The Modern Educator - a talk on young people and the Internet

Today I had the wonderful opportunity to address the Pre-K to 6th grade faculty at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School. I am thankful to Simone, Pat, and Adam for inviting me to speak. I titled my talk "The Modern Educator" and told the faculty that I was talking about them - you are the modern educator. What does that role mean?

The visuals that I used during the presentation are below, but are probably only useful if you were there to hear me speak. I mentioned a number of resources during the talk and I want to pull them out here as a set of links for the CGPS faculty members to explore. CGPS teachers, if you have arrived, welcome! If you plan to go through these resources, I would give yourself about 20-30 minutes. If you have the time, close your e-mail, turn off your phone, and enjoy. You know, what you expect your students to do!

21apples - you are at 21apples as you read this. This is my blog where I reflect on my practice, share resources that I find useful, and solicit feedback from my colleagues. If you were part of the CGPS presentation I would love to have your feedback below in the comments area. Feel free to ask questions, leave constructive critiques, etc.

21st Century Learning - this is the weekly Internet radio show I host. We regularly interview guests from around the United States and beyond about modern education projects. You can listen online via the website or if you have an iPod or iTunes you can subscribe to our show with iTunes here.

Did You Know 4.0 - we watched this video that threw many stats at us. We discussed that the video was 1 year old now and the stats are likely outdated. Even knowing that they weigh heavily. We also took time to think about credibility and authority - is this video credible?

How to Start a Movement - in 3 minutes Derek Sivers showed us how to start a movement. I mentioned that much bullying takes place in this way. I challenged us to think about how we could use this thinking to train bystanders to lead a movement (or even just a moment) against a bully. How would we make this work for our students?

Pat and I both mentioned danah boyd's (lower case intended) work on teens and social network. Her blog is a must-read for people concerned with how your people are using the Internet.

I misquoted Tony Schwartz - his quote about learning is that we "ought to expect that people won't get better at their jobs over time and may well get worse" - he was talking about organizations developing learning programs that increase skills and develop them as human beings. I can't recommend strongly enough reading his book The Way We're Working Isn't Working.

I also talked about the freely available book by Leo Babauta, Focus: A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction. Leo gives practical training on how you can better focus - how to unitask instead of trying to multitask (which we know is a myth) and much more. By taking his advice we could save time, be more productive, and reclaim our lives from an Age of Distraction by e-mail and all of the other things fighting for our attention. We must teach this ability to our students. Are we teaching them to focus? Is it strategic? How are we doing it? This might be the most personally rewarding book you read in a while.

I mentioned two excellent places to get started with online professional networks for teachers. The first is the Independent School Educators Network. Join it. These are our colleagues sharing their practice. Last year at TEDxNYED David Wiley articulately argued that "openness is the only means of doing education." Watch his compelling video:

The other network I mentioned is a much larger network with both public and private school educators mixed together - Classroom 2.0 is focused on examining how the web and social media can be used in education. 

I was asked a question about developing school acceptable use policies. I strong believe that AUP's must support school's missions directly. David Warlick has one of the best resources to use in helping guide this formation at School AUP 2.0.

And at long last, here are the visuals.

arvind s. grover

I am a progressive educator, a podcaster (, a blogger, and dean of faculty of JK-11 school (building a high school) in New York City.