Harry Wong
Dec 2017
Vol 14 No 4

21st Century Education – Transcript of Chat with AP Todd Bloomer

By Teachers.Net News Desk

Following is the transcript of our chat with AP Todd Bloomer – October 29, 2013  9:00 – 10:00 pm ET

Teachers.Net – We’re chatting with Assistant Principal Todd Bloomer on the topic “21st Century Schools.” This chat qualifies for a Connected Educator Month badge. Badge code will be posted at the close of the chat. Read Todd Bloomer’s articles in Teachers.Net Gazette:
doc_bott – logged on.
Yankee Todd – logged on.
Yankee Todd – Hello everyone — I am a little early
Yankee Todd – I am looking forward to talking tonight about what the 21st century classroom looks like
texashector – logged on.
Yankee Todd – Hey Texas Hector
texashector – How’s it going Todd?
Yankee Todd – Good — whats new? Thanks for joining us
Yankee Todd – Texas Hector is a history department chair at a middle school
Boston Bound – logged on.
Boston Bound – Teach teachers K-12 to integrate tech in classroom
Yankee Todd – A yankee and a boston fan in the same chat room?
Yankee Todd – what could go wrong?
Teachers.Net – logged on.
Yankee Todd – Boston Bound — do you have a twitter account?
Boston Bound – yes, use Twitter regularly–that is how I found out about this meet up
Yankee Todd – what is your twitter handle?
Kathleen – logged on.
Boston Bound – Neither a Yankee or Sox fan–live in CT–split loyalties–just rooting for closest team in series
Kathleen – NYY fan here
Yankee Todd – I grew up in NY — only a Yankee fan

Yankee Todd – I am looking forward to our discussion tonight
Brandon – logged on.
Kathleen – We’re chatting tonight about 21st century education with Assistant Principal Todd Bloomer who works in a large school district in Texas. This chat qualifies for a Connected Educator Month badge. Badge code will be posted at the close of the chat. Read Todd Bloomer’s articles in Teachers.Net Gazette:
Brandon – Todd, thanks for the text. In a meeting right now but I’ll keep an eye and sneak in some comments
Teachers.Net – Todd, thank you for agreeing to moderate this chat.
Yankee Todd – Thanks for the nice intro Kathleen

Teachers.Net – Co-moderating tonight’s chat is Teachers.Net founder Tony Bott. Follow him on Twitter: @doc_bott
Yankee Todd – Thanks for allowing me to moderate tonight
Teachers.Net – Follow Teachers.Net on Twitter @teachersnet
Werndog – logged on.
Big Blue – logged on.
Teachers.Net – Participants, welcome to this Teachers.Net/Connected Educator Month chat! Please introduce yourselves and if you have one, include your Twitter handle.
Werndog – Hola
Yankee Todd – Can everyone introduce themselves? I am an AP at a large high school in San Antonio
Kathleen – I’m a former teacher (28 years) and editor of Teachers.Net Gazette
Brandon – Hey guys – Brandon Pafk (@CHSAT_AP) HS AP from Buffalo, NY
Yankee Todd – my twitter handle is @yankee_todd
Ann – logged on.
Boston Bound – College professor, teaching grad courses related to technology & literacy
Werndog – Curriculum ap from San Antonio
Yankee Todd – I was the guy that had a passion for twitter and apps on my phone and now I am the tech AP on my campus
doc_bott – Todd, thank you very much for joining us tonight for this connected educator chat! I am Tony Bott, founder of Teachers.Net
texashector – Social Studies Department Chair – Middle School
Yankee Todd – Our district is currently transforming schools and education through a series of meetings with community, staff, and students
Yankee Todd – check it out at
Big Blue – HS History Teacher – Texas (@Historyteach18)
Yankee Todd – Hi Tony — To answer your question — Yes
Kathleen – Todd, are the meetings f2f or online, Twitter, or ?

