Breakthrough Learning in a Digital Age - Session II. Literacy 2.0

Uploaded by Google on 03.12.2009

>> Gentleman, now please welcome Lisa Guernsey of the New America Foundation.
>> GUERNSEY: Hi, good morning, everyone. We are going to jump right in here. We have a
fabulous panel today where we're going to really talk about what's happening on the
ground, what are some innovative solutions to some of the problems that we're hearing
in the previous panel, some of the things that the researchers brought out as well as
the others that are on the panel we're talking about. And we're going to be thinking about
how technology can help children to learn to read, for instance, learn to write, learn
to think and better determine exactly what's worth reading and what's not, what's worth
writing and what's not. So, we're going to see some real innovative examples of that
here on this next panel. And I'm excited to introduce our first panelist who is Nichole
Pinkard who's Program Founder and Director of Innovation at the Urban Education Institute
at the University of Chicago. Thanks, Nichole. >> PINKARD: Hello. Do we have a--is this the
clicker? Okay. Next slide. It is the clicker. Okay. So, the video that you just showed was
the--was an introduction to a new space in Chicago called New Media, which was a collaboration
with the Chicago Public Library, our program, the Digital Youth Network and researchers
such as Katy Salen (ph) and Entertainment Technology Center out of Pittsburgh, and the
challenge was to re-envision what is a library. Given the average high school senior, this
was what has been created in their lifetime. Since the time they were born, all of these
technologies exit. Now, the fact that they're new technologies isn't that important, there
would no technologies, and when we grow up, for me, Palm was created in my--from the time
I was born, from the time I graduated from high school. But what's fundamentally different
is that I think the nature of the technologies has changed what it means to communicate.
For me, all the technologies growing up now didn't change how I communicated with my grandmother.
But for my nephew who's two, these technologies had fundamentally changed how my mother communicates
with him. She now has iMac and she used Gizmo iTouch. She reads him a book. She has learned
to incorporate these technologies because it makes communication easier and better.
So, the challenge for us is, you know, what is the definition of literacy. Okay. Here
is--and we're at the point where it's the old and the new. Okay. So, if literacy means
to read and write and I think we've always interpreted that to mean to read and write
text, the challenge today is more than text. And we have to begin to think about literacy
as more than paper and that a kid today needs to be able to read and write, and video and
programming, and all of those different things if they're going to be literate because these
technologies have enabled us to communicate very differently. And we also know that the
kids know this even though the schools don't and so kids are bored. All the Gates reports
show that kids are leaving because they know what's taking place in school is not necessarily
preparing them for the world that they need to answer, and Mimi's (ph) work, Ethel's (ph)
work has definitely highlighted this, too. So, another point is, oftentimes when we think
about New Media, we're thinking, well, it's making kids video game creators and music
producers. But if we really think about what it means to have traditional roles and traditional
jobs, the New Media is changing that. Scientists, tell me a scientist who isn't learning through
simulations? What is it mean to be a writer nowadays? How do you have to use blogs and
you have to use media? So, even if we're preparing kids for the traditional roles, we have think
about the way of New Media. So, while all these images are still accurate images of
what these professions are, still the use of video, the use of gaming, the use of music
and the use of graphics are all part of these new roles. So, I will argue that's for someone
to be literate today, they need to have—they need to visually literate, cinematically literate,
procedurally literate means understanding simulations, and also to some extent, musically
literate. But the challenges, well, how do we do that? Schools can't do it alone and
teachers can't be the ones responsible for doing all of it, or not who we think of traditional
teachers. We need this network of what takes place in the home, what takes place in the
after school, and also rethinking what even takes place in school. And so, in our work
in Chicago, we've implemented Media Arts classes for all middle school kids. Every middle school
kid has a 90-minute Media Arts where they're learning how to be literate in those forms
that I talked about. We're providing access at home to social networks that a kid has
a passion or as Mimi (ph) talks about an interest-driven learning, can go deeper into something. And
they were also, we're thinking after school programs where we're bringing artists, every
community has new media artists. They're there. And we're figuring out how to bring them into
the school space so that they can work one on one with kids in a more studio style learning.
So, this is all possible. This is taking place on the south side of Chicago with definite
support from the McArthur Foundation, but it is doable and scalable in other places.
And also at the core is the use of social networks, so to the point the other panelists
made about letting web 2.0 technologies in, you have to embrace this and bring them into
your school spaces. So, a little more detail about what a Media Arts classroom is, every
sixth, seventh, and eighth grader, by the time they graduate, they can do all of these.
So, they know how to make a documentary of public service. They can do CD cover storyboards.
They can create a board game, a video game. Thanks to Katy (ph) who really introduced
us to that concept. And they know how to do blogs and forum discussions. They do all this
in the Media Arts classes. Now, this is where it gets interesting. Once you can develop
a base set of literacy for kids in those areas, you can now go to your content area teachers
and say, "What is this mean for instruction?" So, what does this look like in the classroom
setting? An example, sixth graders, learning global warming in science. The teacher said,
"Okay." So, you taught them how to use the Stage Cast Creator. This was a couple years
ago. Let's see if we can bring that into science. So what she did is she had them work in groups,
research a project related to global warming, do a research paper individually just so she
can, you know, get a sense of what their understanding, then to work in groups to create a PowerPoint
presentation and a video game that demonstrated one aspect of global warming that challenged
people. Here's two examples, the game at the top is students--an example of greenhouse
gases, so you're trying to escape the greenhouse gases, and the one in the bottom is there's
a fight over food, so, you know, what's happening on the North Pole and so animals are fighting
over--over food and this is a two-person game. So, these are games that were created by kids.
And guess what, these were both created by girls and the girls actually won the contest.
