Change Leadership: Words of Tony Wagner Get “Trumped”

When I attended Ed Tech Teacher’s First iPad Summit in my native New England back in November of 2012, I was particular stirred by the Keynote speech by Tony Wagner. Since he walks in the world of the education community and the business community I believe his words are important as I shape the hearts and minds of young people on a daily basis in my high school classroom.

In his Keynote at the iPad Summit, Tony called for Seven Essential Survival Skills. I like to reflect back upon these when I shape new learning situations for my students, many of whom this month will be graduating and entering the work world.

This is one of Tony’s tenets. I am currently having my students play a Celebrity Apprentice Challenge Based Game and we are down to the quarter-finals. Each week the students are given a new multi-step task. I think this is important because it encourages them to have to adapt on the fly to the learning situation that I have created for them.

Tony spoke about the importance of this. My students are communicating effectively and they are using the iPad as a conduit to do so. We are trying to get Mr. Trump to Tweet or Video-Chat with us during our finals week to announce our classroom winner during the week of June 18th. My students have written wonderful letters in Pages trying to persuade Mr. Trump with their words. However, in the 21st century we must have more than one platform to communicate. My student have also created trailers in iMovie which we are sending to 5th Avenue as well as posting them on my You Tube Channel. As Wagner states, “People need to be able to communicate in written word and orally.” My students are mulch-faceted in their ability to do so. This week we are even adding an Augmented Reality/Layar segment to the competition.

Tony speaks about the need for self-direction and being able to solve tough problems. When my students saw how moved I was by the charity Opportunity Village(an organization that provides job opportunities for the cognitively impaired), this charity literally brought tears to my eyes. They came up with the idea to hold a bake sale in our school of over 2,000 students and mail the proceeds to the charity. Talk about taking their own initiative.

Even though this is blog about technology and learning notice how few times this post mentioned the iPads. When Tony Wagner spoke at the Boston iPad Summit I don’t remember him saying the word iPad very often. However, these devices have created a new generation of students who are digital natives and hungry to be taught as active learners.

Thanks to Tony Wagner for giving a talk so inspiring that your words live on six months later in my classroom.

Thanks to Ed Tech Teacher for continuing to provide a platform for 21st Century teachers and learners.


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