Thursday, February 24, 2011

John Davitt Visits

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="335" caption="John Davitt - image from www.newtools.org"][/caption]

We were fortunate to have John Davitt, a writer, broadcaster and digital tool maker, be our school's special guest the past two days. Previously I was inspired by John's presentations as a keynote speaker and workshop leader at a conference and wrote about that experience on my blog. John met with different groups such as the librarians, administrators and IT specialists, spoke to the middle school students at an assembly, and guest-taught a number of classes in the elementary, middle and upper schools utilizing his Learning Event Generator and some outdoor learning (similar to this one) . He presented “How Technology can Fit and Enhance Learning” to a mixed audience of students, teachers, and parents. These past two days were filled with a multitude of learning opportunities. If I were to go into detail about each profound thought that came from these two days, this post would go on and on.  Instead,  I'll offer just a few personal reflections:

  • Teachers need to become better at letting go and letting students own the learning.

  • Let students demonstrate their knowledge in different ways - some they are comfortable with, and some they are not.

  • In group work, students might go off in the wrong direction, but there is learning happening as they correct their course - learning that the teacher could not have planned for.

  • The power of group learning is underrated - Groups of students can achieve greater heights than individuals.

  • Given a problem with very little direction on how to solve it students will amaze you with their problem solving skills, often utilizing tools and techniques that the teacher might not have thought of.

  • There are many different approaches to powerful learning and as teachers we need to be offering our diverse learners different ways of learning and demonstrating learning.

  • There is a struggle (that enhances and consolidates learning) when you have to demonstrate learning in a way that you are not comfortable with.


Lastly, I would like to thank John Davitt for his thoughtful insights, his energy and generosity (he is leaving us with some copies of the Learning Score, which I will write more about later)  .  I would encourage any school out there to bring John to your campus if you have a chance.  You can learn more about John Davitt at his blog, his website or on twitter.

[caption id="attachment_106" align="alignleft" width="640" caption="Outdoor Learning Adventure"]Outdoor Learning Adventure[/caption]