So, this is doable. It is doable but it takes rethinking partnerships between schools and
between outside organizations and figuring out how to support teachers in doing the work.
So, in the model I showed you, media artists came into the school to teach the Media Arts
classes. Teachers were able to sit in and to watch what's happening, to see what's going
on and then to think about how and incorporate it, how to incorporate it into their school
day. And then also what they saw is that, you know what, different kids, they also saw
that—they also saw that kids learn differently and some of the kids who might not be, work
in the traditional formats, these areas provided ways for them to discuss. I want to close
with analogy of a basketball. I used to play a lot of basketball. And I think one of the
things if you saw the New Media video, what it talked about the importance of new spaces
and places that enable kids to learn and to think and to see what takes place. And if
you think about a basketball court, what it does—this slide didn't go. On a court, you
can spectate, you can practice, you can level up and you can perform at any one point in
time. But also that's made possible by the ability to see--I'm going to skip to that,
key roles, roles feedback. And this is what we've done in the New Media space, the design.
And you have one area where kids can spectate and see what happens. They can see all the
work that others have created and they can look and see, "Wow, that kid knows how to
do this, so I'm going to do that." Second, they can move over to an area where they can
practice so they mess around as Mimi (ph) talks about so they can try something out.
And then finally, they can level up or they can geek out and they can learn to do different
things. And what you see, this is an example at the bottom, but what you see is this what
the learning looks like in that place. And I close on this one point. Guess what? Kids
are reading more books in this space. The circulation of youth books have gone up because
it's a space where they're choosing to come to and the books of more meaningful in essence
because it's connected to what it is we're trying to do. Thank you.
>> Ladies and gentlemen, would you please welcome doctors Ben Bederson and Allison Druin
of the University of Maryland. >> DRUIN: More surprise.
>> BEDERSON: So, last night, there was a question from a ten-year old who said basically, "I
don't learn math very well but I'm really good at music. How does technology help me?"
Connie gave a really good beginning of an answer to that question today. I'm going to
just give you a little bit of our quick answer which is, technology can be something that
helps a much wider range of things, activities, and styles of learning. Learning math, supporting
learning of Math is fantastic and computers are great for that, but as Nichole was just
saying, it can also support creativity. Computers offer a different mode of learning. They offer
a different canvas for creative expression. So, what we want to do today briefly is go
even further and think about how mobile computing can help support creative activities. And
so we're going to talk a little bit of our own work in developing tools to do that. So,
let's start with a story. >> DRUIN: So, let me tell this story. It's
by a father and the child. It was just a normal day in the city of Seattle until suddenly
a monster arrived. >> BEDERSON: Roar.
>> DRUIN: Suddenly, volts of electricity were shooting from creature's arms. Fortunately,
the magical flying cow showed up with her super laser vision and saved the day.
>> BEDERSON: Moo. >> DRUIN: The end. Yes. That was not only
created and shared on the web but it was created on a mobile phone, in fact with an application
that we developed through the support of the National Science Foundation over the last
year. >> BEDERSON: So, when we think about mobile
devices, we are all, as we have just heard earlier today, amazed because we have the
world of information in our pocket. And it is amazing. We can play games, we can read
news, we can read web pages, we can even read books, and in fact, that was our own motivation
when, I think back in 2002, we started the International Children's Digital Library,
which has become the website of the largest collection of children's--freely available
children's books from around the world, so take a look. We even developed a mobile application
for that. But that then begs the question, can we go beyond just consumption and support
creativity, creation as well. And, of course, we use mobile devices for creative activities
all the time. We talk on the phone. That's a creative act. We write texts. We write e-mails.
But, can we go even further and write stories? Can we write multimedia stories that are fully
engaging? So… >> DRUIN: Next.
>> BEDERSON: Sorry. >> DRUIN: Oh, yeah.
>> BEDERSON: No, back to the slide. Next slide, there you go. The challenge of course is that
supporting mobile creativity is not the same as supporting desktop creativity. There's
all the obvious reasons, poor text entries, small screens, difficult to make drawings,
but on the positive side, there's incredible opportunities, right? This is true life long
learning because it is part of your life throughout. It's 24/7 learning, you can take advantage
of the people you are with, you can record the audio and the pictures, and your field
trips, you can communicate, you can share with people you are with and people that you're
not with. >> DRUIN: Okay. But, unfortunately, there
are challenges folks, if you make the--if you make these applications, you've got to
remember, this is not a desktop. Kids are interruptible little beasts and they will
constantly be interrupting themselves or their peers, or their teachers, the physical surroundings
in creating a mobile experience that's creative is going to actually need an application that
allows short bursts creativity. It's not going to be about a 40 minute experience because
why, they're going to be constantly switching between the physical world and the virtual
world, and that's--not only is that a challenge but it's exciting, that's important. Next.
And the way we understand about what kids want and what they need is in fact actually
over the last decade or so, we've been working with children as design partners. In our lab,
seven to eleven year old, they are not just, you know, subjects if you will, they are partners.
In thinking about new ideas, not only for mobile technologies but for all different
kinds of technologies that range the gamut. And we've been able to partner with people
like the National Park Service, Carnegie Hall hall, in thinking about how do you change
the learning experience that matters to kids? >> BEDERSON: So now if we can play the video.
We're going to briefly show you what this application looks like, this is a story kit.
