Teaching Zack to Think: Developing Critical Thinking Skills
Too many students are unable to separate fact from fiction on the Internet. We can teach students how to read the “grammar” of the Internet and apply strategies to validate information. This popular workshop provides step-by-step teaching tips for helping students, teachers and administrators think critically about Internet information.
Web Literacy for Elementary Students (an elementary level version of Teaching Zack to Think)
In today’s Web-driven world, it is essential to teach young children the grammar and literacy skills to be safe and skilled “Web detectives.” This workshop will provide teachers and administrators with an overview of how to teach elementary students to choose the right search engine, find who controls the information, and develop early cross-referencing strategies. Participants will also learn how to incorporate age-appropriate bogus websites into the curriculum to help children question web-based content.
Who Owns the Learning
Placing easy-to-use digital tools in the hands of our students can result in creative solutions that help classmates learn. We know that many children prefer to learn from their peers, yet this technique is often underestimated and underused in today’s classrooms. Encouraging students to contribute to their learning community is a powerful and effective way to improve achievement. We’ll show you how.
First 5 Days: Building a Culture for Year Long Success
There is a significant opportunity in the first five days of school to set the tone concerning powerful, engaging and self-directed learning. By giving students ownership of their learning and having them develop tools and networks that will support them throughout the school year, we better prepare them for the global economy. In this session, participants will consider the broad opportunities that await in the first five days of school, including information literacy, student roles, global collaboration and more.
This session will focus on the ideas behind the contributions your students will make in the classroom and will introduce participants to a toolset that will get their students moving in the direction of empowered, purposeful learning. Examples include tutorial creators, student scribes, curriculum reviewers and more.
The Common Core Meets Digital Literacy
Now that the Common Core is moving assessment to a digital device, our students will be faced with much more complex items than with a paper and pencil test. In a addition, the Common Core requires that our students learn more about the application of knowledge and there will be more focus on informational texts and how to communicate with a wide range of media. In this workshop educators will learn how to:
- Help students to make meaning of a range of media sources
- Learn how to validate digital content
- Help students develop their capacity to question, discover, connect, collaborate and contribute on a global scale.
A teacher’s guidance in the complex and overwhelming world of digital media and the Common Core is more important than ever.
Empathy: The 21st Century Skill
From West Point to HSBC (biggest bank in the world), one of the most valued skills is to understand different cultural perspectives and points of view. We’ll show you how to organize any classroom into a global communications center and design more rigorous assignments that motivate students to communicate globally and with purpose. Expand the boundaries of learning and give your students the courage to engage with the world.
Creating a New Culture of Teaching and Learning
Access to timely information and communication tools can empower educators to focus on the individual learning needs of their students. These same tools can lead to a wealth of benefits, such as greater collegiality, stronger relationships, self-directed students, curriculum-aligned technology, authentic work, rigorous and motivating assignments, and the development of a strong learning community. Learn all about this potent new culture of empowered teaching and fearless learning.
Learning is social. An audience of one, the teacher, is no longer sufficient to prepare students for success in the global economy. Now is the time for educators to tap into safe and moderated social web-based tools to expand the audience for student work. At the same time, we can provide role models of appropriate, ethical behavior on the Web. Find out how building learning communities across all subject areas can encourages students to take greater responsibility for the quality of their work and to make contributions to other students.
School and District Leadership
Leadership is the key position to effectively articulate the vision and assign resources needed to tap the full power of our investment in educational technology to improve instruction. In this focused hands-on workshop, Alan brings his extensive knowledge of what successful school leaders really do around the world to build continuous capacity to improve student learning. Topics Include:
-Building capacity for continuous improvement
-Strengthening the faculty as community
-Balancing change anxiety with support for core values
-Leader as Role Model
-Aligning technology investment with curriculum
-Designing and evaluating affective staff development
-Observation Questions for Leaders: Transformational 6
-Moving Beyond 1:1 to 1:World
Cultivating a World-Class Work Ethic
In an economy where global outsourcing is commonplace, students must be prepared to participate in an increasingly competitive job market. In many ways they are in competition with bright, energetic, hardworking students from all over the world. In this keynote/workshop, some of the ways we can empower our students, including building a strong work ethic and developing self-directed learning skills, are discussed. We should not underestimate what our students can achieve!
Preparing Teachers for Today
Designed for colleges of education, this keynote/workshop targets the challenges that beginning teachers and teacher-educators often face. It explores the critical skills that teachers should know, including information literacy. We’ll review the practicality of moving curriculum and assessment to the Web, and make suggestions on how to link students to primary sources, create authentic assessments and strengthen community support.
Aligning Technology to the Standards
Data-driven technologies can be powerful tools for managing and supporting standards. Technology can provide online assessment, links to content-specific resources and activities, simulations, real-time reporting to families, extensive portfolios of student work, and much more.
Smart School Design
School design can have a significant impact on the culture of learning in your school(s). In this keynote/workshop, we examine school models from around the US and UK to illustrate powerful new ways of creating learning spaces that support a wide range of learning styles and take full advantage of global communications. You’ll see how access to powerful technologies is allowing designers to build smaller, more intimate schools with vast capabilities.
From Alan’s work as an educator on an island reform school to directing an alternative high school, much of his experience has focused on motivating at-risk students. Online communication can be a powerful tool for engaging students to become active learners. For example, students who never raise their hand in class can become eager to participate online. Many at-risk students are also more willing to accept criticism from an anonymous reviewer over the Internet. This keynote/workshop presents creative ideas for using technology to help improve student motivation and focus.
From Smart Toilets to Smart Schools
This popular keynote/workshop provides a provocative and humorous look at ways to use technology for improved learning. Alan challenges participants to move beyond faster flushing to providing students with technological survival skills for a global economy. This experience will cause participants to stop focusing on technology and start considering the quality of information and communication technology can offer.
Writing, Writing, Writing
Writing is an essential skill for life and a key to academic success. Technology can be harnessed to provide student writers with unlimited inspiration, boundless resources, and an authentic audience – all keys to improving students’ writing skills, as well as their motivation to write. With technology, students can publish their work, peer-edit, share ideas, and post projects in a global forum. This keynote/workshop is filled with concrete suggestions, website examples, and effective exercises to get your students excited about writing.
Finding Meaning in the Masses: Maximizing Your Professional Learning Community
Have you been on Twitter for a while? Do you feel like something is missing? There’s a good chance that you are not maximizing your experience. Signing up for and learning the basics of using social tools are generally pretty easy. But to really gain value, you need to understand the more advanced features of what these tools have to offer. This workshop will provide you with several examples of how to tweak your usage to gain the most value out of your time online.
Connective Learning: An Introduction to Google Tools in Education
Learn how to tap Google’s free online toolset and knock down the walls of your classroom, engage students and make connections in new and exciting ways. During this session you will build robust learning solutions that you can immediately apply in your classroom. Develop a custom search engine based on your particular subject area or unit of study. Create an interactive map for your literature, history, math or science class. With these and other open-ended tools, the options are endless.
Implementing the Three Pillars of Web Literacy
Web literacy may be the single most important skill for all of our students. Most students “do not know they do not know” how to use the web. They just think they know which makes them dangerous. All students need sophisticated research skills.
First, there must be an understanding of effective search and validation strategies when using search engines like Google. Secondly, there needs to be an organizational method for effectively harnessing this content. Finally, there is a need for students to connect and collaborate with others around the world to gain further insight into the knowledge they find.
This session will look at how effective search and validation techniques combined with tools like Diigo and Twitter can build better researchers.
Successful Parenting to Launch Your Child into the Digital World
In a world filled with cell phones, tablets and laptops, are you taking the necessary steps to learn how to guide your child through the learning opportunities and the ethics of these connected devices? This session will outline the role parents can play, working in tandem with teachers, to help students understand the educational and ethical impact of their time online. You will learn how your children can dig deeper into topics and better organize their learning, how they can connect globally with experts and peers, as well as how to help kids understand the ethics behind working and playing online.
After this workshop you can go home and impress your children with your newfound knowledge with how the web works!