Yankee Todd – meetings are F2F
Yankee Todd – For everyone in the chat tonight — please tell me how you feel about the next statement I make
Teachers.Net – Participants, post your comments and questions for Todd, we’ll attempt to repost any questions Todd misses the first time around.
Ann – @Antoine31583934
Yankee Todd – we are 20st century teachers teaching 21st century learners. Now, 20th century learners are being asked to shape the future
Yankee Todd – Are we the right ones to shape the future of classrooms?
doc_bott – Do you mean we are 20th century teachers teaching 21st century learners?
Kathleen – Todd, I agree! And as a former educator, I understand that it’s difficult for educators to try to teach in a way that’s different than the way we learned.
doc_bott – or learners in a more generic description?

Yankee Todd – I have had the discussion with many teachers who feel kids still need to be able to look up information in a textbook, read a map, or use a dictionary. With smart phones and google — do we still need these skills?
Boston Bound – Disagree. Teachers need to keep current with tools as well as appreciate the past. Teachers are guides. As early as John Dewey’s influence, we respected the concept, learners learn by doing.
Brandon – We are the ones if we are modeling consistent learning. We need to teach/share/explain to students that it is not necessarily about the knowledge you currently own but about how many ways you can find to own it.
Yankee Todd – Yes, Doc — we were taught in rows, told to read the book and memorize stuff —
Boston Bound – We need to be careful not to generalize.
Teachers.Net – Boston Bound, so, start where the learner is, and launch them?
Yankee Todd – now we are trying to teach kids that don’t learn that way
Charger – logged on.

doc_bott – Great question re: traditional resourcing skills.. I think it is our job as educators to teach students how to use all resources available to them, and be critical consumers of what they read both online and off.
Boston Bound – Good teachers know they need to move beyond the ways they saw their teachers teaching. In fact, the change needs to come more so from college professors, who are the last teachers teachers have.

Yankee Todd – Boston — do you use a map for directions or mapquest?
Yankee Todd – As we look at assessments — we all agree recall questions are on the lowest level of Blooms — these are questions that can be googled.
Boston Bound – Yankee Todd–not sure what you mean, but students in my courses do create web quests to use with their students
Yankee Todd – Why not move past those type of questions?
Teachers.Net – Kids can learn both ways, with and without technology, but don’t they benefit from both?
Boston Bound – Standardized tests with any kinds of questions overall are problematic
Yankee Todd – Has anyone read anything by Will Richardson?
Yankee Todd – Here is another nugget for debate. A classroom of the future is totally technology driven. True or False?
Charger – Yankee T, Is it possible that 21c instruction is more about our approach to kids than our approach to content?
Yankee Todd – Charger — Excellent question
Yankee Todd – I agree
Teachers.Net – Will Richardson has authored four books, most recently Why School? How Education Must Change When Learning and Information are Everywhere (September, 2012) published by TED books and based on his most recent TEDx talk in Melbourne, Australia. Why School? is now the #1 best-selling TED book ever. In total, his books have sold over 150,000 copies worldwide.
Boston Bound – Yes, use Richardson book in my course. He Skyped with my classes. Also, attended conferences where he presented sessions. Keep in touch with him.

