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Pre-conf keynote (Honeycutt)

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Possible questions to discuss (click edit above to add your own questions):

  • What has gotten you excited to be a self-directed learner? How do we find and encourage this in our students?
  • How can we fit these kinds of authentic experiences into our standards-based curriculum?
  • How can we (or should we) remix learning?
  • What should ubiquitous access to technology be doing for learning?
  • How might we make education a national project (the "education race") without using test scores or other analytics that take us in the wrong direction?
  • How can we connect with others to build more love of learning as teachers?

Task Discussion

  • Jose Rodriguez   Nov. 1, 2012, 3:11 p.m.

    It's easy to see how these students are excited about learning. K12online conference to me is a reminder of the possibilities and the power we have as teachers to change our student's lives. It does involve taking risks.  This video reminds me of my early days connecting with other's online and watching what was going on with Brian Crosby with his students. Since then I've learned that sometimes "Learning is Messy" and that's o.k., actually it should be part of the way we teach. I find my self going through my school year, following the pacing plans and implementing the curriculum. The most exiting times for both my student's and I, is when I stop to explore themes more and do some projects. Now, I wonder if it was the other way around and I started with these projects as a launching pad to all the learning going on?  Thanks Kevin for a very cool pre-conference Keynote. 

  • Wesley Fryer   Oct. 24, 2012, 9:30 a.m.

    I think one of the most important ingredients for PBL at school is "administrator permission" and administrator encouragement. It's unfortunately rare, in most US schools where I work, to find school principals who explicitly give tachers both permission and encouragement to engage in inquiry-based learning and PBL.... certainly before 'testing is over' in the spring.

    One minority example of school administrator permission/encouragement for PBL/inquiry that I can point to in Oklahoma is Howe Public Schools' "Lion Pride" project last year. This was a school-wide PBL effort and was very successful. The superintendent was pivotal in redesigning the high school weekly schedule so students had TIME as well as support in their projects, which were designed to both involve and impact community members.

    We hear people talk about STEM and there is some funding for STEM, but we don't see many BELL SCHEDULES at high schools changing. They did at Howe for their school-wide PBL project. I think we need to amplify projects like this more and especially help administrators develop their instructional vision for PBL/inquiry learning. Their explicit support is key for these kinds of projects to flourish.

  • KevinHodgson   Oct. 24, 2012, 11:10 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Wesley Fryer   Oct. 24, 2012, 9:30 a.m.


    It sounds like what you are saying that innovative ideas get hemmed in by schedules, which remain a bane of many administrators (I would think ... I'm not one). I'm glad you could point to a school and district that has undergone that kind of change in schedule, to make way for change in instruction. I suspect the key component is the participation of the superintendent.


  • Liz Renshaw   Oct. 24, 2012, 8:21 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Wesley Fryer   Oct. 24, 2012, 9:30 a.m.

    I agree, support from the school administration is vital in 'sponsoring' any initiative. I've just been doing some work on inquiry based learning which is pretty much like PBL and it seems that working in teams is the way to go, with each teacher or librarian bringing their specific expertise to the project. Also if this learning is only to be genuine and offer authentic experiences, those bell schedule have got to go.... . A whole school approach is the way to go but it would seem this is a big change for those who love the control that bell schedules offer..... Amplifying those PBLs is the way to go, but I'm wondering how we can get the 'administrators' to really 'buy into' the PBL philosophy ?

  • KevinHodgson   Oct. 24, 2012, 5:53 a.m.


    Great presentation, and I love the questions you are posing.

    I'm trying to work more student inquiry into the projects with my sixth graders, and it has been so worthwhile. The difficulty is in the messiness of crafting ideas and focus, but that is such a crucial part of the learning process. In fact, that is the learning, right? That part of the journey where we are exploring and diving in and out of ideas. The problem with the shift towards "everything data" is that it rarely captures those real learning moments. Assessments are based on the final product, not the act of creation.

    As I was watching the students in your video, it becomes clear that the joy of learning was in the moment of exploration.

    Kevin H(odgson)

  • karen   Oct. 15, 2012, 4:51 p.m.

    This is a lovely example of encouraging the love of learning (and on a shoestring):

    More info here. See more on the Cardboard Challenge here.