Firstly, apologies for the lacklustre efforts on my own behalf to keep adding to this Blog, it’s certainly been on my to do list, along with the other 14,567 things!
Anyway… Several Tuesdays ago i had the pleasure of attending a Professional Learning opportunity that was too good to resist, that being to hear the great Marco Torres speak and share his philosophies about teaching and learning and the importance of using technology in the classroom. I had heard Marco once before at an Apple ITSC Conference and was in awe really of what he had to say and what he shared. His knowledge and beliefs about education are outstanding and the examples that he shares with those he speaks too are phenomenal.
For those of you who are thinking, “who the hell is Marco Torres?”, he can be defined simply in this little grab from http://www.novemberlearning.com/ – “Marco is a social studies teacher, media coach, and education technology director at San Fernando High School. He has received numerous honors and awards for his work helping students empower themselves through the mastery of multimedia. He serves as one of Apple’s Distinguished Educators and is an advisory board member of The George Lucas Educational Foundation.” Marco is also a television and film producer and has worked on such shows such as Myth Busters and the major motion picture ‘Collateral’.
So instead of hoarding all of my notes, I thought that i would simply share them with you, which were taken via my iPad using the Corkboard App, and hopefully via these, you will be able to take some key thoughts and ideology from what was is listed. Please excuse what does not make sense!
Several of the key points made by Marco that really reasonated i suppose with me were:
1. That ‘why’ is everything! Give everything you do as a teacher a context, a place in what it is that you are doing. Students need to understand that there is a reason behind what it is that they are doing in class and not simply because it’s in the curriculum.
2. It’s not about the content being taught, it’s about the delivery. There are ways to teach and there are was to engage. Go with the latter. Do not be, never be, afraid to mix it up in your class and teach differently. Take a risk. If it does not work, who cares. Move on and try something else.
3. Watching people learn and reflect is engaging. MasterChef, The Block, The Renovators and My Kitchen Rules are all examples of these! Get your students in the habit of watching each other learn and reflect on their own learning. Not about the task they are doing or have done, but about HOW they are learning.
4. Make Chefs, not cooks. If you then dont get a chef, you’ll always have a cook. Aim high and set the bar at a level that will challenge the students and their abilities. Average standards set by teachers get average results.
5. Ship you ideas and your learning. Do do and then do nothing. Share what you learn. Share how you learn. Collaborate with others!
6. It’s not about the final product, it’s about the process. Students, and teachers for that matter, will learn more from the journey they go on to complete a task rather than by looking at what they’ve created at the end.
At the end of the day i approached Marco and thanked him for the day and his time. He was very appreciative of that. He then responded with “So how are you going to reflect on the day”? Good question. Often I attend PL and conferences, think about what i have heard and seen, use a few ideas that i picked up along the way, take a few notes, and that’s about it! As a teacher i am always asking students to reflect on their learning, i am thinking after Marco’s comments it’s about time i start doing it myself.