I recently posted about faculty members questioning the validity of teaching technology. So, I created a new page on my wiki to help explain why teaching technology is so important, but of course that’s not enough… As I click through the hundreds of feeds in my RSS reader, I am quite relieved to see that I’m not alone in this uphill battle of embracing change. Today I found the No Teacher LEft Behind Wiki created by Graham Wegner. He writes:
“The changing information landscape of the 21st Century demands that our students develop new skills of information literacy and become knowledge producers as an integral component of their learning. But what of the professionals charged with these students’ education? Can they be convinced of the need for personal change to keep pace with their students’ world? Are they even aware of the exponential changes taking place? How would they get started in their classrooms?”
This is exactly the question that I am wrestling with – as Graham visualizes in this post, we are at the “tipping point for education” and I’m not quite sure how to pull/cajole/invite/motivate my colleagues over to my side of see-saw. I need to figure out how to bring the essence of The Power of One
video (which I found on Marion Ginopolis’ guest blog post) into my school. Thankfully, Graham is presenting at the K12 Online conference soon and I am anxiously awaiting his thoughts and ideas on the topic.
I was also inspired to see this quote:
“Ed. tech???…Frankly, I’m tired of the excuses. “We don’t have time for that.” “We can’t afford that.” “That’s not what we do.” Nonsense! How can you/we NOT afford to bring the institution of schooling in line with our 21st century society? And, in this asynchronous world our children live in, what is time anyway?”
This is one thing I have quickly come to love about blogging – the possibility for so much learning, so quickly, and from so many different points of view. And the ability to take in only what you need, what you can handle, when you have time to process the information. For example, Jeff writes about learning communities in his blog, The Thinking Stick, today, which inspired me to have a closer look at the more formal learning communities that are popping up around the edublogosphere (and by “more formal” I mean actual groups of people intentionally and specifically working together, rather than just the individual learning communities we are all forming just by virtue of reading and commenting on each other’s blogs). I found these:
As Mark van ‘t Hooft at Ubiquitous Thoughts writes, the “issues of teaching, learning and technology are similar all over the world.” It’s amazing to think that no matter how far away I am from like-minded educators in the physical world, we are all just a click away here in the virtual world. This is such an inspiring feeling for me, I am realizing more and more that I have to share this experience with my students. It’s not fair for me to be the only one with a “Personal Learning Network” in the classroom, I need to allow and assist my students in creating their own PLN as well, like Clarence Fisher has so successfully done with his students. Now that I’ve gotten my sixth graders blogging successfully, I really need to introduce RSS and get them started creating their own learning community. I realize now that if they stay at the level they are now, they are just one step above “doing the same writing, just placing it on the web” as Will Richardson points out from David Parry’s report.
Its very easy to introduce something new and exciting and stay superficial. I think the key to these new web 2.0 technologies is to dig deep and find the real core value of the tool, rather than just using technology for technology’s sake. I need to open the doors in the walled garden for my kids. I am inspired by stories like this. And this comment “With this article, it seems as if the conversation, and my learning process, have been frozen in time” referring to written work on actual paper, rather than work in electronic format, on Karyn Romeis’ blog really rings true for me. I can only image how much more true it is for our digital native students. I realize I’m still holding onto a little fear of opening up those floodgates, but it has to happen. How can I shut my students out from a world that is so rewarding for me every single day?