Monday, April 24, 2006

Really not asking too much!

I was up last night thinking more about the difficulties we all have trying to convince others of the benefits blogs, wikis... web2 ... a networked learning is and could still have for learning in general - in particular I was thinking about the 2 most common arguments I hear from those offering resistance:

1. Our teachers don't have time to learn a new thing, especially not buz words and hype
2. Show me evidence that this will help my students learn

I see red when these 2 statements are uttered. Especially when uttered by teachers who are already practicing some form of online teaching - usually through an LMS or other sort of small fry content and communications management system.

I think it needs to be stated loud and clear that with networked learning we are not asking all that much really. We are not asking teachers to learn HTML, CSS, Flash, Dreamweaver, or any other highly complex content production skills. We are not asking teachers to understand SCORM let alone ideas of sharable learning objects. We are not asking teachers to use freaked out, unusable, cobbled together LMS, DRM - CMS, SMS, or what ever content and communication system we say goes. We're not even asking teachers to Bobby Check everything they produce! All we are asking is that teachers come out into the open, or "step into the light" to quote Stephen, and learn how to use the Internet the same way as everyone else is using it now.

By doing so we believe teachers will rediscover the relevance in their topics that their students need and crave. By doing so we believe teacher's live's, attitudes and moral will improve. By doing so we believe teachers will discover ways of integrating those "distractions" such as mobile phones, MP3 Xbox, PSP and television players and laptops, into their classroom activities. By doing so we believe teachers will learn how to communicate better in our digitally networked world.

I don't think we are asking too much really.

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1 comment:

stevenparker said...

Hi Leigh

Thanks for giving we feedback the Veronica's- witness to kids loving pop and technology post...It did make me think...

You say
'1. Our teachers don't have time to learn a new thing, especially not buz words and hype
2. Show me evidence that this will help my students learn'

Yes me too.

I have been thinking about the different attitudes v's emotional response people have to Technology & Pedagogy.

Namely…If the curriculum/ system does not inspire teachers, managers to incorporate innovative teaching practices with technology then… (as per Maslow) … they will be satisfied to go to work, day in/out teaching as per normal, happy that they are meeting their job description until professional development.

I think when we advocate web2.0 technology (networked learning) we have to recognise that it needs to resonate with teachers on the personal/ emotional level (As it does with Veronicas kids), perhaps more relevant to their lives (For some the Rolling Stones :-)

* Incentive

* Build online identity

* Application to pedagogy

An incentive to stick at it, to put the necessary time in at home, network, build an online identity, gain confidence then apply to teaching and learning.

Have posted some related thoughts from the soap box (Hours later!!). Am currently writing post why I hate the time it took to blog this post.