9 Replies Latest reply on Jul 14, 2009 3:01 PM by pkjohn1

    One More FUN activity- Ask Arne a question- need by Friday this week

      Hi Folks-

      I got an email from PBS front line (see below) - what would you like them to ask Arne Duncan??


      Hi Paige,

      I work with Caitlin McNally, whom you spoke to a couple weeks ago, on the Digital Nation project for PBS FRONTLINE. I'm sorry that I was unable to join on Caitlin's call with you, as I was out of the country, but I heard from her that it was very helpful and she appreciated your taking the time to chat.

      I have some news: for the Digital Nation film, we are interviewing Secretary of Education Arne Duncan next week. I'm wondering if you have any questions that you would ask the secretary if you had the chance. Obviously I can't promise that we'll pose them to him, but I wanted to poll experts like you, who are deeply versed in the issues of technology and education, to make sure that our questions hit the most important topics. So, if you're interested, please let us know what you would ask if you were in our shoes. Generally, we're less interested in the details of specific programs than in the big picture: philosophical and practical questions about technology and its use in education-- and the changing skills 21st century citizens will need.

      Thank you for your thoughts and again for your time on the phone.

      Warm regards,


      Jeffrey Irvine
      Associate Producer
      PBS-FRONTLINE / Ark Media - "Digital Nation"
      718-935-9745 (o)

        • Re: One More FUN activity- Ask Arne a question- need by Friday this week

          Afternoon Greetings Paige and Jeff,


          Questions I would ask/pose to compliment and challenge Arne Duncan's already well known press statement from eSchool News (Cell Phones Used to Deliver Course Content) would include the following:


          "How can the US Education Secretary Duncan assist and support schools in making mobile technology a reality to deploy course content on cell phones and mobile technology devices?"  It is one thing to say it publically and let it be known that one supports this direction, but we need a strategic solution to support schools and colleges with this innovative initiative to make it a reality.


          "What are the next action steps and how can the US Education Department work as a fiscal and/or action research collaborative with K-12 schools and universities, to assist and support a roll out of a universal design of a digitized course content delivery system?"


          "How do we get the initial buy in, or what is the "essential hook" that we need to guide our k-12 school administrators and university professors to embark upon and instill a new way of thinking in their delivery style of instruction, which to motivate and engage our 21st digital native learners?"


          "Can this transformative educational journey prepare administrators and university professors to be competent and technology literate facilitators, to integrate and support a "Global 21st century digital teaching and learning shift?"


          I know I am "way' out there sometimes- but we need to be visionaries, problem solvers, and critical thinkers to find effective solutions to impact our greatest natural resources: ~ our students ~ our children ~ our grandchildren!


          Just my thouhgts....


          Naomi Harm

          • Re: One More FUN activity- Ask Arne a question- need by Friday this week

            I would ask Sec. Duncan what role he sees technology playing in the next four years and how he thinks schools are currently doing in preparing students for 21st century skills. I'd also like to ask him how the federal government can help to get every school connected and provide equity in technology use for all students.  

            • Re: One More FUN activity- Ask Arne a question- need by Friday this week

              It would be interesting to get Secretary Duncan's answer to a fundamental question related to the Common Core State Standards Initiative and the application of innovative technology to solve core challenges. 

              Research has been clear that the standards-based education model currently in use by states results in assessments, not content standards, driving classroom instruction.  The outcome is a consequence of our state standards, with rare exception, being largely devoid of real content, which renders them neither teachable nor measurable.  The standards lack specificity, inadequately define the knowledge, skills and concepts underpinning them and cannot be effectively used by teachers and districts to design or aligned curriculum or assessments.

              While the Initiative’s leadership has done an excellent job envisioning the common core state standards framework, it faces an uphill effort in detailing them as teachable and measurable, and establishing them as the primary input to classroom curriculum.  The Initiative's proposed standards development and implementation model is a simple modification of the processes used to develop today’s ineffective state standards.  It does not address education’s root and related challenges or the systemic barriers impeding standards-based student achievement progress. 

              Initiative leaders and participating states need to revise their process model and explore ways to incorporate the new generation of quality control and process support systems available to them.  Adoption of these innovations will ensure that classroom instruction is based on high-definition standards that are teachable, measurable and in perfect alignment with equally fine-grained assessments. 

              These innovations will improve classroom instruction and ensure the Initiative’s desired student achievement gains, systemically, predictably and sustainably. They also will enable substantial system cost-saving and other high-value state- and local-level benefits and efficiencies, including ongoing teacher and administrator access to real-time, actionable diagnostic data on individual students learning progress. 

              Secretary Duncan's explanation on why today process model technology innovations are not being utilized to develop and disseminate the new math and English language art common core state standards would be insightful, and perhaps education for him as well.


              Steve Kussmann


              • Re: One More FUN activity- Ask Arne a question- need by Friday this week

                I would suggest asking "What specific 21st Century Skills will this Administration promote in Education?" I would then follow it up with "What plans are being made to ensure all students and teachers have necessary hardware and software to achieve those skills?"


                In my humble opinion, probably the most important item to achieve from this interview is acceptance of the "21st Century Skills" for Administrators, Teachers, and Students. Ideally, that approval would equate into encouragement of Education Standards that incorporate these skills. It would be awesome if assessments were associated with these skills. (I know in my state, ALL No Child Left Behind assessments are currently Multiple Choice. Such questions generally become a factor of a child's ability to read rather on his/her ability to demonstrate deeper understanding or skills.)

                  • Re: One More FUN activity- Ask Arne a question- need by Friday this week

                    I agree strongly with all the above, and esp on the common state standards.  If the US were to move towards a common thread as other countries have, museums, textbook companies, resource teachers, etc would finally be on the same page in targeting specific skills by age.


                    Additionally, I would ask how does she describe the 21st century learner?  Are students already there?  Are teachers truly aware of how to mold their students to be one?  Currently, we all want to believe students are built in with internal digital programming, but if that were true why are more and more 1st year teachers coming to us with virtually no skills.  Just yesterday I trained one who graduated a month ago without any technology in the classroom knowledge nor did she know what the 21st century skills were. 


                    If we are to reach the dream of a advanced thinker, collaborator, and problem solver the road needs to be paved by people like herself.

                  • Re: One More FUN activity- Ask Arne a question- need by Friday this week

                    My big question would be: What's his take on Erate?

                    • Re: One More FUN activity- Ask Arne a question- need by Friday this week

                      What programs can be implemented to assist school technicians in dealing with the fear of opening the network to allow access to the available (free) resources which can facilitate teachers in implementing 21st century skills in the classroom?

                      • Re: One More FUN activity- Ask Arne a question- need by Friday this week

                        Thanks for all the great ideas and questions- I have passed them along to Jeff at PBS!

                        • Re: One More FUN activity- Ask Arne a question- need by Friday this week

                          Want to see part of the interview? Here is an email and link from Jeff



                          Jeffrey Irvine [mailto:irvine.jeffrey@gmail.com]
                          Sent: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 2:11 PM



                          Hi Paige,

                          Thank you for this. In case you're interested, here's an excerpt from the interview: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/blog/2009/07/a-chat-with-obamas-new-secretary-of-education.html

                          We only had a half hour, unfortunately, so we couldn't cover all the ground that we would have liked, but it was still interesting an interesting chat with the Secretary. We'll be putting more excerpts up on our blog in the coming weeks.