So, the application shifts with the few books to get you start on that, you can edit, this
is showing, right, what three little pigs look like. We'll go and take a look at another
book, here is Humpty Dumpty, we'll go and edit the book, see the pages, click on one
of the pages, you can see the graphical elements, here's some text and image, you can also have
sound and drawings, we can modified the drawing, we can go back and edit the text, we could
also have added text objects or move them around, resize them and so on. It's just right
our basic kind of full content editor. And then when we are done with our editing, we
can go into our read mode and it turns into a book reader, and we can have a nice swipy
iPhone experience for reading our books. The text is full, you know, nice text which can
be multilingual and translated. And then when you're happy with what you've done, you can
go back to any book in your library that you modified and share it which will take a version
of this and put it on the web which you can then email to your--to your friends.
>> DRUIN: Now, the motivation has not only been...
>> BEDERSON: Back, back to the slides. >> DRUIN: Oh, back to the slides. Thank you.
Has--the motivation just not only been about kids but also about bridging older adults
with children and in fact we've had a designed team that has included a number of older adults,
and in thinking about how we can take story telling that is in a mobile experience with
kids and older adults, and make it a cooperative. And cooperative experience, a mobile experience
and more exciting. So, we're going to end with one last story, because the story you
saw in terms of the three pigs was actually from the library of congress and it was a
rare book. But let's finish with one last story.
>> BEDERSON: can you switch to the story? >> DRUIN: Switch the slides, yes. And to the...
>> BEDERSON: The browsers. Switch to the story in the browser, there you go.
>> DRUIN: There you go, okay. So, this by--by a group of children and, in the U.K.
>> BEDERSON: Start. >> Zombie cake.
>> Zombie cake. >> DRUIN: Okay. After a tough night, gigging,
Zoey Zombie wanted some cake, so she went to the cake store. The baker said...
>> We have a wide selection of cake. >> DRUIN: Look at all those different cakes.
What kinds are they? We have delicious toe cake, were toe jam filling. And how about
fresh cat cake, plenty of cat hairs inside. Okay, let's scroll to the bottom and we'll
get to the end of the story. Yeah, you can see, they were really excited about this story
that Zoey Zombie brought the brain cake and ate it all, it made her full and happy.
>> Yay. >> Yay.
>> DRUIN: That's informal learning for you folks.
>> BEDERSON: So, in closing, I just want to invite you to think about where can creative
expression be more deeply supported in our use of technologies and how can we integrate
that through our formal, through our informal activities in the range of devices. I invite
you to--if you have an iPhone, go search the app story for story kit and download it, or
come visit the technology playground at [INDISTINCT] extra devices for you to play with this yourself.
Thanks. >> DRUIN: Thank you.
>> Ladies and gentlemen, now please welcome Karen Cator, Director of Education leadership
and Advocacy at Apple. >> CATOR: Thank you. So, that was interesting,
you know, a lot of what we're talking about is how to connect the informal and formal
learning environments, and what are the technologies that enable that to happen? So, this panel
is literacy 2.0. So literacy 2.0 is really thinking about the other kinds of things that
kids need to learn today. So first of all, obviously, it's information literacy because
we know there's lots and lots of information. Somebody said the recently that there's more
scientific data in the next five years and then the entire history of recorded scientific
data. If that's true, then it's going to be way more important to get kids to ask good
questions than to answer questions, right? So that's the first thing. Media literacy
as Nichole and the previous--all these examples pointed out. Kids need to be very media savvy,
not in deconstructing media and listening to it and figuring out what commercials are
trying to tell us kind of a media 1.0, but really a mass participation media 2.0, media
literacy 2.0 kind of a context. Students need to be able to communicate incredibly effectively
with multiple media types. So they need to know art, they need to know design. And technology
literacy, if technology is in fact ubiquitous and students don't need to know and actually
what to point and click on that stuff comes and goes, but they absolutely need to get
really good at using technology to learn, to think, to answer complex questions, to
assess themselves, to crunch their own data and to solve complex problems. So, first of
all, our common core standards need to be absolutely grounded in new literacy and so,
I encourage to communicate, keep track of that. The second, as Linda (ph) talked last
night about kind of the--the necessity of the kind of a new vision for learning. Really,
really a new way of thinking about learning. And I think what you've seen today, the examples,
it really is something that we know kids are learning, there's assessment opportunities
throughout the--all of those examples, lots of writing involved, lots of reading involved,
creativity, engagement. You know kids were talking to each other about the toe jam and
all of that, right? They were--they were totally engaged and into that. So what enables this,
these environments are very much empowered by four things. First of all, broadband, right?
So in the next, however many years, won't put a number there, but if in the next, however
many years we have broadband to everywhere, that's the first thing, so very important
that the FCC is working on that. Second is devices. Devices will be ubiquitous. We will
have devices shortly that can be in every students hand that they can use for their
own thinking and learning. Higher education's already figured that out, they have allowed
students to bring technology with them and so in K12, we need to--we need to think about
that as well. But devices absolutely will be mobile and everywhere. Third is the content
and tools, and we've talk about the open education resources last night and so you definitely
talk more about that. And then communities for learning. The fact--as somebody said this
morning, the web 2.0 has shut down in most schools is a problem and it's a problem because
kids need the wisdom of adults to help them navigate that space. All right, so we need
to figure out how to open that up. So just as teachers and adults help kids navigate
the playground and social interactions on a playground or in the classroom, we definitely
need to carry that out into an online space. So it's not enough to say, oh kids know this
stuff, they'll--you know, they are really adept at it, they are to a certain extent.
But the role of adults is incredibly important. In our one-to-one learning environments at
Apple that we've seen, you know, there's kind of some big examples of the kinds of environments
that really will help students. First of all is the fact that they have access to real
world sensors and data. Like the earthquake sensors that they can access online and use
in their projects. Second, Roy Tee was actually showing me last week the augmented reality
with, you know, using something like Yelp and you kind of hold it up because it has,
the mobile device has a compass and it has an accelerometer and a GPS, that, has a GPS--they
can, you know, hold it up and you look, oh, there's that restaurant I'm looking for. Or
if you're walking through a museum, oh, this is the information about that, I'd like to
hear a little bit more about that. Or walking through a city, a walking tour of Philadelphia
or whatever. The kinds of things that absolutely enable kind of real time learning. Someone
said yesterday, you know, we need rocks, teachers that are rock stars, and I'll tell you one.
