Sacred Heart School PD Day, Louisville, KY 2/14/14

It is a pleasure to be back in Louisville, especially as I have escaped the dire weather in Raleigh.  As I am writing this on the 12th, I’m assuming that I actually got out of Raleigh.

Update: I’m current in a hotel near the Raleigh airport, where I spent the night last night.  The entire Raleigh roadway network was in gridlock, cars unable to climb the hills.  I have flights, but at this time, no way of getting over to the airport.

Update:  Made it to the airport.  All fights canceled except for two – and one of them is mine.  The airline lounges are all closed, but their WiFi is still working.

If I did make it, then we have explored, in fairly broad terms, the issues that face education today, all types of education.  As you have heard, there are three converging conditions that have forced us to rethink education — and even what it means to be educated.

..and of course, they are that we are,

  • Preparing a new generation of learners,
  • Within a new information environment,
  • For a future that we can no longer describe.

Each of these new conditions has profound implications in terms of what and hour our children learn.  As Dr. Tony Wagner recently said,

..what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know.

The capacity to innovate — the ability to solve problems creatively or bring new possibilities to life — and skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration are far more important than academic knowledge. (Friedman, 2013)

We will also be taking a closer look at one of those conditions, the new information environment.  As information becomes increasingly and exclusively,

  • Networked
  • Digital
  • Abundant (overwhelming)

So too should our notions of what it means to be literate.  I have two definitions for literacy today.

  1. The skills involved in using one’s information environment to accomplish goals.
  2. The skills involved in using one’s information environment to learn what he needs to know, to do what he needs to do.

In some contexts, what we are talking about is learning-literacy.

Here are links to web handouts for these two topics:



Friedman, T. (2013, March 30). Need a job? invent it. The New York Times. Retrieved from