Tag Archives: essential learnings

Encienda-lite or Ignite-lite talks for learners

One of the essential learning gears of Synergy is Communication and Collaboration.  The three rays of light for this gear are

  • I can communicate in writing, graphics, and conversation.
  • I can collaborate for sustainable enhancement.
  • I can plan and present effectively.

We are trying a new strategy for working on persuasive presentations this semester based on what we learned at Educon in January. At Educon 2.4, Bo and I attended the Saturday Encienda Educon.  Encienda or Ignite was new concept in presenting to me in January at Educon.  The Ignite website says “enlighten us, but make it quick.”  The basics of an Ignite or Encienda presentation are that a presenter has 5 minutes to share an idea using 20 slides which automatically advance every 15 seconds.

In both of the previous semesters of Synergy, we introduced the teams to the work of Garr Reynolds, Presentation Zen, and Nancy Duarte, Slide:ology.  The sub-teams had the opportunity to make one or two big presentations.  As coaches, we could see the need for additional practice.  This semester, inspired by what we learned at Educon, we have just completed our 2nd Ingite-lite challenge with our Synergy 8 Crusade for Campus Cleanliness sub-teams.  For these young learners, we issued the challenge of communicating your team’s work, issue, or progress in 2 minutes using 4 slides which automatically advance every 30 seconds.  We call it Ignite-lite.  It is only week 8 of our 18 weeks together, and our teams have already designed and presented  twice.  Coaching is still needed, but the progress is incredible.

To be clear, we are modifying the Encienda or Ignite presentation to a “lite” version for our young learners.

One purpose of Synergy is to offer learners the opportunity to have real-world work and learning experiences.  As we work on improving our skills to communicate in writing, graphics, and conversation and to plan and present effectively, we are building assets and products.  We are practicing to prepare for the day when we present to a larger authentic audience.

PBL Field Guide: Strive for Information Artists ~ Examine Essential Learnings

Can we help our learners choose and collaborate projects that they care about?  Can we join a team of learners to discover how the content of our discipline can be used in the process of finding, working on, and solving problems?  Can we use technology to move past rote learning to analyze, synthesize, create, and innovate?

Reinventing Project-Based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age asks

What big ideas, what core concepts and processes, should students know after studying with you? [p. 43]

During our PLC-F meeting Thursday morning, LAL asked us to consider

Can we challenge ourselves to ask how our content serves the project rather than how the project serves our content?

Steven Walker of Tech High School during his 21st Century Thinking presentation on STEM teaching and learning indicated

We should use technology to help us perform routine procedures while we emphasize learning to analyze, interpret, and apply the results.

Our PLCs establish essential learning for our student-learners.  We research what is essential by reviewing local, state, and national standards.  We interview our colleagues who receive our learners in future courses as well as collaborate with our learners’ current teachers.  But, do we ask

Outside school, who cares about these topics? [p. 57]

In a discussion with Bo Adams, Paul Van Slyke, and David Stubbs concerning the design of collaborative spaces for learning, I responded to the suggestion that teachers initially say no to change and innovation with the idea

Sometimes we initially say “No, I don’t think that will work” when we really mean that “I don’t see how I can do that by myself.”

Look at The Blood Bank Project from High Tech High.

When we say, “I can’t do that” do we really mean, “I don’t know how to do that, and I don’t know who will help me?”  These teachers made the commitment to learn something new, to learn from each other.  Did you notice how these teachers are using technology?

Are we serious about being lifelong learners who serve and lead in a changing world?  Do we practice using technology and research to help us hone the essential skills: communicate and collaborate, problem-find and problem-solve, create and innovate, reflect and revise, serve and lead?

When it gets down to the brass tacks, is it really that critical to solve a quadratic function by hand?  How important is it to know the time period of the Era of Good Feelings?  How often, outside of school, will we need to know the formula for kinetic energy?

What are we willing to trade in our curriculum to make space for blended, complex, integrated learning experiences?