There was the MIT physics professor that was on the front page of the New York Times because
he has 70,000 people downloading his lectures on physics off of iTunes U. So, he is in fact
the rock star of physics and as soon as he knew that, I mean he's putting production
value into his lectures from now on. Another is the opportunity for wet labs and simulation,
so the students can access--if they don't have access in their school and we know many
schools don't have the capacity to set up real--the best kind of learning which is hands
on real wet labs. They can get these wet lab stimulations that have been created by MIT
and others. NASA, just lunched an app last week or this week I just downloaded it. You
can follow every NASA mission and you can not only see where the space shuttle is for
example or whatever else, the international space station. But you can get the twitter
feeds from the people on these missions. Amazing, right? So, it's very much just in time. One
last example,, it's a place for knitters. That's the social community for
those people who love to knit, right? So again, what this offer--what this is is the long
tail of opportunities. And what that enables is personalized learning. So personalize learning,
not as in individualized, it's everybody has the same stuff just at their own pace. But
very personalized, it allows us to tie into goals and aspirations, tie into what students
are interested in and like. So a single assessment that asks all kids the same set of questions
is not going to give us the data that we actually need to personalize learning. But if we have--again,
if students have their technology in a one-to-one environment, they have their device, they
can now keep their portfolio, they can manage their own sort of goals and aspirations and
interests and environments, and they can keep their own bookmarks and their research, etcetera.
So the opportunity to totally personalize learning. Personalized learning is also incredibly
participatory, right, so the opportunity to connect with others. All those examples you
saw, I love Nichole's picture of this entirely new space because that's very much about participation,
interaction, engagement with each other. So those are the things, we need to take massive
numbers of pictures and videos and show these things everywhere so people can begin to get
mental models of new ways of learning, new opportunities. Kind of, you know, in a way
reminds me of a massive Starbucks. Right? And finally, one of the projects we've done
at Apple is on challenge-based learning, and it's really been to create, if all students
have their own device, and if students can access Web 2.0 technology, they can get their
own experts. Teachers don't have to do all the work. Students can find their resources.
They can ask good questions. They can do their research, etcetera. And so challenge-based
learning has been all about taking very complex problems and incorporating a methodology for
finding out what do we know, what do we need to know to meet this challenge. Something
that has global significance but is locally interesting like improve the use of water
at our school, right. So, water is definitely globally interesting. And as our friends,
Adam and Jamie of the MythBusters said to us when we were starting on this project,
they said, "Water, it depends on, it depends on if you're thirsty, dirty, or on fire."
Right? So, lots of opportunities. So the last thing is just the role of teachers. The role
of teachers is incredibly important. We can't say kids know this stuff so, you know, just
teachers learn it, too. I think the role of teachers becomes much more about creating
compelling assignments. We don't need to make sure that teachers know everything students
know about the technology, but teachers need to get better and better and better at making
compelling assignments that leverage personalized learning, leverage the technology the students
have to do their work. But they don't necessarily need to know how to themselves make one of
those storybooks. So, thank you very much. >> MERROW: Ladies and gentlemen, would you
now please welcome Marissa Myer, Vice-President, Search Products and User Experience, and Dan
Russell, Uber Tech Lead at Google. >> MAYER: That's a great title. Good morning.
Dan and I are very excited to welcome you here at Google. We're also really excited
to be talking this morning about learning and literacy in the digital age, and particularly
how it relates to Google. Google's mission is to organize the world's information and
make it universally accessible and useful, which we think is really pivotal to learning,
which is why we were really surprised to see this. So I think... I don't know how many
of you saw this cover last year, but there seems to be a growing theory that by having
all the world's information available at your fingertips people no longer need to learn.
And as you can imagine, that's not our view here at Google. Our view is that by having
the world's information available at your fingertips, it frees you up from necessarily
having to memorize a lot of rote facts. But actually, it frees you into thinking more
about critical, the critical thinking skills, problem solving, creative thinking, how can
you take those readily available facts and apply them. And in fact, just last week, the
medical school at UCLA released a study that shows that there's increased neural activity
in the part of the brain that controls decision-making within just one week of exposure to the Internet.
So, basically, people are able to take that information and all ready begin forming decisions
in a much more fundamental and a much faster way. When I think back just over my lifetime,
you know, at age 10, 1985, when we had questions like: how feet are there between the bases
on a baseball diamond, why is the sky blue, what's the primary crop of Greece. Those were
questions that took half an hour to get the answer to. It meant going to an adult, being
taken to the library, calling the library, finding an encyclopedia. And now those are
available in just a matter of seconds. And we're really excited about what that means
in terms of the creative potential of today's students to not spend as much time on the
rote memorization, really moving on this creative problem solving. Of course, it also calls
up new and interesting questions around digital literacy: How can people take all of that
readily available information and discern what's true and what's not, what's factual,
what can be relied upon. And I think those are some of the really fundamental questions.
But this is why our view really is that search is fundamentally learning, and it really does
help students more quickly achieve their creative and critical thinking potential.
>> RUSSELL: So, to build on that, consider that this generation has access to roughly
a million times more content that the previous generation. There's no reason to believe,
to not believe that in about a year from now, that amount of content online will double.