Yankee Todd – We must disrupt education is his theory
Yankee Todd – he is radical but his points make you think about your own beliefs for education
Kathleen – “A classroom of the future is totally technology driven. True or False?” As long as humans – not robots – are participating, it can’t be entirely tech driven.
Yankee Todd – Just because it worked for us doesn’t mean it works for kids in our classes today
Yankee Todd – technology is a part of good instruction and it shouldn’t be a day we go to the computer lab
doc_bott – Regarding the first question you posed Todd: Howard Gardner has a new book coming out titled “The App Generation” and it’s a real good read on this subject. Talking about the effect technology has on defining generational differences.
Yankee Todd – but should be something that we use within the scope of the lesson
Kathleen – Kids haven’t really changed, but the tools that are available are new.
Yankee Todd – 21st century learning is as much group work and problem solving as it is using an ipad
Yankee Todd – a 21st century educator has to actively seek their own PD
Yankee Todd – twitter is the best PD I have ever had
Boston Bound – Yes, Kathleen, as Alan November reminds us, these tools should be used to empower students; students need to use the tools as creators, not just as consumers
Yankee Todd – anyone that is not actively on twitter is falling behind
Teachers.Net – The App Generation – How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World (Yale Univ Press, 2013) By Howard Gardner and Katie Davis
Ann – I agree Todd
Big Blue – Todd – if technology isn’t used on a regular basis I find you LOSE instructional time by having to go over expecations and HOW to use the technology. When you use it consistently – kids know what to do, how to use it. Feedback is quick.
Yankee Todd – Its always a teacher’s job to teach expectations
Boston Bound – Did any of you participate in #edtechchat last night w/ Arne Duncan; example of tech for global connecting
Teachers.Net – Teachers.Net will host Howard Gardner for a chat about The App Generation. Watch for additional info on date and time.
Yankee Todd – Who allows for student choice in lessons?
Yankee Todd – Boston — I did
Yankee Todd – Teacher choice is an excellent way to allow for tech use in your classes. The hardest part is for teachers to give up control of the outcome
Boston Bound – Teachers.Net–be sure to post on Twitter when chat is w/ Gardner
Kathleen – Who does that? Any good teacher allows for student choice in lessons (to an extent)
Yankee Todd – Kathleen — I find that not as many teachers allow for choice as you think.
Boston Bound – Agree, Kathleen. Multiple intelligences theory supports giving students options
Yankee Todd – Here is what I want to see at the end of the unit

Boston Bound – Is CCSS contributing or detracting from giving students choices?
Big Blue – maybe some of our colleagues need to be shown how to provide choice? glass is half full? chance they don’t know rather than don’t want to?
Kathleen – …yes, Twitter is a useful tool for those wishing to connect with peers and share resources. This current format is great though for genuine dialog, and not limited to 140 characters.
D. Ditto – logged on.
Werndog – Coming up with quality choices seems to be a difficulty in many and a barrier to try. With that said, I have seen choices that do not really get what is needed out of the students..
Yankee Todd – standardized testing always takes away from choice because teachers worry that they will not be able to follow scope and sequence if they take an extra day on a topic of interest

Boston Bound – Kathleen, a Twitter chat can go in many directions. At times, we were preaching to the choir, but the emphasis on need for schools to have stable Internet access was communicated to Duncan.
Yankee Todd – Werndog — its hard work for teachers also because they have to reflect on their lesson plans and change what they do also
Yankee Todd – sometimes twitter is an echo
doc_bott – Question: Are we asking too much of teachers who are not born into this “App Generation” or technology-enhanced age? Will the seasoned veterans get frustrated and just retire earlier than expected?
Yankee Todd – but it has introduced me to so many outstanding educators and their ideas
Teachers.Net – Boston, I just hope he saw the messages. They flew by so quickly and we didn’t get much feedback from him.
Boston Bound – Not only do teachers need to teach to the test, but days in school are wasting w/ students taking the tests.
Yankee Todd – Its like flipping instruction — its not just assign a video for homework and then lecture more in class —
Teachers.Net – Todd, you wrote in a recent article for Teachers.Net Gazette, “…a senior on my campus, said, “This is a generation of technology and we know how to use it.” Do you find that many of your teaching staff are playing catch-up with their students when it comes to technology, and if so, how are you assisting them in that effort?”
Yankee Todd – its difficult to plan for the time in class that should be devoted to in depth learning and exploration
Yankee Todd – Myself and another admin taught a series of classes last year for teachers and how they could incorporate tech in classes
Kathleen – We teachers ARE constrained by our own experiences as students
Yankee Todd – we are running another series this year and hosting an ed camp on 11/16
Yankee Todd – if we are not willing to teach the teachers — then are are not doing our job
Boston Bound – Re #edtechchat–organizers indicated Duncan has a team who will do an analysis. The chat is archived. In fact, all tweets are archived in a central database.
doc_bott – Incorporating technology into curriculum appears to require teachers to have a degree of mastery of the tools. How are they receiving that training? Or are they?
Charger – We are lost in unnecessary complexity. We need to focus on authentic interactions and upper level q’s/thinking. Because of the parity in education, these are 21c skills.

