Because it is Time

I may not be able to predict what comes tomorrow, but I do know what I see today. As a learner I no longer live confined to impenetrable walls – nor do I allow those walls encroach on my learners. They too have the right to open thinking spaces, to collaboration, open inquiry and experimentation.

How? As always, so much depends on the context, the appropriacy and needs of learners. The dilemma is not whether students need digital literacy skills; the dilemma lies elsewhere.

Learners may not always be sure how best  to study, how to learn, how to develop their creativity  and channel their learning abilities. That is why they are learning.  A learner may often continue expecting teachers to maintain the authoritarian roles they were perhaps accustomed to, giving them no chance to experiment, to take on a more active learning role. These shifts take time. However, as 2011 comes close to an end, with all the wealth of communication channels, open access, and communication platforms, educators no longer have the excuse to hide behind walls of indifference and ignorance. Educators no longer have excuses to continue exercising a role which is crumbling under the weight of falling walls.

If an educator is supposedly regarded as an “expert”, then let it be as Justine Tarte explains  in The 13 Habits of Experts, referring to Cushman. Let educators ask questions, let educators be encouraged to ask why. Let there be a shift in culture – instead of walls, locked doors and closed boxes, educators and learners need to collaborate, to accept critique, not fear reprisal for introducing change.

It is time. Time to move on, to drop the debate of whether tech should or not be introduced and encouraged in education. If one is teaching, preparing for a future unknown, let education relate to  the real world, open its windows and doors. For both learners and teachers.

It is time.

Time to move on, to know that tech will not excuse nor cover up poor pedagogy.

Time to move on and focus on what really matters – the development of digital literacies as a way of living in our present, early 21st century.

How do you release change in thinking?

References:

The 13 Habits of Experts – Justine Tarte

Fires in the Mind

 

Suggestions for further reading:

How Technology Can transform Classrooms  – Jesse M. Langley

This is not Optional Anymore – George Couros

Why “I Don’t Do Technology” Isn’t Acceptable – Gerald Aungst


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4 thoughts on “Because it is Time

  1. Pingback: Because it is Time : edublog | by @marmacles

  2. Thanks very much!! This is very interesting and topical. I’m going to give the link to a group of teachers I’m currently training; They are totally divided over the whole technology issue. Some feel confident and love using new technologes. Others are afraid to even turn on the IWB. I’ve just read Gerald Aungst’s article (thanks for including the link). I found it ‘provocative’ (probably what he was aiming for) but what is very interesting are the ideas that are thrown up in the comments afterwards. I have been one of these awful teachers they mention and it’s taken GA (via you) to make me see that clearly. I feel quite ashamed. I’m guilty of ‘bragging’ about how I managed to get through a whole academic year without using the IWB even once. My reasoning … and I’m always reasoning because I am surrounded by technophiles ; ) … is that ‘until I know how to use such a tool well, I’d rather not use it at all’ (in public at any rate). When you think about it that approach is a complete antithesis of what I expect from my students and trainees. If they told me they’d rather not join in a speaking activity until they felt as though they had mastered the language … well, we wouldn’t get very far, would we? Now I can see that my dogmatic refusal to give technology a go isn’t just silly, it’s detrimental to my students and hardly a good model. So I think I’ll start by taking a leaf out of that teenage boy’s book – the one in the youtube link – and watch a few tutorials on youtube. I might even manage to turn on the IWB in class tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it goes!

  3. Hi Kath,

    Thank you for visiting and sharing your thoughts. I don’t think it is “wrong” not attempting to use tech in classrooms (what tech are we talking about? PPT is tech too) but I do believe that educators do a serious disservice by avoiding digital tech on the pretext that they “are not into computers/tech”.

    So how does one go about it? First, I would suggest by practicing alone (e.g. with web-tools & platforms) and possibly with colleagues. Begin with easy, simple steps – for instance, creating a word cloud with Wordle (great for reading, brainstorming, vocabulary etc); it doesn’t take much time, students love them and once you feel confident with a tool, use it in class. There are so many sources of inspiration available, that the challenge is to decide on which tool to use for what activity :-)

    Which brings me to another consideration: I myself won’t use tech just for the purpose of having students sit in front of their screen; I want them to be engaged, create and think things/processes through and am careful that the tasks match their needs and contexts. One task students have enjoyed doing is using Fotobabble to play a guessing game (for instance) – 3 simple steps (up load an image, record something about it and then share with others).

    My suggestion? Begin with tools that integrate skills/activities bringing them more alive to learners; begin with 3 clicks and soon you will be guiding learners in their digital stories too!

    Look forward to hearing about your experiences and thank you again for contributing to dialogue!

  4. Pingback: Because it is Time | E-Learning Methodolog...

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