Chris Lehman’s Keynote: ISTE 2011

Note: so sorry that this video was made private & can’t be shared anymore, because it is always worthwhile to listen to Chris Lehmann! My observations at the end of this post might give a tiny hint at how amazing a speaker & leader he is.

I am almost never able to listen to a presentation by Chris Lehmann without crying. He is such a powerful speaker and leader, and every time I get to see him–so far only virtually, but one day I’ll make it to a conference–his message touches me. There’s an overpowering sense of optimism in his work, and he always makes me think, plus, I come away feeling encouraged and energized.

Below is Lehmann’s Closing Keynote at ISTE was posted yesterday, and I just spent an hour enjoying it, taking it in. He is preceded by his school’s Slam Poets (at about 31 min) , and, as he said in his blog post yesterday, they were breath-taking too. They–the kids–are really what this is all about, aren’t they? We lose sight of that in most of our schools, in the thick of things. The kids are the reason that I wanted to do this with my life.

Opportunities to hear keynotes like this one, and to take part in discussions on twitter and in web chats, etc. are truly brain-changing! That’s why I value my online network so much–I learn from, and sometimes with, so many people who are so much smarter than I am! 🙂

My notes–nothing particularly deep–just some points that resonated with me:

  • The greatest lie of education: You need to learn this because you will need it some day. Why aren’t we helping kids to think and act relevantly in the world!
  • Must develop kids’ hearts, minds, tools and VOICE.
  • From a student: I don’t need a network. I need a family. I need brothers and fathers and mentors. (how true)
  • A theme that permeates so much of Lehmann’s work: Our goal is not, as so many would have you believe, to create the 21st Century workforce. That is far too low a bar. All of our goals should be to help our students become the 21st Century, and beyond, citizens that we so desperately need.
  • Lehmann wants his kids to come through it all being thoughtful, wise, passionate & kind. A much more worthy goal than most mission statements I’ve seen.
  • Great quote of the day: If the best we can imagine these tools to be is the next greatest flash card, better way to test our children, we will have failed.

Thanks Chris. Amazing as usual.

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