So if you think about it, the online information doubling rate is roughly 18 months. Think
about that with respect to how you access content online. It's well known that the content
explosion has occurred--we all know that, right? So search is fundamental for navigating
through this kind of space. Because as content increases online so do the findable connections
between the content. Not only can you look up an article about hummingbirds, say, but
you can also do searches for the relationships between hummingbirds and their food sources.
You know that they eat nectar and insects, right? But did you know that there's another
relationship between insects and hummingbirds? You can find, for example, pictures like this
where the prey becomes the consumed, right. There's a different relationship that can
be found. So students need to negotiate the content relationships that are complex and
subtle. You know that hummingbirds eat insects, but did you know that insects eat hummingbirds?
Did you know that? Did your biology high school teacher know that? How does that change the
relationship between student and teacher? So, consider also this that, you know, a while
ago, 10 years ago, students couldn't find a picture of Norte Dame Cathedral. Now you
can find thousands of pictures of Nortradame. You can find maps, plants, reviews of the
restaurant around the corner from Nortradame, right. And furthermore, you can find 3-D models
that you can fly into and look through an impossible perspective, through the rose window
into the nave in 3-D high high res. So not only do students need to learn what's on the
web and what's possible, but they also need to keep on top of what's available in the
plenitude. They need the metaskill of learning to find and interpret the unexpected.
>> MAYER: And not only can the Internet really come into play in terms of being able to visualize
other places, it really can help us reach across languages. At Google, we have been
spending a lot of energy and investment in machine translation. And we're making that
investment because, fundamentally for search, it would be wonderful if you could find the
answer to your question regardless of what language it was written in, regardless of
where it is in the world. And so, we're interested in being able to take machine translation,
translate the web, and present answers from all over the world natively in people's languages.
When you think about how that machine translation technology could be applied, in the educational
sphere there's all kinds of interesting possibilities. We could take the best courses and translate
them automatically into--in any language so you can always take the best physics class,
you could always take the best math class. When you think about how it could be applied
in instant messaging, students could have pen pals all around the world who they chat
with in their own native language, who answer in their native language as if there was no
language barrier. The same thing could be true for mentors or tutors or teachers. And
we're really excited about how this technology could really unlock boundaries. One of my
colleagues told me a story about her daughter a few months ago that I was really, really
enlightened by. She has six-year old daughter. Her name is Ledawn (ph), my colleague, and
her daughter is Brooklyn, six years old, very precocious. And one day, Brooklyn became obsessed
with how bricks were made. She wanted to know how do you make a brick, how--well, she understands
how you put the bricks together and make a house, but do you make a brick. So, Ledawn
(ph) brought Brooklyn to Google Image Search, and they did a search for brick-making. They
saw lots of pictures of kilns and how bricks could be made. But there was one interesting
picture that had children in it. So they clicked on it and they brought to a webpage that talks
about a group of children in Africa who had had come to build bricks in a kiln and were
selling those bricks in order to build a school. And it talked about how they had learned about--they,
the fact that they needed a bigger kilns so they could achievee greater economy of scale
and get a higher profit margin on those bricks in order to build a nicer school. And Ledawn
(ph) said that it's just amazing, not only was this about teaching Brooklyn how to make
bricks but how they could relate to people elsewhere in the world to their hardships,
to what their concerns and problems were. And they ended up learning a lot more than
just how to make bricks that day. And I think that when you think about how translation,
how the Internet, how the global aspect of this technology can really unlock things for
students. I think it's really exciting. >> RUSSELL: So, as Marissa points out, searching
the web allows you to find anything, and there's no librarian to curate the collection anymore.
So, all kinds of stuff comes into the library, into the search. You can find rich, subtle,
wacky, and out of kilter comments. For example, is it true that Vikings come from Minnesota
and play football? Did the moon landing really take place? And what's up with Atlantis and
the endangered, rare, northwest tri-arctopus (ph) anyway? Okay. So I want to argue that
in fact our perception of the world is very different. It's very different now. Yes, there
are Vikings that play football and there are Vikings that sack Northern English towns.
There are people who go on the moon and people who doubt that people went to the moon. So
the question for the web searchers is, how do you interpret what's credible, what's understandable.
How do you go forward from that? But think what else is possible: the radical engagement
of students through new ways of searching. For example, in one of my classes, I was teaching
an eight-grade class about the Civil War and I was helping one kid with his search. He
knew that one of his great, great, great grandparents had been in the civil war, and that he ended
up in a place called Elmira, but he didn't know where Elmira was. Well, it turns out
we did the search together. And we found out that Elmira is in fact a site of a northern
POW camp in the Civil War. So he discovered that his great, great, great grandfather,
in fact, was now buried in New York. So in truth, it turns out we're all connected to
the great events of the past. The difference is now you can find out. One last story, to
build on Marissa's comment about language. I was teaching a class of fourth-graders in
Foster City, a very diverse set of students. Thirty students, 30 languages spoken, okay.
And so I taught them how to use Google Translation tools. Two weeks later, I got a package of
letters from Ms. Wong's class, and in it was the sweetest little note that said, "Thank
you Dr. Russell for showing us the language translations tools. I can now write letters
to my grandmother in Honduras." You know, that's an interesting story because it indicates
the kind of thing that changes the world. Learning to search, and learning to use the
online space of tools that now available. It's a fundamental skill for the 21st century
learner. Thank you. >> GUERNSEY: All right. Could we all come
to sit up here. Great, thank you. Thank you, everybody. A lot of really fascinating examples
there, and I think it's really, can whet our appetite. I hope there's a lot of questions
out there. We do have sometimes for questions, and I'm going to, I'm going to open up with
one that I saw come through on Google moderator to some degree about defining literacy. But
it's also something that's been on my mind a little bit as well as, I have--many if you
may know, I've got a 5-year-old, and a 7-year-old. So, we're right in the thick of, you know,
learning to read and reading fluency and what that means at a very foundational level. And,
first would be, Nichole, perhaps, you can answer this one for me. Is there--are we getting
to a place or a time in which we have to kind of reevaluate and change our thinking about
what is foundational literacy? Right now, we have a situation in which there are vast
numbers of children in this country who are not proficient reading by the end of third
grade. The scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress are really daunting
and disturbing, and yet, as we're talking here, we're talking about literacy on much
different levels, right? You know, information literacy, and search literacy, and even personalization
literacy where you kind of know what you want to look for. So, do we--is there a danger
in thinking too much about all these different other literacies first before we get this,
kind of, foundational just learning to read literacy down or do we need to rethink the
way we integrate our literacies in the first place?
