One of Dean Shareski’s session titles that always left me wondering, “How did he come up with that title? That’s ingenious!” includes the one he shared with the assembled audience of technology directors at the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) Technology Education Coordinators Special Interest Group (TEC-SIG) Spring Meeting (view the agenda) earlier today!

The title? “When You’re Not the Smartest Person in the Room.” Below, please find my imperfect notes (I was trouble-shooting a problem back at work while listening to Dean, but I was happy to find that as work allowed me to be present, Dean would share an engaging tale or quote!):

Contact Info:
Twitter: @shareski
When  you are thinking PD, it’s not done at 3:30pm when you leave the building.
Hashtag #tecsig
“If you’re comfortable with education today, you’re not paying attention.” (Source: Will Richardson)
In 90 seconds, write down 3 things that you’re not completely comfortable with (doesn’t have to be negative):

  1. iPads in education
  1. The idea that technology isn’t everyone’s responsibility
  1. Learning isn’t 24/7

Privatization of schools through vouchers
Teacher as a customer service provider isn’t respected and supported.
Technology is a disruption, that says to us we can’t continue doing the same things we’ve done before, just better. How can we change things and do things in a fundamentally different way, in a disruptive way?
When I hear the word reform, it doesn’t mean the same thing as what educators mean. A few examples of disruption around the world:
Business:“When a 14 year old kid can blow up your business in his spare time, not because he hates you but because he loves you, then you’ve got a problem.” (Gordy Thompson) That idea is…how do we rethink this. He really likes what we do, but what he’s doing doesn’t work with what we’re trying to do. How do we do our business? That’s the question that’s being asked in Board rooms.
Government:Sharing what happened in Egypt, Khaled Said, posting of internet videos…primary interaction is online. “If there’s no social network, there never would have been a part. Without facebook, twitter, google, youtube, this wouldn’t have happened.” Technology has the paper to democratize knowledge and power. These are the kinds of conversations that high school civics classes are having.
Personal:Publishing isn’t a thing anymore…you click “Publish” and you’re done.
Dean shares his journey, his gateway to finding a whole bunch of people in his journey.Dean is sharing how Casey Hales–in New Braunfels–was commenting on his work in Moosejaw in Canada. How does this happen?
[Wow, it’s been 10 years since I started blogging at least. Unbelievable.]
smart people = magic happens = you
Dean asks, “Can I find your best work online?” I challenge you…why isn’t it? I find it frustrating, and that’s my expectation.
Who do you know?
Answers to the people on Dean’s Chart: Condeleezza Rice, Roger Staubach, Julian Assange, Krypton, Adam Strange , Rosa Hadwen (Dean’s mother in law)

Mind Your Own Business Learning
…where kids sit in rows.
…where you hear, “eyes on  your own paper, no talking”
Is the kind of learning you want? Is watching screens really what we should be doing?
It’s a precious moment to have all these people in a building.
1 to 1 computing is great but not if it’s kids sitting by themselves. Maybe 3 kids to 1 computing device is better because of the conversation.
Unwrap what people mean. . .it all goes back to the idea of social learning. 

Chris Avenir, student in Ryerson Univ. in Canada. Started a study group for chemistry group. They kicked him out of school. It was a prime example of disruption. It’s just a study group. Some of the reasons why he was told he couldn’t have one:
1) Learning should be hard
2) There is no structure of regulation for online behavior and that makes it incompatible with academic work.
3) It is our job to protect academic integrity from any threat.
“Bringing smart people together is an ancient and effective technique for developing ideas. The Net also lets smart people connect and communicate. But the Net brings people together in new and occasionally weird configurations–a weirdness.”
There’s not that much controversy with Wikipedia….
“The problem with Wikipedia is that it only works in practice. In theory, it can never work.”
The interesting part of Wikipedia are the discussion tabs. Find out how did they get there, negotiate the information. At the very top of the page, you’ll see warnings about the content. Does your newspaper do that?
“The smartest person in the room, is the room.” -Dave Weinberger

The big shift isn’t that content is digital. It’s that learning culture is participatory. (Source: Angela Maiers).

The best way to learn is to teach it…now we have many opportunities to do so online. 

The Ukelele Project 

Strangers – We have to get over the notion that strangers are bad.
“If your students are shring their work with the world, they want it to be good. If they’re just sharing it with you, they want it to be good enough.” Rushton Hurley

 Instead of thinking of the internet as 2 billion predators, what if we thought of it as 2 billion teachers?

What do we mean by learning? What are we talking about?
“The need to know the capital of Florida died when my phone learned the answer.” Student

Dean teaches “Smart Folks I Know”…I’m connecting my students to these people all the time. You need to be able to have these connections. your talent is important, but your connections are so much more important.

Community as Content (Dave Cormier)
“The community is not the path to understanding or accessing the curriculum, rather the community is the curriculum.”
(MG: This reminds me of Wes Fryer’s point that people are the curriculum).

Obvious to you. Amazing to others. from Derek Sivers on Vimeo.

“Obvious to you. Amazing to others.” Derek Sivers…watch the video above.
Are you holding back something that is too obvious to share?

Great stuff, experience! Thanks, Dean!

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure