Alan November – How Can We Make Change?

Recently Alan November spoke at the ACEC2010 Conference. On his ‘soapbox’ he discussed how teachers who want to use technology in the curriculum can help to encourage and make change within their schools.

  • It is the role of the Principal to manage change.
  • We need to change the way Principals are trained to include information about embedding technology into the curriculum.
  • When teachers go on PD days, take two students to PD to build in urgency to make change once back at school.
  • What do you love to teach? Custom design tools for that.
  • Principals should ask teachers ‘which countries are part of your work?’ They need to make contact with teachers across the world for kids to work together. The Principal should organise this so there are no excuses.
  • Assessment: capacity to show students in any subject fitquest library.
  • Find 12 student projects for this unit. Kids develop rubrics for assessing projects. They design the assessment.
  • Who owns learning? is an important question we must consider.
  • Publishing student work online is vital. Continuous assessment over years by comments, etc.
  • Different search engines for different problems. An example is to narrow a Google search down to articles coming from a specific country eg for Turkey you would type in Site:tr after your search phrase. To narrow down to government sites, use Site:gov
  • Technorati is  a search engine for blogs. Includes comments.
  • Good tools to create content and communicate are Jing and Skype. We must have fearless global communicators and learners. Teach them well.
  • YouTube is blocked? Teachers should be able to create folders inside your school filter. Every teacher can have their own filter.
  • School Leaders need to learn how filtering software works.
  • See Alan’s web literacy book./website Information literacy. Add to PLN
  • Teach strategies for search – setup a Google custom search engine at (you will need google account). This makes searching safer and more reliable for students as the only results are from the sites you’ve nominated to be reputable. Designed by teachers, students won’t get distracted by millions of search results as the only results are ones you put in. Students can contribute sites as well. More information on how to implement this – read this handout by Alan November.
  • A good idea is to have students with specific tasks, change the students daily:
  • Tutorial designers. Students can design and produce learning lessons and tutorials for other students, within their class, school and across the globe. An example of this was featured in a previous Bright Ideas post about Mathtrain.TV.
  • Official scribe. Create a Google Docs account which all students can view. Have one student take comprehensive notes for the class daily. Students will take great care when taking notes on behalf of the class, teaching them responsibility and good writing skills.
  • Daily researcher. Adding resources for class study every day. Set up a Diigo or Delicious account and have students add links and tags. Set up tagging on the first day. Teachers can see who is tagging what.
  • Collaboration coordinators. Have a small team of students who take responsibility for organising and making contact with other classrooms across the world via Skype.
  • Curriculum reviewers. Students can review the resources and curriculum via their own podcasts.
  • Contributors to society. Kiva is an excellent website that organises small loans for third world countries. Great for geography.
  • The best job for kids is to make a difference.

More information is available in Alan’s “Power Up or Power Down” chapter of Curriculum21.

9 thoughts on “Alan November – How Can We Make Change?

  1. Hi Judith
    I got a lot out of his sessions too! Thanks for reminding me to go back to my notes and process more. The big ideas from acec have stuck in my head, but I have been so busy at school, I haven’t had time to go back to them.You have reminded me of some of the excellent ideas such as the google custom search. I liked the idea of the kiva website for primary school children… it’s an opportunity to teach so many things.

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  3. “Who owns learning? is an important question we must consider.”

    The student and no one else. Maybe the question that is intended is “Who owns the teaching”? Please help if I’m missing something, I want to learn!

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  5. Thanks for these interesting, but succinct, notes Judith. I unfortunately missed Alan’s keynote at ACEC2010 as I arrived late so your post is great for me to catch up on what he said. I’ve just started reading his book “Empowering students with Technology” and am finding it very interesting.

  6. I loved the idea of students using google doc and taking notes for other students. I also thought they would enjoy using skype to contact students in other countries to discuss the curriculum

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