I was honored to attend the Deeper Learning conference last week at High Tech High in San Diego as sort of a visiting reporter. If you did not lurk via Twitter, you can go back and call up #deeperlearning to gather connections, links, and perspectives from a number of people who share a foundational journey to shift education off of the Industrial Age assembly line.
Rather than writing long posts on the conference workshops, here are some reflections and takeaways from 2.5 days with 400 education innovators:
- “Deeper learning” is as good a name for the learning we are trying to create/re-create. But I hesitate to capitalize the term, as if there were a brand name that works better than other brand names.
- At the first set of breakout sessions, High Tech High students were standing politely on the side in case anyone needed help. I was sorry I had to ask if they could join us in our work. Why don’t we default to having student voice in our learning?
- These 400 educators passionately want to create highly engaged student learning environments. Most of them say that it is lonely quest back home. The understanding and support for deeper learning is intense but still shallow, broad but not deep.
- Modifying our use of physical space to amplify deeper learning may be the easiest and cheapest “first step” for many schools. Clear out the junk, write on the walls, and open the windows and doors to the rest of the world.
- There were really only about a dozen active Twitter “reporters” at the conference. Hmmm. We know this is a key connector with thought colleagues and a simple, efficient way to expand our PLC’s and real-time learning. Is this a baseline “badge” for the deeper learning educator?
- All educational PD should model deeper learning best practices: out of our seats and working together. The report from university attendees that at their own conferences they all still gather to listen to each other present “papers” is really disturbing.
- As I found on my #EdJourney, the answers to most of the questions I heard already exist. The questions that public and private school educators ask are vastly more similar than they are different. It is a matter of connecting what we each want to do with solutions that others have already created.
What if a million educators could share “deeper learning” with colleagues for thirty minutes every week?