You Better Start Swimmin’ or You’ll Sink Like a Stone 4 September, 2009Posted by paralleldivergence in education, ICT in Education, Internet, Life, My Thoughts, Politics, technology.
Tags: Digital Education Revolution, education, edutech, ICT in Education, iwbnet09, learning
Today I “attended” an educational technologies conference. Well sort of. I wasn’t there, but then again, I was. IWBnet’s “Leading a Digital School” conference was on at the Gold Coast in sunny Queensland and while I was unable to be a delegate at the venue, I had the next best thing. Many of the delegates who were there, were happy to instantly share their experience with the rest of the world via Twitter.
Relive the IWBnet Conference via Visible Tweets
Through wireless connections using notebooks, netbooks, iPhones and iPod Touches, educators retold quotes, shared links to resources and commented on what they were seeing and hearing – in real-time. And these contributions are captured forever, through the consistent use of hash-tags (#iwbnet09) on each of their posts. The above Visible Tweets link will let you relive some of the conference experience as well as gather numerous pearls delivered to you via links. This Twitter “back-channeling” virtually places you in a seat beside the other attendees. By tapping into a back-channel, you even have a voice. You can join into the discussion by using the same hash-tag; asking questions, commenting and responding.
How is this all done? Surely these conference attendees and those participating in the back-channels are our teaching-elite? No ordinary teacher could do this stuff. Why would you want to anyway? As Marc Prensky said in his keynote today, which was paraphrased and tweeted by Chris Betcher then turned into a pair of cartoons by my son:
We have a massive gulf in the mindsets of today’s educator and learner. As teachers, we have a challenge of monumental proportions facing us. The “teacher” MUST become the “expert learner”. Or else, the situation tweeted by Matthew Wells will become reality, where the students will be saying, “stop interrupting my learning with your teaching!”.
When a young Robert Zimmerman wrote about “mothers and fathers” way back in 1964, little did he know he was perfectly describing early-21st Century Teachers:
Your old road is
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.
Lately, we keep hearing the term “tipping point“, but it always seems to be about oil and climate change. We never seem to equate it to education. I believe we are getting very close to a tipping-point in teaching and learning as major political programs like the Digital Education Revolution start to take root. As information and communications technologies continue to become prevalent in our schools, our students will expect them to be used.
It really isn’t as hard as many teachers think to change direction, but individuals must make that step themselves. Don’t focus on the complexity of technology, focus on change. Learn how to learn. If you’re waiting for training, you’re already a lost cause.
With time quickly running out, it will be up to each and every teacher to make an important decision. Do you want to be relics, or relevant?