Tuesday, July 10, 2012

ISTE 2012: Conversations About Change

From the ISTE 2012 San Diego Convention:
Seminar: Spreading the Word: Eight Ways to Start Conversations around Change
Presenters: Will Richardson and Rob Mancabelli, Classroom Teachers, Bloggers, and Authors
will.richardson@willrichardson.com or @willrich45
rob@mancabelli.com or @robmancabelli

The Main Message:
Moving from assessment and critique to change; moving from scarcity to abundance; we can't wait until everyone is connected to start understanding tech changes. It’s not that face to face classrooms are going away; just that what schools are doing will change. They have to in order to keep schools for the public good (as opposed to catering to only individual preferences)
Bottom line: technology is going to disrupt us and there’s nothing we can do about it. 

Check out this video on herding cats (what we all feel when trying to initiate change!)






Tips for Initiating Change Conversations

  1. @ School--Have a Parent Tech Night. Ex: "Create a Positive Digital Footprint" (Research Burlington HS for an effective example)
Other Ways: Facebook Info, Parent Blogs


    • Why? Schools that parents envision are not the schools of today’s world.  Using technology in the classroom may be interpreted as a negative disruption to students’ learning.  No textbook could = upset parent (they can't help students at home-could be putting students in danger w/online predators, etc.)

  1. @ Home--Book Study/Blog for Parents: Research "The Wired Superintendent"

    • Why? Parents want to be involved. Suggestions of texts to look at: The New Culture of Learning, Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology, Personal Learning Networks

  1. @Online--Use social media to open your blog and engage readers.  Check out  "Wright's Room" blog

    • How? Twitter feeds (parents sign up) for entire school; Storify (diary type); also apps for school sites so that parents can view info on mobile

  1. @Other--Share the language.  Don't "teacher speak" but include teachers, parents, and students. Contextualize!  Where is your use of technology going in the big picture?  Tell them!  A tech night or tech endeavor is not just showing parents, but reiterating the big picture of 21st century schools and the future of education.

Sustaining Change Conversations
Look for leaders in the classroom, in the school, and in parents
Remember, change is hard: Look at "Change or Die," a book by Alan Deutschman, where 10% of patients changed their life habits despite the threat of death from doctors. Change is hard. If only 10% of people choose to change despite life threatening habits, how do we work toward change on a smaller, less threatening level?



  1. Address the emotional, as well as the rational (A study was done on why sick kids refused to take meds--because they didn't want to be sick kids! Ironic.)

    • NCTE skills
      • Role of teacher in 21st century classroom-it’s not PD days for learning Twitter, etc. but who am I in today’s classroom? What kind of kids do I want to teach? What skills do they need to have? Address the emotional needs of teachers to teach and it will be impossible for them to ignore the change or regress.

  1. Book: Switch by Chip and Dan Heath. A study was conducted on college campuses re: those identified as saints and jerks.  8% of “saints” donated to charity while 0% of “jerks” donated when asked the first time. The second time the charity asked for 1 can of beans at a specific, conveniently located drop off location, as well as a time of day students might be dropping by that area. 45% of saints and 20% of jerks donated the second time around; a significant increase! 

    • Pave the path! Don't just say, " Let's have a conversation".  Set specific goals for the PD and for what specifics teachers should be able to do.  Do NOT let them come and take what they may.  Make it a school-wide initiative to change!

  1. Book: Influence by Cialdini discusses the psychology of why people change. For example, a study was done asking homeowners to display a small sign in their windows supporting a particular initiative before asking them to display a 4x6’ sign in the yard.  Those who displayed the small sign first were much more likely to display the large sign--people need reassurance in small steps.  

    • Get people to make a small commitment in being someone different before expecting them to make large scale changes.  Create tipping points to drive change out, rather than up (more ppl)

  1. Other

    • Get consensus. Or 49% will look for the opportunity to overthrow the 51%
    • Have students and teachers record their experiences and report them to staff (more and more will jump on board!)

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