Alan November Notes, 1/21/08

Some highlights from Alan November’s keynote:


  • Rigor is expected not only by teachers and parents, but also by students.
  • Lifestyle we give our students here can be dangerous as compared to Chinese students
    • they are earning their lifestyle
    • we are giving our students a sense of entitlement


  • produces 500,000 engineers per year
  • we produce 50,000
  • Cisco is moving their headquarters to India
    • 80% of the world’s population is within a five-hour plane ride from India
    • that part of the world is growing faster than this part.

We have to overhaul what we are doing

  • rethink creativity, innovation and imagination
  • We are the last industrialized nation that values test scores the way we do.
  • It’s a numbers game-gifted children v. total children in America

What is your role?

  • how do you teach children who will have to compete globally?
  • Tear this apart; debate it
  • Who owns the learning? Who should own the learning?
  • Who knows more about technology?
  • If technology was gone tomorrow, would you still be able to teach?
  • Let go.

Commander of West Point ordered his staff to introduce Islam into the curriculum whenever possible.

  • Literature student from West Point anecdote about the Pope quoting from a 14th century scholar
    • Professor asks students to do a web search on the impact of Pope’s speech in Turkey
  • host, link, URL

Job of a teacher: Idea #1-You must teach critical thinking as early as possible

Job #2 You can have fantastic social skills over the web.

Job #3 You should become a fantastic researcher using the internet.

Job #4 You should have the ability to empower children to be a learner. Give them a stake.

would adding an authentic audience add value to your teaching?


3 thoughts on “Alan November Notes, 1/21/08

  1. fantastic notes here, Patrick! We’re having Alan come out and keynote a mini-conference day here on our campus this fall and I’m really looking forward to it. It is nice to have a “field reporter” keeping us up to date on Alan’s talk!



  2. No problem, Matt. Alan has this unique ability to create urgency within a crowd of teachers–something I often struggle with as I present. I always marvel at his ability to push teachers.

    That’s great that he is coming to your campus; enjoy it and make sure you have lots of PD lined up after he leaves. You’ll need to strike while the iron is hot.

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