Anne Truger: Combining Technology and UDL to Reach all Learners

Here is my live blog transcript from Anne’s presentation:

Alan's third task and the end

Create podcasts with students.

  • Alan shows an example of 2nd and 3rd graders who created a movie on how to produce a podcasts.  Each student is assigned a task through a giant rundown sheet.
  • Alan focuses on the fact that the students say “Don’t forget the kids!”  He translates that as don’t “underestimate” the kids.
  • He notes that adding technology is not enough to make school exciting.
  • What is the role of the learner in the 21st century?  What is their task?
  • He says the solution is to give students jobs.  Give assignments that are motivating and rigorous.
  • He worries that we don’t have the right vision for how to use technology well.

Alan says we should end our Technology Planning Committees.  We should be worried about what is flowing through the wires: Information and Global Communication planning.  Stop planning for stuff.  We want to ask about what information we want, not what technology we want.

Our last question: What is your next step? A. Family Involvement B. Learning community in every classroom C. Authentic Learning D. Professional Communities E. Student as learning contributers F. Information Literacy

Most people said E: Students as Learning Contributors.  Alan wishes us luck doing that.

Left us with a thought: Picture of a billboard promoting a SMART car: German engineering, Swiss innovation, American nothing.  Shocking.  He was noting that the world is stunned at our behavior, that we are the most incompetent country in the industrial world.  A big change from eight years ago.

What this says to Alan is making fun of us selling cars.  We have to connect our children to the world so that the rest of the world has a different opinion of our country.  Globalize our Curriculum: teach our children to work with people around the world.

Alan shows more!

Alan next shows us “Bob’s” Prime Factorization screencast.

Assign kids to be Tutorial Designers

  • We underestimate the work students will do when their work contributes to the learning of other kids.
  • The real power of the web is to build community between people to harness the collective knowledge to benefit the community.  This is critical work.  The web is not just a giant fancy search engine.
  • Alan suggests “A Whole New Mind” by Daniel Pink.  Students need to know how to design.  Bob learned how to design a tutorial AND math.  Teachers don’t have time to make these tutorials, but kids do.
  • A child explaining prime factoring might be able to get through to students that teachers can’t reach.  Plus, once a kid does one of these tutorials, all the rest of the kids want to do it.
  • Alan suggests Jing, and then don’t use it yourself–tell a kid to figure it out and report back to you :)  Alan knows that kids know better than we do.  (Please note, that Andrea hearts Jing).
  • Noted making a virtual index with Altavista
  • Told of an autistic boy who can’t face people, but can do a beautiful algebra lesson facing the board.  This type of tutorial would allow autistic students to contribute to the learning of other children.