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End of School

July 26th, 2009 jhagen 1 comment

In his recent post “End of Web“, Dean Groom explains his thinking behind an alternative reality game as a sandbox for professional development in 21st Century Learning. The essence is this: “if you want teachers to learn about enquiry/technology then use this as something to ground it.”

It’s often struck me that professional development in education ironically reinforces the old chestnut “do as I say, not as I do”. I’ve also observed that despite the importance that educators place on independent learning, they tend to be poor models of it.

In “World Without Walls: Learning Well with Others“, Will Richardson writes: “In our zeal to hold on to the old structures of teaching and learning and to protect students at all costs, we are not just leaving them ill prepared for the future, we are also missing an enormous opportunity for ourselves as learners.” He goes on to exhort teachers to “…engage with these new technologies and their potential to expand our own understanding and methods”. Read more…

Teaching in a Disintermediated World

July 26th, 2009 jhagen Comments off

In his recent post “Cutting out the Middleman“, Chris Betcher asks, “Who are the educational middlemen?” In other words, who faces the chop if disintermediation affects education as it has other industries? I have a few thoughts on this subject that I’ll share here.

In about 2000 I attended a presentation by Alan November in which he forecast some dramatic changes in education. Teachers found this confronting until Alan clarified that he believed that the information revolution would create a need for more teachers, not less. How do we reconcile this prediction with the disintermediation trend? Read more…

Infuse it!

June 2nd, 2009 jhagen Comments off

In the posting titled “I don’t want to integrate it, I want to embed it!“, Jeff Utecht wrote that the word ‘integrate’ gets on his nerves. I’ve also pondered this for some time because it gets on my nerves too. But I’ve come to the conclusion that the word ‘embed’ is also inappropriate. To embed is to fix (an object) firmly and deeply in a surrounding mass. The image that accompanied Jeff’s posting was perfect it must be said. What I don’t like about the analogy is that the technology remains a separate (and in the image, an immutable) ‘thing’, an opinion shared by other commenters. I agree with Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach (and others) that technology ideally should be like heat or air. That’s why my word of choice is to ‘infuse’, which means ‘to fill or pervade’, whilst ‘fusion’ means ‘the merging of different elements into a union’. Isn’t the fusion of Learning and Technology what we’re striving for? Which makes me wonder: if mass and energy are equivalent (E = MC2), are understanding and learning also (U = LT2), where T = Technology?

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