By now, you’ve heard the tech buzzwords a thousand times, right?

Students need to be prepared for the 21st Century,” and “Web 2.0 tools should form the backbone of student-centered classrooms,” have essentially become rallying cries for ed-reformers convinced that our schools are failing miserably.

But “preparing students for the 21st Century” and “Web 2.0 tools” as the “backbone of student-centered classrooms” are almost never carefully defined terms, are they?

That leaves us is a really sad place.  We know the need for change is urgent, but we’re not all that sure what that change should look like in action.  Talk about a recipe for disaster!

That’s why I’m completely jazzed to announce that Meg Ormiston, digital learning consultant and author of Creating a Digital Rich Classroom, and Adam Garry, manager of global professional learning for Dell Computers and my Teaching the iGeneration co-author, have decided to join me for a focused three-day Voicethread conversation on the characteristics of effective teaching for tomorrow that will take place August 26th through August 28th.

Not only am I certain that we’ll be able to learn a ton from Meg and Adam—who have been helping teachers, schools, districts and states to imagine motivating learning environments for decades—I’m also certain that we’ll be able to learn a ton from each other!

And that learning is essential.  It’s high time that we begin to define the kinds of practical steps that schools can—and should—take to make sure that they’re structuring meaningful learning experiences for our kids.

So spread the word about our conversation.  Encourage your principals to stop by and learn a bit.  Jump in and share what you know.  Commit yourself to three days worth of collective exploration and personal growth.

It’ll be worth it.  I promise!

Here are some resources to get you started:

Free Download—Teaching the iGeneration:  Solution Tree has decided to make the complete contents of my newest book, Teaching the iGeneration, available for y’all to download and explore!  You’ll have to sign up for a free Solution Tree account first—and the link is only live for the next two weeks—but consider checking TiG out.  Not only will it leave you prepared for our conversation, I’d love to hear what you think!

You can also access all of the handouts from TiG—and a series of tutorials designed to introduce several Web 2.0 tools—at this website.

Free Download—Creating a Digital Rich Classroom Lookinside:  Solution Tree has also decided to make one chapter of Meg Ormiston’s newest book—which isn’t due to be published for another month or so—available for download.  Again, you’ll have to sign up for a free Solution Tree account first, but Meg’s work is worth it.

Details on Voicethread Conversations:  Voicethread is one of the easiest—and most engaging—digital forums for discussions available to educators today.  It’s a tool that my students have embraced completely (check out this conversation that they had about Darfur) and that I’ve used with teachers for conversations on Web 2.0, Grading, Reading Instruction and Professional Learning Communities.

While I’m sure that you’ll have no troubles mastering Voicethread, you might want to check out this post—written for an earlier conversation with PLC experts Rick and Becky DuFour—to learn more about what Voicethread conversations look like in action.

And stay tuned in to the Radical for more announcements as we get closer and closer to August 26th.  I’m really looking forward to seeing what we’ll learn together—and am convinced that we’ll all walk away prepared to help our colleagues understand just what teaching for tomorrow is all about.


(Blogger’s Note:  Even though I would have done it for free, Solution Tree—my publisher—is paying me a bit o’ cash from their marketing budget to moderate this conversation.  To learn more about my relationship with Solution Tree, read my nifty new disclosure policy.)

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