In a thought provoking post, George Couros raises the question of “What if…?” – timely questions for all educators and educational managers. My question is when?
When will educators make the effort to be fearless?
When will educators make the effort to connect with others without judgement but sharing resources, ideas, visions, trials, errors and successes?
When will educators accept that today’s learners do have digital lives, even if they may not be familiar with how to use digital technology for learning and so need to learn how to make the best use of digital tech for their academic lives and futures unknown?
When will educators, who often have digital resources at the tips of their fingers, be brave enough to accept that making mistakes, asking for help, failing, is all part of learning and that they too are learners?
When will educators realize that it is through networks and connections that ideas thrive, and new forms of knowledge may develop?
When will educators accept that without their passion, without their individual efforts, without their positive, constructive action towards change, not much may make a difference in their practices?
However, change WILL happen. With, or without them.
Change is challenging, change may even be painful. But life IS all about change. Holding on to educational paradigms which were designed for the Industrial Age will simply no longer work. Classrooms of disengaged learners, longing to get back online, where there is interaction and engagement, is heart wrenching for all involved in classrooms. Bringing the world of digital spaces and digital learning to the world of learning is necessary.
A change of perspective is urgent. And the first step is for teachers themselves to get involved. Regardless of how many training sessions teachers must attend, if they are not involved in connecting, in participating in a networked world, if they are not active in the giving and sharing, then many of those training sessions will have little positive outcomes. I am not making a case that Social Media is the only way to learn – by no means. I am making the case that yes, participating in Social Media is one way for teachers to keep themselves updated and involved in the process of changeS that are happening all around.
Learning is not about leading.
Learning is about the will to participate, the will to negotiate meaning, the will to implement the necessary changes for one’s changing context. Learning how to make sense of one’s changing, global, networked world requires elements of fearlessness.
Couros, G., 2013, What if… ?
Downes, S., 2008, Seven Habits of Highly Connected People
Downes, S. 2013, Strive Less, Share More