Yankee Todd – I think most teachers are dipping their toes in the water. Rome wasn’t built in a day and its our job to encourage and support those who try
Yankee Todd – Charger — great point. Day to day interactions are key — meaningful interactions — looking at great questioning and then assessments are going to be the key to our schools of the future
Teachers.Net – Co-moderating tonight’s chat is Teachers.Net founder Tony Bott. Follow him on Twitter: @doc_bott
Werndog – Charger, does all of the technology become a distraction to the authentic interactions or can it be the vehicle?
Yankee Todd – every student wants to know that they belong and that their input is meaningful and valued
Boston Bound – We offer a master’s in ed tech, and there is an increased interest in such programs. The motivated teacher can also find lots of tech PD online, some for free.
Kathleen – Don’t assume that the more mature teachers aren’t interested in learning the tech, but as you know, teachers are busy people. If they didn’t grow up with technology, it’s a huge task to become comfortable and to keep up with it.
Yankee Todd – Good point kathleen.
doc_bott – We have many issues converging: access, teacher training, lesson incorporation and our overall approach to instruction
Charger – Honestly, today it’s a distraction
Yankee Todd – as an admin — I like to see an attempt.
Kathleen – (Speaking as a mature educator )
Boston Bound – Werndog–tech as distraction or interaction in positive way–hard to generalize–depends on individual
Charger – But I think that has a great deal to do with our approach.
Kathleen – doc_bott, that’s a good summary of the challenges we face
Boston Bound – doc-bott, yes, those are all prevalent issues
Yankee Todd – look at a faculty meeting — who isn’t on Facebook, Twitter, or texting?
Yankee Todd – Our kids are the same in classes
Charger – Students value authenticity. In relationships. In instruction. And in technology.
Werndog – Boston, I agree but where are we actually?
Kathleen – Also important to remember is that teachers, like other humans, have learning styles and varying talents. For some, technology comes easily.. For others, not so much.
Yankee Todd – Good teachers — from when I graduated to the ones I work with today — develop relationships and make learning interesting and related to real life
Charger – When we use technology to do what they can accomplish more simply, it’s a hurdle.
Yankee Todd – that’s 21st century instruction
Boston Bound – Yes, Yankee Todd, faculty use tech much the way teens do–multi-taking–adults sometimes use tech in even more distracting ways–they don’t practice what they preach
Yankee Todd – What do you mean Charger?
Blugo – logged on.

Yankee Todd – How many schools introduce twitter to their staffs and demonstrate the benefits for their growth?
doc_bott – You have pioneers at every level, and mostly those are represented in spaces like this tonight. It’s the other mass of educators that need training and access to just-in-time, on-demand PD. But will they seek it out?
Charger – Skype for an interview, info and a unique experience is authentic

Blugo – Every kid every day!
Yankee Todd – I went to a meeting with a group of teachers interested in becoming 21st century teachers and one teacher said she didn’t want to learn on her own and wanted someone to show her how to use tech
Yankee Todd – that’s not the approach to teachers moving forward
Yankee Todd – who read the directions to candy crush before they played it
Blugo – They will seek training if they see that it could work in the classroom
doc_bott – I think I see what Charger is saying.. technology isn’t always the “go to” preferential modality
Yankee Todd – who just jumped in and tried it
Boston Bound – Kathleen, good point. That is why it is also good for students to learn to adapt to different teaching styles, just as teachers need to accommodate different learning styles of students [continued on next page]



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