The day started with 1200 educators in the High Tech High forum, with a salsa band playing energetic Latin-influenced grooves. When they started to cover “Descpacito” and educators cut loose and started dancing, Jamie asked “is this Woodstock for teachers?”. There was definitely an energy and buzz right from the beginning of the day.
So what is Deeper Learning?
Deeper Learning is...modelling the growth we want to see in our students. Carlos R. Moreno, in his Keynote, stated that “Vulnerability is a part of good pedagogy”. If we believe in teaching students the soft skills that they need to be successful in life, we have to model our own risk taking and willingness to be open and honest. “We, as educators, need to be brave enough to share our own stories.”
Deeper Learning is…teaching our students to be competent. There is a model to Deeper Learning and at its core lies six competencies. 65% of the jobs that today’s students will have haven’t been invented yet. Armed with these competencies, students will be better equipped to work and learn in the world that is changing exponentially.
Deeper Learning is…a path to equity. Lindsay Hill said in her keynote that the system of school has been created using historical structures, put in place throughout our history to keep certain groups oppressed.” “We need to think about critical consciousness, racial equity, gender equity, classism, we need to talk about all of the ‘isms’ in our systems if we are TRULY about deeper learning.” The more we can talk about our biases, the more we can be the educators our young people need and deserve.
We must know our student’s stories and be must believe in their greatness. - @Carlos_Moreno06 #DL2018— Summer Howarth (@EduSum) March 28, 2018
Deeper Learning is...trying something new, taking faith that the outcome may be unclear, but that growth and deeper learning as educators is guaranteed. Michelle Clark, Co-Director of the Share Your Learning Campaign encouraged everyone to push out beyond their comfort zone. As educators we were encouraged to leave our comfort zone, and to try something new.
Deeper Learning is...giving students agency over their own education. As Michelle said in her introduction, “We don’t give students voice, they already have one. We just decentralize our leadership roles so that they can try them on to see the leaders they will become. Many educators are attending this conference because they want to make school different. Gia Truong spoke about equity and how we can help our students feel like they belong. If we can agree that we don’t like the story of school, perhaps it is time to change the storyteller. Giving students more voice in their education is one way to do this.
"When our students feel like they belong, they are more motivated and engaged” "That’s our vision - kids that feel UNSTOPPABLE!" - @gia_envision #DL2018— Matt Sheelen (@mjsheelen) March 28, 2018
Deeper Learning is...Beautiful work. Ron Berger, of Austin’s Butterfly fame, talked about the power of beautiful work: work that is not necessarily visually beautiful, but work that is made of actions in service of, actions of passion, actions of equity, of social justice. Social Justice is needs to be at the core of the curriculum.
Deeper Learning is...evolving. We are floored by how full our brains feel. Both of us are looking forward to learning more tomorrow and refining our own personal definition of what Deeper Learning is.