Friday, January 23, 2009

The Net Generation: The Next Generaton, Are We Ready?

This session was presented by Julie Young, President and Chief Executive Officer of Florida Virtual School
Florida Virtual School has been growing at 40% for the past five years. This year is the first year they have added K - 5.

She started the session with this video:

The theme is that we have failed you and now we are going to work with you in your world. Students and parents are going to be hearing a lot of this in the media.

As digital natives grow up and enter the workforce and college their expectation will be different from ours. We need to understand their wants and needs because they are our future. We have to understand and embrace change.

The word change and public school don't necessarily go together. Change can be painful or thrilling. We need to pull educators along with the change because the kids need it. It's important for us to ask the hard questions and get the answers.
Here is the spread of educators:
34% Innovators - Risk Takers
14% Early Adopters - Follow the risk takers right away and provide peer pressure on others
34% Early Majority - Will eventually accept the change but won't put themselves out there for the risk
34% Late Majority - Will only make change through peer pressure
16% Laggards - Absolutely late adopters, technologically phobic.

This generation of kids is disruptive. They enjoy disruption. They don't understand adults wanting them to power down at school. Kids feel like they are only engaged 15 - 20% of the time and they just play the game to get the grades.

Unfortunately, some of us are still living this way:

The kids aren't afraid to try and make mistakes. They are tech savvy, personalizers and connected. They are sharing their lives online and making it personal. Think about the ringers on a phone. Many of us have a ring and that is it. Kids customize their rings for each caller. They want things personalized. Why not their education? They want to learn, but we need to bring that connected world to them.

No longer can we teach and kids not learn. We are in a customized learning revolution. By using a virtual school kids are reinventing themselves online. They don't have to be a class clown, afraid to ask a question and avoiding peer pressure. Many special needs kids never need assistance because they are able to be engaged and meet their own needs.

New game called Conspiracy Code teaches American History. Students will play as characters living in new future and bad guy is trying to take over world by altering history. There are clues where you have to find the piece of history that is attempting to be corrupted. Every student has to find truth from fiction about history. It's very engaging. Kids had a say in the names of the characters, how they are dressed and how they talk. In the last 6 months since they have released this in Florida Virtual School they have had amazing positive feedback.

The future is virtual...


vicky banks said...

very informative! I loved the video of the men with the book, I can relate!

KK Cherney said...

I know you loved this session.
I have been involved with Florida Virtual Schools for a long time. UM..let me, I can't believe it. I have been working with homeschool students that have attended this great school for 8 years. One of the best courses is the Marine Biology course. The instructors are actually working in Sea World. Wow, talk about real-life application.
To the future...

dayle timmons said...

I can look at my own first graders right now and identify a couple that I think might be better educated at the Florida Virtual School because they need such individualization. It is so diificult to provide that type individualization in our current education framework, both because of the lask of appropriate technology and because of our own lack of knowledge. Somehow there must be a way to mesh what the Florida Virtual School has unleashed with education as we know it so that we cn really make a difference...

Patricia Wallace said...

The 'stored text' clip is classic. There are many times that I take for granted that not everyone gets technology even if it has been around for quite some time. With newer technologies becoming available and eventually becoming mainstrea, there are many still lagging in even trying to learn. I truly admired the patience and compassion of the 'help desk'. We remember to do so with our students, but sometimes we need a little reminder to do the same with our colleagues, especially if they are making the attempt to learn. And to those willing to put themselves out there and take the risk to ask for help when needed, I admire their courage even more.

Melissa Ross said...

We hardly teach a lesson anymore without some sort of technology. The kids even use my iphone to get the daily temperature for Calendar Math. I love, love, love to see everything heading in the virtual direction.
I can't wait to see virtual schools become more developed - especially as I am looking into getting my masters.

Jerry Green said...

When I think about K-12 online learning, I think Julie Young. We as Floridians should be so proud of the work that she and her team have done over the past 12 years (I think she said 12) on behalf of the state of Florida. Florida Virtual School put FL education on the map for a positive reason for once. As an educator, I'm proud, I gloat, I'm in awe as my kids have taken FLVS courses. If you have kids and they haven't experienced FLVS, do it now. I have restructured my teaching and my practices based on my kids' experiences with FLVS. I have heard Julie speak a few times before at FETC. Her passion for kids is real. Her expectations for her staff are extremely high and her teachers rarely leave once they are lucky enough to be hired. Obviously I'm a fan. This presentation lived up to expecations once again.