So I'm stuck at a conference today

It's the Massachusetts Superintendent Leadership Conference. I haven't decided yet if this is a good thing.

It's the Massachusetts Superintendent Leadership Conference. I haven't decided yet if this is a good thing. The WiFi's snappy, so at least I can get some work done, but the 3 hours of commuting has already put a damper on things. Oh well. At least this particular hotel has really good catering (I've been here for a few other conferences before).

If anything noteworthy comes up with broader applicability outside the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I'll update this post with details. Cheers!

Update #1: 9:10am OK, I said I'd update on non-Massachusetts specific items, but this is a big deal. As I mentioned the other day, trying to analyze our standardized assessments in any meaningful, longitudinal way is a royal pain the butt. As it turns out, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (the moral equivalent of the Department of Education in most other places) agrees with me and has created a free (!!!) data warehouse model. The model allows not only local data, but includes all state assessment data, so that real subgroup analyses can be undertaken to drive intervention and instruction.

Here's a link to see what they've done. Talk back below if your own state (or local government) has done something similar.

Update #2: 9:35am The keynote is actually quite good. He's Dr. Willard Daggett and he just put up a slide about the "application model" for solving problems. Here it is:

Application model

1. Knowledge in one discipline 2. Application within discipline 3. Application across disciplines 4. Application to real world predictable situations 5. Application to real world unpredictable situations

As he pointed out, most of our assessments test our kids in areas 1 and 2. As Dr. Daggett noted, businesses want graduates who can handle areas 4 and 5 (particularly area 5, since technology can handle a lot of area 4). This disconnect is what is preventing our students from being prepared for the real world (i.e., a 21st century global tech-driven economy).

Update #3: 3:00pm Check out utterli...This is deserving of a post in and of itself. Another speaker just pointed us in that direction. This just might actually have business applications, as well as giving us a clue about the sorts of convergent social media our kids are digging into.

Update #4: 3:15pm Another slick site: - this needs some more thought, but it looks like a very cool multimedia blogging site. Both of the last updates were courtesy of Chris Brogan, our afternoon keynote. He talks almost as fast as I do and has a great handle on social media in schools.


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