live blogging at Ga Technology Summit pt3 – Ron Clark

March 3, 2009 § Leave a comment

Still doing the live blog thing at the GTS.  Next up Ron Clark (RC) – if it is like the last time I saw him I might be laughing too much to blog well, so bear with me.

Showing a classroom video.  The energy is impressive.  The podium doesn’t look big enough for RC to stand on, I wonder if he’ll try?

RC – getting kids to love learning – Origin: from North Carolina, taught to use things that were different, was teacher of the year, saw a program on schools in Harlem, and picked up and moved there to find the schools from the TV show.  Telling story of meeting an upset 13 yr old kid, convinced him to try.  1999 got job at that school.  Had kids that were all below grade level – every one of those kids have now graduated high school and most are in college.   Got them technology .   They tested ahead of their class by the end of a year.   Caught the attention of Oprah Winfrey.   Feels that “No Child Left Behind” as turned our approach upside down, we’re teaching to the bottom, and pulling the brightest down, instead of teaching to the top and getting them to raise up the rest.  Doesn’t want to leave anybody behind, but wants to keep the bar high, and keep raising it.   Wrote a song to pop star Rheanna’s music to teach order of operations to his class to learn algebra.  All his students have Zunes with lesson loaded on them – they all have  laptops from Dell.   Got huge growth in testing scores.

RC – 55 rules for setting clear expectations from students – manners, respect, structure — blending respect structure and innovative approaches.  Oprah told him to write a book so he listened,  he wrote it – she made it a book pick – and it sold!  Went to number 2 in nation on that announcement went #1 around the world.  Used funding to start the school here in Atlanta.  Teaching kids here and teaching teachers his approach.   Found a warehouse in run-down part of town, surrounded by crack houses, and prostitution.  Fought for that building because he felt it in his heart.  19 break-ins during construction – lots of theft of copper pipe.  Need to get the community involved – went to every house over 4 months and told everyone what he was doing – he was often scared. Often asked if he was Mormon.   Told people he was building the most innovative school in the world – got the community behind him – no more break-ins.   Ran out of money – got sponsors from the community, Veizon, Delta, Intercontinental Hotels.  Students can text message him live during class for nstant feedback.  Using Active Expressions, Dell sponsors laptops, got Definition 6 helping them to figure out what to do with all that technology.

RC – building world leaders -school of tomorrow. 3000 superintendants, teachers, principals from around the country visiting to observe and learn tools and techniques.   Congressmen and world leaders visiting to learn too.  Students are webcasting with kids around the world – traveling with the kids to make in-person connections – Delta is sponsoring travel.  Going around the world on spring field trips. Live video conferencing – virtual reality version of school.

RC – students take a test by running a gauntlet.  Made an online gauntlet so other schools can use the concept .

RC – non-profit – need donations – offering tours and visits. Warning every visitor has to go down the 2-story slide in the middle of the school and get “Slide – certified” – the slide is a symbol for how innovative they want to be. The model for innovation in education.

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