>> PINKARD: I believe we need to rethink--if we think about, just a sixth grader today
is going to graduate in 2020 if they go to college. What, you know, kindergarten or a
3-year-old, you know, you're talking about 2030. So, at the core, I think what it means
to be literate is going to change because the ability to use and push media across the
different people is getting cheaper, which means people are going to use those formats.
So, if literacy is a basic skill, in terms of how you communicate with others, and if
we are going to use these other forms which I think, we're seeing happen more and more
then we need to teach kids to be literate in those ways. They still need to read and
white but they still need to be able to represent their ideas in these other formats, and I
think that that is a new definition of--what form of literacy did you--foundational literacy.
>> GUERNSEY: Foundational literacy. Does anyone else have a thought on that?
>> CATOR: The only thing I can add to that is that, it's not an either or question, it's
definitely these can be incorporated, and new kinds of literacies absolutely support
the development of the reading innumeracy so, I think this conversation about is it
this or is it that, it's both. It's a new, kind of, integrated model, and it's a new
opportunity to get more kids across that line of reading. George Lucas says, you know, kids
go to school incredibly media literate, and we sort of do the stop and restart, and, kind
of like, forget all that, and now we're going to learn, you know, letters and to read. And
so, how do we get way better at kind of incorporating those.
>> GUERNSEY: And related to that, and perhaps this is where we can bring the questions of
search, as well as, the story kits on the--on IPhone that I find really fascinating, I can't
wait to download for my own kids. But, I'm wondering the role then--for teachers and
parents in this new era. And I think about the example that you gave of learning about
hummingbirds, and being able to, kind of--or search more deeply about bricks. In those
examples, there was an adult there--a guide for children to take them through that and
help them to see--here's the next place we can link and look at--with story kit... I'm
curious, are there examples of kids doing that completely on their own or see something
where you really--the initial stages need to have a teacher helping kids to, kind of,
see how this is going to work, and how this is going to progress. So, what role do teachers
and parents need to play, and how can we, kind of, get them out of the situation we
may have right now which is where they feel like they have been relegated to the sidelines
whenever we talk about technology. >> DRUIN: What we're finding is that the role
of parents is very critical especially for these informal learning experiences. And also,
the role of older adults because what it does is, you know, there is this engagement, this
connection that technology can be that fire, you know, that campfire that we so long for
to bring people together. But what's fascinating is, in fact, actually, we've been doing research
not just in story-telling but also in how kids search, and we've seen that parents are,
not only are they fixers, they're demonstrators, they're also mentors. And much more so than
we would have expected, and this is with kids that are seven, nine, eleven years old, and
it's important because actually, what they end up creating is much richer, and the elaboration
process, that is education. It's very exciting. >> BEDERSON: I'll just add to that, one of
the things we thought of. It has a lot to do with who has the devices. Right now, the
youngest kids don't tend to have iPhones and the parents do. And the parents--the kids
take the devices and the parents are looking for interesting, engaging things for the little
kids to do. And so, I think a lot of times the parents are directing the children to
doing this, and it is a new activity, and so with often--sometimes does require a little
bit of hand holding. So even though we all, sort of, expecting that the kids are driving
a technology, it goes both ways, and a lot of it has to do with access and what kind
of skills people have at that moment. >> RUSSELL: I think the role of the teacher
or the parent is kind of the same as it's always been, right? Which is to say, they
may not--parents have forever not known how to do quadratic equations, there's no surprise
there. They have forever not known how to write XML, right? So, I think the real value
of a teacher is not so much to know all the new ones as--of what a particular literacy
might be. But to provide some guidance, and some real world knowledge because that's the
thing, the fifth graders, fourth graders, and so on don't know. And so, they end up
on a Webpage, and they'll be reading about flying saucers building the pyramids, that
sounds great, I love that story, right? It doesn't happen to be true but, you see, that's
the value of having a teacher or parents around as to say, well, you know, consider this other
thing, right? So, it's that, sort of, real world knowledge, real world guidance. It doesn't
matter whether or not you can write XML, really. Right? We need to provide that, sort of, parental
oversight domain knowledge. >> MAYER: I would agree with Dan. I think
that they--the role of a teacher and parent today are just the same. When I think about
some of the most useful things, I learned growing up. They almost all related to learning
about tools or learning about constructs. How do you use the compass? How do you use
a protractor? Or how do you use a centrifuge? What is the journalistic construct, and how
does that differ from a fiction construct, how does that differ from the non-fiction
construct? And I think that the roles are the same here, these are different tools that
will be exposing students to--but there are still tools, they need to be, you know, pointed
out, the features, how they work, you know, all of that, really needs to be pointed out.
And, on the construct level, basically they're saying, okay. Now, this is a real time up
to hit, right? This is the twit. This is a blog. This is journalism. This is how you
can decide for what's been verified and what hasn't. I think, all of those, really still
remain very much the same and very fundamental. >> GUERNSEY: So, for those of you out there,
do we agree? I mean, is the role of the teacher the same as it has been say 50 years ago?
