|Read David Moody’s book, Autumn (and sequels!)|
Having caught up on sleep, settled important matters (finished reading a series of books I’ve been taking forever to work my way through, even as I enjoy every moment), I have to confess a bit of disappointment in the current realm of “ed reform” talk. The disappointment arises more from my own sense of failure as a change agent. In the end, the “man in the mirror” wakes up one day and realizes, “Well, YOU know how to use these awesome tools but transforming the organizations that impact students is a job for consultants.” You know what I mean, right? We bring in high-priced consultants to give the talk but when that consultant leaves, the change that appeared so possible in the intimate darkness of the conference hall has evaporated.
…there are many who tote that the education system of today is deeply and seriously flawed, and we need to completely throw it out and start from scratch — brand new and shiny…with Technology! For this reason, technology can get put at the front of this movement of people going for change, both by those in favour of the change, and by those not in favour of the change. For instance, those wanting change will say things like “Today’s kids need to learn the technologies they will work on when they grow up!” and “Technology today can revolutionize the way we teach!”. On the other hand, those who don’t want change can also put Technology use at the forefront suggesting things such as “Trying to put Technology into education is like trying to put a square peg in a round hole: it just doesn’t work”, or “Just because it’s the fad today, don’t ruin our schools by changing the curriculum around it!”.
Source: Robert Talbert, Technology for Education
- Education system is flawed, throw it out, and start from scratch.
- Implement new technology approach that changes everything.
- Focus on the important stuff (curriculum-driven) and leave technology out of it (it’s a distraction).
- Change is all about the technologies we advocate for rather than what we can accomplish with them.
- What we can accomplish is so powerfully different and commonplace–yeah, big deal…so what if you can Skype someone around the world?–that we have to do it with the most expensive and flamboyant way (e.g. let me do that on my $500 iPad with FaceTime instead of my <=$200 netbook with built-in webcam and Skype).
- Schools are increasingly irrelevant as they seek to restricts students to technology tools that have grown obsolete in the face of mobile devices (e.g. iPads).
- Schools are under attack, but many are more worried about acquiring the latest gadget (e.g. Kindle Fire vs iPad vs Xoon) that will give them independence from school technologies that are invariably locked down and overly-monitored and controlled.
El Paso – Learning online, reducing paper and making learning interactive; Those are the goals of local teachers who got together Saturday to learn about technology.
They want to incorporate computers, iPads, and Google Apps in their classrooms. That’s why they held an “Ed-Camp” at the E.P.I.S.D. Center for Career and Technology Education.
“technology, you have to be at the forefront with that because it changes so rapidly and your students come in knowing more than you do practically as a teacher. So, just the fact that you have to be open minded, not be afraid to use technology, and let some of your students guide some of the learning,” Instructional Technology Specialist Kathrin Salazar said. (Read Source)
Co-learning is a philosophy of teaching that I first stumbled upon in 1996 when reading Frank Smith’s book Joining the Literacy Club. I really enjoyed the concept of co-learning, especially how it changes the role sets of teachers and students from dispensers and receptacles of knowledge to joint sojourners on the quest for knowledge, understanding, and dare I say wisdom.
Positioning oneself as a co- learner when teaching requires much unlearning of cultural conditioning because it challenges the traditional authoritative, dominant and subordinate role sets in schooling environments and the unequal power relationships in wider spheres of our world- – including economic structures.
In its ideal form, co- learning: acts toward student empowerment; it dismantles asymmetrical power relationships in the classroom; it builds a more genuine “community of practice”; and co- learning moves students and teachers toward dynamic and participatory engagement in creating a peaceful and sustainable world. Ideal? Yes. Possible? Potentially, but dependent. Dependent on our desire and willingness to reflect on our own teaching to try to align our classroom roles, relationships and environments more with a co-learning philosophy.
Source: Empowerment Pedagogy-Co-Learning and Teaching by Edward J. Brantmeier
- School leadership seldom “get new technologies” because they threaten the status quo, placing them in potentially precarious situations that leave them with few measures of control.
- Society’s adoption of technologies invariably finds its way into the lives of students, teachers, parents and community, and the change just happens.
- If you want to really be about a learning revolution, then one way to go about it is to ask questions that get people thinking of what life could be like WITH the technology that is blocked, to share stories of how it’s being used elsewhere, and then step back….
|The $25 computer – Raspberry Pi
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