Bernajean Porter

iTSummit 2010

May 3rd, 2010

What are we pretending not to know? Even knowing that the future aches for a new kind of learner, thinker, and problem-solver, all the dollars and time spent on techno gadgets still have changed little more than pockets of classrooms for kids. We need to seek higher ground for our visions and our results.

“Turning UP the H.E.A.T.” (Higher Order Thinking – Engaged Students – Authentic Tasks and added-value Technology Uses) can bcome a robust catalyst in accelerating new cultures of learning that will serve the highest interest of our students’ capacity to step successfully into a global economy. Going from knowing facts to enduring understandings is not something that can be memorized – it needs to be rehearsed regularly with rigorous inquiry tasks, driving questions, authentic audiences, collaborative problem-solving tools, inventive thinking, and effective 21 Century communication skills. What if rather than trying to teach students problem solving, we actually encouraged them to take on problems that needed solving? Consider a whole-school challenge of playing a modern  day.”


  • Higher Order Thinking
  • Engaged Learning
  • Authenticity
  • Technology

Transform learning by making meaning by what we or the students know. Have students own their learning and be pushed beyond what they know. Ask the next questions, challenge the students and challenge your self. Its an open question if I don’t know the question yet.

Our goal is more transformative learning. For higher order thinking we need to require students to make meaning requiring reasoning/thinking using facts. Students are required to demonstrate being knowledge producers-focused on creating evidenced or logic based thinking beyond existing information. This goes beyond Summary reports into persuasive, original work.

Engaged students respond to open ended questions with no right or wrong answers – complex issues calling for their own developed perspective or solution. Students are guided to take responsibility or own their questions, tasks, managing processes, and defining assessments. Students guided to incorporate their interests and affinities.

In authentic learning  the task has relevant, real-world challenges. Tasks are designed for collaborative groups modeling real-world work. Student work developed as evidence of genuine learning.

In technology modes and tools are used to enhance the experience. The learning task or experience would be experience or impaired without technology. Technology uses create “new stories” for learning and teaching with new tools. Technology accelerates thinking, learning and communicating tasks.

Tasks could have rigor, purpose and produce knowledge makers. Digital Media Scoring Guides.

“One of the signs of a good question is that Google doesn’t have the answer.”

“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it.” Albert Einstein