Saturday, February 11, 2012

Alan November's TED Talk

Alan November TED talk: In this talk, November addresses what we need to do to improve student learning and make schools relevant.  His ideas will shock some.  To others, he'll make perfect sense.

Go through the talk in its entirety. It's worth the wait to hear all of provocative points. Some of the most powerful examples are in the second half of the video, but the first part provides the context. Listen to it all.

After listening to the talk, leave a comment.  What lessons do you take away from the talk? What will you most remember? With what points do you most agree? With what points do you most disagree?

For additional resources about Alan November, check these links:

Alan November on Technology and Students (Newtown High School Blog)
November Learning


  1. I usually scan through videos online to hit interesting points...I watched this entire video and found it very interesting. The best point was a simple one liner "Do I write for my teachers or publish for the world" My question is, with the technology we have today, why can't students do both. Why can't we as teachers provide them with opportunities to publish for the world through our required curriculum. The other vital piece was the point that we can't teach only the current technology because technology is always changing- we must teach students how to use technology for something greater.

  2. After reading the first few chapters of Alan November's book I was eager to hear him speak. He didn't disappoint! I was really impressed by his eloquence and ability to captivate his audience. I was particularly struck by a couple of things he discussed. First, he talked about the importance of students making meaning out of what they're learning in class. He gave incredible examples of just that, but those types of projects are what's missing in most schools today. Authentic learning and assessments that go along with it are essential (I write this as I work on CMT prep for my third graders tomorrow...teaching to the test, anyone?)

    Second, November talked a lot about adding value to the world and leaving a legacy. I think we all need to ask ourselves, "What is purposeful work?" If what we're teaching is not purposeful, lacks rigor and authenticity, then rethink the lesson. Start over if necessary. It might be painful to start from scratch, but worthwhile in the end.

  3. I agree with Brianna. I was enthralled in this whole video. Like I have said before, this is not the first time I have seen Alan November speak, and each time I become engrossed in the conversation. One of the greatest points I took out of the video is that there seems to be an underestimate of kid to kid interactions. Reflecting in my classroom, students do learn from others and I have not given my class the opportunity to do that enough. I am hoping that I can ask the question, who works harder; the teacher or student and proudly say the students do! I think this course and having these conversations are my first steps in changing, like November says, the ecology of learning.