What – How – Where – When are we learning???

From #selfies to parent concerns, Carl Hooker began his keynote by talking about what happens when learning happens outside of the box. It’s no longer about “here’s the learning” but about “what we’re learning.”

How we’re learning has also changed now that learning can be accessed anytime and from a variety of sources. Carl tells about how his 2-year old can Chromecast a video, so how does that impact the perception of learning with regard to how content is distributed. In a traditional setting, the teacher is the dispenser of all knowledge. However, with new tools, what’s possible to get the content pushed to students – or pulled from them.

When Carl handed out iPads, he was surprised that students didn’t decorate the outsides of their cases. Instead they said that they “customized the inside.” They wanted to to take ownership of their learning environment.

Where does knowledge happen? In some ways, the original mobile devices were small radios and Gameboys. People wanted these early devices because they could then access content from anywhere. Learning, by extension, can then happen anywhere. Right now, it’s confined to the walls of a classroom and linear desks. Now, the potential exists to take the learning anywhere – it’s no longer restricted to a physical space. Carl discusses the Obituary of the Student Desk and asks what space could look like when completely mobile.

The biggest challenge of education may be When. We are still tied to the school day as well as the agricultural calendar. If we think about how content is delivered via mass media, it is now predominantly on demand. It’s no longer about renting content. Instead, it’s about consuming content created by professionals as well as by ourselves – think about YouTube…

Flipped is one way to think about changing the timing of content consumption and when we learn. With devices, we can have the potential to learn anywhere and anytime. Think about the size of University of Phoenix or Virtual High School – there is a push to online/on-demand learning.

WHY are we doing this anyways?

Carl comes from one of the top districts in Texas, so why change? It’s about innovating learning. It’s about providing the best possible experience for students. Carl told the story of Ben Breedlove, and talked about how it would be so easy to NOT let students explore, to NOT allow devices, to NOT give the opportunity. However, what might we then be taking away from our students experience?

We have to prepare students for their future and not our past….