Julie Evans from Project Tomorrow - "Top Ten Things We Learned from K-12 Students About Educational Technology in 2008"

Julie Evans is the CEO of Project Tomorrow (www.tomorrow.org), a national education nonprofit organization (formerly known as NetDay). Join us as Julie talks (and takes questions) about what has been learned from Speak Up, the annual national research project facilitated by Project Tomorrow. The Speak Up data represents the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered stakeholder input on education, technology, 21st century skills, schools of the future and science instruction. Education, business, and policy leaders report using the data regularly to inform federal, state, and local education programs. A copy of the "top ten" report is attached to this post.

Project Tomorrow is dedicated to empowering K-12 students to have a larger voice in improving education and learning. Ms. Evans has been CEO of this organization since 1999. Prior to this position, Ms. Evans enjoyed a very successful 17-year career in national and regional sales and marketing management with Unisys and two education technology startups. Ms. Evans is a graduate of Brown University and serves on the Board of Directors of Project Tomorrow, the KOCE-TV Education Advisory Council, the Childrens’ First Advisory Council and the Association of Women in Technology Council. She is a Frances Hesselbein Community Innovation Fellow and a frequent speaker, writer and commentator on children, education, science and technology issues. In April 2008, Ms. Evans was named as one of the Top Ten Most Influential People in Education Technology over the past 10 years by eSchool News, a leading national education publication.

Project Tomorrow is the nation's leading education nonprofit organization focused on empowering students to have a greater voice in their education. National results from Speak Up 2008 will be released at our annual National Congressional Briefing in Washington DC on March 24, 2009. Learn more about Speak Up and our other Project Tomorrow programs to improve education at www.tomorrow.org.

Date: Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Time: 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern / 1am GMT (next day) (international times here)

Location: In Elluminate. Log in at https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?password=M.05AE98D09503B33735A7E3.... The Elluminate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early.

To make sure that your computer is configured for Elluminate, please visit http://www.elluminate.com/support. Video, audio, and chat recordings will be posted here after the show.

Full Elluminate Recording: https://sas.elluminate.com/p.jnlp?psid=2009-02-11.1709.M.C76FD5D1DC...
Audio Recording: http://audio.edtechlive.com/foe/JULIE EVANS OF PROJECT TOMORROW.mp3
Chat Log: http://audio.edtechlive.com/foe/JULIE EVANS OF PROJECT TOMORROW.rtf (This is a .rtf file--save it an open in any word processor)

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Sounds fantastic, I will put it on my calendar. Thanks so much for creating this network. I joined recently and have already learned a lot!
Thanks, Steve,
This time i'm going to really try and get my clock straight. One of the medieval commentators (Robert Grosseteste) on Genesis thought that there were two summers in the southern hemisphere. He may have been right, Clocks certainly seem to be a problem!
The recordings are posted above at the bottom of the main description!
This was wonderful and enlightening.
Thank you to all!
I really enjoyed reading through this post, thanks so much for making the word doc and power point available to us! This is a very relevant and necessary Ning for the Ed. Tech community. You should check out the Ning Networks at http://www.isteconnects.org I'm sure you'll find a fresh set of opinions and insights on this very topic. Hope to see you there!
Very interesting, thought provoking read!!!!!
I like the term "Free Agent learner" I often feel this is my experience as a learner and teacher. I would be interested to hear about/see learning communities (schools) that are adopting this model of personalized (free agent learning) learning.
In my current role, our schools are moving into this territory of 1:1 device learning, or anywhere, anytime model of schools. See http://ultranettalk.ning.com/ to build discussions around this idea. I think in education particularly hear in Vic- Australia we have some exciting times ahead with how learning and schooling will look.
Bring on the Free Agent Learners I say.