And think that's maybe a really provocative question. But, I'd love to hear some other
ones out there, and I see someone with their hand up in the back.
>> Can we ask questions? >> CATOR: Yeah.
>> GUERNSEY: Yes. >> So, my question is, you know, many of you
[INDISTINCT] that all of you have access to data and see things that you can [INDISTINCT]
people in this room do not. And so, I'm interested in what mind blowing paradigm shifting ideas
that you see that's outer that we haven't seen yet, that would be, sort of, complimentary
to what we've seen in the last three years that we now take for granted like search which
was revolutionary but now, we all do it 50 times a day.
>> RUSSELL: We should repeat the question. >> GUERNSEY: If I'm understanding the question,
and let me know, if I summarize this correctly. It's basically, what, kind of, mind blowing
things and paradigm shifts are we seeing now that might be comparable to what we were seeing
maybe in 1998 with Google. >> Yeah, of course, relevant to learning.
>> GUERNSEY: That are relevant to learning. Thank you. Easy question. Easy.
>> MAYER: Well, there's this cats races going around which is the sensory revolution, and
it sounds like you actually saw some demos, of some of the byproducts of that last night.
Augmented reality is definitely one of the hottest ideas right now. I went to one of
these "unconferences" in August where they organized all of the sessions [INDISTINCT].
I went to the board and I was like, "What is AR?" Like, I know what AI is. I know what
IR is. I was like, "What is AR?" And I mean, it really is a very interesting idea but,
the sensory revolution basically says, you know, look, now, with the dawn of smart phones.
If you have a phone that always knows where it is in the world. It always knows how it's
being held, and, you know, it has skin. You can touch it. You can feel the touches. You
can hear things. You can take pictures. It has eyes, it has ears. You know, what can
you do with that device, and it's really pretty impressive. You know, everything--we have
a program here called Google Skymap where it actually is a planetarium in your hand.
Because you can hold the phone up, and you're going to say, "Well, what is that star?" You
just hold the phone up and it just tells you what that star is because it knows where it
is in the world, how it's being held, and what you must be looking at. So, you can,
sort of, peek out from behind the screen. You can say, "Where is Sirius? Where's the
north star?" And it will guide you over there but, there's an interesting coming called
'layar,' kind of like, layer but L-A-Y-A-R where they're doing augmented reality. They
take all the entries of Wikipedia and map them on to the world. So, if you're in layar,
and you turn on Wikipedia, you can point at something and tell you, "This is the museum
of Natural History." It was founded then. Like, you know, in that direction--anything
that's in Wikipedia can be mapped on to the physical world and called up by a student--and/or
user saying, what is this? It's the same thing that happened with Yelp and Tweets and other
things. So, then we think about augmented reality, actually, talk about in-context learning.
Right? Like, this is the definition of in-context learning because in that moment, where you
are and when you are, you can, actually, call up this information and see how it relates
to your current place. >> GUERNSEY: Ben, do you have something?
>> BEDERSON: Sure. I'll have one more thing that I think is pretty amazing. And I'll throw
in another acronym, DHC which is Distributed Human Computation which is getting a lot of
interest recently, which is to take all of the things that computers are pretty good
at but not quite good enough at. And add some human computation to add to it using networks
and communication to solve problems that today nobody can think of. Amazon Mechanical Turk
if you've heard of that is a great example of a way to apply this. It's sometimes called
artificial artificial intelligence. So take the things that we really would like to be
able to do like excellence translation. That computer even though Google translator is
good is not excellent yet, right? They're not, it's not human quality. However, if you
take a Google translation and then add a human's ability to tweak and improve that translation
possibly without even speaking the other side's language which is one of my research projects
funded partly by Google so, thank you guys. But there is the potential for going much
further beyond what we either humans or computers can do alone.
>> GUERNSEY: And I think we have time for—maybe just one more question from the audience here
if we can. Is there a mike? Yes, go ahead. Go ahead, please.
>> FEMALE: Is this on? Since Reed left, I'm going to be contrarian of Cathy Baron with
edgetopia so, quick story, an open house for my son's school. I asked one of the teachers,
"Are your assignments online?" He said, "I don't have time for that." The truth is he
didn't know how to use it I mean, he did not know how to use the site that where teachers
can put homework assignments. And you're talking about all these amazing programs here but
it kind of ends or stops when the kids go into the school. They have to, you know, shut
off their iPhones that they can't text, they can't do any of that. They still go to a separate
computer lab in many schools. It's not a part of the regular; it's not integrated into their
classroom work. So, going back what we—some people were telling me about last night, the
schools of education and even after that in professional development, they're not getting
this. So the question is where do you take, how do you, you know, impart what you are
doing into the schools and get it in the classroom? >> GUERNSEY: Very quickly try to respond to
that, it's a really good question. >> DRUIN: It's about partnership, partnership,
partnership. It's about changing the way and the places we do research. It's about action
research that children are a part of that research as researchers and that teachers
are researchers and that it is a learning community or researcher community together.
And it's about bringing, it's about bringing Google and universities and K12 together to
make change. And if we can do that then we really can change what you described, which
is heartbreaking. >> CATOR: And I would just add to that. We
also need to sort of re-inspire the entire teaching profession and, you know, a lot of
what's going on are policies and climates within schools and Linda talked a little about
systems. But climate within schools that really shut down innovation and creativity and the
ability of teachers to really respond to these kinds of things. So, teachers are under a
great deal of pressure. They're under a pressure for a test scores, they're under pressure
for, you know, a lot of things and then there are a lot of the, the other rules and regulations
around filtering and those kinds of things. There are a lot of kind of policies that need
to be advanced and enhanced in order to make these things possible and give that teacher
the strategies and the abilities and the environment and to do that kind of work.
