The following is a comment I left tonight for Ben Wilkoff on his September 2007 podcast, “Articulating Vision.” It’s not long, take a moment and give Ben a listen as well as some feedback. I’d be interested to hear your responses to Ben’s ideas as well. I’m cross-posting it here for several reasons, but principally to encourage you to give this podcast a listen!
Good podcast– A couple of thoughts. Web 2.0 ideas ARE novel for lots of folks, including employees of innovative companies like Apple. It’s great to hear you’re sharing innovation and new visions for learning with many, including some outside the “traditional” classroom. I think Apple has historically and continues to a large extent be oriented toward client-based software use and media production. Web-based media production, or even web-based productivity tool use, is really not something I’ve seen Apple promote or necessarily have a leading vision for as a company. (I’m thrilled to see their support of Flickr in rev2 of AppleTV, and certainly their wireless technologies support web2 tool use like no one else, but…) They certainly support innnovation and innovative uses of technology, but they don’t have any web 2.0 tools or services out there as far as I know… So I wouldn’t be too hard on the Apple employee you had in your classroom… For people not “plugged-in” to the edublogosphere (which is the vast majority of folks) I am sure seeing a classroom lesson like the one you taught and described would be a surprise. That is why your role in the classroom is pivotal, and why it is so wonderful you can share your thoughts like you did in this podcast and solicit feedback and input.
I resonate with your point that “regurgitations of the past” are what we end up hearing the most from educational leaders who lack vision for teaching in truly engaging (rather than enthralling) ways with new technologies. We DO need leaders who can articulate this vision of new pedagogies effectively– and every school needs those people. I think traditonally we look for top-down reforms and “answers” to problems…. but in the case of educational reform, I don’t think that’s the way it is happening or will happen in the future. Good leadership matters… and that doesn’t just mean leaders who have positional authority. There is a book titled “When The Choir Began to Sing” that deals with this idea, that the authentic as well as most effective leaders are often NOT the ones who have the title or position– I haven’t read that book, just heard about it. Sounds a lot like what you’re describing here.
I applaud you for being willing to step up and attempt to articulate this vision for your local community and at a broader level. I also share that desire. I think one of the most important things we can each do in our contexts to move this agenda of school change forward is to regularly help students CREATE media and COLLABORATE with others. The more conversations our parents, administrators, classroom visitors, and others have about this digitally engaged model of learning, the more I think we’ll advance the agenda. I agree that “the agenda” needs to be better defined, however. Too many people still think of education as filling a pail, and all of us remain limited (to varying degrees) by our own lenses of traditional educational experience. Providing others with effective and engaging blended learning experiences is key. But publishing student work safely for interactive feedback on the global stage is the #1 best thing we can do, along with regularly collaborating with other learners.
Here’s to the revolution! We’re on our way. Lots of educational reformers have gone before us, but none of them had the tools we have at our disposal to communicate, organize, advocate, amplify, celebrate, and struggle against the reactionary forces which WILL continue to oppose the cause of constructive change. It’s not inevitable that things will change, but I think we have a better chance of seeing large scale changes in the predominant educational paradigm in our own communities, around our nation, and even around the world than others have who have gone before us.
Blended learning. I’ll have a “grande” cup please, served piping hot– and let’s share it with as many people as we can. It’s not kool-aide, and it’s not easy to make, but it IS the best thing any of us could hope for as educators and parents when it comes to an outstanding context for real learning, which isn’t fake or short-lived.
I look forward to continuing to envision and eventually articulate in more discrete terms what that cup of blended learning looks, feels, and tastes like! I know it’s a heck of a lot better tasting than the cup ‘o joe being served up with a hefty portion of whipped fear topping in many U.S. classrooms today.
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On this day..
- Inside and Outside Digital Sharing - 2016
- Sock Drawer Puppets: An Interview with Ashli Shockley - 2015
- Download & Use Vine Videos in iPad Media Projects - 2015
- Free Workshop in Oklahoma City Fri Jan 18: Creating Multimedia eBooks - 2013
- Oklahoma City PS Students: Enroll in Virtual Classes for Fall 2013 by Feb 8th - 2013
- Supplemental Oklahoma Rules for K-12 Online Courses - 2012
- Avoiding AT&T's Ridiculous iPhone Data Fees by Switching to T-Mobile - 2012
- Is it right to decide to make your children famous? - 2011
- “Learning in a Networked World: For Our Students and For Ourselves #teach21esc16 - 2011
- Connected Learning Communities: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age #teach21esc16 - 2011