Connect Institute February 2015

Tustin Unified's Technology and Learning Conference

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Empowering teachers and students with technology is critical to changing the status quo.

In his keynote presentation, Tony Vincent demonstrates how inventive thinking and technology can foster innovation inside and outside of classrooms. Tony shares many examples of how technology can empower teachers and students to do things in new and better ways, including flipping, streamlining, and media making.

The Status Quo is the current state of affairs. It’s how things are done. Often we hear that “we’ve always done it this way.” Other times we’re waiting for a better way to come along. To question the status quo, we ask “what if” and “why not.”

Dr. Hal Gregersen and his colleagues have surveyed 3,500 executives and creative individuals and closely tracked the habits of 25 exceptional entrepreneurs, all with the aim of figuring out the qualities that set the great innovators of the world apart from everyone else. Read about their findings.

Compliance is doing as you’re told. It’s all about following instructions, not questioning the rules or developing alternatives. Improving requires changes to the status quo!

Below are the examples Tony shared about leaving the status quo behind and doing things in different and better ways.

Examples From The Digital World

  1. My Scrip Calculator app
  2. PhotoMath app
  3. Dropbox and for online storage instead of a flash drive
  4. Copy is a "copy" of Dropbox where you start with 15GB of storage
  5. Want to print QR code stickers? Here's the printer Tony uses. Learn more about QR codes.
  6. Google's Hiring Process
  7. Google's Lazlo Bock's interview about getting a job at Google
  8. Set Google Advanced Search as a computer’s home page
  9. Filter your Google search by using the minus symbol
  10. Search Diigo for classroom resources booked marked by other teachers
  11. Students and teachers use eduClipper to curate and tag content
  12. Search Slideshare
  13. Search Pinterest 
  14. Search Twitter
  15. Google's Eric Schmidt writes about innovation.

Examples from Education

  1. Chromebook charging station do it yourself project
  2. Great teaching and great leadership is not available on the App Store. Print your own stickers.
  3. Instead of cover, think uncover or discover
  4. “The greatest obstacle to learning is coverage.” -Howard Gardner
  5. Sketchnoting (Notability it Tony's favorite app for sketchnoting.)
  6. Students take their notes directly into a flashcard site or app like Quizlet.
  7. Stick Around for iPad lets teachers and students make their own games.
  8. Plickers are paper clickers!
  9. What if students were involved in professional development?
  10. Flip the classroom by doing lecture at home and work at school
  11. Students make their own math instructional videos at
  12. Explain Everything is an app for easily recording instructional videos
  13. Students can now have an audience outside of the classroom for what they create and do.
  14. Give presentations a twist by using the Ignite format: 20 slides times to advance every 15 seconds.
  15. Genius Hour video (made with VideoScribe) and website and infographic.
  16. Ownership is empowering. Here's the Psychological Ownership video made using Adobe Voice.
  17. Read about the Ikea Effect.
  18. Students can have ownership over their learning by making their own media. Check out this infographic with some web and iPad apps that can help students Show What They Know.

Examples from TonY'S Classroom

  1. Publish reviews on Amazon.
  2. Be creative with your class website name (Planet 5th vs. Mr. Vincent's 5th Grade).
  3. Assign a roving reporter to photography and write about class each day.
  4. Create Choose Your Own Adventure/branching stories using Inklewriter. Read Ebony's Crazy Hairdo.
  5. Number students in reverse alphabetical order. Read research about people having a last name at the end of the alphabet.
  6. Give spelling tests on Tuesdays to give the weekend to study.
  7. Do science experiments at the start of a unit.

Five skills seen in innovative CEOs include:

  1. questioning
  2. observing
  3. experimenting
  4. networking
  5. associating

Managers maintain the status quo. Leaders are always seeking better ways.

QuestionChallenge, and Change the Status Quo!



Mobile Learning Experience 2015 is in Tucson, Arizona, June 10-12.