>> PINKARD: I think every community has a classroom that looks the way that you want
it to look. And part of it is, for me is demonstrating what can be done. And then getting people
to have the will which can happen to make drastic changes, I mean, it's not going to
be small stuff, it has to be as someone said last night, you know, sunsetting laws. It
can be done. It's not hard to be done. But I think one of the main things from a teacher's
standpoint is nothing okay longer making them responsible for everything and saying, here's
what you need to do, as what you said Karen. But here are ways where kids can take more
responsibility of their own learning. Giving that we are at Google, I think one of the
things we have underestimated is that the power of youth when given opportunities and
resources at their disposal to take charge, what you see, what we see in New Media everyday
is kids coming from all over the city down there to learn with each other by themselves
after they've been in school for six hours a day. So if you provide more opportunities
where they see is realistic, is attainable, it has an audience and it matters to them,
then they'll lift up themselves in some sense by the bootstrap and then teachers, it makes
it easier for teachers to build on that. >> MAYER: And I would just add sort of an
implicit mantra of technology which is things take time and it's important to be impatient,
right? Which is that, you know, I mean, if you look at, think about today's kids growing
up with their smart phones and laptops and the internet, it's unthinkable that they themselves
would become teachers and not use those technologies, right? So, you can sort of look out in the
future and say, well, there's clearly a finite time when that will certainly be the case
of these technologies are used. How can we accelerate it so that come sooner? And I do
think some of the tools, the teaching, the partnerships, all of those are important.
But that said, yes, we have to acknowledge these things take time, it's important to
be impatient so we cause any type of acceleration that can happen, to happen. These technologies
are compelling enough of themselves that they will have, you know, it will happen and they
will be available in teaching methodologies one way or the other sooner or later.
>> GUERNSEY: Thanks everyone. So, I'm going to—oh yes, yes.
>> RUSSELL: [INDISTINCT] was to a certain extent, the teachers also have to step up,
right? You are a professional class and yet I still encounter teachers who say, "Oh, I
couldn't possibly learn that." Wait, you're teacher, right? And it's almost as though
my neurosurgeon says to me, "Oh, I can't possibly learn that new technique." I do want to hear
that from my neurosurgeon, right? And so I expect teachers to be doing the same thing.
Saddle up, you've got to do it. Be professional. >> GUERNSEY: So, yeah, thank you all very
much. So, I was just, just too quickly, to recap here, I just want to point out something
and I think it's really fascinating about this panel which is I think it changes the
conversation so then it's not about the hardware and the software and the technology but we've
been talking about the teachers and the kids, the questions that kids have, the struggles
that the teachers have. And then overlaying that is kind of changing—I like what Connie
Yowell mentioned earlier this morning, is there a need out there for a campaign that
would give people a sense of what technology in learning actually means and looks like?
Because I don't think that parents in that kind of regular world out there who just see
their kids lost in Nintendo DS and don't actually even know what they're playing on. They don't
see technology in learning as really being all that connected. So hopefully, these kinds
of conversations, the more that we can kind of elevate these kinds of examples so we can
change that conversation. Thanks everybody. Thank you.
>> MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, we are running behind schedule. Please keep this to a prompt
ten minute break. We will see you back here in ten minutes. Thank you.
>> MERROW: All right, I know you folks are coming in slowly and I urge you to come back
in. We have a pretty remarkable group here and the challenge for this group is to move
the ball forward and I think this group is in fact up to that challenge. We just say
word about the panelists, Katie Salen is a professor at Parsons School of Design and
Technology, Director of the Center for Transformative Media, runs a nonprofit called Institute of
Play, author of Rules of Play, Game Design Reader. I think most importantly for us, she
is the founder of a public school, Quest to Learn which is grade six through twelve, public
school in New York City. Another educator I guess or multi-talented guy is Larry Rosenstock,
many of you know him. He is the founder of High Tech High School in San Diego and the
High Tech Network of nine schools now. The schools use project based learning, remarkable
ray of students centered techniques to lower the dropout rate, engage kids. He told me
that High Tech High has been visited by education ministers or ministries from about a dozen
countries, or maybe more. Almost all of them by their own invitation, may we come see.
And is actually in some perverse way had more attention from other places around the world
than his had from his own district in San Diego. Rey Ramsey may be our skeptic about
schools. Rey is the CEO of One Economy, a technology innovation non-profit involved
in community organizing for technology access and quality. He has brought together a civil
rights coalition of groups. Use new broadband dollars to wire housing projects, community
centers, et cetera and et cetera I guess is schools. One economy is forming youth digital
connection teams in different regions of the country. I heard of these of these on the
California report, of that one such group out in the valley. And this had great success
in Greene County North Carolina organizing as a community. And finally, Jason Levy is
the principal of Intermediate School 339 which is grade six through eight. Unlike Katie who
got to start from scratch, Jason took over, it is his sixth year now, a lousy school.
It's on the superintendent's list basically for the worst schools in the entire city and
he has turned it around. Incidentally, it's his sixth year as principal but he is a Teach
for America guy, he spent three years as a TFA teacher in Houston. What I'd like to do,
I work in television. I like to show television, it's not our television but it's PBS. Just
a short clip about Jason (JC1)'s school from Frontline, then I'm going to ask Jason to
talk a little bit about that turnaround process. Then I will ask Katie to talk a little bit
about starting her school. Then I'm going to bring Larry and Rey up and we will just
mix it up and see where we go. I know we are standing between you and lunch but we don't
care. There was plenty of food out there, you've been noshing all day long. So, could
we show the frontline clip, please?