Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo & Conference
Opening Session on February 23, 2010

Chris Lehmann - Science Leadership Academy
School 2.0 - Creating the Schools We Need

Elementary aged son is starting to hate school - we need wonderful schools

Parents send us their children and we need to be humbled by that every day. It needs to matter.

What should our schools be about? At SLA they started with a blank slate

His Bias
(1) School 2.0 is Progressive Education with 21st Century Tools - We finally have the tools to make John Dewey's (The School and Society & the Child and the Curriculum) dream.
(2) It is Citizenry, not Workforce. We will get the parents, neighbors, politicians, etc. that we want.
(3) Educators, parents, and students know more about school than politicians.
(4) Public education is the cornerstone of democracy.

How can we have so many passionate, dedicated educators in our schools and still have so many problems? Put a good person into a bad system, and the system will win every time.

The World in Which We Live - Maddening Paradox - More people graduate from high school than at any other time in history. Yet we talk about our failing schools.

Data Driven Decisions - Assume that you use good date, and good data isn't cheap. The data we actually use is the cheapest used - multiple choice scanned.

Accountability = External
Responsibility = Internal

Just a teacher syndrome. We can't sit back and allow school to happen to us and our students; we must fight for what we believe in. How do we do that? We organize. If not me, who? If not now, when?

How many of you think the politicians would make AYP if they took the tests?

What we are doing today is not education, we are training. If we want to stay competitive, we need to teach them to think.

One of the problems today is that there is a lack of humility on both sides. We have to admit that when we fail a child, we fail a child. - di

What's good is better than what's new. The tool that we can use wisely and well is better than what is the newest gadget.

We must have a vision. We can't standardize -- differentiated instruction = differentiated schools
We learn best when it matters to us.

Lifelong Kindergarten - motto of lab - If you want creative workers, give them time to play.
Things are different - How do we deal with that?

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." -- Alvin Toffler

What are we as teachers willing to learn and then unlearn?

Ideas are easy, and implementation is hard.

His two cents - he wants his students to be thoughtful, caring, and wise. - Mission statement - should be able to point to system that sustain.

Caring Institutions - We teach kids, not subjects.
Inquiry-Driven - What are the questions we can ask together? What do you think? We don't know all the answers, but can seek them out.
Student-Centered - It's not about us.
Teacher-Mentored - Kids need adults.
Community-Based - We can learn from many
Passionate - and it has to matter
Integrated - The day has to make sense - shifting gears fewer times
Meta-Cognitive - We need to think about thinking. We tend to teach to the 10% who may major in our subject area. If we teach them to think about what they are learning.
Authentic - Assessments as real and transparent
Understanding Based & Project Driven
Real World Work - no more bunnies and duckies
Transparent - We can invite the world to our school.

Traditional Classrooms - Recall-Based -- Tests at top of triangle, Homework, Projects, Class Participation
Schools We Need Understanding-Based -- Projects, Homework, Class Participation, Tests & Quizzes

What about tech.?
Technology Must Be Like Oxygen - Ubiquitous, necessary, and invisible
PUt the ideas first not the tools.

Paraphrasing Neil Postman - Certain technologies are not additive, they are transformative.

Research, Collaborate, Create, Network, Present

What is the role of the teacher in the age of Google?

We teach wisdom.