytelling and challenge-based learning. Marco spoke about how the big challenge for the US in coming out of the financial crisis is to sove its problems in three areas: sustainability, health care, and education. One of Marco’s contribution to the education area has been to point out that the number one way that year 9 students define school is ‘boring’. Solution? Challenge students and teachers to both become co-learners through challenge-based activities that inspire deeper engagement than set tasks where student-input is low.
Marco used the Mythbusters approach as a great example of this – where the interest of the challenge (myth or not?) and the learning it inspires makes the process itself the main focus, exactly the thing that all good teachers strive for. So, without further ado, let me summarise his presentation (as tweeted):
- year9s number 1 problem is ‘school is boring’
- Marco T makes the point he’s not a computa T’er, he’s a social science T’er who sees the power of tech
- what is an educated person? Someone who is resourceful. Sum1 who has a good PLN
- “quit, complain, or innovate” the 3 options 4 teachers struggling with the system (ie sites blocked, tech not work etc. )
- Distance no longer = distance. Distance now = bandwidth. We need to use global networks PLN
- People spend 3 billion minutes a day on facebook- ‘distance/time = bandwidth’
- Mythbusters celebrates learning- result dusnt matter, but the process of finding out/ the challenge is the attraction
- What makes you an expert? The processes u’v been thru, not wot products you’ve produced
- Marco Torres has workd with George Lucas ‘he knows nothing about tech. But he has friends who do’ power of PLN
- ‘A computa is no longa a computa: it’s a studio,stage & community
- ‘never debate someone with an iPhone’ facts don’t matter in an age of ubiquitous info acces
- How do u assess problem/challenge based learning? Where the process is the main thing & students & T’ers r learning together…
- Challenge based learning is a practical method of how 2 enact Connectivism in classrooms NOW