Cheers Simon.
So does the lack of imagination and ability to lead and inspire on the part of school educators give us the un-tethered “Free Agent Learner.” The un-tethered Free Agent Learner's .......“Big 4”........ is (1) Online and computer gaming, (2) Download music (3)Communications- email, IM, Txt, (I add sexting), and (4) Maintain a personal website. I suppose when the students become un-tethered they will no longer be interested in the "Big 4." Is this a joke explain to me, what did I miss. At what age do we un-tether them I thought we un-tethered them in college. I do like the idea of getting rid of the schools and the tax burden. What a great idea go to the children and ask them how they should be taught when we spend all this money paying teachers. Maybe we should pay the kids for educating our teachers, after they become un-tethered Free Agent Learners. When teachers and students become un-tethered “Free Agent Learners” just think how smart the whole county and world will become. We will be able to eliminate the remedial Math for teachers in NYS BOCES program another big tax savings. How soon can we get this program started because the country is going down the drain and this will save us. Julie you have identified a problem that anyone with breath condensing on a mirror knows, Un-tethering the hormones in public school sounds like a really bad idea, my apologies to you. I await the wrath of your readers, please be kind this is just an old man. Growing up saving news papers, metal, grease during WW2 donating penny's to by a Piper Cub reconnaissance airplane makes you wonder. Poor me, I have 400 videos on youtube with almost 1 million views that document the world around me and a website containing 15,000 still photos with 700,000 photos downloaded. I will bet you could count me as a "Real" un-tethered Free Agent Learner starting with a 1982 Timex computer without an operating system at the urging of my 11th grade son. The computer is a great tool but you still have be productive doing something people pay money for, and buying music is not it. Don Kaake
Hi, Don!

I'm intrigued by this idea, in part because of my four children, two have chosen a home-schooling program that is very "free-agent" oriented and centered on great books. It doesn't mean that their mentors are not imaginative or inspired, but it does mean that my children are very much the "drivers" of their own experience. That this seems so loose as to be a joke reflects, I think, how much we see education as something that is "done" to students. For the two of them, their course of study has been much deeper and more demanding than for most of their peers in regular school settings, and comes from them personally responding to the challenging nature this program.

Having said that, we have another child who would thrive anywhere, and then one who has not and would not respond well to lack of structure, and for whom that kind of freedom would not be a good parental decision on our part. But I might argue that free-agent learning, while not for every child, reminds us of the degree to which an individual's desire to learn and to drive his or her own learning processes has only been our paradigm for the top students. I think that the world of Open Source programming, where teenagers have a profound opportunity to be mentored and to contribute to real-world tasks, holds some fascinating lessons for us since that has been the front line of this technological change and where we can see some of the impact on how the Internet changes how things get done.

I think your response is both understandable and valuable. I'm not sure I know where and how this "un-tethering" might take place, but it's a great discussion to have.
Steve, Thank you for your thoughtful answer. The computer is the most valuable tool we will ever have, it's use should be encouraged, promoted, sold, pushed, and shoved on students, but we have to use it to leap man forward as it also can become the worst time waster.School libraries should have all the current periodicals on computers and related subjects. Current articles in a sea change of tech. In my watching of people with computer skills, my research tells me that the skills are just like in Music, Science, Math, Mechanics, Physics, some people are good in some areas and not in others. The fact that the teachers have not caught on is maybe they don't have the skills. It's one thing to know all the jargon about cell phones but to be able to be self motivated to link into the real meat of Music, Science, Math, Mechanics, Physics is another matter. I have four very talented children all are un-tethered Free Agent Learners but they are in their 40s and 50s. As far as home schooling you are on your own, I can see one on one working very well in this situation as it would anything else you put your mind to. To many intellectual buzz words in education to justify nothing which includes un-tethered “Free Agent Learner.”

List the traits needed for an un-tethered “Free Agent Learner.”

Must have a high powered computer and able to maintain it.
Must have high speed line.
Must have a working environment.
Must be self motivated (nerd like).
Must know the direction of where he or she wants to be (how many kids have a clue, things change so fast).
Must have a plan to get there.
Must have a really good imagination to look for things he or she has never known.
Must have a certification or demonstrate abilities.
These are all things that come from a good family life and at least middle income.
Feel free to add to the list.
Teachers are there fill in the missing points on the list.
The thing that is missing in un-tethered Free Agent Learner is experince .
What percentage of children have the qualities on the list I am guessing a very small percent.
Julie has brought little to the table except a provocative idea, I guess we can thank her for a stimulating conversation. Keep in mind, The "Big 4" rules. Don Kaake


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